It seems that anything and everything can trigger a breakout. The jury is still out on exactly how acne is related to stress, what we order for lunch or simply our genes, but we do know that acne is individual and there is no one-size-fits-all cure. Whether you're in your 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s, here's what you need to know about acne at every age.
“There's a hormonal shift that happens around 40,” says Dr. Jeanette Graf, a dermatologist in Great Neck, N.Y. and an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Centre in New York. “There could be a year when you suddenly start breaking out like ever before.”
In addition to using an anti-aging moisturizer that strengthens the skin's barrier, treating with retinoid and exfoliating with an alpha-hydroxy acid solution, kick you acne regimen into high gear with a cleansing system such as Clarisonic. “It kind of shakes the pores, removing what's inside them,” says Graf.
“I tend to see more cystic acne in the 30s,” says Graf. “It's hormonal, and whether you're pregnant or not, there are peaks and troughs.”
If you're been looking for a reason to finally jump on the retinoid bandwagon, acne is it. “It helps prevent the initial clogging of pore,” says Graf. Since vitamin A derivatives can be irritating, those with dry or sensitive skin should start with an over-the-counter version, like retinol, which tends to be gentler than some vitamin A varieties.
If you've ever wondered why the pimples from your teens didn't go the way of your prom date, you're not alone. Changes are, if you had an oily T-zone and zits in high school, you're still dealing with bothersome bumps in your 20s.
If you haven't done so already, now is the time to commit to a basic skincare regiment (for instances, no more sleeping with your makeup on). Clean skin begets clear skin. If you're active, stash facial cleansing wipes in your bag.