Few things can ruin your day as quickly as a bad breakout. Conventionally considered a bane of the teenage years, when acne strikes you as an adult, it's hard to underestimate the impact.
Painful, unsightly and difficult to conceal, adult acne can easily affect your confidence, romantic connections and even career. Thankfully, dermatologists have identified several personal care ingredients which can help address acne concerns while also meeting the unique needs of adult skin.
Perhaps the most readily recognized anti-acne ingredient is benzoyl peroxide. While there are many factors that contribute to acne, any time oil from the sebaceous glands and dead skin cells become trapped within the pores, there is the possibility of a blemish forming.
The presence of bacteria then exacerbates the situation, leading to the infected sores typically seen with acne. Benzoyl peroxide helps short-circuit this process by reducing the amount of sebum produced while simultaneously killing surface bacteria.
Used to treat acne for nearly a century, numerous scientific studies have shown solutions with even relatively low percentages of benzoyl peroxide are capable of reducing the incidence of acne, although it can cause sun sensitivity and should generally be used with a sunscreen.
Another skin care staple shown to improve adult acne is tea tree oil. Renowned for its anti-septic and anti-inflammatory properties, tea tree oil has been used in Australia for generations to alleviate a wide range of conditions, including acne.
And while not quite as effective as benzoyl peroxide at controlling blemishes, studies have shown tea tree oil is nonetheless a viable acne treatment and notably results in less scaling, pruritis and dryness than other treatments.
Any investigation of the arsenal against adult acne wouldn't be complete without mentioning less well-known botanicals also clinically shown to improve skin appearance and health.
Allantoin is a nucleotide used in various skin care products. Capable of healing minor skin injuries, allantoin is a logical choice for treating acne-ravaged skin.
Witch hazel is another ingredient which, like allantoin, has both acne-specific and overall skin-health benefits. An anti-inflammatory frequently used as an astringent to control oil, witch hazel reduces the frequency of breakouts both by removing oil from the skin and helping to tone and reduce the size of pores, making it harder for acne-inciting debris to find safe-haven.
Damaged skin is especially prone to the accumulation of oil and dirt, as well as bacteria, that can trigger breakouts. Unfortunately, the often aggressive treatments needed to combat adult acne can actually damage the skin, creating a cycle that can be difficult to escape. For this reason, any anti-acne skin routine should also include products intended to soothe and promote general skin health.
For example, bisabolol (a derivative of chamomile) is an anti-inflammatory that can help tone the skin and prevent scarring from acne sores, while Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant protecting the skin, Vitamin E has antiproliferative effects and Vitamin B regulates cell regeneration.
Coordinating a regimen capable of incorporating all of these different ingredients while accounting for their benefits and shortcomings can prove not only prohibitively complicated but unreasonably expensive.
One solution is to identify systems that already include as many of these key components as possible. For example, the DualCare Acne Treatment System incorporates all of the most frequently dermatologist-recommended acne-targeting ingredients, plus skin-beneficial aloe vera, willow bark and calendula.
By splitting the active ingredients between an AM routine and PM routine, the DualCare dualosophy system overcomes some of the typical problems with combination skin care regimens, such as the tendencies of benzoyl peroxide and tea tree oil to counteract each other when applied simultaneously while maintaining a focus on overall skin health.
Acne represents a serious skin care challenge, regardless of age. Thankfully, modern dermatological products incorporate scientifically validated ingredients shown to reduce blemishes. By identifying treatment systems that incorporate both acne-targeting components and complexion-beneficial components, your goal of achieving healthy skin is now more possible than ever.