Is there anything more frustrating and demoralising than adult acne? Not only do you have to combat signs of ageing like fine lines, wrinkles and pigmentation, you also have to deal with completely age-inappropriate blemishes that wrench you right back into the painfully insecure mindset of your teen years. But don’t despair – this article is here to help you understand the various causes of acne, and will also present you with effective natural solutions that will help to clear up your complexion and boost your confidence.
There are a variety of different factors that could be contributing to your spotty situation. The number one culprit? Hormones – both sex hormones and stress hormones. Changes in your body’s hormonal levels can result in a cascade of effects, including stimulating your skin’s sebaceous glands, which leads to excessive oil (sebum) production. This then leads to clogged pores and follicles, which creates the perfect environment for bacteria growth, triggering pimples and inflammation.
Other common causes of acne include altered skin cell turnover rates (how often your skin naturally sheds skin cells), along with a genetic history of acne (i.e. if your parents had acne in their teens or adult years, you’re much more likely to develop it too). Certain medications can also trigger acne as well; corticosteroids and certain antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications have been linked to pimples and acne.
Diet can also play a role in the development of acne. Studies have shown that certain foods – particularly dairy, sugar, and carb-rich foods like highly processed bread and cereals – are linked to an increase in acne. Your sensitivity to these foods can change throughout your life as well. For example, dairy may not have caused you any skin problems in your teen years, but you might find that it contributes to your breakouts in your thirties and beyond. Try eliminating a suspect food group (e.g. dairy) for a few weeks to see if it has any effect on your skin. Give skin a boost from within with a specialised inner beauty supplement, such as The Beauty Chef's Cleanse Kickstart Kit.
Most pharmacy-bought topical acne treatments rely on harsh chemicals like benzoyl peroxide to kill the bacteria that cause acne, and while these ingredients can be effective, they often irritate the skin. Here at Beautiful Because, we prefer gentler solutions that harness the power of nature to fight acne-causing bacteria and skin problems contributing to breakouts.
Weleda have launched their new Aknedoron line, created specifically for blemish-prone skin. Their Aknedoron Cleansing Lotion deeply cleanses and soothes skin without stripping away its natural barrier courtesy of carefully selected natural ingredients including calendula, chamomile, rosemary, and olive oil. Weleda Aknedoron Purifying Lotion is applied before bed to help treat skin overnight. Specially formulated with soothing and healing natural ingredients like sage, thyme, lavender, Witch Hazel, sulphur, and Echinacea.
Alternatively, Pai Skincare is brilliant for those with very sensitised, acne prone skin. In particular their Copaiba and Zinc products have a triple-action complex with anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties to target both the causes and effects of persistent blemishes.
Face masks designed for oily and acne-prone skin are also a great weapon in your arsenal for combating blemishes. We recommend using a clay-based face mask once a week to help draw out impurities and rebalance the skin. MADARA Detox Ultra Purifying Mud Mask and La Mav Green Clay Detox Mask are two of our top picks.
A twice-weekly treatment mask is also a fantastic way to keep acne-causing bacteria at bay. Antipodes Aura Manuka Honey Mask is definitely one of our favourites; New Zealand Manuka honey has natural antibacterial properties, so it helps to kill acne-causing bacteria, while soothing ingredients like avocado oil, Vinaza grape extract and vitamin E help to repair and calm the skin.
By Lauren Dunne