So many customers write me frustrated about their adult acne and it seems to be increasing enormously. One in five women is affected and I personally battled outbreaks in my late 20s.
Hormone disorders are usually the most common cause of acne in adults, but stress, poor nutrition and unsuitable beauty products can also contribute to this.
Hormonal acne is characterized by the large, painful areas that appear along the jaw and chin. It can be difficult to treat, and I often advise clients to see a health practitioner for advice on how to naturally balance their hormones.
Here are my lifestyle tips for detoxifying your skin and ending your acne condition in adults.
1. Less is more . If you have an outbreak, it's tempting to throw everything and the sink at it. Reducing the number of topical products you use as a skin overload can lead to even more spots, as it is difficult to adapt to different levels of moisture and ingredients.
2. Increase your intake of essential fatty acids (Omega 3, 6 and 9). These are powerful natural anti-inflammatories that soothe the digestive tract and help cleanse the skin from the inside. Oily fish, seeds and nuts are good sources, but you can buy natural supplements in good health food stores.
3. Avoid foaming facial detergents. These contain chemical detergents (eg sodium lauryl sulfate and cocamidopropyl betaine) that remove your natural oils and lead to an overproduction of sebum. This excess oil clogs the pores, which in turn causes acne. Instead, opt for a detergent-free cleaning cream. They are best used with a muslin face cloth, as this gently exfoliates the skin and removes dead cells.
4. If a stain shows its ugly head, dab on lavender oil twice a day (preferably with a cotton swab). Lavender has excellent antibacterial properties and is gentler on the skin and less drying than tea tree oil or over-the-counter spot treatments.
5. Resist the urge to pick! Your mother was right – by squeezing stains, the bacteria are transferred to the surrounding pores, the infection is pushed deeper into the skin and scars can occur.
6. Clean food = clear complexion. Refined sugar and animal fats are bad acne triggers for adults. So try reducing junk food and drinking plenty of water. Hot water and a lemon wedge are ideal to relieve the complexion. Dandelion tea is also a great skin cleanser and is said to improve acne scars.
7. Find out about your Zzzz. Sleep strengthens the immune system and is the time when your skin does all its healing and regeneration. When you feel rested and refreshed, you can also deal better with stress, which can be a bad trigger for skin flare-ups.
However, keep in mind that it can take four weeks for your acne to clear up and new skin cells to surface.
Make sure you follow these simple steps even if you don't see the effects right away!