Your high school years may be a distant memory, unfortunately those pimples that accompanied them are not. If you’re in your 30s or 40s and are still battling breakouts, you’re not alone. It’s estimated that nearly 30% of women from ages 20-60 suffer from at least the occasional zit. Showing up for a big meeting or a parent teacher conference with a huge zit on your chin is just about as embarrassing as it gets. While reports show that women suffer from more acne breakouts in their adult years than men, there is good acne treatment news for the female population of adult acne sufferers. There are a number of effective acne treatments around that also address aging skin and help with wrinkle removal. “Using too many skin care products can compromise the skin and cause inflammation, so being more targeted with our approach to acne skincare is very important,” says Dr. Schweiger.
If you’re in your adult years and your M.O. is for younger looking, acne-free skin and a clear, glowing complexion (because really, who’s isn’t?), here’s a look at the rejuvenating treatments and procedures you should be seeking out during your next office visit.
Retinoids refers to the class of compounds, which includes retinol, retinoic acid and retinyl palmitate, all of which are derivatives of the powerhouse skin-saving vitamin A. Retinoids smooth out wrinkles and tighten pores and clear up acne breakouts. Quite an amazing ingredient if there ever was one. There are plenty of OTC retinols, some of the most effective topical retinoids are of the prescription variety, Renova, Tazorac and Differin. The biggest complaint about retinols are that they can be irritating to the skin. Thanks to new delivery systems and products containing smaller percentages of retinol, there are ways to reduce side effects. We suggest applying a moisturizing cream after your retinol treatment. It’s also important to use sunscreen while on a retinoid, as they make your skin more photosensitive.
Light Treatments for Acne
If you want to banish your breakouts and also clear your complexion of age spots and brown spots, photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a great way to do so. Photdynamic therapy has been receiving some national attention lately (in the Wall Street Journal), as a fantastic alternative treatment for adult acne patients who do not want to subject themselves to antibiotics or stronger prescription topicals. During a PDT session, a medication called levulan gets applied to the skin, which is then activated by the light and kills the acne bacteria and reduces sebum production. Photodynamic therapy also improves skin’s texture and increases collagen production, which helps to diminish brown spots and age spots.