With the many stresses we face as adults, the last thing we need are a few break-outs and acne troubles to aggravate our adult-life woes. This may explain why we adopt far stricter skincare routines once we hit our 20s, but the sad truth is that acne’s just as prevalent in adulthood as it is in your teenage years.
Causes: What’s to Blame?
Bad diet and hormonal shifts play crucial roles in acne break-outs, but there are other contributing culprits we tend to overlook…
1. Hormones & the Pill
Birth-control tablets are multifunctional – providing several other benefits beyond contraception. Commonly, the pill is prescribed to young women and adolescent girls to get rid of period pains as well as help regulate menstrual cycles; however, in dermatology, hormonal birth control is often recommended as an effective treatment for chronic acne.
Acne is a side effect that’s prompted when your body contains high levels of testosterone. This triggers an increase in sebum production, which then results in those lingering bumps and break-outs you’ve now become familiar with. This is where birth control comes into play, as it lowers testosterone by elevating your body’s oestrogen and progestin levels. Once your testosterone has been minimised, your skin should start clearing up in no time.
The downside (yes, there’s a downside) is that your birth-control schedule must be regular. Quit or skip the pill and your acne troubles may return.
2. Chill Out A Little
Stress and adrenaline work hand in hand – freak out and your adrenal gland releases the stress hormone ‘cortisol’ to deal with your body’s tense state; and in the mix of it all, a small dose of testosterone can be secreted in your bloodstream too – which is never ideal, as testosterone is the basis of most break-outs.
Your Skin Checklist
Avoid any oily skincare buys; instead opt for water-based alternatives. These are great for acne-prone skin as they’re grease-free, lightweight, super-hydrating and help refine skin without clogging up your pores.
Don’t cleanse and exfoliate your face too rigorously or frequently, as your body will overproduce sebum to compensate for any oil lost during the cleansing process.