We get you: having acne as an adult can be inconvenient and awkward— even more so than in the teenage years! Especially since we all thought it would end when we got a couple of decades under our belts. But it’s not a hopeless situation at all.
Want to know what can help you overcome this irksome issue? In our previous post, we covered some scientifically proven causes and mechanisms of adult acne as well as the high-performance ingredients that help you heal it.
Inventory of causes
There are internal and external factors that can combine and trigger adult acne. These include hormonal stress and imbalance, unhealthy habits and diet, occlusive substances such as heavy makeup or creams, and touching your skin with dirty objects.
As acne is a complex skin issue— it simply can’t be traced back to just one source—, it needs you to take an educated, empowered approach that goes beyond medication and pervades your whole lifestyle!
The optimal action plan is a multi-directional, holistic one. It includes addressing the internal and external factors and, perhaps, making lifestyle changes. This is your simple guide to nip it in the bud!
Mind your skin’s diet
According to popular wisdom, you are what you eat. And, in the case of acne, this proverb is right. In order to have healthy, clean skin, you need to nurture healthy and clean eating habits.
However, sometimes it’s not easy to get started. There are so many diet and ingredient options on the market that you might feel tempted to capitulate and head to the nearest burger joint.
A good rule of thumb is to look at the Glycemic Index of your meal: how much it raises your blood sugar. Acne has been linked, in several research studies, to foods rich in carbohydrates that have a high GI. These trigger the androgen hormones that increase sebum and, ultimately, acne.
This means ingredients like potatoes, white rice, and bread, refined grains and sugars (think pretzels, crackers, instant oatmeal) might be causing part of your acne issues.
The ideal acne prevention diet consists of ingredients that have a low GI, as they help produce chemicals that prevent androgen hormones from spreading. These can be green and non-starchy vegetables, raw carrots, most fruit, legumes and beans, sweet potatoes, and more!
Increasing the amount of fiber in your diet can also help: eat unrefined cereal such as steel-cut oatmeal and don’t skip on your veggies. Surprisingly, studies have shown a clear link between eating dairy and developing acne so, if beating this issue back is one of your skin goals, you need to cut back on milk-derived products.
Fatty acids are the key
Don’t worry, we’re not telling you that you should eat fatty food indiscriminately! A low- fat, high-fiber diet is key to getting on the road toward better skin.
However, fatty acids are essential for achieving balanced nutrition and, in this way, an acne-free complexion. They’re a healthy component of fats and oils and include linolenic acid (aka., Omega-6) and alpha-linolenic acid (Omega-3).
To target acne concerns, you need to increase your intake of Omega-3, as it has been shown to decrease inflammation and the sebaceous blockage of follicles, as well as of acne-triggering hormones.
This fatty acid can be found in wild fish such as Atlantic Mackerel and Alaskan Salmon, flaxseed and chia seeds, seaweed products, hemp oil, kale, and Brussels sprouts. Your parents might have been onto something— eat your Brussels sprouts, kiddos!
Is this too big a change to start with? You don’t need to fret: you can work towards a more balanced diet while incorporating healthy supplements that increase your intake of fatty acids and other essential nutrients.
We know and love three Miss Vitality products to target your acne concerns. For highly bioavailable Omega-3 and healthful antioxidants that improve skin elasticity, inflammation control, and hydration, go for wild-fish-sourced Good Oil.
Use Illumination as an ally to target inflammation and stressed skin, especially if your immune system is on the weaker side. This pharmaceutical-grade formula contains balancing and detoxifying selenium, vitamin D and chromium (immunity boosters that reduce inflammation), and a vitamin B complex that reduces stress and controls sebum production. We adore it!
Elevate is a supplement rich in antioxidants such as Spirulina and Wheatgrass, amino acids (such as Chlorella), and vitamins (example: lots of vitamin C in Rosehips and Barley grass). It serves as a wide-action balancing factor. It promotes healthy gut function, improving your body’s immunity and nutrient absorption, as well as flooding you with antioxidant, detoxifying, and anti-aging goodness.
Cleanse yourself and your space
No, we are not talking about sage. As you already know, acne-related inflammation is caused by the spread of P. Acnes, a type of bacteria that grows in your skin’s lesions (such as blackheads and whiteheads).
It’s not just by chance, though. In order to decrease the probability of P. Acnes invading your pores, you need to pay attention to the cleanliness of everything that touches your face. This includes accessories, makeup products, and— you guessed it!— your hands.
Think of it: hands are constantly in contact with countless surfaces and bacteria. If you do not wash them properly before touching your face, or if you have unconscious gestures (like placing your chin on your hand while reading), you are spreading those inflammation-causing bacteria onto your skin. So use a mild soap and wash your hands
The same goes for your makeup brushes and other accessories such as sponges. You should only ever use hygienically appropriate makeup props. Use a professional cleaning solution or a mixture of mild soap and warm water. Also clean your pillowcases and towels often— this principle applies to anything that comes into contact with your face.
Finally, no picking at your skin. It can be tempting to try to squeeze acne manifestations but— trust us— it’s not going to help you get rid of this issue. If anything, it causes even more bacteria-related inflammation and can even result in scars. Instead, wash and cleanse your face with the correct, balanced ingredients and products.
Get the right allies
Now, we have already gone through the properties and mechanisms of action of several biologically active ingredients such as Salicylic Acid, Niacinamide, and Retinols. These are present in medical-grade skincare products such as Define and REFINE by Cosmedix, and Extreme B17 by Aspect.
A good, balanced skincare option that suits the needs of acne-prone skin is Purastat’s Problem Skin Kit. It consists of three products that work well together to target acne imperfections and concerns at any age: Purastat 5, Jungle Brew, and Exfol L 15.
Purastat 5 is a cleanser that contains soothing and astringent botanical complexes, as well as exfoliating Fruit Acids and Hydrofoam. Its scientifically-developed formulation works to calm sensitivity and resurface new skin, yet is gentle enough to not further irritate acne-prone skin.
The light, non-greasy serum in this kit is Jungle Brew. It contains antioxidant and moisturizing Tocopherols, L-Ascorbic Acid to promote healing, and a blend of fruit extracts (including Acai and Andiroba) that greatly reduces oiliness and blackheads.
The Problem Skin Kit includes a gentle exfoliating serum treatment: the soothing, antioxidant Exfol L 15. Its Lactic Acid, botanical complexes, and Wasabi Extract work to calm and refine, while bringing up new skin cells.
No pain, lots of gain: Light Therapy
An innovative, high-performance complement to traditional acne treatment is LED Light Therapy. It essentially works by exposing acne-forming bacteria to red and blue light that forms toxins they’re sensitive to. The bacteria die and, at the same time, the light shrinks the glands in your skin that produce sebum.
The effectiveness of Light Therapy is really high: after four biweekly sessions, 85% of patients show dramatic improvement of acne lesions without any damage to the skin itself. It is a much safer and faster alternative to conventional oral antibiotics.
If you want better skin with no pain, this gentle organic approach is a must. Keep in mind that you still need to take care of your skin with Active Skincare and, more than ever, protect it from the sun.
Love yourself, sustain yourself
In the end, it all comes down to this: taking care of your skin is important because it is part of you. It is not even about looks, at the core. Rather, it’s about honoring your health, needs, and integrity, and taking time to be present with yourself on a daily basis.
Developing better eating and cleansing habits are not isolated bullet points you cross of a “should” checklist. The only way to create long-term, sustainable and self-respectful change is to focus on developing a holistic lifestyle that makes you feel healthy and alive.
A crucial aspect to transform your daily life, in the long run, is stress management. Constant stress— from work, relationships, the economy, your neighbor’s barking dog— can affect your organism negatively. It can also elevate androgen hormones causing, ultimately, more acne.
The good news is that you can develop habits that help you deal with life’s stressors in sustainable ways. For example, an at-home yoga or meditation practice can help you ground yourself and create a more balanced day-to-day rhythm. For each of us, this might take very diverse forms: relaxed jogging, cooking, creating art.
The key is to be present and aware— of our environment, our habits, and ourselves. Being mindful is essential to learning what is good and bad for us and our bodies. If you are present, you will probably notice when something doesn’t agree with you and you’ll learn, by yourself, to avoid it.
So get your notepad out, create some new well-informed and loving resolutions and achieve your acne-free skin goals!