There are a lot of things I miss about being a teenager: Endless summer holidays, having a mom around who does all my laundry, a fridge that’s always full (also thanks to my mom) and all those emotions and dramas that felt so big back then. But there’s definitely one thing I don’t miss at all, which currently seems to haunt me down in my adulthood (I’m turning 27 next month!). And that’s acne.
Because let’s face it: I don’t really have an excuse to have bad skin. By now, I know which foods to avoid (hello lactose intolerance!), I know it’s essential to clean my face before going to bed, I have access to the best skin care products, and I’m taking a combined oral contraceptive pill that’s supposed to help against impurities. And still, I’m experiencing breakouts. Hence – no excuses, right?
All of these things mentioned above keep my skin mostly under control, but I still have to deal with more impurities, pimples and cysts than I’m cool with. They are mostly on my cheeks and despite being very annoying and not cute at all, they also hurt very much. I feel like I’m too old for that crap. So naturally, I’ve been very interested in everything that has to do with my skin lately and did a lot of research on that topic.
After consulting a dermatologist to get some professional help, it turned out that I’m not alone with this whole dilemma of so called adult acne (the nasty kind that occurs in woman in their mid twenties and above). I asked the derm about the reason why this is happening, but unfortunately there is no straight answer to this. The difference between teen acne and adult acne isn’t completely clear either. Acne mostly occurs due to oily skin, bacteria on the skin, inflammations and skin cells which are blocking the pores. Also stress, diet and hormones play a big role.
But here’s some good news! Doctors are constantly discovering new ways of treating acne. However, no matter how much research is done and how many super fancy products that help prevent acne and impurities are launched, my dermatologist told me something I think is worth sharing. “Sometimes, less is more and no product or medicine will help you, if you don’t stick to the golden rules of healthy skin”.
So here are the golden rules and approaches for beautiful skin, which will help you deal with acne as a grown-up. Read them, try them, and know this: You’re not alone!
Water is essential for healthy skin.
Just as it’s essential to hydrate your skin from the outside to avoid the dry and stretchy feeling, hydrating from the inside is key to beautiful skin as well. Water is widely involved and essential for every cell that makes up our body and skin. Our skin is the biggest organ of the body and is mostly made up of water, which serves to keep skin smooth and elastic. But water affects our skin from the inside, as well as from the outside. We all know the rule of drinking at least eight glasses of water per day, but – as in all aspects of life – but not only the quantity of water is important. Have you ever noticed that your skin feels totally different after washing it when you’re on holidays? That is because water is different in various regions of the world. We’re very lucky to have water of very high quality out of the tap in Austria, but still some areas are affected of so-called hard water. This term is referred to water which contains a noticeable quantity of dissolved minerals (like calcium, for example). Hard water is to blame for dingy looking clothes, dishes with spots and residue, and bathtubs with lots of film and soap scum. Hair washed in hard water may feel sticky and look dull, furthermore it’s not beneficial for our skin. But no need to worry! If you’re living in a region that is affected by hard water you can easily decalcify it. Water softening installations such as the AQA perla from BWT transform hard water into silky-soft pearl water, which will make your skin noticeably soft.
Simplify your routine.
I think we can all agree on the fact that sometimes too much a good thing can be wonderful (talking holidays, cuddles, and sunshine). However, when it comes to your skin treatment game plan, then less is more. Applying too many products and washing your face too often could cause more harm than good. So stick to your basics and don’t overdo it. Sometimes simply washing your face with fresh water in the morning can be enough.
Take care of your diet.
If you’re intolerant to some foods, your skin is very likely to reflect this incompatibleness. Make sure you see a doctor and have yourself checked for potential food intolerances. Furthermore, an increased sugar load promotes inflammation that in turn leads to breakouts. So it’s best to cut back on processed sugary foods and incorporate more organic options like wild fish, fresh fruit, vegetables and hormone-free meat and dairy into your meal plan.
Workout and release stress.
No kidding – stress is listed as one of the major factors for skin problems and breakouts. And science says it’s true: high amounts of stress affect our hormones, which leads to increased oil production of the skin, which then leads to breakouts. You know the drill… So anything you can do to minimize stress, such as yoga or pilates, a run in nature or even meditation will help your skin. Plus, your overall happiness will benefit too.
Don’t ever squeeze and pick your face.
I know how tempting it is to try to be your own esthetician in your bathroom, but keep your fingers off your face! Adult acne usually is very deeply rooted in the skin, and can’t be easily opened. By trying to squeeze your pimples on your own, you disrupt the skin barrier and it will lead to more harm than good. The skin will most likely be inflamed even more, and – worst case scenario – you’ll end up with scars.
When in doubt, see a dermatologist.
When you’ve tried everything you can think of, and you’re still seeing no improvement, go and see a dermatologist. It’s always best to talk to an expert who will advise you what to do. And if all else fails, there are some medical solutions that can cure adult acne like anti-inflammatory gels and creams.
My dermatologist advised me too make an appointment with an esthetician once a month until my skin gets better. I’ve just had my second appointment and my skin is improving so much already. I think it’s really worth it and would totally recommend it to anyone who’s suffering from skin problems.
*in collaboration with BWT // advertisement