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Is your skin care routine making your acne worse?

Sarah Megginson is a freelance writer, journalist and editor. She currently edits Ultimate, Australia's highest-circulating entertainment magazine available nationally through Sanity stores and writes for magazines including Cosmopolitan...

Is your skin regime harmful or helpful?

From SheKnows Canada
Thought those hormonal surges that littered your teenage years were well and truly behind you? Think again! Women in their 20s and 30s are increasingly complaining of breakouts and acne, and it seems that hormones are largely to blame. Fortunately with the right advice and skin care routine, you can reduce adult acne and improve the appearance of your skin.

Woman checking for acne

Is your skin regime harmful or helpful?

Thought those hormonal surges that littered your teenage years were well and truly behind you? Think again! Women in their 20s and 30s are increasingly complaining of breakouts and acne, and it seems that hormones are largely to blame. Fortunately with the right advice and skin care routine, you can reduce adult acne and improve the appearance of your skin.

Acne, blemishes, spots, pimples — whatever you call them, they're a frustrating problem to manage. Acne is also very common — so much so that the Canadian Dermatology Association (CDA) confirms it is the most common skin problem seen by doctors throughout Canada.

What causes adult acne?

Acne occurs when the tiny hair follicles on your skin become clogged with dirt and dead skin cells, combined with an over-production of an oily substance called sebum.

"Sexual hormone fluctuations are usually responsible, which is why women may suffer 'cyclical acne' that shows up before their menstrual periods or acne flare-ups during pregnancy or menopause," reports the CDA, adding that women comprise around 75 per cent of all cases.

Breakouts can be triggered by a number of things, from sweating and tight clothing or accessories to makeup and over-washing. That's right: Over-washing your skin can actually worsen your condition rather than improve it.

"Washing your face twice a day with a mild cleanser is recommended for acne-prone skin, but cleaning it more often, scrubbing or exfoliating or using strong cleansers or astringent products can actually strip the skin and irritate it, which can lead to more acne," confirms the CDA.

If you're struggling to keep your adult breakouts under control, it might be time to revamp your skin care regime with the following golden rules in mind:

Look for calming ingredients

To calm upset skin, soothe aggravation and reduce the appearance of acne, you're best off adopting a skin care routine based on natural products that will gently reveal a healthier complexion. For instance, try a facial moisturizing regime that includes products infused with soy, as natural soybean is a good source of protein, as well as offering a rich mixture of lipids and carbohydrates, which are good for moisturization. Consider the AVEENO® Clear Complexion line of products which all contain soy.

Avoid harsh scrubs

The CDA cautions against using an exfoliation cream or scrub on your face, as "it won't work, and it can irritate your skin and aggravate your acne." Instead, opt for a cream cleanser with microbeads, as this will gently exfoliate your skin to generate an even complexion without triggering a breakout.

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Use gentle, oil-free moisturizers

Choosing gentle cleansers like AVEENO® Clear Complexion Foaming Cleanser, oil-free moisturizers and other skin treatments that are not excessively drying is important for acne-prone skin. Seek out non-oily moisturizers labelled as "non-comedogenic," as this means they won't clog pores. Using skin care products designed to specifically target acne is ideal, as they contain unique properties that will help even out your skin tone, unclog pores and gently refresh your complexion without feeling like the product is attacking your skin.

More skin care tips

5 Good habits that help fight the signs of aging
How to get healthy, glowing skin
4 Causes of dry skin

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