There are many myths surrounding acne, especially acne in adult women (Felicia chronicled her personal struggle here), so we thought we would share some content from Jasmina Aganovic to separate myth from fact. Jasmina is the creator of the all-natural, anti-aging skincare line, Stages of Beauty.
MYTH: Acne only appears on the skin of a teenager
Acne can be associated with aging just as much as it is associated with one’s teenage years.
o As we age, not only does our collagen and elastin start to decrease, but overall, the aging process also makes our skin less efficient at other things like regulating its level hydration and oil production both of which can greatly impact acne.
o One of the best examples of this is the rate of regeneration of the skin, which starts to slow as we enter our 30s.
o In our teens it takes our skin approximately 14 days to completely regenerate. That means we have new skin every 2 weeks! In our 30s, this time jumps up to over 30 days. This means that dead skin cells are sitting on the surface for longer, the body is less efficient at pushing healthier skin to the surface.
o The sluggish renewal of cells as we age increases the likely hood of clogging our pores. It also means that any hyperpigmentation from acne will take longer to fade.
o Women in their 30s need to focus more on exfoliation as a means to care for acne and heal acne marks than teens do.
FACT: Adult acne is on the rise for women in their 20s-50s
Over the last five years, the day-to-day lives of women in careers have become more hectic, leading to more stress and other poor lifestyle habits.
o As we age and become more involved in our careers, it’s natural to experience less exercise, unbalanced diets and more stress, which impacts the hormones in the body (and hormones have a profound effect on the skin; good & bad).
o Another factor contributing to acne in adult women being on the rise is that our air and environment is becoming more polluted, which leads to additional damage and clogging of the skin.
o The food that we eat also plays a role in the condition of our skin. There is a debate between the importance of organic meats and dairy. For example: More and more farmers are now supplementing their cows with hormones so that they produce more milk – one must then wonder what this actually does to the milk produced from these cows?
o Any traces of hormones in the milk that we ingest could certainly have an impact on the hormones in our own bodies and as a result have an effect on our skin. None of this is of course proven, but it is certainly something to be mindful of especially because we are seeing an increase in the occurrence of things like adult acne, earlier development and menstruation, etc. in women.
MYTH: Oily skin causes acne
If a person has acne, it doesn’t necessarily mean that their skin is too oily. In fact, lack of moisture can cause acne, too!
o It is not the oils or the skin that cause acne, but rather the inability of the body to expel the oils properly, causing build-up and clogging.
o A lack of moisture can also be a cause of acne. Again, it is not the amount of moisture that is produced, but the way that your skin handles its natural oils.
o Your skin should feel balanced and supple without any moisturizer. You’ll know that you need to add moisture to your skin if it feels dry or tight after cleansing.
FACT: The ingredients you use on your face should change as you age
As women age, they should be aware of the ingredients they are putting on their face and look for products that treat the skin concerns of people in their age group.
o In terms of ingredients to avoid, since our skin is more sensitive and less efficient as we age, it is necessary to be more careful with synthetic and heavy ingredients like petrochemicals and silicones, which can often clog the skin. In our teens our skin is more efficient, so clogging is less of a concern with ingredients like these.
o Women 30+ battling acne or problematic skin, should always incorporate exfoliation into their skincare regimen. The skin’s rate of regeneration is slower, leading to more clogging from dead skin cells alone – by helping take off the top layer of skin, you can really enable the skin to breathe a bit more.
o As women age, they should look for ingredients like AHA’s and BHA’s. Salicylic acid is among the most common.