Most every teen has been there; spending their adolescent years praying to reach adulthood quickly so their acne will disappear. Unfortunately, reaching that pivotal milestone does not always mean the end of breakouts.
What could possibly be worse than spending your teenage life avoiding having your picture taken and most social interaction? Try dealing with acne as an adult. There are countless numbers of women living with it every day. Even girls who made it through adolescence without a single zit may find themselves prone to adult acne and they have no idea how or why.
Though it may sound like there’s no way out, knowledge is in fact power. One very simple way to stop acne before it starts is to know what is causing it. Here are seven of the most common culprits.
Hormonal Fluctuation – More Like Hormonal Tsunami
Hormonal fluctuation is one of the most common causes of acne. Both teenage girls and women experience a surge in hormones prior to their monthly cycle, causing an increase in acne. This type of acne usually manifests around the chin and jawline. Women will also notice some variation in hormonal levels as a result of pregnancy. Ladies approaching menopause may be shocked to see a zit staring back at them in the mirror. It can most likely be blamed on falling estrogen levels.
There are also certain medical conditions that could trigger an outbreak. One of the most common is polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
A short word about testosterone; it is not just a male hormone. It is present in teen girls and women alike. An excessive amount of this hormone is usually responsible for painful, cystic acne.
Greasy Hair = Greasy Face
Washing your hair regularly can help dramatically reduce the amount of acne on the face, specifically reducing forehead acne and pimples. It isn’t hard to make the connection, really. Your hair (especially if you have bangs) is always touching your face. When your hair is greasy and dirty that grease and dirt transfer to the skin and make themselves at home in your pores. In the same vein, make sure you are changing your pillowcase every few days for the same reason.
Stress….More Commonly Known as LIFE
Ask anyone living a normal adult life how they’re doing and they are likely to tell you that they are either busy or stressed. This answer is so normal that stress management has become a multi-billion dollar industry.
The problem with stress is that it causes the adrenal gland to produce a hormone called cortisol, which is released into the body to help it deal with stress. While cortisol is being pushed out into the body, a little testosterone gets out with it. The testosterone causes oil glands to make more oil which in turn makes more what? You got it….acne.
Smog and Generally Filthy Air
Not only is it bad for your lungs, it wreaks havoc on your face. If you live in a large city or anywhere with a substantial amount of air pollution, make sure you’re cleaning your face regularly. Just spending a half-hour outside will coat your skin in some stuff you’d probably rather not think about.
Are Your Cleansers Your “Type”?
There are only three phrases you need to look for when shopping for skin care products. And truth be told, any one of the three will do. Make sure your product has “non-comedogenic,” “oil-free” or “water-based” on the label. Using one of these make certain that you’re not clogging up your pores with the very product you bought to clean them out. When shopping for moisturizers, consider trying one that is gel-based.
Take It Easy
Washing too often or too aggressively is counterproductive. Cleaning your skin more than twice daily can actually increase acne as it dries the skin out, causing it to produce more oil to make up for what you washed away. Also, try to avoid using anything too coarse on a regular basis. Opt for gentle cleansers for regular use and save the gritty ones for exfoliation day.
Too Much of a Good Thing
Not only should you watch your sugar intake for health reasons, it’s also terrible for your skin. Sugar spikes insulin levels which in turn can boost testosterone production. Foods that contain complex carbs, like whole grains, are low on the glycemic index and will cause less fluctuation in insulin levels. Your waistline will thank you as well.