By Daisy Grace
Acne will always be something associated most with teenage years, as we all know the hormones involved with puberty are usually the cause of too much sebum (natural oil) which leads to these breakouts.
But acne can also occur as a condition in adulthood, which is much less talked about.
It’s important to realise the difference between acne and spots when it comes to adult cases, as they are not the same thing. Acne is a disease affecting hair follicles and sebum production, often causing bad breakouts and sometimes pustules or cysts, while spots are the blemishes caused by acne that can also occur without the condition. Single and occasional zits are common in adulthood and are often caused by clogged pores from makeup or not washing your face enough.
What Causes Acne?
Certain habits and lifestyle factors can lead to the condition, as well as hormone imbalances and gland disorders:
- Medication: certain drugs such as lithium, steroid medicines and medication containing iodides and bromides can cause true acne. Make sure to check the side effects of your topical creams for true acne and breakouts.
- Hormone Changes: Much like puberty, large hormonal changes such as pregnancy and menstruation can cause acne.
- Pressure: Wearing items that put pressure on the skin, especially in areas that collect sweat and oil can trigger acne as pores are so easily clogged and sebum is undistributed.
- Genes: Not a habit or a lifestyle factor, but a large influence on acne is genetics - if your parents had acne, you are very likely to suffer from it too.
Other events, products and habits don’t cause acne, but cause acne flare ups, such as stress, oil-based cosmetics and scrubbing your skin too regularly and harshly.
What Natural Preventatives Are There?
There are a number of things you can do, things you can eat and things you can avoid to prevent acne and acne breakouts:
- Foods To Avoid: One hormone that affects acne a lot is insulin as excess can cause more oil production. Because of this, foods that raise your blood sugar quickly should be avoided when trying to prevent acne.
High-glycaemic (insulin-inducing) foods include white bread, white pasta and rice, soft drinks and potatoes.
- Foods To Eat More: Certain minerals and vitamins can help to reduce inflammation, so food and drink that contain zinc, vitamins A and E and antioxidants are good to consume more of. Food and drink that include these minerals and vitamins include legumes, fish, nuts and seeds and all fruit and vegetables.
- Natural Topicals: Natural home remedies you can use to prevent acne flare ups include apple cider vinegar, manuka honey and green tea, all of which are high in antioxidants.
These natural preventatives can work for spots and breakouts that aren’t induced by acne as well.
Regular morning and evening skincare routine using organic natural and chemical free creams and cleansers as well as specially produced anti inflamatory skincare for acne prone skin can also help you in this fight. Some of my daily favourites are:
If natural preventatives don’t help with your breakouts, it’s worth seeking GP advice on treatment or further mitigations.