Acne and Age
Do you remember being a teenager and having a breakout? I used to always think that when I was older, 20, 25, 30, 40 and yes even 50 that acne would be a thing of the past. That some birthday would automatically give me clear and healthy skin. Sadly, time has proven me wrong. I’ve experienced some sort of acne at every age.
Looking back I realize that those periods of acne have had a tremendous effect on my life and how I feel about myself. That realization made me want to help others that are dealing with the same situation. I’ve compiled a list of what I have experienced and what has worked for me. My hope is that if you suffer from acne you will find a solution that works for you and heals the pain and embarrassment that comes with this common skin condition that has so many psychological effects.
The Effects of Acne Across the Ages
Acne and the scars it leaves can completely change how you feel about yourself, sapping your confidence and keeping you from doing the things you want to do. I had normal teenage acne prior to my 20’s. Normal hormonal acne. It most likely had nothing do to with the myth of junk food, sugar and grease but that might some day be proven.
In my late 20’s I began having redness and breakouts around my nose and on my cheeks. I was diagnosed with rosacea. This is redness and breakouts which are aggravated by caffeine, spicy foods and a lot of other things I love. My dermatologist recommended Accutane and a topical gel. I did this for a year or so and it went away. This treatment has found to be very dangerous today, had serious side effects and I believe not even available today. Occasionally over the years I did have redness and irritation, but never the full blown effects. Please keep reading. I do not have rosacea today.
30’s and 40’s
In my 30’s it was horrible cystic acne. Huge, disfiguring acne that destroyed my confidence. Professionally I’ve always been very confident and recognized as an expert. One day I noticed that I was walking down the main corridor at work looking at the floor, not making eye contact with people. This acne was changing the way I interacted with people and as a result changing how I presented myself to the world.
I was an influential leader at our site that sat on committees that made decisions about our site and our employees. That day I realized I couldn’t be an advocate for my team if I couldn’t look them in the eye. Acne was changing who I was and how I interacted with people. It was changing who I was. Personally and professionally. That terrified me. This was the realization point that got me in front of a doctor where I was diagnosed with a hormone imbalance that was corrected with a simple pill to address an over production of testosterone. In my 40’s it was “congestion” or blackheads, really? 25 years and I’m still dealing with this? Again, keep reading, I no longer have cystic acne.
Below is a list of things I’ve learned in my lifetime battle against acne. While I’m not a dermatologist, doctor or skin care professional, acne has had a profound (in a bad way) influence on my life. These are the things that work for me and I hope they can work for you and save you from the pain and embarrassment I have felt.
I live a pretty natural lifestyle and prefer natural solutions. I no longer take any medication to control my acne and I have clear acne free skin. Do I wish I had learned this earlier and saved my skin from scarring? Absolutely! If you are suffering from acne I’m hoping that some of my experiences and suggestions may help your find a solution for your situation.
Solutions for Acne at Any Age
Consistent Skincare Routine
This can cost as little or as much as you are willing to spend. I was really never taught how to care for my skin. It can be as simple as a cleanser and a moisturizer. But you have to do it every single morning and evening! I’m not saying I have ever been good at this. I’ve been good at it for the last 18 months. Religiously. Its made all the difference
For many years I confused oil with moisture and was not a big fan of moisturizer. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Dry skin actually increases breakouts. Correcting and repairing the moisture levels in my skin along with exfoliating has left me with clear acne free skin. cleanse and moisturize in the morning and evening. Exfoliate weekly with either a mask or a microdermabrasion product. You can purchase simple over the counter products like Purpose, Nuetregena and Aveeno and take good care of your skin. I personally use the Rodan & Fields Sooth Skin Care line (I don’t promote the line, but can connect you with someone who does if you like.) I don’t have a single hint of rosacea or which is supposed to be a hereditary condition that once experienced does not go away.
While there are many ideas out there that junk food, chocolate or sweets cause acne this hasn’t been the case in my experience. I cut dairy out of my diet, I do still eat cheese and I don’t have any problems. I mentioned this observation to my mother and she said “Oh, you had skin issues as a baby when we gave you milk”. Sadly, I knew I was allergic to milk as a baby but everyone thought I had grown out of that allergy by the time I was in my teens. Ask about your family history and food allergies. If you had allergies as a child and thought they were a thing of the past, rethink them. Dairy appears to have been my trigger, it may not be yours. Remove things our diet like dairy. sugar and wheat and slowly add them back. Monitor your skin to see how it reacts. Think of keeping a journal (I hate this suggestion, I could have volumes of journals that I would never look at, but it might be the ticket for some!)
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
I can’t emphasize this enough. If you want clear, radiant skin, hydration is a must. The Mayo Clinic recommend s that you aim for eight 8 ounce glasses of fluid a day. This may need to be adjusted depending on your activity level. I know this can get really boring. I read this great post called Drink Your Way to Clear Glowing Skin with recipes for naturally flavored waters, Check them out and use them to increase your daily water intake. Your skin and your waistline will thank you!
Don’t Let Acne Change Who You Are
Don’t let acne change how you feel about yourself or undermine your confidence. See a dermatologist to determine if your acne is caused by any underlying health concerns. Implement a consistent skin care program, examine your diet and eliminate foods that may be causing skin irritation and hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Wishing you clear and radiant skin and the confidence that goes with a clear complexion!