Acne… The bane on your existence. I often hear women complain that they thought they would have grown out of their acne as they’ve gotten older, but many women suffer long past the teenage years.
Unfortunately, only men typically outgrow acne. Women grow into acne more than they grow out of it, since the hormone that causes acne for women generally starts up a little later. Some women find that birth control pills can be very helpful in controlling breakouts. This is a very personal decision for many reasons, and it is a conversation that you should have with your doctor.
Acne often deals women a double blow, since most acne products contain potentially drying ingredients such as retinol or salicylic acid. It is a common misconception that, if you have acne, you also have oily skin. You absolutely can be dry and have acne. In fact, I find most women over 25 to be drier. So, how do you balance acne control and dry skin?
- Pick an acne control serum, and use a cleanser and moisturizer that is appropriate for your skin type. [Tweet this!] Do not use acne control in every step of your routine as you are sure to dry yourself out. If you just have one step with acne control, you can drop it out of your routine more easily should you start to dry out.
- Don’t be afraid to moisturize. If you are already dry, you need to replenish that moisture, as over-drying your skin can actually cause more irritation, tighter clogged pores, and potentially more breakouts. Look for a light-weight moisturizer. Amazingly, it can even have a little oil, as long as it is a natural oil like jojoba, sunflower, or grapeseed oil. Avoid mineral oil, since it is occlusive and can make clogging worse.
- Pay attention to your skin. If you start to dry or flake, you need to back off your acne control. Take a few days off altogether or just use a spot treatment. Let your skin repair itself. Try a gentle hydrating or soothing mask to replenish and help your skin to heal.
- Don’t panic if you have one breakout. Blemishes are annoying, but it’s not the end of the world. Everyone breaks out once in a while. Monthly breakouts are unfortunately common; if you are breaking out weekly or more, then you should take action beyond just a spot treatment. Pick one with a little salicylic acid in it, and be sure not to pick.
Acne can be frustrating and persistent. Ask for help from an esthetician or other skin care professional if you are not getting relief. There are many options for treating acne, and it often takes one-on-one help to sort through them.