Adult acne and clogged pores are a huge complaint for a lot of you out there. I know it seems unfair to battle both signs of aging AND breakouts at the same time. Believe it or not, for 70% of acne sufferers, the onset is in adulthood, so you're not alone. I've been lucky enough to take a number of classes this summer on adult acne and clogged skin with Dr. Mark Lees. I wanted to share 6 things you should be doing to get moving towards clear skin for the long term.
- This is listed first for a reason. Great home care can be undone by one pore clogging step in your routine, and this includes your makeup. Use caution when purchasing "oil-free" products, they can substitute comedogenic ingredients to replace the oil. How can you know if something is comedogenic? Your skin therapist is a valuable resource here. I always request a full list or photos of products from all my clients who express problems with clogged pores or acne, and check the ingredients for them.
- We've all done this, right? Our skin breaks out, we use some products. Our skin clears up, we stop. (Insert buzzer noise here.) Big mistake. Your acne and skin congestion is starting at a level that is invisible to the naked eye. Even your skin therapist's magnifying lamp can't see it. It's important to get on a good program and be consistent, even when your skin looks clear.
- Many prone to breakouts skip this step fearing it will clog the skin. But with the right formula, the skin keeps its very important barrier intact, and can counteract surface dryness that can occur during the onset of some treatments. All skin needs hydration.
4. If you have to, choose products over a facial.
- Wait, what? Yes, I just said that. Facials are a great for extractions and a clearing boost, but if you have budget constraints, always get your quality products first. You've heard this analogy from me before, but it's true: If you went to your dentist once or twice a year, but never brushed or flossed your teeth in between (gross), what would your teeth look like? The same applies to your skin, and especially in the case of clogged pores and acne. One facial can't do for acne what weeks of a morning and night routine can. Consistent home care is key.
5. Always wash your face last in the shower.
- This is an easy one that people just don't think of. Some of the products we use in our hair, while fantastic for that purpose, contain ingredients that can cause congestion on our face. If you cleanse in the shower, be sure to do it last, and don't neglect the hairline, neck, and around the ears.
- I'm a firm believer in the skin-gut connection and getting to the root of the problem. For chronic problems I believe in a 2-pronged approach and recommend my clients see a nutritionist or functional medicine practitioner. Quality advice on diet and supplementation can have a huge impact on the skin over the long term.