Raise your hand if you’re glad that those high school puberty pimple days are gone. Now raise your hand if you’re an adult dealing with acne. With heavy work weeks, going out on the weekends with friends, and everything in between, breakouts aren’t so surprising. As if dealing with acne isn’t stressful enough, the constant stream of new products hitting the shelves every few weeks tends to make the situation even more aggravating for many. So how do we eliminate adult acne? Dr. Margarita Lolis, a Board-Certified Dermatologist in northern New Jersey who takes a holistic approach to treating skincare issues, offers advice on what and how to use the key products that help with clearing your skin issues.
Go simple on cleanser. When it comes to cleansers, the simpler the better. “People who are prone to breakouts may use a cleanser with salicylic acid triggering excessive dryness which only increases oil production leading to a breakout cycle. Gentler products that are appealing to all skin types such as Cetaphil or CeraVe are great options because they don’t strip away moisture and soothe the face,” explains Dr. Lolis.
Exfoliate weekly. Leave extra dirt and dead skin removal to exfoliating. “The key here is not to be too harsh. You want to gently rub product into your face in circular motion then rinse with lukewarm water. There are new products available with charcoal, an ingredient which does a great job controlling oil in acne prone skin. People with sensitive skin should opt for an exfoliating mask which is less irritating,” Dr. Lolis suggests.
Soothe with serums. We often search for soothing tunes to fall asleep to, so why wouldn’t you soothe your skin while you dream away too? “Acne prone skin needs moisture not oil. Serums that address acne without compromising moisture are a great bet. Serums penetrate the skin quickly making them a great option for nighttime healing as you sleep,” explains Dr. Lolis.
Try skin oils. Rubbing in oil on oily skin may sound risky, but doing so can lead to amazing results. Dr. Lolis suggests, “You can add drops of vitamin C oil, argan oil, or vitamin e oil to your serum or directly onto your face after cleansing which is like a vitamin boost to skin. This will address acne scarring helping them heal quicker.”
Don’t skip moisturizer. The golden rule I wish I knew earlier: moisturize your skin, even if it’s oily. “Many people who are prone to breakouts want to skip moisturizer because they think their skin is oily enough. The reason skin is producing oil is because it is lacking moisture. Moisturizers with Hyaluronic acid draws water from the atmosphere and keeps skin hydrated. This is great for all skin types. You cannot go wrong with more water in the skin,” Dr. Lolis encourages.
Consider a peel with a pro. Pimples are one thing, but being left with scars and hyperpigmentation is another. Look into chemical peels done by a professional to avoid harming your skin even further. “Chemical peels are a great option for skin that has scarring and hyperpigmentation. While there are at home, do it yourself options available, I have seen many people harm their own skin with peels. You really want to work with a professional as not to make matters worse. People often think a burning sensation means it’s working so they mistakenly leave peels on for too long and hurt themselves,” Dr. Lolis cautions.
Balance skin with a toner. We all love the feeling after washing our face, but toning is the definitely the cherry on top. Toners make sure all the makeup you washed off is truly off, while tightening the skin so your pores are less prone to clogging up with dirt and bacteria. Dr. Lolis explains, “I like toners because they do a nice job of clearing away dirt and makeup, shrinking pores, and restoring skin to its natural pH balance. Witch Hazel is a simple no fuss astringent found at any drug store which works wonders on acne or breakout prone skin.”
Do a mask every week. Face Mask Fridays are a weekly ritual for us here at Cliché. For troubled skin, look for detoxifying marks that have ingredients like have sulfur, charcoal, and clay. “You may want to alternate between a more soothing mask one week and a treatment mask when a breakout first occurs. Another option is using a soothing mask on the cheeks and then a clarifying mask on the chin and jawline,” Dr. Lolis advises.
Spot treat and refrain from picking. If we had a penny for every time we heard the advice “Don’t pop your pimples!” we sure would be rich. As difficult as it may be to refrain from popping and picking, it’s one of the best ways for the skin to heal and reduce the chance of other pimples from forming. “Getting a prescription level topical spot treatment is key because many are designed to work immediately which lessens the need to pick,” Dr. Lolis advises. “Ultimately, when in doubt, see your dermatologist who will assess your skin and the many factors that may be causing acne. Oftentimes dermatologists will outline a treatment regimen that is more customized to you considering age, skin type, and lifestyle.”
About the Doctor
Dr. Margarita Lolis, M.D. is a board-certified cosmetic, medical dermatologist and a fellowship-trained Mohs surgeon with over 20 years of experience. In her practice, she addresses common skin concerns such as acne prevention and treatment in both teens and adults, sun-damage, skin discoloration, wrinkles, changes to skin texture and loss of volume. On the medical side, she is a trusted expert in melanoma and overall skin health. Dr. Lolis prides herself in honoring facial symmetry to deliver a natural look to her clients. She always recommends a healthy skin care regimen plus lifestyle habits that are aligned with her holistic approach to beauty. Dr. Lolis is a member of the American Academy of Dermatology, American College of Mohs Surgery, and the American Society of Anti-aging. Her practice, Skin, Laser, and Surgery Specialists is in New York City and Bergen County, New Jersey.
Tips For Combating Adult Acne: Photos Courtesy of Ariella, Roma Studio [romastudio] on Flickr, HealthTips Tic [healthtipstic] on Flickr, & Tom Wang