Acne is the bane of everyone’s teenage years. Very few people get through adolescence without enduring the occasional devastating breakout. It is a rite of passage to reach a point of young adulthood during which these breakouts cease to occur. However, some people never stop getting acne. Some people only start getting acne as adults; this is a cruel turnaround for people who never had bad skin as teens.
Products for teenage acne are not particularly good for the long-term health of the skin. Teens are not known for sticking to consistent skincare routines, and their breakouts can be owed, at least in part, to their failure to regularly cleanse with products that address their skin’s changing needs. Popular skincare systems work largely because they trick teens into washing, toning and moisturizing twice a day; the actual ingredients are fairly incidental. This type of acne typically eases up as people get older and their hormones settle a bit.
Some people’s acne is more than a combination of dirt and hormones. Their acne is the result of an internal imbalance and is so severe that it becomes a medical issue. No amount of external cleansers, serums or creams can make a dent in this kind of acne. It has to be treated with a strong prescription medication or an oral capsule, sometimes both. People who have this type of cystic acne may never be completely free of it.
No matter what type of acne one suffers as a teen, there is usually some road map for dealing with it. Adult acne is different. Almost everyone gets a surprise zit once in a while, but there are almost no products for adult skin that also treat acne. Things are even more difficult for those whose cystic acne never fully went away. It seems like skincare manufacturers forget that people can still have problematic skin over the age of eighteen.
A complicating factor is that all adult skin needs moisture, even if it is naturally on the oily side. It is very difficult to formulate affordable products that provide adequate moisture without depositing too much oil on the skin. It is only recently that hyaluronic acid started popping up in inexpensive mainstream products. This moisturizing agent draws water moisture into the skin, enabling cleansers and moisturizers to be oil-free and still provide deep moisture.
A good regimen for avoiding adult acne should include a gentle cleanser, a toner and a moisturizer. Some people like to use different products in the morning and at night, but this is not necessary. CeraVe makes great hydrating cleansers and lightweight moisturizers. Humphreys has a line of alcohol-free witch hazel toners that contain anti-aging antioxidants and moisturizing glycerin. The lilac one is the best one for prepping the skin before moisturizer application, though the citrus one is good for skin that is especially oily.
When in doubt, err on the side of choosing gentle products. The goal is to develop a regimen of products that can be used continually for consistently clear skin.