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EV approved skincare solutions for treating adult acne

If you still get acne, here are some failsafe skincare tactics for promoting clearer, healthy looking skin

It’s bad enough having acne in your teens, but what if you’re still suffering from breakouts as an adult? A recent review in the International Journal of Dermatology (2022) reports that there has been a 10 per cent increase in adult acne in women over the last 10 years.

“No one likes having acne, especially when you’re an adult,” says EV Expert and Dermatology Doctor Ross Perry. “Having acne as an adult can have a real impact on psychological wellbeing. Research shows that people with acne often develop depression or anxiety. It can also affect relationships, work and social life. So, it’s important to seek help.”

What causes adult acne?

Acne is an inflammatory skin condition where excess sebum and dead skin cells block pores, which then become infected by p.acnes (propionibacterium acnes) bacteria. “Causes of adult acne in women may be due to a number of factors such as hormonal imbalance, menopause, the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, poor diet, and the oral contraceptive pill,” says Dr Perry. Acne is also one of the symptoms of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). Other symptoms may include menstrual irregularities, mood swings, weight gain, excess hair growth and fertility problems.

Latest NHS figures show that among people with acne, over 50 per cent also have bacne (back acne) and 15 per cent get it on their chest. “You can treat bacne or chest acne with the same products and treatments as facial acne,” says EV Expert and Holistic Skin and Wellbeing Expert, Gemma Clare. “The back is more difficult to reach. So, having regular treatments can be helpful.”

What you can do

“Products formulated for acne prone skin can help to keep acne under control,” says Dr Perry. “There are also in clinic treatments which offer excellent results. If acne is more severe, consult your GP who may prescribe medication such as topical retinoids, topical or oral antibiotics, azelaic acid or isotretinoin (roaccutane).

“If you’ve got acne, look for gentle, lightweight formulations with ingredients that will help to reduce inflammation, exfoliate dead skin cells and keep pores clear,” says Gemma Clare. “It is also important to get to the root cause of what’s causing your acne. Is it your hormones?  Do you need to manage stress better? These are things to consider alongside an anti-acne treatment regime.”

Acne-fighting ingredients 

  • Salicylic acid is a beta-hydroxy acid that exfoliates the skin and helps to keep pores clear.
  • Alpha hydroxy acids (eg: lactic, glycolic) gently exfoliate, remove dead skin cells and reduce inflammation. Can help to reduce scarring.
  • Niacinamide is a form of vitamin B3. It has an anti-inflammatory effect that helps to reduce swelling, redness and inflammation.
  • Benzoyl peroxide is a chemical ingredient in many acne products. It works by killing the bacteria that causes acne and helps to remove excess oil and dead skin cells.
  • Vitamin C can help to reduce inflammation, swelling and redness. It may also help to reduce scarring.
  • Azeleic acid is a naturally occurring acid found in grains (eg: barley, rye) that has anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Retinol (a derivative of antioxidant vitamin A) exfoliates the skin, reduces the appearance of acne and minimises acne scars. 

Expert recommended in-clinic solutions 

Aviclear is an FDA-approved laser treatment to treat all types of acne (mild to severe) on the face and body. Aviclear works by selectively targeting sebaceous glands with a 1726 nanometer wavelength beam so they produce less oil. This makes existing acne less visible and minimises future breakouts. The protocol is three treatments, one month apart.

Potenza combines microneedling and radio frequency to encourage cell regeneration, while monopolar and bipolar energy targets problem areas, reducing acne, inflammation and redness as well as preventing deeper, long term scarring.

The Perfect Peel contains two antioxidants – glutathione and vitamin C – and five acids (salicylic, trichloracetic, kojic, retinoic, phenol). These have an anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antioxidant and anti-redness effect, helping reduce pores, improve acne and pigmentation.  

Plason Cold is an award-winning FDA registered hand-held device that uses cold plasma technology. The plasma treatment sterlises the skin, kills bacteria and germs, and reduces oil production by 25 per cent.

Skinpulse Super Rejuvenation (SSR) laser treatment emits high energy pulses of light into the skin; these target propionic bacteria which causes inflammation. It also reduces sebaceous glands and oil production.

At home skincare to try

  • ZO Skin Health Acne Control is a powerful acne busting formulation. Contains benzoyl peroxide 10%, tea tree oil and extracts of green tea, red tea, pinebark and grapeseed. Reduces oil, neutralises bacteria and helps heal skin.
  • ZO Complexion Renewal Pads contain salicylic and glycolic acids to gently exfoliate, calm and soothe the skin, clear pores and reduce oil.
  • AlumierMD Acne Clarifying Cleanser is a gentle, yet effective acne cleanser. Salicylic acid penetrates pores and calms the skin to help control acne.
  • La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo Moisturiser for Sensitive Blemish-Prone Skin helps reduce spots, control oiliness and reduce pigmentation.
  • Paula’s Choice 10% Azelaic Acid Booster reduces inflammation and calms the skin. Also contains salicylic acid.
  • CeraVe Acne Foaming Cream Cleanser contains 4% benzoyl peroxide to help reduce acne.

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