Ask The Expert: Adult Acne

This month’s Ask the Expert question is all about adult acne, so we’ve turned to one of our skin experts and Manager of Woodlands Baltic, Antonia, to answer it.

Question: I’m a 30 year old woman and have been struggling with my skin. I’ve never really suffered with spots before but recently I’ve been experiencing constant breakouts on my cheeks and jawline. I’ve tried lots of different skin care ranges but nothing really seems to make a difference.

Antonia: We normally expect that by the time we’re out of our teens, the likelihood of acne is pretty low, however, lots of adults suffer with it too and it can be extremely frustrating, especially when nothing seems to help.

If the breakouts you’re experiencing seem to have come out of nowhere, it’s worth having a look at your lifestyle and diet, to see if there’s been any changes recently. Breakouts can sometimes be indicative of a food intolerance, so if you’ve been experiencing any other symptoms, you may wish to consult your GP. Spots can also be related to hormones, especially when they’re appearing along the jawline, so if you’ve recently changed or stopped taking your contraceptive pill, this could be a cause.

In terms of treatment, there are a few options. Sometimes, using lots of different products can actually make the problem worse, so it’s a good idea to strip everything back and focus on using one really good cleanser. People often assume that they need to “dry out” their skin to combat the excess oils that are causing spots, however this can actually have the opposite effect and actually result in the skin producing more oil. With that in mind, it’s important to make sure you keep your skin properly hydrated with a serum or moisturiser. At Woodlands, we recommend the Dermaquest range of skincare products, which contain active ingredients to help target specific skin concerns. We’d always carry out a full skin consultation first, however the DermaClear Cleanser is a great product for acne-prone skin as it’s antibacterial and suitable for everyday use. Follow up your cleanse with a product such as the Dermaquest Essential B5 Hydrating Serum to ensure that you’re still getting plenty of hydration into your skin.

Depending on the severity of your acne, we might also suggest a more advanced skin treatment, or a course of treatments, to help clear up the existing spots and prevent new ones from returning. A chemical peel or course of resurfacers containing glycolic and salicylic acids can exfoliate the skin, increase cell turnover and help to prevent further breakouts. There are different types of peel available, so the most suitable treatment for your skin would be decided at consultation.

Hopefully a combination of peels or resurfacers and home care products should be enough to significantly improve the acne, however, if, once the spots have cleared up, you find that you’re left with some scarring, this can also be treated. Microneedling or skin needling is a treatment that uses tiny needles to pierce the surface of the skin, causing “micro trauma” which stimulates collagen production. When more collagen is produced in areas of the skin that are scarred, it essentially “fills” or plumps out the scars. Microneedling can be carried out with either a dermal roller or a mechanical device such as the Skin Pen. Again, we would discuss at consultation which would be the best option for you.

If you would like more information on any of the treatments or products mentioned in this blog post, or to book a free skin consultation with myself or another member of the Woodlands team, give us a call on 0151 728 7652.