Adult acne has been reported to affect 25-50% of men and women over the age of 25, some persisting into middle age. Adult Acne is triggered by hormones (primarily DHT), stress, lack of exercise and diet. Adult acne involves over stimulation of the sebaceous oil glands and inflammation of the dermis that results in pustules or eruptions under skin, aka zits.
Long held beliefs that chocolate, fatty foods and not washing your face (or wherever acne is prominent) enough are the causes of adult acne have been largely disproved. Diets low in zinc with a lack of B-vitamins and insufficient amount of vitamin A and omega-3 fatty acids coupled with a chronic over consumption of high sugar foods most likely may be igniting inflammation and acne flare-ups.
Good Nutrition and Sufficient Amount of Nutrients are key for managing adult acne!
Omega-3 fatty acids are great for suppressing inflammation in the body. A couple of the B-vitamins that stand out to help the skin most are niacin and pantothenic acid, but all of them work together and even support keeping stress levels under control as well. Zinc is great for natural resistance and in the case of adult acne, also may help to heal blemishes faster from old acne that has diminished. A product I personally recommend here is a topical one called “zinc cream” by Margarite Labs. We should also give probiotics an honorable mention here too because having enough “good” bacteria in the gut is vitally important for your body’s defense systems and keeping bad bacteria (a contributor to acne) at bay and away. I personally would suggest a high quality probiotic from a health food store out of their refrigerator over consuming yogurt every day that have just a sliver of the amount of good bacteria in comparison and also because of the sugar intake you would have with yogurt versus none with a supplement.
Monitoring sugar intake is vitally crucial in having beautiful skin as well. It is equally important to say in the same breath; you need to control blood glucose levels if you are striving to get a bad case of acne under control. The herbal extract Cinnamon, the mineral Chromium Picolinate and the antioxidant R-Alpha Lipoic Acid are all thought to be very supportive of helping to control blood glucose levels and may be very helpful!
Those Hormones Can Be Frustrating in More Ways Than One…
Another major contributor to adult acne, and arguably the largest, is the hormone DHT. This testosterone derivative DHT, which stands for Dihydrotestosterone (5α-Dihydrotestosterone), is a male sex hormone and androgen. Your skin and more specifically your sebaceous oil glands have androgen receptors. Unfortunately for people like myself, some of us have a bit too many which leads to over stimulation of these glands leading to excessive oil production which combines with dead skin cells to block the pores up which then combine with bacteria to create an inflamed eruption under the skin.
Now, we could speak about DHT reducing compounds such as oral drugs like finasteride or even herbals such as large amounts of saw palmetto that bind to and reduce the activity of 5-alpha reductase enzymes (“converts” testosterone into DHT) or even talk about strategies to reduce testosterone and androgens in general. I can’t bring myself to support this approach though due to various reasons that are beyond this topic here.
Addressing the problem at the scene of the crime is the better way to go. What do I mean by this? Topical approaches that fight DHT at the receptor sites under the skin. A good natural topical product that does just this and that I have had a lot of success with personally as well as a handful of clients I have helped, is one called Clearogen. Toss in some low dose 2.5% benzoyl peroxide to put directly on acne before applying clearogen and then zinc cream (only on acne spots) and you have a solid topical approach. Add in the mentioned vitamins and nutrients that adult acne sufferers are commonly deficient in along with avoiding sugars and “junk foods” and you are well on your way to having great and vibrant looking skin!
Best in health,