Getting To The Root Of Adult Acne

Megan Segura
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Photo: Getty Images

It’s one thing to deal with breakouts in your teens, when everyone’s hormones are out of control. It’s quite another, however, to have to go through the everyday trials and tribulations of adulthood with a big zit on your face. Is it even possible to seem authoritative in situations at work when you have a big pimple on your nose?

10 New Ways To Clear Up Acne At Home

According to Katie Rodan, M.D., 30 percent of all women have these types of skin issues. We sat down with the co-developer of Proactiv to talk all things acne, from what causes it to the most important, how to stop it!

One of the more interesting facts I learned during our pimple pow-wow was that even acne changes with age. When it appears in the teen years, it shows up on the forehead, but as we age, the breakouts migrate downward. This definitely resonates with me, as I always seem to break out on my chin. Dr. Rodan said these chin eruptions are caused by a lack of estrogen.

Why We Break Out
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but it’s almost impossible to pinpoint the cause of acne. There are so many things, like genes, diet and hormones that can all make you break out. Or, as was in my case, it could even be a completely different issue, like rosacea.

Stopping Future Breakouts
While I was disappointed to learn there isn’t just one factor that contributes to acne, it turns out there is a pretty simple way to keep breakouts at bay: Change your diet. No, we’re not talking about the old adage that chocolate gives you zits. Instead, more and more evidence is pointing to the glycemic index when it comes to adult acne. The higher a food is on the glycemic index, the more likely it is to cause breakouts. That means things like French fries, rice cakes and bagels are off the table if you want clear skin. Thankfully, chocolate is okay.

Treating Current Breakouts
“One of the biggest mistakes I see people make is stopping treatment when your skin clears up,” Dr. Rodan told me. She went on to say that women often will spot treat their pimples, meaning they apply a topical cream when they see something and then stop once the zit is gone. Dr. Rodan recommends sticking with the same regimen whether you’re breaking out or not.

Cassandra Bankson’s Acne Cover-Up Video

Here are some great options for your daily skincare routine:

1. La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo ($36.95,
This acne treatment combines micronized benzoyl peroxide with the exfoliating power of lipo-hydroxy acid (LHA) for results comparable to the leading acne prescriptions.

2. Proactiv 3-Step System ($29.95,
There are three products that make up this acne treatment: Renewing Cleanser, Revitalizing Toner and Repairing Lotion. Dr. Rodan believes you should see the effects of an acne treatment four to six weeks after starting it, which is why Proactiv customers get an eight week money-back guarantee.

3. ZIMAXA 3-Step Advanced Clear Skin Solution ($39.99,
This brand new trio (available May 15th) offers deep cleaning and spot treating with natural acids that combat breakouts.

What tried and true methods do you use to clear up your skin?