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adult vs teenage acne

Adult vs Teenage Acne


Clients often ask us if adult acne is just teenage skin reincarnated. While there are few similarities, for the most part they are a completely different kettle of fish. The breakouts you experienced at 14 have different triggers to the blemishes that appear when you’re 30. As such, they need to be cared for in very different ways. Adult skin that is prone to blemishes needs particular care and attention. Read on to find out how you can curb blemishes while nurturing your complexion.

Teenage Acne

In adolescent years, blemishes are caused by overactive sebaceous glands. As the body enters puberty, a steep incline in hormones causes sebum production to soar. This results in an oily, shiny complexion. All of this extra oil, can clump together with dead skin cells to form a plug within the pore that acts as a trap for bacteria. This is when blemishes start to appear.

Teenage acne tends to be more inflammatory than blemishes that appear in later life. This is due to the sheer amount of oil being produced by all of the sebaceous glands simultaneously. This widespread overproduction creates endless opportunities for blemishes to form. That’s why teenagers usually have many types of blemishes including blackheads, whiteheads, pustules and cystic acne. Read more about the different types of blemishes here.

Because sebaceous glands are located all over the body, teenage acne will often be visible on the back, chest and upper arms; as well as the face.

Teenage skin can usually tolerate higher percentages of active ingredients without experiencing adverse side effects, but this is not always necessary. In many cases, a consistent, gentle routine may be enough to keep problematic skin at bay until adulthood. But it’s always best to consult a GP or dermatologist when dealing with teenage breakouts.

Adult Acne

Although hormones tend to level out in adulthood, they will still ebb and flow throughout the female monthly cycle and for males throughout the day. These fluctuations can spike oil production from time to time, causing your skin to become slightly oily at certain points during the month. This, teamed with the fact that skin cell turnover slows down as you mature, can increase your risk of blemishes. Because dead skin cells stay attached to your complexion for longer, they can easily become lodged inside a pore when the slightest amount of oil makes an appearance.

Adult acne is usually characterised by tender, red breakouts around the jaw, mouth and chin. It is often accompanied by dryness and sensitivity, as hydration levels and the skin’s natural barrier tend to diminish as we get older.

A common misconception is that you cannot enjoy an anti-ageing skincare regime while trying to banish blemishes. At Medik8, we don’t think you should have to choose. That’s why we developed our Blemish solution to do both.

When it comes to managing adult blemishes and ageing, a gentle approach is always best. Mature skin is not as resilient as teenage skin, so overwhelming it with harsh, stripping products is never a good idea. This can actually do more harm than good, leading to skin that is parched, tight and uncomfortable. Mild exfoliating acids help to speed up cell turnover, ensuring that dead skin does not become clogged within the pore. Medik8’s Blemish Control Pads™ contain maximum-strength salicylic acid to gently dissolve built-up oil and impurities from the deep within the pore.

To fight signs of ageing while putting a stop to excess oil before it occurs, use Breakout Defence + Age Repair™. This lightweight oil-free antioxidant serum combines our patented copper PCA complex with niacinamide to visibly reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while regulating oil production.

To combat shine use a nourishing mattifying moisturiser that thoroughly hydrates the skin while blotting away surface oil. Balance Moisturiser™ will ensure that your skin is cared for and your complexion remains free from congestion.

If your main concern is more about enlarged pores and over-production of oil than blemishes specifically, take a look at our Pore Refining products instead.

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