Life isn’t fair, is it? You suffered through your teen years with pimples and now you’re an adult and you still… have pimples! Unfortunately, acne can persist right into our 30s and 40s. Some people escape high school unscathed and then, blam!, they start to get acne just when all their friends are enjoying clear skin for the first time. There are lots of adult acne medications tailored to meet the specific needs of adult acne sufferers. Adult acne products take into account that our skin is often dry – not the oily mess that teens have to deal with. Let’s take a look at some of the adult acne products available today.
Cosmetics: All of the big cosmetic companies produce foundations and moisturizers aimed at the adult acne product market. These often contain the common acne-fighting ingredients benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid which can help treating mild acne. Look for products containing 2.5% benzoyl peroxide. Stronger formulations are not necessary and will irritate your skin. While an adult acne product containing only salicylic acid is unlikely to do much good, salicylic acid has been shown to increase the effectiveness of benzoyl peroxide so a product containing both ingredients is ideal. If you have moderate to severe acne, you will probably not benefit from cosmetic adult acne products. Save your money!
Topical medications: These include gels, creams and lotions containing benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, or retinoids. These are useful in treating mild acne but are ineffective for moderate to severe adult acne. Use a 2.5% benzoyl peroxide gel combined with salicylic acid. Over the counter strength retinoids are not strong enough to be effective, but prescription strength retinoids can be effective especially when used in combination with other topical therapies. See your dermatologist. Salicylic acid at over the counter strengths is only helpful when combined with benzoyl peroxide and is especially useful at fighting blackheads that can lead to pimples. Of course, blackheads are often more of a teen problem so your mileage will vary.
Oral medications: Oral antibiotic treatments have been a mainstay of treating acne for generations. Unfortunately, they don’t attack the root cause of acne which is hormonal and have no beneficial pore-clearing effect like benzoyl peroxide combined with salicylic acid. These antibiotics can wreak havoc on your system with little benefit. Avoid them.
The most powerful oral medication for adult acne is Accutane. This is a very effective treatment, however, it should only be considered as a last resort after all other methods have failed. There are serious potential side effects and you must be monitored by your doctor while taking this drug.
Natural holistic treatments: Today, we have a much better understanding of what causes acne than at any time in the past. Pimples are not caused by poor hygiene, so there are limits to what can be accomplished with topical medications and antibiotics. There are several holistic adult acne products on the market today that target hormone imbalances through corrective diets and other regimens. How well do they work? Judging by the thousands of positive testimonials, money spent on holistic adult acne treatments may be money well spent. A positive side effect is often better overall health that comes with an improved diet. If you have moderate to severe acne, a holistic solution may be right for you, especially prior to taking a product such as Accutane.