Why are you breaking out?
Learn what's causing your breakouts and how to fix them.
- More women than ever are suffering from adult acne, which is linked to chronic stress, hormonal changes, lifestyle and environmental conditions.
- To keep breakouts under control, focus on managing stress and eating healthy, supplementing your skincare routine with the right products, and seeking professional advice.
There's a lot of confusion when it comes to acne, but we're here to help. Our skin health experts explain why most people break out - and how to avoid, or at least learn to manage, the most common acne triggers.
Chronic stressAcne is one of the first signs of a chronically stressful lifestyle. Adult acne is especially common in women, who are twice as likely as men to suffer from severe stress and anxiety. Chronic stress leads to an increase in stress-related hormones that cause the skin's sebaceous glands to go into overdrive and slow down cell turnover, creating perfect conditions for acne breakouts. Stressed skin also tends to look tired, uneven and prematurely aged.
To reduce the effects of stress on your skin, start with deep, slow breathing, which helps relieve tension and anxiety. On your way to a less stressful lifestyle, incorporate preventative measures into your skincare routine, such as exfoliating and applying a weekly mask to reduce congestion.
Hormonal fluctuationsResearch has linked the sebaceous glands to the endocrine system, calling the former the "brain of the skin." Stress plays an important role when it comes to hormones. When the body releases excessive amounts of hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, the adrenal glands produce less progesterone - a natural anti-anxiety substance. This hormone shift can lead to an internal imbalance, which in turn can result in outbursts.
In addition to reducing chronic stress, it can also be helpful to watch when you have outbursts. If you notice a regular pattern, such as breakouts after menstruation or routine stressful encounters, talk to a Dermalogica skin therapist about how to adjust your skincare routine accordingly. If pregnancy, menopause, or a medical issue occurs, talk to your doctor.
UV rays and seasonal changes can stimulate cell production, sebum and blood flow and make acne symptoms worse. This is especially bad for people who work in areas with high heat and humidity, such as kitchens and industrial facilities. However, you can protect your skin from UV rays and achieve a long-lasting matte complexion by applying a daily moisturizer with SPF like Oil Free Matte SPF30.
Lifestyle habitsSmoking, inadequate cleansing, wearing tight or itchy clothing, taking certain medications - these are all lifestyle habits that can affect the severity of breakouts. Certain makeup, hair, and skin care products may also contain pore-clogging ingredients that can trigger or worsen acne. To keep your pores unclogged, double cleanse daily with PreCleanse and Clearing Skin Wash.
Picking or squeezing pimples at home can do more harm than good. If you pick at a breakout, you risk introducing new bacteria to the area and damaging the skin. This can lead to more breakouts, skin-aging inflammation, or a scar. Instead, apply a highly effective breakout removal product like AGE Bright Spot Fader or Overnight Clearing Gel to the affected area and wait.
Sugar consumptionEating sugary, refined foods can contribute to rashes because they increase the skin's oil production. Favor whole grains, vegetables, and foods rich in antioxidants to promote clear skin. You can reduce excess oil with salicylic acid and clay-based products like Sebum Clearing Masque.
OK, so what if you've taken all of the above measures and still have breakouts? See a professional skin therapist to find out what the problem is and get a custom product prescription.