Those first few moments of waking up can be so lovely...right up until you look in the mirror and realize that a monstrous breakout has made its way onto your face. Ugh. First of all, why? Second of all, how do we make this not happen again? Lucky for you, we've done some trial and error ahead of time to narrow down a few random causes of adult acne so you aren't left scratching your head.
Before you even think about doing anything to your face - take a deep breath and relax. Intense, chronic stress can be a major contributor to adult acne. When your body experiences stress, it triggers a hormonal fight or flight response that rarely even gets expended through movement. Stress can result from something as simple as a negative encounter at the office or a fight with your boyfriend, yet our body will have the same reaction as if we're running for our lives from a tiger. This surge of hormones, if in your body for too long, can create adverse reactions like - you guessed it - acne! Find what works for your body and chillax however you can. Learn to let things go, do a dorky dance, meditate, go to the gym - whatever makes you feel calm in your body again.
Seeing as how there are about a trillion different chemicals that go into our hair product, it's no surprise that there's likely an ingredient causing an allergic reaction (yes, acne can be an allergic reaction). If you experience a lot of acne on your neck and shoulders, pay attention to what you're using. Rinse off when you can, investigate what's in your product, and try to keep it off your skin as much as possible. Look for anything that specifically mentions fragrance-free or hypoallergenic properties, or brands priding themselves on healthy ingredients.
How annoying that something that's supposed to be good for you could be causing problems for your skin! This one can be particularly stressful, especially if you frequent the gym or live in a super hot, humid climate. The solution here is pretty straightforward: wash your face and skin prior to working out, AND after. Make sure to rinse off in the morning and at night, as well, to minimize any clogged pores. Ensure that your shampoo and conditioner is completely rinsed from your neck and shoulders, so that when you sweat, it doesn't clog your pores.
Sheets and clothes
Have you checked out what's in your laundry detergent lately? It's possible your body may be having a negative reaction to what you're using to wash your sheets and clothes. Mess around with something non-fragrant, or even a baby-friendly formula for super sensitive skin. Be careful about using too much bleach (ouch).
It's not uncommon to find that you have a few tiny bumps around the area you normally get waxed. This is an easily avoidable issue, unless you're super attached to your monthly appointment and dread the thought of plucking. Talk to your esthetician to see if there is an option that is more sensitive-skin friendly, and ask for something soothing to layer with following your service.
Your cell phone
Think about everything you touch in a single day. Then think about how often you touch your phone. NOW I want you to think about putting that phone up to your face - yeah. A bit of a germ-infested mess. Clean that shiz.
This is by far the least fun contributor to adult acne, because who wants to give up their favorite food? Depending on your unique allergies, it could be anything ranging from dairy to nuts to gluten to sugar. If you really want to get to the bottom of it, try experimenting with cutting out certain foods for a week at a time to see if you notice a difference. Start keeping a food journal of everything you eat and see if you experience a breakout the next day (most of the time when food contributes acne, you see the effects fairly quickly).
Leaving your environment can be a bit of a shock to your body, so naturally your skin might revolt. Sometimes the shock comes from stress, or breathing dry recycled air on a plane, or even being in a completely new climate. If possible, stick to your skin care routine, drink TONS of water, get plenty of sleep, and try to eat as clean as possible. Again - stress is only going to exacerbate whatever exists, so try to relax if you can.
Posted by Sadie Upwall
Project Manager and Editor for the best little beauty business in town.