Adult acne is usually caused due to hormonal changes and increased sebum production. Today, more and more dermatologists are finding women in their 30s, 40s and 50s coming in their clinics with adult-onset acne. The underlying acne causes in this age are usually attributed to changes in internal hormones arising from starting, stopping or switching birth control products, onset of menopause etc. Acne also occurs when the hair follicle is clogged with excess oil, dirt and dead skin cells. This harbors the growth of acne-causing bacteria.
Adult acne lesions are of different types including blackheads (open comedones), whiteheads (closed comedones, pimples (red papules) and cysts (hard, ruptured or inflamed follicles).
The Best Adult Acne Fighting Products
Regardless of the kind of adult acne products you use, it is essential to note that most take 8 to 12 weeks to show results. Therapy should at least reduce pain and swelling accompanying the acne as well as lower your risk of permanent scarring. The right kinds of adult acne products can help suppress acne; but remember that the condition might recur once you stop the therapy.
Here are the top 10 adult acne products right now:
1. Topical Antibiotics for Adult Acne
Topical antibiotics for adult acne treatment might need a doctor’s prescription especially for higher concentrations. Typical topical antibiotics for clearing red papules and cystic acne are Clindamycin and Erythromycin and they are very effective in killing bacteria present in the clogged skin follicles. Clindamycin and Erythromycin gels in lower concentrations may be available without prescription.
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2. Topical Retinoids for Adult Acne
These are popular Vitamin A based topical Retinoid creams (adapalene, tazarotene and Tretinoin) and they have shown excellent results in anti-aging as well as in combating adult acne. Retinoids work by removing blackheads, whiteheads and through unclogging of skin’s pores to minimize acne. On the downside, topical retinoids are a bit drying. So, doctors recommend using them with other adult acne remedies like Glycolic acid creams to prevent excessive dryness and flaking. Brand names of Retinoids are Retin A, Differin, Avita, Tazorac. Concentration of 0.05% is available without prescription. Topical Retinoids are not recommended for pregnant or nursing women.
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3. Adult Acne Face Washes and Cleansers
Ault acne cleansers and face washes are usually soap free and may be used twice daily, morning and evening to combat adult acne. Many adult acne cleansers are especially formulated for sensitive skin. Never use harsh soap or abrasive cleansers nor scrub the acne vigorously. Doing so can worsen the acne. Over the counter adult acne face cleansers include Dove® Unscented Soap, Neutrogena® Oil Free Acne Wash for oily or combination skin, Cetaphil® Gentle Skin cleanser for sensitive skin, Purpose® and CeraVe® Cleanser.
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4. Benzoyl Peroxide Creams for Adult Acne
This is another of the proven adult acne remedies. Brand names of Benzoyl Peroxide include Triaz and Brevoxyl both of which are available in varying concentrations. Like Retinoids, Benzoyl Peroxide is also drying. The advantages of Benzoyl peroxide are that it unclogs pores, prevents bacterial growth and does not develop antibiotic resistance.
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5. Glycolic Acid for Adult Acne
Since most of the adult acne remedies and adult acne products are very drying, Glycolic acid products may be used to reduce the dryness and skin irritation. Additionally, Glycolic acid also reduces formation of blackheads and whiteheads and can be used after cleansing the face with adult-acne specific cleansers. Thereafter, you can apply Benzoyl peroxide, Retinoids or other topical antibiotics twice daily.
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6. Non-Comedogenic Moisturizers for Acne Prone Skin
As stated before, adult acne products are drying and often irritate the skin. Women prone to dry skin issues may use non-comedogenic (non-pore clogging) skin moisturizers to relieve dryness. Some of the best over the counter non-pore clogging moisturizers are Oil of Olay Complete, DML Facial, and Neutrogena® Facial etc.
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7. Hormonal Therapy Acne Products
There are many hormonal therapy adult acne products but these are unsuitable for pregnant women as they can directly harm the fetus. These include Aldactone or Spironolactone for adult acne which work by blocking hormone Aldosterone secreted by the adrenal gland. Estrogen and Flutamide are some other hormone therapy products for adult acne. As stated before, these should NOT be taken by pregnant women as they can cause severe birth defects. They even get passed on to the baby through the breast milk, so nursing mothers should also avoid these products.
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8. Isotretinoin for Adult Acne
Isotretinoin has revolutionized the adult acne products industry. It is especially beneficial for women who have shown resistance to other adult acne remedies. The drug however has shown serious side effects and is especially not recommended to pregnant and nursing women as it can cause birth defects. Women taking Isotretinoin must therefore take several birth control precautions and must also be closely observed by their doctor for serious health effects like liver and kidney issues.
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9. Oral Antibiotics for Adult Acne
Oral antibiotics like tetracyclines or its synthetic derivatives (doxycycline, minocycline etc) are proven to fight adult acne effectively. These too should not be taken by pregnant or nursing mothers as they can cause permanent yellowing of teeth and also inhibit bone growth in developing fetus. Oral antibiotics are generally given with other acne treatment including topical products and oral contraceptives etc.
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10. Acne Clearing Makeup
Acne clearing makeup and cosmetics typically contains mild ingredients as well as acne medicines like salicylic acid. These are suitable for teenagers but are also finding their way into adult-acne specific makeup and cosmetics to provide anti-aging benefits to adult women. These makeup and cosmetics are designed specifically to reduce dryness that comes from using adult acne products.
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