By Chris Gibson , Special for USDR
Acne! The dreaded onset of blemished skin for teenagers across the world is not just for teens anymore. Every year more and more 30 and 40 something’s are finding themselves burdened with acne once again. The skin problems they thought they left behind them in their teens are returning along with all the nasty side effects, such as scaring, redness, slow healing blemishes, and a solid dose of low self-esteem. The BIG question is why?
When we look at the statistics of adult onset acne it becomes clear why people would naturally wonder this. 1 in 5 men over the age of 30 and 1 in 3 women will experience adult onset acne. With all the thousands of skin care products on the market today and the advances in prescription formulas how can this be so? How is it that more people today suffer from skin problems like acne rather than less?
This first thing to understand is that there are a lot of myths about acne and it’s causes that still get thrown around today. All this conjecture can make things very confusing and lead a person to try just about anything to get relief. So what is acne and what really causes it?
The best place to start is to understand what acne is and how it gets a foothold down in some people’s pores and wreaking havoc with their skin. Essentially, acne is caused by bacteria called Propionibacteria Acne and this bacterium is present on just about every human on the planet. It lives on all that skin moisturizing and very necessary oil you produce by digesting it down in those lowly over-sized pores you hate so much.
So let’s bust Acne Urban Legend # 1, oily skin does not cause acne.
This is a normal process that EVERYONE has going on, yet not everyone gets acne, in their teens, or their adult years. That means something else is going on and needs to be addressed. I have often said to clients to not hate the fact that they have oily skin. Far better that be the case than to have perpetually dry skin as that ages you much more quickly and does not guarantee you won’t get breakouts. In fact, over drying the skin is one of the number one contributors to acne breakouts in adults.
So if oil isn’t causing acne what is going on? Well, one of a number of things or a combination of these.
1. Slowing cellular turnover and shedding as we age resulting in blocked pores. This creates a buildup and toughening of the skin resulting in more trapped oil and bacteria that contributes to breakouts. Instituting a generous exfoliations step in your skin care routine can work miracles on how the skin looks and behaves.
2. Overuse of antibiotics resulting in a internal candida yeast over growth fueled by too much sugar in the diet. This yeast produces toxins the liver has to remove and has been tied for many years to skin issues like acne. Being aware and asking questions when you are being prescribed antibiotics is a good practice. Antibiotics can be lifesaving miracle workers when used responsibly.
3. A sudden increase in the amount of oil your skin is producing, from stress, diet, or a combination of both. While the oil itself is not a problem the increase in bacteria from it can be. Care needs to be taken to cleanse the skin daily of excess oil, dirt, and makeup products so bacteria growth is kept in check.
4. Poor quality skin care products and routine. Dermatitis or skin irritation from products can look like acne so if you have recently changed products you use on your skin and are having breakouts you might want to look at them closely. There likely is an ingredient in them that is not agreeing with your skin chemistry. In other words, it is the product that is the problem and not you!
The first way to address adult onset acne or any acne problem that suddenly appears is to start a good and deep exfoliation routine and use good naturally based products. Products containing natural fruit enzymes ( acids) know as alpha hydroxyl and beta hydroxyl will speed up your skins ability to shed the old cells that can block pores and trap the oil and bacteria.
Using a natural antiseptic like Tea Tree Oil will speed healing of the blemishes and a good steaming with a hot was cloth will help open pores.
The most important thing to look at is your skin care products. Skin allergies and breakouts can occur from irritation to a product suddenly even if you have used it for years without any problems. look for and use a natural alternative for a week and see if it makes a difference in your skin. Often that does the trick.
I once ran out of my skin care products while traveling on business and opted to use the Hotel supplied wash. Big mistake! I broke out within an hour of using it and I had a Television appearance that day. It sure reinforced what I know about how important being aware of what I put on my skin is. I wanted to save time and I paid the price.
A healthy and skin friendly diet is also a key. With today’s history of being given an antibiotic for every little problem many suffer from an imbalance in the digestive tract and bowel. You have read this before but a diet high in fiber with plenty of raw veggies and leafy greens is very skin friendly. Keeping to lean meats and fish can also make a difference.
Then there is skin enemy number one, refined sugar. Besides the obvious connections to poor health in adults and children we already know about, studies now link it to accelerated skin cell aging. Our bodies just are not meant to handle a lot of sugar on a daily basis let alone over a lifetime. In fact, the World Health Organization dropped its sugar intake recommendations from 10 percent of your daily calorie intake to 5 percent. For the adult with a normal body mass index (BMI), that works out to be around 6 teaspoons — or 25 grams — of sugar per day. To put that in perspective 2 oz’s ketchup generally contains 1 teaspoon of sugar syrup.
Add to the over use of sugar it’s partner in crime overzealous use of antibiotics and set the stage for even more problems with your health and skin. Studies show over and over again the relationship of these two to the frequency and intensity of skin breakouts in those with acne prone skin.
Antibiotics do not just kill that bacteria that is harmful, they also wipe out the healthy ones. This allows other things to get out of control, namely the yeast we all carry in our digestive tract. Few people take the necessary step of replacing those healthy (and necessary) bacteria after a round of antibiotics. The high concentration of sugars in most processed foods feeds this yeast and before long a host of issues from digestive issues to skin problems can show up, especially as acne.
A diet low in sugar and adding a daily probiotic supplement should be on everyone’s list whether you have been taking antibiotics or not. These are widely available these days in specialty yogurts and dairy blends. If you have, it is a necessary step and will go a long way to help your skin and your overall health.
In closing, if you are having breakouts, adult acne, teen acne, or even an occasional bout with pimples these things do make a great difference. Exfoliate, choose as natural skin care products as you can and clean up your diet. Your skin will improve and look great for you every day.
Chris Gibson is internationally best-selling author, holistic health expert, and lifestyle coach. Popularly known as The Natural Expert and The Hardest Working Guy in Skin Care, Chris promotes user friendly healthier living through natural lifestyle choices that are easy and fun to make. He is regularly featured on national radio and television demonstrating how to create a healthy lifestyle makeover. Please check out his blog articles at www.chrisgibsontv.com