The quest for clear skin is not an easy one. After suffering through the odd breakout during puberty, for many of us, adult acne is an unexpected and stressful part of adulthood.
But what is acne and how do you treat it? From blackheads to cysts, read on to discover everything you need to know about managing your skin concerns.
What is Acne?
Acne is a common skin condition that is estimated to affect 9.4% of the global population.
It is caused by inflammation of the pilosebaceous unit, which consists of hair follicles, hair shaft and sebaceous glands. It is characterised by clusters of persistent spots located on the face, neck, chest and back.
When excessive sebum production and dead skin cells block the follicle, inflammation occurs and acne spots may form.
The Different Types of Acne
The appearance of acne can vary from person to person. It can be a very individual skin concern and while there are certain similarities its presentation, location and severity can differ.
There are six distinct spot types that could form as a result of acne:
- Blackheads – also referred to as ‘open comedones’, these are formed when clogged skin follicles are exposed to air they form small black bumps on the surface of the skin
- Whiteheads – these are formed when trapped bacteria and dead skin cells form small white bumps under the surface of the skin and may be referred to as ‘closed comedones’
- Papules – small red bumps that can be tender or sore to the touch
- Pustules – like papules, these are small red bumps, however, these have a white centre due to pus build-up
- Nodules – large, hard, painful lumps that form deep underneath the skin’s surface
- Cysts – the largest form of acne and most likely to scar, these are painful lumps under the skin that are filled with pus
Blackheads and whiteheads are associated with non-inflammatory acne, whereas pustules, nodules and cysts are inflammatory acne. Typically, non-inflammatory is easier to manage as the symptoms are less painful and aggressive than those of inflammatory acne.
It may be that your acne is formed of one spot type, or you could have a combination of inflammatory and non-inflammatory. However, whatever spot selection you may have, it’s important to not pop or pick them as this can worsen the symptoms and cause scarring.
What Causes Adult Acne?
While acne is commonly experienced by teens going through puberty, it may also affect those in adulthood. Adult acne, or acne tarda, is defined as acne that develops after the age of 25.
There is no definitive cause of adult acne, but it may be triggered by genetics, fluctuating hormones and - in some cases - stress.
Dealing with acne can be difficult. Not only can spots be painful, but they can impact your mental wellbeing, affecting your confidence and body image. Fortunately, there are a number of acne treatments that can help manage and reduce your symptoms.
How to Get Rid of Acne
There’s no quick fix when it comes to getting rid of adult acne, it can take months or years to fully clear.
To begin managing and treating your acne, there are a number of tips for clear skin that can help:
- Maintain a healthy anti-inflammatory diet, rich in omega-3 fatty acids, whole grains and lean protein
- Avoid touching your face throughout the day to prevent the transfer of bacteria which can clog pores and irritate spots
- Steer clear of heavy makeup or cosmetics that are likely to block pores (comedogenic)
- Discontinue use and discard expired products
- Establish a consistent and effective skincare routine
Skincare Routine for Adult Acne
When establishing a skincare regime for acne spot treatment, be mindful of formulas. Selecting products with purifying and clarifying properties will ensure that your skin is not exposed to harsh chemicals that may cause irritation.
Featuring a host of anti-inflammatory, active ingredients, our Super Clear collection has been specially formulated for sensitive skin prone to breakouts, making it perfect for combatting acne concerns.
To aid in managing your skin troubles, we have curated a simple, yet effective Super Clear skincare routine that can help you on your journey to clear skin:
Step One: Cleanse
A cleanser is crucial to any good skincare regime. An effective cleanser helps to keep skin soothed and free from aggressors, cleansing the skin of the daily build-up of bacteria and dead skin cells
Formulated with glycerin to ensure skin remains hydrated and nourished, our Super Clear Cleanse works to purify your complexion without stripping sensitive skin of its natural protective barrier. The addition of edelweiss (leontopodium alpinum) extract - a powerful antioxidant - helps to protect you from free radicals which can damage your skin and exacerbate acne.
To Apply: Add a small amount to your face and gently massage into your skin in circular motions with water. Rinse using a clean washcloth and carefully pat dry, as opposed to rubbing, as this can irritate the skin.
Step Two: Tone
After cleansing, applying a toner can aid in keeping pores clean and looking after your overall skin health.
Our Super Clear Clarifying Solution removes impurities while also regulating your skin’s oil production. Infused with natural herbs and potent active ingredients, your complexion is gently clarified, leaving it refined and refreshed.
Skin-soothing salicylic acid works to exfoliate your skin, removing dead skin cells and oil build-up that can cause clogged pores. Effective at caring for sensitive skin, salicylic also aids in reducing symptoms of inflammation, for a wonderfully soothed and calm appearance.
To Apply: Delightfully refreshing, spray a small amount onto your face and neck after cleansing and leave to soak into the skin.
TOP TIP: Store in the fridge for a reviving, skin-clearing spritz any time of day.
Step Three: Moisturise
Once your toner has dried, apply a moisturiser to help keep your skin barrier hydrated, preventing excessive oil and sebum production.
Extremely soothing to irritated skin, our Super Clear Purifying Crème Gel can help to calm areas of inflammation while also targeting pigmentation and improving skin tone due to the innovative inclusion of ascorbyl glucoside.
Derived from the potent antioxidant vitamin C, this powerful active ingredient offers numerous benefits, particularly for those with sensitive skin. Highly effective and gentle towards reactive skin, it aids in brightening the complexion, as well as fading dark spots and other signs of ageing that can be caused by acne.
To Apply: Add a small amount to your face and neck in the morning, gently massaging in until completely absorbed. Follow with an SPF to keep your skin protected from harmful UV rays that can exacerbate the symptoms of acne.
For your evening skincare regime, opt for our Super Clear Essential Cream. Enriched with a potent blend of active ingredients, this lightweight night cream helps to rejuvenate your appearance.
Supporting overall skin health, lactic acid gently exfoliates, while sweet almond oil enhances hydration to regulate sebum production. Combined with the skin-boosting antioxidant properties of vitamin A (retinyl palmitate) and vitamin E, your complexion will be left effortlessly radiant and restored.
To Apply: Add a small amount to your face and neck in the evening, gently massaging in until completely absorbed. Follow with a glorious eight hours of sleep.
While incorporating our Super Clear collection could help you achieve a clearer, healthier complexion, it's important to remember that improvements will not happen overnight. As with any routine, consistency is key - especially when managing acne and caring for reactive, sensitive skin.
For more advice on looking after your overall skin health, explore our blog.