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Contrary to common belief, acne is not just “a teenage thing.” More and more adults, especially women, continue to experience acne beyond their teenage years. According to a recent study, as many as 45 percent of women between the ages of 21 and 30, 26 percent of women between the ages of 31 and 40, and 12 percent of women between the ages of 41 and 50 have acne. Many of these women may turn to the very same acne products they used as a teenager; however, adult acne is not necessarily caused by the same factors as those of teenage acne.
According to Advanced Dermatology’s Dr. Whitney Bowe, adult acne is often associated with insufficient levels of antioxidants, typically found in vitamins A, C, and E. Antioxidants can be applied to the skin topically in the form of creams, or they can be obtained following digestion of antioxidant-rich foods and drinks such as green tea. In addition to treating acne, antioxidants also have the benefit of reducing wrinkles, fine lines, and other signs of aging.
Most incidences of adult acne are treatable and may even be preventable, says Dr. Bowe. Patients concerned about adult acne should apply an antioxidant serum in the mornings after washing their face, or find a sunscreen that blocks UVA and UVB rays along with containing antioxidants. Smoking should be avoided, as it can cause noticeable signs of aging and even cancer. An antioxidant-rich diet containing deep-colored foods such as spinach, tomatoes or salmon can also be beneficial to the skin. If over-the-counter treatments are not helping your acne, visit a dermatologist.