5 Ways to Prevent Acne Flare-ups After 40

Jan 04, 2024
There’s not much difference between adult and teen acne. They both stem from an excess of dead skin cells mixing with an overproduction of skin oils, typically triggered by hormone events. Preventing flare-ups is similar too.

Fundamentally, there’s nothing different between adult and teen acne. They both stem from an excess of dead skin cells mixing with an overproduction of skin oils, typically triggered by hormone events. 

Usually, adult acne fades with age, but it’s still possible to experience flare-ups after age 40. The team at Advanced Laser and Skin Cancer Center can help you when at-home care isn’t enough to control adult acne breakouts. We’re acne specialists and we can even assist you with acne scar reduction

Today, though, we’d like to discuss some tips and techniques you can use to bypass your next flare-up. A few small changes can go a long way toward preventing acne outbreaks. Here’s what you should know for clearer skin. 

Reasons for acne

There’s no difference between adult and teen acne, though it’s not always clear why acne affects some people and not others. Skin pores become clogged with oils and skin cells, developing below the surface, so regular washing doesn’t have much of an effect. 

When pores are exposed to air, the debris inside turns dark on its surface, creating a blackhead. If a pore covers over, the debris doesn’t oxidize and a whitehead forms. These are characteristics of hormonal acne. There are other types of acne too, including cystic acne (the type that most often creates scars), fungal acne, and nodular acne, which can also permanently damage skin. 

5 ways to prevent acne flare-ups after 40

If you successfully treated acne in your teens, then you know the routine, and you’ve got a place to start. 

1. Gentle washing

While the oil and debris that clog pores are beneath your skin’s surface, vigorous scrubbing doesn’t loosen or clean pores effectively. In fact, it can damage your skin and make acne worse. Wash your face twice a day with a mild cleanser and warm — not hot — water. Skip the wash cloth too and work the cleanser in with your fingertips. 

2. Treat the condition

Use medicated creams, available over the counter, as your first-line treatment of acne. Look for acne products with alpha hydroxy acid, benzoyl peroxide, retinoids, or salicylic acid as their active ingredients. We can also prescribe stronger versions of these and other medications as well. 

3. Review your skin care products

Sunscreens, makeup, and moisturizers can all add to the oil load your skin carries, potentially aggravating your acne condition. Replace these with oil-free products labeled non-acnegenic or non-comedogenic. Powdered cosmetics may also help you stay acne-free.

4. No-touch zone

Touching your face can add oils to your skin. It’s also a way to transfer bacteria between other surfaces and your skin, which can also drive an acne flare-up. If you wear long hair, prevent the transfer of oils by adding conditioners to your list of oil-free products. 

5. Relax and breathe deeply

Stress won’t cause acne, but for some people it acts as a trigger for acne flare-ups. Deep breathing, meditation, yoga, and other light exercise can help keep stress — and acne — under control. Add an additional gentle wash if your face gets sweaty. 

It can take between one to three months to clear up an adult acne outbreak, so prevention is definitely the way to go. Sometimes, though, it takes time to find the right combination of treatments and products that work for you. 

When you need medical assistance to banish your acne, reach out to us at Advanced Laser and Skin Cancer Center. You can book your appointment online or by phone with our Teaneck, New Jersey, office. Schedule your visit today.