Got skin problems? Thought those days were behind you? Join the club. What’s the deal with adult acne?  Some believe that the outbreak of adult acne might actually have more to do with our own air pollution and less to do with hormonal imbalances. Whether it is a hormonal imbalance or a matter of air quality we still need to treat it.

Figure It Out

All acne is not created equal. There are many types of blemishes that can wreak havoc on your face and your self-esteem.  Before you can treat the problem you have to know the type of skin problem.

  • Blackheads: Minor acne that looks like small black bumps. Caused by clogged hair follicles filled with dead skin cells and oil the bump (a comedome) becomes black once it is exposed to air.  Exfoliation is important when trying to remove blackheads.
  • Cystic: Moderate to severe acne that is often painful.  Cystic acne occurs when blackheads or whiteheads become infected.  See a doctor for prescribed treatments.  Home remedies and OTC’s can only go so far with moderate to severe acne.
  • Whiteheads: Minor acne that is caused the same way as a blackhead.  The comedome is covered.  Air does not turn the clogged pore black but stays white instead.  Washing regularly with a mild cleanser and exfoliating work well in keeping whiteheads away.

Treat It

If you are still playing the waiting game with your doctor there are some remedies that go beyond the drugstore that can work in a pinch or as a multi-pronged approach to dealing with your acne.

Zinc Yogurt Acne Mask

Zinc is one of the best ways to fight acne at home. Topically or internally, zinc calms the skin.

Crush one zinc tablet until it is a fine powder. Mix it together with 1-1.5 tbsp of plain yogurt.  Apply the mixture to a clean, dry face and let it sit for 10-15 minutes.  Rinse off with a washcloth and warm water.  Safe to apply 1-2 times a week.

Ice

Ice keeps inflammations down. Icing acne can work well for two reasons.  While steaming treatments can irritate, ice can calm the redness and swelling while creating micro-fissures in the skin that will allow OTC products to penetrate deeply.

Super Foods

Salicylic acid is one of the most common ingredients in OTC medications.  Foods like almonds, broccoli, radishes and chicory possess a lot of it naturally.  Blueberries make wonderful salicylic acid home masks, mixed with honey a natural anti-inflammatory agent; it can ease acne while you wait for your doctor to provide treatment.