Writer and expert /
Breakouts — we’ve all had them. As we begin to get older, it’s expected that acne dissipates, leaving glowing, youthful skin (’til fine lines begin to set in, that is).
However, for a lot of us, adult acne is a real-life thing, and it’s almost impossible to banish. Even those who never experienced a teenage breakout may be prone to adult acne in their 20s, 30s and even 40s.
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Adult acne doesn’t share the same characteristics as teen acne — we’re dealing with a totally different beast here, people. Teenage skin is generally very oily and prone to blackheads, and breakouts can erupt anywhere on the face. In comparison, adult acne can arise in all skin types, from dry to oily to combination. Adult breakouts will more commonly appear on the chin and jawline.
As adults, our skin is also less resilient, so inflammation and scarring are more common. Because of these fundamental differences, those with adult acne need to steer clear of products marketed to teen acne, and instead look for solutions that address skin healing, dehydration and sensitivities.
Keep on reading to discover the best Dermalogica products for addressing adult acne.
Having a good cleansing routine in place is a must for anyone that’s prone to breakouts. This means double cleansing twice a day to thoroughly remove build-up, excess oil and debris. Ideally, your first cleanse will be with an oil-based or balm-type cleanser, as these melt down and rid the skin of pore clogging make-up, dirt and grime. The second cleanse is then able to clean the skin and within the pores, rather than fighting build-up.
Dermalogica PreCleanse is a great option for oily or combination skin suffering from adult acne. Even though it’s an oil to emulsion formula, don’t fear — you’re not going to feel oiler than you already do! The oil is water soluble so when water is added to emulsify PreCleanse, it’s lifted off the skin and rinsed away. For drier skin types, opt for the Dermalogica PreCleanse Balm, as this provides more nourishment to the skin.
When it comes to your second cleanse, look for a product that will help to clear the pores. The Dermalogica Clearing Skin Wash, from the MediBac Clearing range, is a dual action cleanser that all skin types can use. It contains Salicylic Acid, which is a hero hydroxy acid for breakouts, as its oil-loving nature allows it to decongest the debris in the pores. What’s more, this soap-free foaming cleanser contains anti-bacterial ingredients to promote skin healing.
If your skin is on the oiler side, then you may want to consider the Dermal Clay Cleanser as another option for your second cleanse, or even alternate this product with the Clearing Skin Wash. Featuring purifying clays, refreshing menthol and lemon, this creamy cleanser deeply cleans the skin without stripping it.
When you’re suffering from red, angry breakouts, scrubs are not the answer — they will only further irritate and potentially spread the infection, which means more blemishes. Instead, opt for a leave-on, chemical-based exfoliant that includes Salicylic Acid to clear congested pores.
The Dermalogica Daily Resurfacer gently clears and smoothes the skin, and as a bonus, it includes skin hydrating and brightening ingredients that will help clear scarring. The formula is already dispensed onto a finger mitt; simply wipe over the skin once a day after cleansing and enjoy healthier looking skin.
It’s natural to want to strip the skin of oil, but this leads to severely parched skin, and surprisingly, the skin produces more oil to compensate the lack of moisture. You’ll need to ensure you have a few hydrating products in your arsenal when trying to combat adult acne and breakouts.
The Dermalogica Multi-Active Toner is a lightweight, hydrating toner that can be used to perk up your skin throughout the day. By boosting moisture levels, oil production is balanced and congestion or breakouts are minimised. Spritz a little on your skin before your serums and moisturiser, and as many times as you like throughout the day — even over make-up. This product is a must-have for your desk at work!
Angry, throbbing or pustular pimples? The Dermalogica Special Clearing Booster will be your saviour. Boasting a topical mega-dose of Benzoyl Peroxide (5%), the Special Clearing Booster rapidly dries out breakouts, whilst soothing redness. It’s a foolproof solution for those hormonal or stress-induced breakouts. After cleansing, apply directly onto your breakouts and allow to dry before following with your fave moisturiser.
NB: Not all skin types will love Benzoyl Peroxide. It can be pretty drying, so it’s worth testing out on an isolated area to see how your complexion copes.
If you’re looking for a spot treatment without Benzoyl Peroxide, or if your skin is on the sensitive side, then the Dermalogica Breakout Control is for you. This non-drying, lightweight gel contains natural antibacterial agents such as Lactobacillus Ferment, which acts like a probiotic by promoting good bacteria that clears the skin of acne-causing bacteria. This spot treatment can be applied all over the face or directly to blemishes.
We’ve already established the importance of hydration when it comes acne-prone skin, so clearly, a moisturiser is a key product to have at your disposal. However, it needs to be a moisturiser that’s focused on gifting the skin with hydration as opposed to oil.
Dermalogica’s Active Moist is a lightweight, oil-free moisturiser that feeds the skin that much-needed moisture without leaving a greasy feel or irritating blemishes. It can be used both day and night, but you’ll need to add a SPF during the daytime as it doesn’t have inbuilt protection. (Keep reading to discover our recommendation!)
The Dermalogica Oil Control Lotion is the ideal moisturiser if you’re battling with excess oil and blemishes. This feather-light, oil-free lotion contains Potato Starch that acts like a sponge, mopping up excess oil to help combat shine and maintain an all-day matte finish. It also features Salicylic Acid to clear and control breakouts and congestion.
Sunscreen is a non-negotiable part of our daily skincare regimen. Along with protecting against skin cancer, sunscreen will also slow down premature ageing. Oily skin types tend to avoid sunscreen, as many on the market can feel greasy and aren’t non-comedogenic, meaning they’ll clog the pores. The good news is that there are now wearable, light sunscreens available that are perfect for oily skin types.
The Dermalogica Oil Free Matte SPF30 is a moisturiser and sunscreen in one, helping to manage excess oil and leave the skin with a stunning, matte finish.
Dermalogica know that adult acne is quite the frustrating, sometimes painful inconvenience, so they’re dedicated to delivering formulas that help rather than hinder. Whatever your skin needs, there’s a Dermalogica product out there that’ll give you that perfect complexion you’ve always dreamed of. Save up to 25% on Dermalogica when you purchase with RY!
What’s your go-to product for adult acne? Will you be picking up any of these beloved formulas from Dermalogica? Let us know over on Facebook or Twitter!
I'm a journalism grad and avid makeup fan with an unhealthy addiction to buying nude lipsticks, no matter how similar they all may seem. I love chatting to anyone who will listen about my new favourite products, skincare dos and don'ts and practically any other beauty-related topic under the sun. That doesn't mean I'm frivolous with my recommendations, though--you can count on me to give you the nitty gritty on all your wishlist products. In my spare time, you'll find me binge-watching old episodes of Gilmore Girls or at brunch with a large iced coffee in my hand.
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