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Suffering from adult acne? You are so not alone. Annet King, Director of Training and Development for The International Dermal Institute, says that 54 percent of women over 25 have some acne, and it's most common in women in their 30s. "It's an epidemic in skin care," she says.

So what's causing all this adult acne? In a word: stress. King says that our society is more stressed out than ever before, and all that stress causes our adrenal glands to increase production of androgen hormones, which increase oil production, which causes acne. And when we're under long-term stress (which is common in our busy lives), our hormone levels are constantly raised and acne becomes a near-constant problem. Also, since we're older, our cell-turnover and ability to heal slows down, which means acne can stick around longer than it did when we were teens.

In the next slides, we'll answer all your questions about adult acne, from the differences between teen and adult acne, to the lifestyle and product changes necessary to finally get your adult acne under control. Because let's face it, dealing with acne in your teens is one thing, but no one should have to suffer from acne in their 20s, 30s and 40s, right?

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Q: What makes adult acne different?
A: The pimples in your prom picture are likely not the same ones staring back at you in the mirror today. King says that adults a more likely to get "deep, cystic, painful acne and more likely to have lesions, more inflammation, more redness, and [acne that] is harder to get rid of."

Also, teens tend to get acne on their foreheads and noses, due to increased oil production. Adults tend to get acne more on the lower half of their faces, like their chins. King says that Chinese face mapping correlates this part of the face with the adrenal glands. (Remember, the ones that respond to stress? Makes sense, right?)

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Q: Can teenagers and adults share the same acne products?
A: Because of the differences in the types of acne mentioned earlier, treatment for adult acne needs to be different than teen acne. Also, King points out that adults need to be careful not to dry out their skin, since this can cause wrinkles (something high schoolers aren't too concerned with).

Adults with acne should look for products specifically designed for them and look for products with anti-inflammatories and anti-oxidants to protect their skin (more on that in the next slide).

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Q: What acne-fighting ingredients should adults use?
A: Some of the ingredients are similar to the ones you may have used in your teen years: do salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide ring any bells? But King says there are plenty of other beneficial ingredients that can help minimize acne, plus keep skin looking youthful and prevent scaring or discoloration.

To minimize inflammation, look for: licorice, biotin, camphor, tea tree and green tea.

To slow oil production, use: zinc sulfate, tea tree, caffeine and niacinamide.

To help exfoliate and also slow oil production, try: salicylic or glycolic acid, benzoyl peroxide, sulfur or zinc oxide.

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Change your life to change your face
Before we even get into regimens, here's the deal: all the acne-fighting products in the world won't completely solve your problem unless you work on the cause of it -- stress. So do your best to minimize it. Make some time for yourself, try deep breathing or yoga, whatever you can to keep those stress hormones down.

Also, other lifestyle factors like lack of sleep, poor nutrition, dehydration and smoking can have a huge impact on your skin. So getting your eight hours a night and your eight glasses of water a day will be a huge help to your skin. Also, limit your caffeine consumption -- while it keeps you going through the day, it also keeps your body in a stressed-out state. Try eating healthy snacks like nuts and complex carbs to keep your energy levels up instead.

Next: Your acne-fighting skin care regimen

Suffering from adult acne? You are so not alone. Annet King, Director of Training and Development for The International Dermal Institute, says that 54 percent of women over 25 have some acne, and it's most common in women in their 30s. "It's an epidemic in skin care," she says.

So what's causing all this adult acne? In a word: stress. King says that our society is more stressed out than ever before, and all that stress causes our adrenal glands to increase production of androgen hormones, which increase oil production, which causes acne. And when we're under long-term stress (which is common in our busy lives), our hormone levels are constantly raised and acne becomes a near-constant problem. Also, since we're older, our cell-turnover and ability to heal slows down, which means acne can stick around longer than it did when we were teens.

In the next slides, we'll answer all your questions about adult acne, from the differences between teen and adult acne, to the lifestyle and product changes necessary to finally get your adult acne under control. Because let's face it, dealing with acne in your teens is one thing, but no one should have to suffer from acne in their 20s, 30s and 40s, right?
BY SARAH CARRILLO | SHARES
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