Pimples. We all get them. No one likes them.
Trying to hold a conversation or give a presentation knowing there is a big, ugly, undesirable zit in the middle of your face is awkward and makes you feel self-conscious.
We all have our own ways of justifying them and dealing with them.
But according to Founder of Clear Complexions Clinics and registered nurse, Suzie Hoitink, adult breakouts don’t always occur for the reasons you may think.
While many of us put it down to lifestyle factors, diet or not drinking enough water, Hoitink says generally these factors don’t link to break outs.
“People aged between 20 and 35 generally experience break outs due to hormonal imbalances, genetics or stress,” she said.
We asked Hoitink about the most common problem areas most people get pimples and WHY it happens on these areas of the skin.
Nose and Cheeks:
“As we get older, those with more oiler skin find the pores on the nose and tops of the cheeks enlarge leading to clogged pores and blackheads. Inflamed raised lesions to the cheeks and nose may be symptomatic of Rosacea, an inflammatory condition of the skin, rather than acne.”
“Breakouts around the mouth are very common and very persistent. No sooner has one healed, there is another taking its place! This area is prone to breakouts from hormonal stimulation and unfortunately can scar easily.”
“The forehead is often related to a contact dermatitis of sorts.” Hoitink says “congestion on the forehead can often be as simple as from wearing hats when you are sweating, but generally speaking it is a hormonal change”.
Jawline and Chin:
“Breakouts in this area are generally the result of hormonal fluctuations”, says Hoitink. “Breakouts here tend to be more cystic in nature and are worse around menstruation in women.”
“Body acne including the back, is not something that is as common in adult but (when blemishes are present) is often misdiagnosed and is actually folliculitis, which is an infection in the hair follicles.” Hoitink says men find this common mistake for men with blemishes on their arms or neck. She says “the way to solve that problem is to remove the hair by laser therapy”.
While there are many misconceptions about why you may get pimples, there are even more about how to treat them.
To make sure you get it right Hoitink shared the biggest mistakes you can make.
Stripping the skin instead of cleaning it
Hoitink says the most common misconception is people think they can continue to use the same types of products they have used to treat break outs in the past.
“….using harsh and drying products strips the skin of ceremides and essential lipids that keep the barrier intact. If the barrier is impaired, the skin can become easily irritated, leading to further breakouts.”
Not wearing sunscreen
“It’s really common for people with acne prone skin to avoid sunscreens as the common misconception is that it causes them to breakout. Certainly there are some heavy oil based sunscreens that do clog the pores but there are some fantastic oil free ones designed for acne prone skin. Sunscreen is a non-negotiable in regards to skin care for skin types!”
Clogging the pores with makeup after a cleansing treatment
“I see many clients who do the right thing treatment and product wise for their acne prone skin but then clog their pores with the wrong makeup. Use a mineral based make up with added antioxidants (yes they are available) that is actually improving the condition of your skin while giving you the coverage you need to get your confidence back.”
Taking the pill
For some people “the pill helps to control the skin but they need to be aware that the pill and cause hormonal pigmentation, a brown pigmentation of the skin,” Hoitink said, adding if women find that this is happening they should stop taking the contraception because their are other easier ways to treat the skin.
Your diet is not causing you to break out:
“There isn’t a strong correlation with the diet and the skin, unless of course your diet is particularly bad,” Hoitink said, adding: “Many people come to me and say ‘but I drink so much water.’ Water does not have an effect on whether or not you will get break outs or not.”
“What is clear is that if you have a diet very high in GI then you are more likely to get break outs,” she said.
Your skin is bad because you had a big weekend
“Having a chocolate or alcohol binge isn’t the greatest thing for acne prone skin as you will almost certainly get a breakout to remember the weekend by. But as a general rule, as long as your diet is relatively healthy and you use the right antioxidant rich Skincare, you can have the odd drink or square of chocolate without fearing your skin will rebel.”
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