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Seriously? Adult acne?

I’ve struggled with acne since I was in high school and chances are you have too. The American Academy of Dermatology says that nearly 85 percent of all people have had acne at some point in their lives, most often on the face, chest and back.

As a teen, I used to tell myself, “Only a couple more years and this will be over.”  Turns out I was misinformed. Although acne usually begins in puberty, women in their 20s, 30s, 40s and YES even their 50s can develop it.

Dermatologists call these adult blemishes “persistent acne” whereas the words I use are considered unladylike and it’s probably best not to repeat them in my first blog post.

Persistent acne tends to form on the lower face, predominately around the mouth, on the chin, and along the jawline.  Luckily for us, we live in a world of constant scientific development—even in the area of skin care products. But with so many choices-how do you possibly decide what product is right for you?

That can depend on things like your skin type and the severity of your acne so you may want to consult a dermatologist for a more detailed profile of your skin and the products that’d be best for you. But, since there’s no dermatologist in sight, I’ve pulled together some tips on where to start when selecting products:

  • If you’re not sure which acne product to buy, start with one that contains benzoyl peroxide. It’s effective and well-tolerated by most people.
  • Acne ingredients work in different ways, so it may be helpful to use a few different products with varying ingredients. Just make sure to apply one in the morning and the other at night to prevent skin irritation.
  • Unless your skin is super oily, stay away from skin care products for teens. They’re designed for a typically oily teenage skin and are often too drying for adults.
  • And if you’re using medication, be patient! Sometimes it can take up to six to eight weeks for prescribed acne products to take effect.

Clay masks are another great product that will draw out excess oil and clean the pores. Most spas have a section of high end skin products for purchase. While you’re there, make sure to grab one of the aestheticians to help you pick the product that’ll work best for you. Don’t be scared—it’s their job and they love to help!

I hope these tips help you put acne in the past. For more information please visit The Mayo Clinic ( and the American Academy of Dermatology (

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