Thought spots were only for teenagers? Think again. One in 20 women between the ages of 25 and 40 suffer from adult acne.
Even if you’ve never had spots before, they can suddenly rear their ugly (white) heads once you’re a fully grown adult – and your period could be the culprit.
Period-related pimples occur due to hormonal fluctuations during your cycle. You may get a spot attack a week before your period - usually they will get better once it starts.
Stress can make it worse though and for some, acne can stay around for a lot longer than 7 days – and be harder to get rid of - so we asked the experts for their advice on how to deal with it.
Cleanse – but don’t over cleanse
Excess oil creates spots so while it’s important to cleanse twice a day, make sure you use a gentle, alcohol-free cleanser. If you use something too astringent, it will strip away natural oils and your skin will just make more to compensate. Try Eau Thermale Avène Gentle Gel Cleanser, £11.50, Feel Unique or Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser, £7.95, Boots.Don’t scrimp on moisturiser either – oily skin needs hydrating too otherwise it will over compensate and produce more of that oil. Just make sure you choose one that’s light and non-comedogenic, which means it won’t block your pores. We like Dermalogica’s Oil Control Lotion, £28.90, which hydrates while controlling shine } and Vichy Normaderm Hydrating Care, £12, Boots.
You can then apply over the counter spot treatments. Look for ones that contain salicylic acid, such as Anti Blemish Solutions Clinical Clearing Gel, £14, Clinique or benzoyl peroxide, which is found in Quinoderm 10 Cream, £2.95, Boots.
Pop a pill
Adding a nutritional supplement to your diet can help with acne outbursts during your period.Zinc has been shown to reduce acne, as it’s thought many acne sufferers are deficient in this mineral.
Some dermatologists are now also recommending Vitamin B5 to help fight spots as it helps reduce oil. Research is still ongoing on this one but if you want to try it, go for Vitamin B5 Pantothenic Acid, £7.95, Nature’s Best.
There are also supplements around created especially to boost skin health. Skin Accumax, £39.95, is a vitamin supplement based on the goodness found in broccoli, and has been found by many to help clear up acne.
Clear Skin, £39.95, is a supplement you add to water and drink, It contains goodies such as Lactoferrin, a milk protein that has been proven to reduce, Aloe Vera, which has a smoothing and nourishing effect on skin, and Zinc Gluconate known to help repair damaged tissues.
When to visit your doctor
If your spots are really getting you down, pay a visit to your GP. They might prescribe stronger topical treatments that contain spot-busting ingredients such as retinoid and benzoyl peroxide.Another alternative is the contraceptive pill. The pill works by reducing the amount of oil in skin glands and also lowers some of the hormones that cause spots. It’s not for everyone, but can be the cure for those who have struggled for some time with pre-menstrual breakouts.
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