Dealing with acne as an adult is no fun at all. Popping pimples at 13 is something of a rite of passage, at 33 it can be disheartening and frustrating.
But, there is hope!
We have collated our combined wisdom for treating acne-prone skin into this one helpful blog post. We want to help you to understand some of the common causes of adult acne and to give you multi-layered strategies for dealing with it.
At Jamele Skincare, the words on our clinic signage, ‘Nature, Science, Beauty’ capture our commitment to working with a holistic natural philosophy and marrying that with the best science has to offer.
We are passionate about working from the ‘inside-out’ to treat adult acne, which includes looking at diet and lifestyle factors.
My friend and beauty industry influencer, Janine Tait, has recently been championing what she describes as the Slow Beauty Movement – a move away from invasive, harsh, machine-based treatments to slower, truer, more holistic ideals.
This really captures well what we are about at Jamele. My Mum founded Jamele on this holistic philosophy 30 years ago and over the years the health and wellness movement has blossomed and now these ideas are sought out. Our food is becoming more organic, more biodynamic and skincare is moving in that same direction.”
There is every hope that with the right approach you can dramatically improve your skin and enjoy facing the world with confidence.
What are some of the causes of adult acne?
Stress is the number one cause of adult acne. Your skin is a reflection of your life and if you are facing prolonged stress at work or in your personal life, then your adrenal system will be on alert. Once your limbic system is in ‘fight or flight’ mode you produce more of the male hormone, androgen. This in turn leads to higher oil production, more pimples and more hair growth. Exercise, such as walking, yoga and pilates, deep breathing, meditation and dealing with the underlying causes of your stress will help your whole body, including your skin, to calm down.
Any changes in your hormonal balance will affect your skin and can produce acne. It is common for women to have an outbreak of acne the week before their period when hormones are changing. Acne under your chin is a tell-tale sign of this dynamic.
Women who work in the agricultural industry often have problems with acne due to their constant exposure to dust, fertiliser and spray. I (Shelley) remember treating a woman who had acne and hyper-sensitive skin. She was a chef who spent much of her time in charge of the deep-fryer. We addressed her skin condition from every angle but this environmental factor was the primary cause of her troubles with acne. She had a choice to make!
You may have a genetic predisposition to higher than average oil production and acne-prone skin. While you can’t change your genes there is certainly a lot you can do to swing the odds in your favour.
The saturated fats in dairy products are very heavy, rich, congesting foods for acne skins. Congesting foods like meat fat, butter, cheese, ice-cream, cream and chocolate all can tend to block your pores and cause pimples and black-heads. Also, fruit like strawberries and oranges actually have a heating affect on the skin and can inflame and aggravate a sensitive, acne-prone skin.
What can I do at home to improve my acne?
Include Good Oils In Your Diet
Because acne-troubled skin feels oily, many women feel as though oil is the problem, leading them to avoid oily foods. As counterintuitive as it seems, you actually need to increase the oils in your diet – the GOOD oils that is! Cut down on congesting oils in dairy products, meat fat and the like and eat more avocados, good quality olive oil, tahini, coconut oil and good quality nuts.
Use Bestow Beauty Oil Daily
Bestow Beauty Oil is a product we recommend to all our clients, but especially to women who have acne-prone skin. Bestow Beauty Oil provides high quality Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) in a nutty flavoured blend of flax and golden flax oil.
Of the six nutrients, which are most essential for healthy skin, EFA’s are arguably the most important. They are a rich food for your skin, which calm inflammation and redness, ‘unblock’ congestion, and moisturise from within creating soft, smooth and velvety skin.
Bestow Beauty Oil Plus is a booster version which can help to accelerate the clearing of congested skin. You may choose to start with the Bestow Beauty Oil Plus (which is more expensive) and then move on to the regular Bestow Beauty Oil.
Drink Lots of Water
We all know we should drink eight glasses of water a day, but few of us really understand why. We lose, on average, two glasses of water through our skin, one and half through our breath and six via our bowels and kidneys. Our bodies are made up of 45-55% by weight of water so this water needs to be continuously replenished in order to prevent stagnation and toxic build-up in our cells and tissues.
Embrace Healthy Diet Lifestyle Changes
While it may be the most challenging lifestyle factor to change, there is no avoiding the fact that diet has a huge impact on the health of your body and the look and feel of your skin.
When making lifestyle changes, it pays to have some good resources to support you. For delicious, skin-friendly recipes to inspire your culinary imagination we suggest you purchase the Bestow Food Journals created by our friends Janine Tait and Sheryl Nicholson. They are available at Jamele for $25 each.
Do the 7 DAYS OF ME Janesce Vital Cleanse
7 DAYS OF ME is a gentle, one-week clean-eating detox, which results in a renewed you! It offers a myriad of benefits such as clearer skin and eyes, increased energy and concentration, a feeling of lightness and well-being and weight loss just to name a few.
It is a beautiful rebalancing ritual to do each autumn and spring, but can be done any time throughout the year. If you want to move towards creating a healthier lifestyle, this gentle yet powerful cleanse is the perfect first step. CLICK HERE to learn more.
Which skincare product ranges do you recommend for acne?
Because acne skin feels oily, many people make the mistake of trying to dry their skin out with foaming cleansers. This actually has the opposite of the intended effect and aggravates the skin into an over-production of oil to compensate. So if you are currently using a foam cleanser, do yourself a favour and stop immediately!
Janesce is much more than an organic skincare range, it’s a whole philosophy of skin health. The Janesce way is to address the root causes of acne, not just treat the symptoms. Janesce works from within with a multi-dimensional approach that considers lifestyle, nutrition and supplementation as well as topical skincare.
We get the best results for acne-inflamed skin with clients who use the Janesce approach – but there is a catch! It requires a commitment to positive lifestyle changes, especially in the area of diet and nutrition. Your skincare therapist will prescribe you a Janesce dermo-nutrition guide to suit your unique skin needs and sensitivities. Women who are prepared to make changes achieve wonderful results, and not just with their skin – their whole lives improve!
The Janesce Skincare ranges soothes and calms an inflamed acne skin. We prescribe the Janesce Soaking Ritual each morning, and recommend you use Janesce SK1, Soothing Mist and Lavendar Facial Aromatic.
Janesce Soaking Ritual with Lavender Soaking Drops
This soothing lavender essence comes in a concentrated water-soluble form. Soak a muslin cloth in several centimetres of warm water in your bathroom sink to which you have added 2-3 drops of the Lavender Soaking Drops. Press this warm compress to your face for 10-15 seconds, then re-wet the cloth and repeat 3 times. Soaking encourages direct skin hydration and increases the skins ability to absorb beneficial plant actives by up to 50%.
Janesce SK 1 Concentrate
This is a naturopathic strength, concentrated blend of 10 active organic herbs to promote re-hydration of your skin through regulation of oil gland activity, and through boosting your skins natural ability to retain moisture in and around the cells. It is wonderful for healing sensitive skin.
Janesce SK 6 Concentrate
If oily skin is a factor in your acne condition, we will likely prescribe you Janesce SK 6 concentrate. This is a naturopathic strength, balanced formulation of many herbs for oily or disrupted skin.
This naturopathic strength, gentle mist created with organic calendula, aloe, lavender, and nettle to relieve red and irritated skin.
Lavender Facial Aromatic Oil
An aromatic herbal extract of soothing lavender in a fine oil base.
Environ also has a great skincare range for acne-prone skin – the Environ B-Active Sebu-range. This is an alternative option to Janesce with a different approach. Dr Fernandes uses tea-tree oil as a key ingredient in this range, which is a very effective anti-bacterial agent.
Cleanser | B-Active Sebuwash
This gel cleanser is calming and gentle without being stripping and helps to decongest the skin.
Toner | Sebutone
The toner in this range contains alpha-hydroxy acids and salicylic acid which are very anti-bacterial. It also contains lactic acid which helps to smoothen the appearance of skin and improve hydration.
Moisturiser | AVST 1-5
The AVST 1 – 5 moisturisers contain vitamin A and antioxidants including vitamins E, vitamin C, Green Tea Extract, Honeybush and Rooibos Tea Extracts, Resveratrol and Beta-Carotene. The unique emulsion assists in rebalancing and moisturising the skin.
Spot Treatment | SebuSpot
A gel specially formulated to assist in soothing and treating spots.
What specific supplements help treat acne from within?
Support Your Skin From Within With Three Key Supplements
There are three supplements which are particularly helpful for acne prone skins. In order of priority they are EFA’s, Vitamin B and Zinc.
EFA’s Source – Bestow Beauty Oil
Take EFA’s to liquefy your congested pores from within and create a viscous flowing oil-flow to your skin which helps prevents blockages and breakouts. Bestow Beauty Oil is a blend of organic, unrefined, extra virgin seed oils cold-pressed from flax and golden flax to provide you with a beautiful source of EFA’s. It’s your edible moisturiser – making your skin soft, smooth and velvety.
Janesce B Complex Capsules
B-vitamins are super important for a holistic treatment of acne as they help your body to manage stress. For optimum skin health it is important to ensure that you take a B Complex supplement that contains 50mg of B2 and 50mg of B6. The Janesce B Complex Vitamin contains this exact formation and is perfect for skin health.
Janesce Zinc Repair Capsules
Zinc is very healing for the skin. The Janesce Zinc Repair capsules include zinc blended with vitamin A, betacarotene and vitamin C for skin health. Bestow Beauty Oil will bring skin impurities to the surface of your skin. Zinc Repair will heal the results!
What Should I Do With Pimples?
A white-head pimple will heal much faster if you clear it, but it is important to do it hygienically or you may spread acne-causing bacteria.
The best time to extract pimples is after you’ve had a bath or shower when your skin is soft and supple. Don’t use your nails which will damage your skin. Instead, use two cotton buds to clear out the infection.
Wash the spot with warm water and then dab on some lemon juice. Lemon juice is a natural and very effective anti-bacterial agent. Lemon juice is also perfect to use on spots which have not yet formed a white head.
How Can I Avoid Acne Scarring?
Putting lemon juice will help the spot to heal because of it’s anti-bacterial properties. but it will also lightly bleach the pigment that sometimes forms around acne wound sites.
People with acne prone skin are particularly vulnerable to sun exposure which can lead to acne scarring. Wear a good quality sunscreen like Environ RAD which has a non-greasy physical sunscreen formulation and includes zinc which has healing properties.
What acne-specific clinical facial treatments are available?
In-clinic treatments can greatly enhance your skin’s healing process. In conjunction with good skincare at home and healthy nutrition choices, facial treatments can soothe, calm and restore your skin with clinic strength active ingredients.
Janesce Soothing Facials
Janesce facials draw on the power and purity of nature, and offer healing and nourishment for even the most sensitive skins. The skin-soaking ritual and fragrant essential oils make these facials beautifully sensory as well as healing and nourishing.
The Janesce Indulgence Facial ~ 75 mins $130
Relax as we cleanse and then envelop your face in a warm compress which has been soaked in rose or lavender aromatic drops. After exfoliating, we press a plant-based concentrate into your skin, before brushing on a warm mask. You will enjoy a hand or foot massage, followed by a facial and décolleté massage. A mist, moisturiser and eye cream completes this beautiful facial. A complimentary eyebrow tidy is included.
The Janesce Enzyme Facial ~ 45 mins $85
This refining facial features a very effective deep cleansing papaya enzyme treatment. We first soak the skin to hydrate it well, then cleanse and mist the skin. We then apply a papaya fruit enzyme mask with a brush, gently massaging over the entire face and neck. After it has worked its magic we then cleanse and mist the skin again. A suitable plant concentrate is pressed onto the skin, after which we brush on a calming and cooling mask. While the mask is on we perform a relaxing shoulder massage. The mask is then removed followed by an application of a mist, eye cream , moisturizer and sun care to finish.
Environ Facial Peels
Acne-skin always has an over-prolifeariton of dead cells, which creates blockages on the skin instead of allowing natural oil flow to the skin surface.
We recommend a series of light Environ facial peels which remove excess oil, sterilises the bacterica that is sitting on the skin and gets rid of the dead cell build-up.
TCA Peel Acne Treatment ~ 45 mins $85
After a complete cleanse we apply a gentle trichloroacetic peel, customising the concentration to address your specific skin concerns. We then ionize healing VitaminA or colostrum gel into your skin before finishing with eye cream, moisturiser and sunscreen application. A course of six treatments is highly recommended in order to make a real difference to acne-troubled skin. Pay $75 per treatment when you book a course of six treatments.
What type of make-up do you recommend for acne skins?
Mineral make-up is the only type that is safe to use and kind to acne-prone skin. However not all mineral make-ups are created equal! Talc has been am a major ingredient in make-up for many years – it is a ‘filler’ used in cheaper ranges, but it is clogging to the skin. As a general rule, the cheaper the product, the more talc it includes.
You also need to wash your make-up brush every day if you have acne. If you re-use a sponge or brush, there’s every likelihood that you are simply spreading acne-causing bacteria around your face every day.
We Love PurePressed Base Mineral Foundation ~ $95
A healthy mineral foundation makes a world of difference in enhancing your skin’s own radiance. Healthy skin has no use for oil, talc, FD&C dyes, synthetic preservatives, parabens, or synthetic fragrance – so neither does Jane Iredale make up!
This natural, ultra water-resistant, all-day wearing, protective, mineral foundations will encourageyour skin to breathe and bring your essential beauty to light.
Can I see someone about my acne at Jamele?
Yes, absolutely. We highly recommend our one-on-one Holistic Skincare Consultation to begin that journey.
At Jamele Skincare, we take a holistic approach to treating skin conditions, drawing on the best that nature and science have to offer us. We can mentor you on your path to healing or improving your skin. READ MORE
For some people medication or the contraceptive pill may be necessary as a last resort, but we can do a lot to improve your skin condition through a combination of the right products, clinic treatments and diet/lifestyle choices.
Visit Jamele Skincare | 487 Cameron Road
Jamele is a much-loved, full service skincare centre on Cameron Road in Tauranga offering facials, skincare, massage, waxing and all the grooming essentials you expect from a quality skincare clinic.
Jamele has passed from mother to daughter and our philosophy encompasses the ageless truths of skin care wisdom combined with the latest technological and scientific developments in skin care. Our approach is thoughtfully holistic. We believe that our skin reflects our lives so we are passionate about helping you to cultivate beautiful skin from the inside out.
Skin-nourishing nutrition, top quality supplements, self-care and life-vitality choices are all weaved into the fabric of who we are at Jamele. Our Tauranga facial and body treatments and skin care products are of the highest quality and it’s our pleasure to take care of you when you come to see us.
~ Shelley Foster & Pat Foster