10 Reasons Why You’re Breaking Out In Acne In Your 30s

10 Reasons Why You're Breaking Out In Acne In Your 30s
10 Reasons Why You're Breaking Out In Acne In Your 30s

10 Reasons Why You’re Breaking Out In Acne In Your 30s?

Acne is one of the more unpleasant rites of passage that we deal with as we grow up.  Of all the changes of puberty it is, perhaps, one of the most distressing.  After all those ‘teenagers’ we see on TV shows (all aged well over 18 in real life) all have perfect, healthy, glowing skin to match their perfect bodies.  The reality is, as we all know, awkward bodies, breaking voices many of us struggle with greasy skin, obvious black heads, angry red blind spots and suppurating pustules all of which inevitably get worse just before an important event.

Getting older may have its downsides.  The relatively carefree life of a teenager and party twenty something elide slowly into responsibilities to maintain a mortgage, a marriage…children.  We expect our skin to play ball, our 30s should be a golden time post acne and pre wrinkles when our skin looks its best.  That healthy smooth glow should be ours for the taking.  So why, when we look in the mirror, do we still see the depressing evidence of break outs on chins and foreheads?  Why do we still suffer from break outs in our 30s and what can we do about it?  Here are our top 10 reasons and some solutions.

10. You Overindulge In Dairy And Sugar

Cheesecake. Satan's dessert. Dairy and Sugar!!
Cheesecake. Satan’s dessert. Dairy and Sugar!!

We know that the super giant caramel latte is the only thing that gets you through the first few hours of work in the morning but too much dairy and sugar can play havoc with your skin.

Too much dairy can lead to breakouts on your cheeks and chin, it can also make your face puffy which can exacerbate the appearance of acne.  This is because the ageing process impacts on our ability properly to digest lactose.  Meanwhile too much sugar can also cause breakouts of cystic acne, those awful red lumps filled with pus that sit below the surface of the skin and Just. Don’t. Go. Away!

If you think your diet may be to blame try cutting out dairy and sugar for a few weeks and see whether it makes a difference to your skin.  If it does you can start slowly introducing small amounts of dairy and sugar back into your daily diet until you find the right balance for you.

9. You Sleep In Your Makeup

Wash off that paint you hussy.
Wash off that paint you hussy.

When you were a child your parents would always make sure that you washed your face and brushed your teeth before bed.  As an adult you know that you need to do this but be honest, sometimes you are just too tired to bother.  This is a major skin sin!  Doing it occasionally will not to any real harm but letting it become a habit can lead to all sorts of problems.

Your makeup attracts grime and free radicles throughout the day.  While you sleep your body, and in particular your skin, regenerates but if your face is still covered with makeup this process is interrupted.  Your skin will not be able to renew itself as effectively.  The makeup and grime will rub off on your pillow as you sleep and will in turn touch your face all night long (see below).

The net effect of sleeping in makeup is that your pores end up blocked.  The dirt of the day combines with your makeup and the sebum (oil) produced by your skin and settles in the pores.  This nasty mixture attracts the bacteria that cause acne and before you know it you have a nasty breakout on your hands.

So what can you do about it?  The best solution is to stop being lazy and cleanse, tone and moisturize your face before bed.  Of course the reality is that some nights you will be too tired to complete your full beauty routine.  Don’t give yourself a free pass however.  Put some cosmetic cleaning wipes by your bed and you have no excuse not to wipe away the grime of the day.

8. You Are Touching Your Face

Get your grubby mitts off your cranium
Get your grubby mitts off your cranium

Your hands get everywhere!  Think about what you do over the space of an hour even just in the office.  You touch your computer, your desk ‘phone, your desk, your door, the office door, the kitchen counter, the kettle, your coffee cup, the toilet door, the toilet and so it goes on.  No matter how clean and hygienic you think you are, no matter whether you wash with warm soap and water after using the toilet and spray antibac gel on your hands every 15 minutes you will touch something and then touch your face.

Of all the surfaces you touch you probably think that the toilet is the most gross (ok public toilets are gross) and wash your hands carefully.  Chances are you touch many other things that are covered in germs and never even think about it nor wash your hands as carefully as you do after a trip to the rest room.  Your own cell ‘phone, for example, will be covered in dead skin cells, grease and nasties from the surfaces it lies on or your hands or face.

Think you don’t touch your face much?  Think again, you touch it far more than you think, from pushing your glasses back up your nose to tucking a strand of hair behind your ear or picking up a telephone, your hands come close to the delicate skin on your face a lot and every time you do germs and bacteria and other nasties will go to your face.  If you are acne prone the very act of touching your face and bringing those nasties to your skin can trigger or exacerbate a break out.

So what can you do?  It is difficult to break the habits of a lifetime and stop touching your face but now that you are a little more aware of the potential problems you should be able to cut down.

7. You Are Guilty Of Over-Cleansing Your Face

Don't go crazy with the cleansers or masks
Don’t go crazy with the cleansers or masks

If you are prone to breakouts it can be tempting to throw products at the problem.  Sadly the solution is not that simple and often the very products you are using to control your problem skin could be exacerbating the breakouts you are trying to control.

Your skin is the largest organ in your body.  It is designed to protect you from the harsh environment in which you live and oil is a key part of that.  Without enough oil your skin becomes dry and vulnerable to damage.  Too much oil, however, causes pores to block and acne spots to form. Because excess oil is a key cause of breakout problems many people try to resolve them by stripping the oil from their skin in the hope that this will prevent blocked pores.  Taking too much oil from your skin, however, causes it to feel taut and dry and your skin responds by producing even more oil which of course leads to blockages which leads to acne.

Concentrate on finding a gentle skin care regime that works with your skin type and get into the habit of cleansing and moisturizing.  It can be tempting to exfoliate your skin to get that perfect smooth feeling but limit this to no more than once or twice a week to avoid over stressing your skin.  Once you have found a good regime stick with it, chopping and changing to the latest ‘wonder product’ will only stress your skin more and, of course, leave you prone to outbreaks.

6. You are Using The Wrong Type Of Makeup

Too much of a bad thing
Too much of a bad thing

Your makeup is just as important to your skin’s health as your cleansing regime.  Studies in Brazil have shown that 45% of women had skin problems connected to their makeup while 14% had active acne breakouts attributable to their cosmetics.  The problem has even been given its own name, acne cosmetic.  Once you get a case of cosmetic acne it can persist for years, this is because sufferers tend to try to use makeup to cover the breakout which of course only causes it to become worse leading to a vicious cycle of makeup induced acne.

What can you do?  The obvious answer is to avoid wearing makeup altogether but for many people (predominantly women of course), going bare faced is just not an option, whether for personal reasons or due to societal pressure.  If you absolutely have to wear makeup try to stay away from heavy cream based products.  Try to avoid foundations or, if you have to wear them, opt for powder formulations where possible.  Look at the labels and actively choose formulations which are fragrance free and stated to be ‘non-comodogenic’.  This means they have fewer additives and will not block pores.

Use as light a touch as possible when applying your products using clean fingers where you can, avoid rubbing hard or dragging at your skin as this can cause irritation.  You should replace your makeup every few months to avoid the buildup of bacteria so aim to buy smaller bottles and pallets rather than the larger ones. You should also wash your makeup brushes thoroughly every month, this will reduce the buildup of old product and bacteria.  Of course you need to remove your makeup carefully at the end of the day (see 9 above).