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Hormonal acne dos and don'ts


The battle for clear skin is no longer something only teenagers face. More adults are fighting acne as part of their morning routines, but the regimen might be doing more harm than good.

The American Academy of Dermatology said it's becoming more common to see women in their 30s, 40s and 50s struggling with acne.

"I get a flare-ups usually around the chin area, and it's not pretty," said Jennifer Jeray, who battles adult acne. "After the pregnancy, it was bad."

Jeray said her acne gets so bad that at times, she's missed out on social events.

"I'm not proud to say that. It sounds silly, but when you aren't happy with your appearance, especially on your face, your most focal point, you don't necessarily want to go out and show yourself," she said.

Dr. Sherry Ingraham said females can get more sensitive to hormone changes as they get older. So even if someone has never had it before, adult female acne can hit hard and needs to be treated differently than teenage breakouts.

"Adult female acne is an entirely different category," Ingraham said. "So, I usually don't use strong, strong benzoyl peroxide in adult females. We use lighter products. We may use retinoids that have an anti-aging benefit in them, as well and combination products."

Ingraham prescribed antibiotics to start a few days before Jeray's cycle, along with spot treatments and makeup for acne prone skin.

She said moisture is critical for adults with acne.

"As we age, our skin barrier gets depleted," Ingraham said. "We use a lot of important components of the lipid barrier that maintain a healthy pH of foreskin. A lot of acne products can be drying and can strip the barrier, so you want to use a moisturizer, and you want to use non-comedogenic moisturizers."

With a healthy routine, most women should not have to avoid facing another crowd.