By Patricia Reynoso
Q. I haven't had acne in ages but suddenly I'm breaking out all the time. Help!
It seems unfair to have to worry about pimples long after your teen years, but adult acne is actually quite common. "I see women every day who didn't have acne as teenagers but are breaking out now," reports dermatologist Heidi A. Waldorf, MD, director of laser and cosmetic dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center, in New York City. "When we're adults, acne tends to occur along the chin and the jaw, whereas teenagers typically see it along the T-zone," she adds. These breakouts can usually be traced to hormone fluctuations that can trigger an increase in sebum production.
You can fight back by using products formulated with benzoyl peroxide, salicylic, lactic, or glycolic acid, or retinol. All help clear pimple-causing debris, fight bacteria, and contain hydrating properties. You can find these acids in cleansers, moisturizers, and spot treatments, but exercise caution: Using more than one anti-acne product at a time as part of your daily routine may lead to skin irritation.