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Acne? But I’m not a teenager!

By Le’Nise Brothers

Adult acne. An oxymoron? No, unfortunately not. It’s something that afflicts more and more adult women as we move from our teens and 20s into our 30s and 40s. In the UK, nearly 90 percent of teenagers have acne and half of them continue to as adults. Are you one of them?

If so, don’t despair. From personal experience, I know that adult acne can have an effect on self-esteem and confidence, feeling like people are looking at your spots, rather than at you. Let me assure you that most people get a few spots from time to time. They seem to be a byproduct of our hectic lifestyles and the food and drink we use to keep us going.

Why do we get acne and how can we get rid of those pesky spots?

Acne can be caused by a number of factors, from too much coffee, alcohol, sugar and stress, to poor gut health to an imbalance of sex hormones. It’s hard to generalise because the causes vary so widely.

Here’s another way to look at acne: it’s a symptom of something else going on in your body. Yes, you may get spots, but that’s your body’s way of telling you that there’s something else happening that you need to address.

Here are four things that can help improve the health of your skin.

  1. Think about what you’re putting on your skin.

 Everything we put on our skin gets absorbed by our bloodstream. This is why some medications are more powerful when they’re applied as creams, sprays or gels, rather than taken as a pill. Makeup, skincare and household cleaning products are all absorbed by your skin and can disrupt the way your body makes oestrogen, which can lead to hormone imbalance, which can then lead to acne.

  1. Introduce more fermented food and drink into your diet.

Fermented food and drink such as kombucha, kefir, kimchi and sauerkraut have many good bacteria, which support the health of your gut. Positive changes to the health of your gut have positive effects on the health of your skin, by affecting the skin microbiome (the balance between good and bad bacteria on your skin).

  1. Eat more good fats.

Foods with good fats such as oily fish, avocado, nuts and seeds, olive and coconut oils help support the health of the skin by reducing the inflammation that can create acne.

  1. Work on reducing your stress levels. 

Stress can contribute to blood sugar imbalance, inflammation and sex hormone imbalance. Find something you can do every day that helps you manage day to day stress. Anything from taking a deep breath from your belly to being outside in nature to finding ways to say no can all help manage stress, which can then have a positive effect on skin health.

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