Out damned spot!
Acne can strike adult men too.
So you thought only adolescents get pimples? You couldn’t be more wrong. Increasingly men in their 20s, 30s and even 40s are dealing with acne breakouts and wondering what to do to fix the problem for good. In fact, there’s a whole new term ‘macne’ to describe male acne that spills over to the shoulders, upper chest and back. Take heart from the fact that acne and acne scars can be treated as long as you find the best acne treatments and therapies to expel it from the root.
Why do adult men get acne?
The answer is quite simple really. It’s because you have naturally thicker skin. This means you have a higher concentration of skin cells. So dead cells accumulate quickly on the skin surface, clogging pores and making you prone to pus filled spots or acne. Whiteheads and blackheads are other manifestations of the same skin problem; caused by excess sebum or oil trapping bacteria and mixing with skin cells to cause redness and raised bumps.
What’s the solution?
Wash your face with a medicated cleanser or an acne face wash at least two to three times daily. Nykaa suggests Garnier Men AcnoFight Face Wash, Nivea For Men Advanced Whitening Oil Control Face Wash and Ponds Pimple Clear White Multi Action Facewash & Scrub. Follow this up with an exfoliating scrub at least twice a week to keep the skin clear of oil buildup. Nykaa recommends Garnier Skin Naturals Pure Active Blackheads Uprooting Scrub and Montagne Jeunesse Morning After Scrub.
Are male hormones responsible for adult acne?
Yes, the male hormone testosterone is directly linked to spots. That’s why male adolescents are so prone to blackheads and pimples. “Since men have higher levels of testosterone than women, they are more prone to acne and blemishes,” concurs facial expert, Ambika Bhavnani.
What’s the solution?
Well, there’s very little you can do about your hormone levels. Testosterone is what defines a man. Hormonal changes are common in teens and occasionally the cause of acne can be genetic. However, if you’ve had a sudden outburst of pimples despite practicing good skin care, see a dermatologist who may suggest some tests. Practicing a good skin cleansing routine is the only way to ward off acne. Look for Salicylic Acid as a key ingredient in face washes to keep the pores clean. Nykaa recommends H2O+ Anti-Acne Clarifying Face Wash and Clean & Clear Pimple Clearing Face Wash.
Does shaving making acne worse?
It’s very possible that shaving can irritate already sensitive skin. Running a razor over skin daily paves the way for ingrown hair that can develop into pimples. However, more often than not, an unclean blade is the culprit. Unless you cleanse the razor thoroughly after a shave, bacteria can build up on the blade and get transferred on your skin. To ensure post-shave skin hygiene avoid oil-based sunscreens and moisturizers and specifically look for non-comedogenic formulas meant for oily skins.
What’s the solution?
The trick is to use an oil-free, moisturizing shaving formula and a toner or astringent after-shave balm to close pores and lower the chances of acne and spots if your acne gets worse when you shave. Also use Alpha Hydroxyl Acid-rich skin creams because they encourage cell turnover and so that the hair grows directly though follicles to prevent ingrowths. Try using Sebamed Olive Face & Body Wash, H2O+ Anti-Acne Calming Corrector and Vichy Normaderm Purifying Astringent Toner.
Soak your razor by soaking for a few minutes in antiseptic solution or diluted eucalyptus (such as Soulflower Eucalyptus Essential Oil) to remove all bacteria. Then stand in a holder so that the water can drain and the razor air dries. As far as sunscreens go, Nykaa suggests Kaya Sensitive Sunscreen and Neutrogena UltraSheer Dry Touch Sunblock SPF 50+.
Even if you practice all the above, it’s possible you’ll still get the odd pimple. In that case apply a spot corrector such as Revlon Touch & Glow Pimple Corrector and Himalaya Herbals Acne-n-Pimple Cream. Most importantly, don’t obsess about the spot because worrying can make acne worse.