The Absolutely No-Fail, No-Nonsense Guide to Beautiful Skin
You've heard of adult acne. But how is it different from teenage acne? It's not. "Acne is acne. And you're an adult," says Ranella Hirsch, MD, president-elect of the American Society of Cosmetic Dermatology & Aesthetic Surgery. The reasons you may be breaking out are varied: the hormonal changes of pregnancy, perimenopause, menopause, or stress. Treat acne with a good over-the-counter product containing benzoyl peroxide, which kills bacteria (try Clinique Acne Solutions Emergency Gel-Lotion, $13.50), and salicylic acid, which unclogs pores (try Clean & Clear Advantage Acne Spot Treatment, $6.50), says Mary Lupo, MD, clinical professor of dermatology at Tulane University School of Medicine. If it doesn't clear up in three months, see a dermatologist. Lupo recommends the CoolTouch laser, because it mitigates fine lines, helps with acne scarring, and reduces active acne by shrinking the oil glands. Retinoids also help clear up acne, and have the added benefit of reducing fine lines, stimulating collagen, and improving discoloration due to sun damage.