Categorized | Anti-Aging

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Anti-Aging Products for Acne Prone Skin

So, you’ve resigned yourself to the fact that although your teenage years are long gone, you still have acne. Or, you have looked in the mirror in disgust wondering why your skin is worse now than ever before. You find yourself buying acne products that are either geared towards teenagers or come with a hefty price tag – at the drugstore, no less! But, things could be worse, right? Yes, they certainly could – you could have acne and dry, wrinkled skin.

Before delving further into this topic, let me first acknowledge the wide variety of treatments available to acne sufferers through a dermatologist. If you have severe acne you should be under the care of a dermatologist. I am a firm believer in obtaining treatment advice from a professional and using the best treatments available, which in most cases are prescription drug products. However, it is estimated that only about twenty percent of acne sufferers are under the care of a dermatologist. If you are among the eighty percent or so who treat their acne with over the counter products, this article is for you.

What are your options for anti-aging skincare when you suffer from acne? First, reevaluate your skin. Reports of acne in women fall steadily between the ages of 20 to 40, but many women fall into the habit of using the same products year after year. Have you fallen into a rut? Second, it is important to realize that the most important over the counter treatment for acne, benzoyl peroxide, can easily be incorporated into any anti-aging skincare regimen. Salicylic acid, which is used to a lesser extent in over the counter acne preparations, can usually be substituted with other components.

The key to incorporating anti-aging products into your acne regimen is to understand the functions of benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid. Benzoyl peroxide is used as an anti-microbial to inhibit Propionbacterium acnes, the bacteria associated with acne. Salicylic acid is an anti-inflammatory agent that can also be used to exfoliate the over-proliferated skin cells that begin the acne cycle. To be effective these must be used on a consistent basis, since they are preventative treatments, meant to inhibit the bacterial growth and inflammatory response that causes a pimple. However, both chemicals can be extremely harsh; at high concentrations, benzoyl peroxide is used as an industrial bleaching agent, and salicylic acid as a corn and wart remover. The lifecycle of an acne lesion takes the following course:

Over-proliferation of skin cells in the sebaceous gland build up, clogging the duct

Sebum begins to accumulate eventually forming a comedone; changes in sebum composition allow overgrowth of P. acnes.

Enlarged follicle ruptures under skin.

Inflammatory response triggered, resulting in a pus-filled acne lesion.

The trick to blending acne and anti-aging skin regimens is to choose products that contain ingredients that have multiple benefits. Although the following is not an exhaustive list, look for the following in anti-aging products if you are interested in over the counter acne control with anti-aging benefits:

For over-proliferation of skin cells:

Vitamin A derivatives such as retinyl palmitate or retinol.

Exfoliants more mild than salicylic acid, such as glycolic acid, lactic acid, or proprietary formulas that stimulate enzymatic cell turnover.

For inhibition of P. acnes:

Linoleic or linolenic acid, from sources such as cotton seed, linseed, or sunflower seed, believed to normalize sebum composition and suppress P. acnes.

Benzoyl peroxide in the mildest concentration you can find, around 2.5% in a gel or cream form.

For inflammation:

Vitamins E, C, and B3 as tocopheryl acetate, ascorbyl palmitate and niacinamide, respectively, to reduce inflammation.

Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7 and palmitoyl oligopeptide

For discoloration due to scarring or inflammation:

Niacinamide

A good general daytime regimen includes the use of a mild cleanser, followed by benzoyl peroxide, sunscreen, and moisturizer. At night, cleansing should be followed by an anti-aging serum or cream containing multiple components from the list above, followed by a nighttime moisturizer containing a source of linoleic acid. For best results, follow for at least 4 – 6 weeks before deciding if the regimen is right for you. Some report an initial purging upon beginning use of vitamin A derivatives, but the initial increase in the appearance of comedones should steadily decrease as your pores clear.

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