There’s no denying that as you get older your skin will gradually change too, but how will this affect you if you suffer from a skin condition like acne? What should you be looking out for and how can you go about preventing premature ageing? Today I explore these complex issues and what you can expect from acne prone skin as you age.
Is acne prone skin less susceptible to premature ageing?
When it comes to ageing, acne patients might take a slightly different view compared to sufferers of other skin conditions. After all, it’s well-known that, as you age, your production of sebum oil gradually slows down, preventing your pores from being clogged and making you less susceptible to those dreaded breakouts.
In recent years, acne sufferers have even been given more reason to hope thanks to research by the King’s College in London. In this particular study, Simone Ribero and his colleagues examined 1205 participants, of which 293 had acne. It was determined that the acne sufferers had longer telomeres, important chromosomes that help to protect our genetic material. This meant that they were less vulnerable to the effects of premature ageing compared to their counterparts.
This is certainly a silver lining for acne sufferers but I wouldn’t go abandoning your skincare and anti-ageing routines just yet. According to the University of Alabama, in 2008 over 25% of female acne-related visits were made by sufferers between the ages of 25-60. So does ageing really cure all your acne woes?
Can your skin become oilier as you age?
As I’ve mentioned, your production of sebum oil does gradually slow down as you age, however, you can still experience spikes in sebum activity, particularly if you are in your 40s and 50s, which might explain the influx of acne-related doctor appointments.
This is because, around this time, your levels of oestrogen and progesterone are fluctuating, which can sometimes stimulate your sebaceous glands, particularly if you are also on a progesterone form of hormonal birth control!
During this time, when many women are more conscious of their appearance, you will find an increase in the amount of products being used on your skin, including anti-ageing face masks and thick creams. However, these high-street lotions and potions can often clog your pores and usually contain harmful ingredients, including parabens and phthalates, which may potentially lead to some inflammation.
Speaking of inflammation…
Inflammation is definitely not your friend if you’re prone to acne, but unfortunately, as you age, your skin will become more prone to flare-ups. This is largely due to your production of collagen, a key structural protein for skin, that also declines as you age. This ultimately results in weaker skin that struggles to retain moisture or fight off invasive pathogens, including the strain of bacteria responsible for acne!
You also have to consider that as you age, your circulation naturally slows down too, meaning your skin isn’t getting the same supply of antioxidants that it used to, making you more vulnerable to oxidative stress and the nasty free-radical molecules responsible for premature ageing. Your skin will become more aware of pollutants, irritants and UV radiation and, in the end, far more sensitive and prone to inflammation!
What can you do for ageing skin that’s prone to acne?
If you have acne-prone ageing skin it’s important to give it the nourishment it needs. It might be tempting to avoid moisturisers and stick to your anti-acne products but, as I’ve mentioned, your skin will become more vulnerable to irritations so depriving it of moisture is really the last thing you should be doing.
Sometimes less is more too – loading your skin with a combination of anti-ageing and anti-acne products won’t be doing you any favours. Instead, try to choose a natural anti-acne product that’s full of great ingredients that won’t upset or aggravate sensitive skin. That’s why I always recommend Salcura’s Omega Rich Face Hydrator.
You’ve probably heard me mention this product already as an optional part of your skincare routine, however, as you age I would really consider making it a more stable part of your daily regime. Infused with Sea Buckthorn, Lavender, Chamomile and Jojoba oils to hydrate and soothe inflamed skin, we’d recommend using this moisturiser at least 3 times a day, particularly if you know you will be exposing your skin to environmental pollutants or UV radiation.