It’s the double whammy that’s hardly ever talked out: acne and wrinkles—at the same time. Thanks to factors like stress, diet, and changes in hormones, breakouts can occur well into your 20s, 30s, and beyond. This happens to be the time you’re also fighting fine lines and wrinkles, causing quite the predicament in your daily routine. So how do you treat one issue without exacerbating the other? We consulted a couple experts for the best plan of action.
When it comes to treating pesky pimples and blackheads, it’s important to stay away from cleansers (like traditional bar soaps) that strip your skin of its natural oils. Anything too harsh can break down the skin’s natural barrier and leave your complexion with a tight, dry feeling,” N.Y.C. dermatologist Marnie Nussbaum M.D., tells InStyle. To be on the safe side, she recommends reaching for something mild, like Sebamed Clear Face Cleansing Foam ($20; sebamedusa.com), which cleanses pores while calming stressed skin.
Load Up on Antioxidants
Not so fun fact: “Skin begins to age as early as 21, becoming more delicate and sensitive in the process,” Nussbaum says. To slow the inevitable and maintain a clear complexion, try supplementing with powerful antioxidants. “They neutralize the inflammatory damage caused by toxins and free radicals, which may reduce the irritation of hair follicles that leads to acne formation,” says nutritionist Tim Mount. “Choose options like alpha lipoic acid, pine bark extract, astaxanthin, or even vitamin C.” To keep fine lines at bay, consider an eye cream packed with vitamins B and E (like Sebamed Q10 Lifting Eye Cream, $31; sebemedusa.com) to protect elasticity for a more youthful look.
Lock in Moisture
“Proper skin moisture can help reduce wrinkles by plumping the surface of the skin,” adds Mount. Stay hydrated with topical ingredients like ceramides and hyaluronic acid, which both retain water for a smooth, supple feel.
Stock Up on SPF
The number one cause of wrinkles? Sun damage. Despite the common misconception, not all sunscreens trigger breakouts, so don't forget this crucial step. Try Elta MD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46 ($32; dermstore.com), one of Nussbaum’s favorites and ours. “It is a fragrance-free mineral based sunscreen, so it does not clog pores or create unnecessary oil,” she says. “I really like this specific kind because it blocks harmful sun rays without affecting the top layers of the skin.”
Get Plenty of Rest
Yes, beauty sleep is actually a thing and it can improve your skin in more ways than one. “Sustaining a healthy lifestyle, while it sounds boring, is truly of tantamount importance in maintaining a youthful appearance,” Nussbaum adds. Other than adequate sleep, the pro says to “drink lots of water and eat a varied diet consisting of lots of fruits and veggies.”
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