Excess oil production creates a breeding ground for bacteria and leads to clogged pores. Fend off breakouts by using a cleanser with salicylic acid; it will control greasiness as it exfoliates, so pores are less likely to get blocked. To zap existing pimples, apply a 10 percent benzoyl peroxide treatment. Though it can be drying, most people at this age can handle the maximum strength.
DAILY Rx L'Oreal Paris Go 360° Clean deep exfoliating scrub, $7; at cvs.com. INSTANT RELIEF Clean amp Clear Persa-Gel 10 acne medication, $7; walgreens.com.
Skin-cell turnover begins to slow down; as a result, dull flakes get trapped deep inside pores. Manual exfoliation can help flush out your pores to keep skin smooth, while gentle, sulfur-based treatments dry out pimples without irritating your complexion.
INSTANT RELIEF Kate Somerville Eradikate acne treatment, $22; katesomerville.com. DAILY Rx Clarisonic MIA Sonic Skin Cleansing system, $155; at nordstrom.com.
As estrogen levels decrease, testosterone takes over, which can trigger acne flare-ups. Collagen production also diminishes, causing skin to become thinner and more vulnerable to bacteria. Restore balance and firmness with a moisturizer that contains soy, a phytoestrogen. Treat current blemishes with an exfoliating 2 percent salicylic-acid gel, which is milder than both benzoyl peroxide and sulfur.
DAILY Rx Aveeno Clear Complexion daily moisturizer, $17; drugstore.com. INSTANT RELIEF Bliss No Zit Sherlock spot treatment, $18; blissworld.com.
Accumulated sun damage breaks down collagen and further weakens skin, making it red, inflamed, and even more susceptible to bacteria. Apply a gradual-release retinol to gently exfoliate and rebuild collagen. Calm blemishes with a mix of salicylic acid and anti-inflammatory ingredients like bisabolol or lycopene.
DAILY Rx Philosophy Help Me Retinol Night treatment, $45; philosophy.com. INSTANT RELIEF Yes to Tomatoes Clear Skin spot stick, $10; yestocarrots.com.