By: Jennifer Baguss
As if going through puberty and having to deal with acne in your teens wasn’t annoying enough, what do you do when those pesky pimples follow you into your 20s?
While puberty is often cited as the time when people are afflicted with acne, it is all too common for older people, in their mid-to-late 20s, to suffer from the skin condition as well.
Linda Ducharme, Algonquin’s esthetics program co-ordinator, says hormones play a large part in acne, and when you are young, the changes your body are going through can effect the production of different hormones, causing acne.
Ducharme says that when a non-teenager is developing acne, it is most likely caused by hormonal imbalances as well.
“[People who are prone to acne] may have a little bit more testosterone in their bodies,” she said.
Acne is mainly caused by the overproduction of sebum, an oil produced to lubricate the skin.
Duchrarme says if too much sebum is produced, the skin will become inflamed and irritated, creating perfect breeding ground for the bacteria known as P. Acne.
“We all have a certain amount of bacteria on our skin,” she said, but when a P. Acne bacterium becomes trapped in the pores by dead skin cells, pimples will form.
“P. Acne will not survive when exposed to oxygen,” Ducharme said. “This is why it is very important to exfoliate.”
The esthetics program at Algonquin has developed strategies to help students manage their acne. Every Friday they offer various spa services, including facials.
Esthetics student, Lucy Jones, says that the facials they offer at the college would be perfect for someone who has acne.
“We tailor it to suit someone’s specific needs,” she said.
Ducharme also adds that the facials offered every Friday, also come with a free skin assessment.
“They will find out where your acne is coming from and build a system to help you manage it,” Ducharme said.
For the DIY person, Ducharme also offers some advice on how to deal with acne at home.
“Benzoyl peroxide is good because it helps bring oxygen to the skin,” she said. She also suggests using a gel or foam cleanser instead of soap and to always use a non-alcohol based toner to re-establish the PH of your skin.
Home remedies, such as putting crushed Aspirin or toothpaste on spots, are also good ideas she says.
“Aspirin is an anti-inflammatory, and will help dissolve the oil in the follicle,” she said. “Toothpaste and mouthwash also contain menthol, which is decongesting and will help reduce inflammation.”
Ducharme says that one does not need to spend exorbitant amounts of money to manage acne.
“These are cheap and effective ways to manage acne,” she said.