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Adult Acne on Dry Skin

Ask the beauty experts

I’m 27-years-old and normally have quite dry skin. All through my teens my skin was fine; the odd spot but nothing major. However, about four years ago I started to get spots on my cheeks, at my hairline, between my eyebrows and above my nose. They always take about 10 days to come to the surface, then about two to three weeks to heal. They then scar for six months to a year and are often sore. I don’t wear foundation, only a little concealer on the spots themselves. I use basic moisturiser during the day and some bio oil at night to try to minimise the scarring. On the whole my skin is dry and a little sensitive. Are there any products you can recommend?

Cult Beauty expert Sarah Chapman says:

How to stop adult acne“My first question would be to ask if you have recently changed your hair care as this can irritate the skin around the hairline. It is also possible that the skin is changing due to hormones, lifestyle or stress. I would suggest addressing many elements:

First of all – diet. Make sure you get a good balanced diet. Supplement it with Omega 3 to help the dryness and inflammation, as well daily time release Vitamin C and zinc to help healing.

Next, always remember not to pick as this will scar and mark the skin. As healing is slow, I would recommend massaging the face at home with a Ying Yu Face Roller to stimulate the blood flow and aid drainage. Your skin seems to be sluggish, tired, and in need of pepping up, so, if you can, I would also suggest a few facials to bring it to life.

I would change your cleansing routine to incorporate an oil cleanser (e.g. Skinesis Ultimate Cleanse, Oskia Perfect Cleanser, Omorovicza Thermal Cleansing Balm). Massage this thoroughly into the skin to help dissolve pore blockages, as well as stimulate circulation and lymph drainage. This will cleanse effectively without drying your skin, which can also lead to break outs.

It is also extremely important to exfoliate. This lifts off the dry cells which can sit on the surface and block the pathway for sebum to pass out of the pores. This can lead to spots, so we must therefore address the dryness with nourishment and gentle exfoliation. For gentle exfoliation options I like Alpha H Liquid Gold or Peter Thomas Roth Max Complexion Correction Pads. I would also suggest using a high strength Vitamin A moisturiser to help balance the skin, while aiding healing at the same time. We have had some great results on skin that marks and is unbalanced with Skinesis Solve adult acneDynamic Defence Concentrate.”

Although Bio Oil is great stuff, we would question whether this is helping your issues. A healing serum would probably have a better effect because when your skin is dry it usually needs more help than a moisturiser alone can provide. Peter Thomas Roth also do a high potency Vitamin C Serum and Alpha H a Gentle Exfoliat Moisturiser, which are packed with everything you need to clear your skin. Finally, Oxygen Plasma Potion from Ling Skin Care was designed to heal scarring from severe burns suffered in combat (Cameron Diaz and Agyness Deyn use it to keep their spots in check).

Once you have sorted out the big issues, Australian Bodycare Facial Wash and On the Spot Stick are extremely effective and great value as an ongoing maintenance routine.

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Verity Douglas

Verity Douglas

Content Editor

Cult Beauty’s Content Editor and a Cult Beauty OG, Verity loves nothing more than the marriage of language and lip balm. A quintessential Libran, she’s a self-professed magpie for luxury ‘must-haves' and always pursuing the new and the niche — from the boujee-est skin care to cutting-edge tech. Balancing an urge to stop the clock with her desire to embrace the ageing process (and set a positive example for her daughter), Verity's a retinol obsessive and will gladly share her thoughts about the time-defying gadgets, masks and treatments worth the splurge...