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4 Strategies for Treating Adult Acne

Just when you thought you were done with blemishes for good, adult acne is on the rise. Treat it gently with natural ingredients that support -- rather than strip -- your skin.

If you're noticing blemishes for the first time in years, join the club. According to a new study from the American Academy of Dermatology, the most common form of acne is adult acne. To treat it, take an inside-out approach, then tackle it with care.

1. Pay Attention to Your Plate
Food allergies can sometimes show up as acne. If you're breaking out every time you eat a specific food, there may be a link. Also, according to a new study from the AAD, dairy may aggravate acne. "It's not clear if it's the hormones that are fed to the cows or something else," says Loretta Ciraldo, M.D., a dermatologist in Miami. "But I suggest that patients limit their dairy intake, or at least stick to hormone-free milk and cheese."

2. Notice When You Break Out
If food isn't a trigger, consider what's going on in your life when flare-ups occur. They might be related to hormones or anxiety. "I believe that acne is very often a stress-related problem," Ciraldo says. "Some get headaches or stomach trouble, and others break out." If there's a pattern, try stress-reducing techniques.

3. Look for Effective, Natural Active Ingredients
To treat the blemishes that have already erupted, look for ingredients like natural acids and tea tree oil. Salicylic or glycolic acid work by unclogging the pore, while tea tree has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.

4. Stick to a Routine
Cleanse and moisturize daily with products that treat the cause of blemishes (clogged pores). To keep dead skin from building up on the surface, try a gentle exfoliator once or twice a week.

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