1. Go lower-strength. Because adult skin isn’t as tough as a teen’s, try effective active ingredients, such as benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid, in lower solutions. For instance, instead of 2 percent salicylic acid, choose 1 percent. Rather than selecting a product with 10 percent benzoyl peroxide, go with 5 or 2.5 percent.
2. Try an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA). AHAs are great exfoliators that slough off dead skin cells, which along with sebum, dirt and bacteria, contribute to acne. To prevent this build-up, invest in an AHA moisturizer. It not only treats acne but also targets wrinkling and discoloration. In particular, look for glycolic acid.
3. Consider a prescription. If over-the-counter products haven’t been working, your dermatologist can prescribe retinoids, including Retin-A and Differin, which accelerate cell turnover and have been used for decades to treat acne.
4. Look carefully at labels. Make sure all your beauty products say they’re either oil-free, non-acnegenic or noncomedogenic. Cosmetics without these labels can clog pores and trigger acne.
5. Evaluate existing products. Are your skincare products still working? Take a look through your entire skincare stash (especially if you haven’t updated the routine since your younger days), because your once tried-and-true products might be ineffective. Or worse, they might contribute to your lackluster, blemished skin. Remember, just as your skin type can vary by season, it changes with age, too.