Adult acne and teen zits typically erupt on different parts of the face, but whatever your age, the driving force is the same: excess oil. The best plug-prevention strategy? Thoroughly clean your skin to remove oil and bacteria and slough off dead cells with an exfoliating ingredient such as glycolic acid. Try Mario Badescu Glycolic Foaming Cleanser ($15).
If you still have regular periods (or even if you're irregular and in perimenopause), going on a birth control pill may minimize excess oil production by preventing wild hormone fluctuations. Another option is a medication called spironolactone that lowers your androgen level (this male hormone stimulates oil secretion).
If your at-home regimen isn't doing the trick, you can supplement it with a physician-administered procedure. Isolaz, a hand-held device, is like a vacuum cleaner for pores. Approximate cost per treatment: $400-$600, and you'll need four to six. Another option is blue light-red light laser therapy the blue light kills bacteria; the red reduces redness and inflammation. You'll need six to eight treatments, $400-$600 a pop. For cyst-like pimples, a doctor can inject cortisone (for $50 or less) to flatten and reduce redness within 72 hours.
Since studies suggest sugar and dairy foods may interfere with your hormone cycle triggering excess oil. If you still get breakouts with a careful skin care regimen you may want to try cutting back on these products.
Stress causes oil glands to work overtime. It also inhibits the immune system, so when we do break out, it takes the body longer to heal itself. So what can you do? Exercise. Get more sleep. See a therapist. You've read these de-stressing tips a million times because they work.
For more fashion and beauty tips for women over 40, pick up the latest issue of MORE magazine or visitwww.more.com.