More urban women are complaining of acne, even though they have long since passed the ungrateful age. Another mischief of pollution?
Dermatologists are unanimous: acne is now the primary reason for consulting in the office, and patients are not necessarily 14 years old. “I get a lot of women in their 30s, 40s, who have never complained of pimples before. They are often located around the mouth, in what is called the “beard area”. This phenomenon has long been taken lightly, most doctors advocating “waiting for it to go” – fifteen years ago, this pathology was not even described in our teaching manuals, says dermatologist Nina Roos , in Paris, author of the book A skin in full shape (Editions Solar). Yet, more than cholesterol or diabetes for example, adult acne can lead to large complexes. In a society of the image, where beauty has become synonymous with perfect skin, I understand perfectly that one does not assume a push of buttons, and I encourage to consult. ”
40% of women between the ages of 25 and 40 would be affected, most of them living in large cities. As it is now proven, pollution promotes inflammatory acne. Published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science, a study describes its impact on squalene, a lipid found naturally in sebum which, under the effect of pollutants, peroxides, resulting in acidification of the skin surface and comedogenesis (formation of blackheads and cysts). More fundamentally: “The pore gets clogged from the outside, the bacteria develop and create inflammations, summarizes Marie-Laure Simonin Braun, president of the Payot brand (see box). This is visible in Asia, particularly affected by pollution, where customers, yet ultra-educated in terms of cosmetic routine, are increasingly subject to imperfections of this type. ”
The latest peaks of pollution in France attest, need not live in Shanghai or New Delhi to suffer the effect of fine particles (lead, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, etc.), whose level over the last five years would have grown by 8% in urban areas around the world, according to the 23rd Congress of Dermatology in Vancouver (2015 data, ed).
Adapt your routine to the environment
Especially since living in the city corresponds most of the time to the package “stress, fatigue and lax diet (too much fat, too much sugar, too much refined products)”. With hormonal variations, these factors also stimulate acne. The solutions (except for exile on a desert island)? “Do not neglect the state of your skin and adapt your routine according to your environment,” says Kate Forbes, Director of Research and Development at Aesop. When the causes of pimples are environmental, it is important to make sure that the cosmetic treatments are suitable. ”
Reflex number one, twice a day, clean your skin. “I’ve been working in this world for thirty years, I’ve run workshops all over the world and I assure you: women with pimples do not know how to do it! “Resumes Marie-Laure Simonin Braun. Start by washing your hands with antibacterial soap before touching your face, then apply a formula that rinses with water from the bottom up by tapping to mechanically open the pores and dislodge the impurities. Also favor the masks both scrubbing and soft, to purify without aggressing (station if not rebound effect, and skin in worse condition still 48 hours later), “close” with a lotion. The active ingredients are the most traditional: lactic acid, sulfur, zinc, clay and vegetable charcoal.
What about peels with AHA (fruit acids), which make a remarkable comeback on the market? “They are useful for removing dead skin cells and clarifying skin tone when acne is retention-free (microcysts, blackheads),” says Kate Forbes. Too high doses or too frequent use can alter the skin barrier, making the skin more sensitive to the harmful effects of pollution. Or, in the longer term, an impoverishment of antioxidants and an alteration of its structure (collagen, elastin). Sometimes the best is the enemy of good.
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