Treat, Clear and Prevent Adult Acne
by Dr. Diana Howard
Adult acne is often a difficult and persistent condition, and its treatment may seem impossible at
times. But The International Dermal Institute has researched several ingredients that are
extremely effective in controlling acne. Some of these ingredients have been shown to regulate
sebaceous gland secretions by inhibiting 5-alpha reductase enzyme activity. They have also
shown a decrease in overall lipid formation in the sebaceous glands. We can classify these
ingredients according to the problem that each specifically addresses.
Treating adult acne begins with interrupting the degeneration of the follicle by affecting the four
main contributing factors of acne. These factors are overactive sebaceous glands, cell
proliferation, bacteria and inflammation.
Overactive Sebaceous Glands
By inhibiting overactive sebaceous glands, we not only eliminate the food source for the bacteria,
but we also eliminate oily shine and create a more esthetically pleasing appearance for the client.
The following ingredients are known sebum-regulating agents:
• Nordihydroguaiaretic Acid
• Yeast Extract
• Horse Chestnut Extract
• Acrylates Copolymer (microsponges)
• Zinc Gluconate
To control cell accumulation, we need to stimulate natural exfoliation both superficially and in the
follicle lining. By exfoliating to remove surface cells that have not been shed, we can help
eliminate the impaction of follicles, which triggers the early stages of comedone formation.
Salicylic Acid, Lactic Acid, Sulfur and Papain are known exfoliating agents.
By controlling the lipase activity and the bacteria on the skin’s surface and in the follicle, we can
control the source of fatty acids that contribute to irritation.
The ingredients listed below are known anti-bacterial agents:
• Benzoyl Peroxide
• Spiraea Ulmaria Extract
• Cinnamon Extract
• Salicylic Acid
• Tea Tree Oil
• Zinc Gluconate
• Zinc Sulfate
• Balm Mint Extract
• Rosemary Extract
Scientists have discovered that specific ingredients can inhibit the lipase enzyme in the bacteria
that is responsible for breaking down sebum triglycerides into free fatty acids and causing
irritation in the skin. Controlling the breakdown of triglycerides helps minimize inflammation due to
the free fatty acids; and since the fatty acids are often attacked by free radicals leading to
additional irritation, we can inhibit the formation of the free fatty acids and effectively prevent
inflammation before it occurs.
To help keep inflammation caused by adult acne under control, we must consider the application
of topical anti-inflammatory repair agents, botanicals and humectants to help the healing process
and soothe inflamed skin.
The following are known anti-inflammatory and reparative agents:
• Green Tea
• Oat Extract
Treating Adult Acne
The treatment of adult acne can seem near impossible at times. At The International Dermal
Institute, we know that the most effective way to treat this condition is to apply the most beneficial
ingredients topically, which will ensure that the product goes straight to the source of the trigger.
In addition, consider the possible internal and emotional/mental factors that may contribute to the
condition, and remind your clients to treat those issues as well.