Point 1: We’ve all found out the hard way that acne follows you right through your teens and into adulthood; even, in some cases, deciding to show up well in your twenties, at which point you’ve convinced yourself that you’ve dodged the bullet. “I’ve never had problem skin,” you’ll say, until one day you’ve got a zit which turns into three zits who then breed, and before you know it one half of your face looks like a war zone. It’s happened to me – I’ve talked about it, I’ve figured out what caused it, and I’m finally over it.
For the most bit. I now have, as it turns out, what dermatologists like to call acneic skin, just another gift life decided to land on me once I hit my late twenties, along with three grey hairs and the sudden inability to hold my liquor.
It’s the kind of skin that’s predisposed to acne - the kind which, when left to its own devices, gets into all kinds of trouble. I have teenage skin. But only in disposition – I am, as you must already know, an actual Grown Up.
This means that I am presented with an interesting problem, albeit one that isn’t all that rare, if studies are correct – about 65% of all women experience acne at some point in their adult lives – but is still one that the beauty industry at large hasn’t quite managed to figure out.
Most skincare that targets acne-prone skin is aimed squarely at teenagers and tends to be foaming or drying, which, if you remember what Dr. Lohia said, is the last thing you want once you’re in your late twenties / early thirties.
Point 2: If their roster of beauty classics is anything to go by (the Advanced Night Repair, the Micro Essence), Estee Lauder knows a thing or two about great skin.
Their product line up has traditionally always been aimed at women in their 30s and older, but they’re starting to see that adult skin and acne are not mutually exclusive which is why they’ve released the Clear Difference line, a salicylic acid-heavy range of products which aims to treat adult acne while being gentle on your skin.
I’ve been using the Clear Difference Serum for a couple of weeks in a bid to calm my existing redness – while I don’t have acne like I used to, my skin still sometimes looks like it’s on the verge of breaking out, with patches of redness, a couple of clogged pores and a blemish or two – and am pleased to report that this stuff works.
It’s best used at night (which is when you want to be applying something that contains salicylic acid anyway) because it tends to make foundation ball up if used during the day, but the difference is noticeable, which, when it comes down to it, is really the best barometer of a product’s effectiveness.
My skin looks calmer, those patches of redness have all but disappeared, and it hasn’t dried my skin out at all. I even noticed that it made what I like to call a baby zit (one of those zits that you can barely see but you know is coming) disappear overnight.
Best of all, my pores are much smaller, foundation glides over my skin, and I haven’t got a blackhead to speak of. It’s the perfect product for grown ups with teenage skin.
Illustrated by Roshini Frederick.