Up to half of all women in their mid-twenties and thirties are suffering from active acne, and the problem seems to be getting worse. Even those who have escaped the blight of acne during their teens are now at risk from developing the problem as an adult.
There are various potential explanations for this increase:
• Stress. As our lives become busier and more women are struggling to juggle both a career and family life, stress levels increase. This results in an increased production of males hormones, which in turn stimulate sebum production. Pores begin to clog up and spots form.
• Menstruation. More than eighty per cent of women experience outbreaks of acne before and during their period, most probably because of the hormonal changes during this period.
• Smoking. Many women still smoke, and research has found that they tend to suffer from more severe acne than women who are smoke-free. This is thought to be due to an increase in sebum production caused by nicotine. The chemicals and smoke also destroy vitamin E, which is instrumental in skin repair and regeneration.