Like awkward first kisses and gossipy mean girls, acne is one of those teenage inevitabilities that you hope, with time, mercifully fades into memory. Yet a new study by the American Academy of Dermatology proves that those post-teen years are not quite as forgiving to our skin. The report found that adult acne is actually becoming more common in women as they enter their 20s and 30s—another biological injustice of aging.

We’ll take the wisdom that comes with getting older any day, but to cope with the resurgence of inflamed, red acne breakouts, we talked to Dr. Lisa Kellett, a dermatologist at DLK On Avenue in Toronto (, for her expert skin-clearing advice. Bonus: Our best bets for products to help reignite that
youthful glow.

Skin care tip #1: Look for a double shot of anti-aging and acne treatment.

The fact that 45 per cent of women aged 21 to 30 face regular breakouts while incorporating anti-aging precautions into their beauty regimen is one of those cruel ironies of skin care. The takeaway? Find one product to solve your complexion dilemma. “When it comes to anti-aging skin care, don’t use a product that’s too rich,” advises Kellett. Avoid dense, pore-clogging face creams and lotions and instead opt for gel-based products rich in antioxidants.

TRY: The exfoliating microbeads in Aveeno Positively Ageless Rejuvenating Scrub (approx. $9.97) polish skin while the Vitamin C-rich formula works to reverse signs of aging. Get glowing!

Click here for at-home acne-fighting treatments.

Want to add diamonds to your anti-aging skin care routine? Read on…
Skin care tip #2: Feed your beauty routine.

We’ll never tire of hearing that there are no negative side effects from our Coffee Crisp indulgences—well, at least on our skin anyway. “Most of my patients have a great diet and still have acne,” says Kellett. She suggests trying a face gel laden with benzoyl peroxide or
antioxidants to clear away sticky, plugged-up pores.

TRY: To reduce pigmentation caused by acne scarring, try Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution ($54), packed with Activated C (a clarifying and fast-acting Vitamin C derivative) and illuminate
winter-dulled skin this season.

Skin care tip #3:
Get out with the old.

The most common areas that Kellett notices acne breakouts in adult females are the chin and cheeks. And while hopping between a slew of skin-clearing products is tempting when those unsightly zits appear, she recommends giving new products a one-month trial period before deciding if they’re working for you or not.

TRY: Philosophy’s Help Me Retinol Night Treatment ($59) works to both cleanse and minimize and pores, while reducing fine lines and wrinkles and results become clear in about eight weeks.

Skin care tip #4: Get three times the protection.

While tending to the emotional and physical wounds of aging—and now bumpy— skin, don’t neglect your regular, daily dose of SPF protection. Kellett recommends applying sunscreen in the form of a clear spray, so that the non-greasy, airlight protectant evaporates quickly into pores, without trapping in excess oil or product from heavy creams into skin.

TRY: Protecting SPF 30 Spray ($35) from Kellett’s line of skincare products, Kellett Skincare, a paraben-free UVA/UVB protectant that’s safe for oily and acne-prone skin, available soon at the clinic and

Skin care tip #5: Know when to go for the diamond treatment.

While the acne severity and each person’s response to topical treatment varies significantly, diamond-peel microdermabrasion is a
sensitive-skin safe option for treating the fine lines and wrinkles of aging, and the blackheads and enlarged pores from skin that just won’t grow up.

TRY: DLK On Avenue offers the non-invasive treatment, which takes about 30 minutes per session (from $150 per treatment) and uses laser-cut diamonds to slough away dead skin while stimulating collagen production and new skin cells for a radiant, 24-carat glow.

Read more:

Skin care: Eye creams that fight signs of aging
Skin care products: The best exfoliators and scrubs
Sensitive skin: Summer prep
Do you know your skin type?