Pimples and Wrinkles? Five Ways to Fight Both

Breakouts belong in the same era as your first kiss, driver's ed, and the high school prom - or so you thought. Your face may very well tell a different story. Up to one of every two adult women will have acne at some point in her life, researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham report. And in 2008, more than a quarter of women's doctor visits for acne woes were made by 35- to 60-year-olds. But how do you treat those blackheads and bumps without exacerbating your aging-skin concerns? We've got pro advice and skin-care recommendations that are just right for your dual concerns:

1. Resist the urge to cleanse your breakouts with the vehemence of Lady Macbeth. Aggressive rubbing or abrasive cleansers, like those with nut pits, can make acne worse. "A blackhead or whitehead is simply a clogged pore. Once you have pinkness or inflammation (a.k.a. a pimple), it means the lesion has ruptured under the skin - and rough treatment can cause this reaction. That's what happens when a facialist overzealously squeezes your pores and makes your acne worse," explains dermatologist Diane Berson, M.D., assistant clinical professor at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City.

Related: Conquer Complexion Imperfections

2. Clear skin with salicylic acid instead... It loosens up dead skin in pores, so sebum doesn't pile up and clog them. "Like aspirin, a chemical cousin, salicylic acid has anti-inflammatory properties, which can help hinder breakouts," says dermatologist David McDaniel, M.D., of Virginia Beach, VA. Look for a wash with 1% to 2% salicylic acid, like L'Oréal Paris Go 360° Clean Anti-Breakout ($7, drugstores), which is a 2% cleanser.

3. ...Or try an antibacterial wash. Benzoyl peroxide kills the bacteria behind your breakouts, and it has a slight peeling effect, which helps keep pores clear, too. Try Neutrogena Clear Pore Daily Scrub ($8, drugstores). Note: Women with sensitive skin may find benzoyl peroxide irritating or drying.

Related: The Clear Skin Makeover

4. Don't overdo the anti-aging. "A lot of wrinkle creams are formulated for older women with dry skin. They're adding oil, not controlling it," explains Dr. Airan. Go for light formulations like serums, gels, and lotions, and for heftier hydration, stick to oil-free anti-agers designed for acne-prone skin, or gentle glycerin- or ceramide-based moisturizers.

5. Be a sleuth. Look for "oil-free" or "noncomedogenic" on the labels of your cosmetics. (The latter means testing has shown that it won't clog pores.) These products will still go on smoothly thanks to ingredients like silicones, which also make fine lines less apparent.

Related: Sagging Skin - What You and Your Doctor Can Do

Read on for more expert tips and product picks.

What are you personal skincare tricks? Share with us in the comments!

- By Nina Judar

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Reprinted with Permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.