Adult Acne: Understanding the Causes and Moving Forward

When we hear the term acne, most of us flashback to those dreaded teenage years when a cluster of unsightly pimples would pop up, and we’d try anything and everything to conceal and treat them before we showed our faces to the world. However, while most adults claim victory over their battle with acne by their mid-twenties, others suffer from it well past their youth. There are many different causes of acne on mature skin, and understanding where it comes from is the first step to learning how to heal it.


Poor Skin Hygiene

Sometimes the cause of acne, in both youthful and mature skin, results from a poor skin care routine. It’s important to make sure you wash your face thoroughly and daily, preferably in the morning and night; cleansing your face of the everyday buildup of sweat, dirt, cosmetics, etc. helps to unclog your pores and clear up your skin.


Treating All Complexions the Same

All complexions are not created equal, so it’s important to understand your own unique skin type and customize your selection of beauty products around it. Skin can be naturally oily, dry, sensitive, blemish-prone, etc., but many adults never break the habit of buying generic one-size-fits-all beauty aids. For example, if you have sensitive skin that breaks out easily, you’re going to want to seek out gentle/hypoallergenic facial cleansers, wipes, foundations, and powders.


Also, keep in mind that as much as you might hate to admit it, the texture and tone of your skin changes as you grow older. Just because you were buying products for oily skin in your twenties, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t reevaluate your complexion fifteen years later. If you’re unsure how to classify yourself, always seek out an esthetician’s opinion.


Change in Hormones

As women age, there are a variety of reasons why our hormones fluctuate. Many women make the decision to either stop taking their birth control altogether because they’re ready to think about pregnancy(which can be another catalyst for hormone shifts), or they decide to try another form of contraceptive. This can cause you to experience more outbreaks while your body adjusts to the switch in hormone intake.


Menopause is another dance with hormones as the estrogen levels a woman has decrease while the amount of testosterone in her system becomes more prominent. This triggers an influx of sebum to be produced and can result in a greater amount of adult acne to appear. While it might seem like time is the only solution to this problem, there are many topical solutions and prescription medications to help treat severe cases, so don’t be afraid to talk with your dermatologist or esthetician.


Dietary Habits

When it comes to outbreaks, dieticians have warned against excessive salt, refined sugars/carbohydrates, and dairy intake for years, so pay attention to how much of these you’re consuming. Swapping them out with low-sodium alternatives, raw sugar, whole wheat, or almond/soy milk may help you get the radiant, clear skin you’ve been wanting.


If you’re one of the many adults still struggling with acne, don’t be discouraged. There are just as many treatments as there are causes, so if you’re willing to put in the time to discover what’s provoking yours, you’re well on your way to having the beautiful skin you deserve.