If you're one of the many adults who suffer from acne, you know that it's not just a teenage problem. Adult acne can be just as frustrating, if not more so. But there is good news! There are steps you can take to get rid of your adult acne for good. Of course, as with anything, it may take some time and a little persistence, but being consistent with a skin care routine is key here! Before we take a look at how to get rid of adult acne, let's take a look at what may cause it in the first place.
What Causes Adult Acne?
You’re in your 20’s, 30’s, 40’s (or even 50’s), and suddenly you have breakouts. Or maybe you never had great skin in your teens and it’s only gotten worse. Though acne is most famously associated with adolescence, many people continue to struggle with blemishes well into adulthood. Acne is the most common skin condition in the United States, affecting up to 50 million Americans annually. And while it’s most prevalent among teenagers, about 20% of all acne sufferers are adults. So what causes adult acne?
One of the most common causes of adult acne is hormonal changes. This can be due to changes related to your menstrual cycle, pregnancy, menopause, or even conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). When it comes to your menstrual cycle, fluctuations in estrogen and progesterone levels can cause the skin to produce more oil, leading to clogged pores and breakouts. Pregnancy can also result in hormone fluctuations, as can taking birth control pills or other hormone-based medications. In addition, conditions like PCOS can cause an imbalance of androgens (male hormones) which can lead to excess oil production and inflammation—both of which are major contributors to breakouts.
While stress doesn’t actually cause acne, it can aggravate existing breakouts or even lead to new ones. When you’re stressed, your body produces hormones like cortisol which can trigger inflammation and make your skin more susceptible to blemishes. In addition, if you find yourself reaching for comfort foods when you’re stressed or not getting enough sleep, that can also lead to problems like breakouts or worsen existing acne.
Poor Skincare Habits
If you don’t wash your face regularly or properly cleanse your skin after working out or sweating, that can lead to clogged pores and breakouts. In addition, using harsh skincare products or scrubs can strip the skin of its natural oils, leading to dryness, irritation, and blemishes. It’s important to use a gentle cleanser morning and night and avoid using harsh scrubs or products that contain ingredients like sulfates or alcohol which can dry out the skin.
How to Get Rid of Adult Acne in 3 Steps
1. Keep your skin clean. This may seem like a no-brainer, but it's important to wash your face twice a day with a gentle cleanser. Avoid scrubbing or using harsh chemicals on your skin, as this will only aggravate your acne. Those with acne also often times have sensitive skin, so be sure to use a cleanser that's mild and steer away from abrasive cleansers.
2. Use an acne treatment product. There are many great options available over the counter or by prescription. Find one that works for you and stick with it! We highly recommend The Ordinary acne products as they works wonders on adult acne! Again, the key is being consistent and making sure to apply all products every single day.
3. See a dermatologist. If your acne is severe or does not respond to over the counter treatment, it's time to see a skin specialist. A dermatologist can prescribe medication that will help clear up your acne and prevent future breakouts. Additionally, there are many skin care procedures that a dermatologist can perform to help get rid of existing acne but also prevent future breakouts.
There are a variety of reasons why you might be struggling with adult acne but the good news is that there are also a variety of solutions. If you believe your breakouts are due to hormonal changes, speak with your doctor about possible prescription treatments. For stress-related blemishes, try incorporating some relaxation techniques into your daily routine such as yoga or meditation. And lastly, make sure you’re using a gentle cleanser twice a day and avoiding harsh products or ingredients that could further irritate your skin. By taking these steps, you can help get your breakouts under control and enjoy clear skin for years to come.