Picture this: Just when you think you’ve outgrown the blemishes associated with youth, you take a peek in the mirror only to be greeted by a lovely little breakout. It turns out that plenty of women in their 20s, 30s, 40s, and 50s experience acne—and there are a few different causes of adult acne. Below, find three common causes of adult acne along with tips on treating adult acne so you can find clearer skin days ahead.
Adult Acne Cause #1: Your Hormones Are Fluctuating
Your hormones change when you get your period, are pregnant, or go through menopause, and these hormonal fluctuations can lead to adult acne. Adult acne caused by hormonal shifts often appears on the cheeks and jaws. These hormonal fluctuations can lead to an increase in oil production and acne-causing bacteria.
Adult Acne Cause #2: You’re Stressed Out
Stress gets the best of all of us every now and again. When you’re stressed, your body produces more of a hormone that stimulates your oil glands, and this can lead to adult acne breakouts.
Adult Acne Cause #3: You’re Genetically Predisposed
Take a peek at your mom, dad, sister, or brother—do they have acne on their faces? Well, if they do, that could explain why you have adult acne. Some people may be genetically predisposed to adult acne, and if any of your close family members experience adult acne, you might as well.
Adult Acne Cause #4: You’re Using Pore-Clogging Skin Care and Hair Products
When your skin is prone to breakouts, it’s important to check the label of any beauty products before using them, because certain products can clog pores. And it’s not just moisturizers you have to think about—buildup from hair products can transfer to your face, leading to breakouts as well. Look for skin care that are non-comedogenic and oil-free because they won’t clog pores. When it comes to your hair, make sure to shampoo and condition before cleaning the rest of your body—that way you can wash off any residue and prevent it from clogging your pores. When styling your hair, do so before applying your makeup—and wash your hands to get rid of any hairstyling product buildup that could be transferred to your skin. Cover your face before spritzing on hairspray, and do your best to keep your hair out of your face when you can by wearing a headband or putting your hair into a ponytail or bun.
How to Treat Adult Acne
Keeping a consistent skin care routine is key when it comes to managing adult acne. That being said, treating adult acne is slightly different than treating teen acne. In your teen years, your skin was likely oilier. But skin loses moisture as you age, so you want to make sure that you’re caring for it gently and not over-drying your complexion. Use a Clarisonic facial cleansing brush with an Acne Cleansing brush head to gently rid the surface of your skin of pore-clogging impurities. Washing your face with a Clarisonic facial cleansing brush is 6x more effective than hands alone and it’s a gentle cleansing method that works even for sensitive skin.
If you find that nothing you do gets rid of your adult acne, head to your dermatologist, as in-office treatments might be an option for you. Blue light treatment can help mitigate excess oil production and kill acne-causing bacteria. Prescription retinoids can also be effective, as they unclog oil glands and can also offer anti-aging benefits such as smoothing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles (keep in mind that it may take 2-3 months to see results). Finally, an in-office chemical peel can help to get rid of adult acne. Peels utilize acids, such as salicylic or glycolic, which can help break down buildup and keep your pores clear.