Dealing with Adult Acne

21st Oct 2021

a woman with adult acne examining her face in a handheld mirror

True or false: Only teens get acne?

We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but acne is a common issue many people have to deal with beyond their teen years. While hormones are the main culprit for breakouts and blemishes when we’re young, grown-up breakouts can be a more complex problem.

Wondering how to get rid of adult acne? First, you have to understand how it’s different.

Unfortunately, adults can develop acne even if they had completely clear skin as teens. If you didn’t have clear skin as an adolescent, acne problems could persist well into adulthood. While blemishes might look like the ones you struggled with in high school, adult acne tends to be much deeper than your run-of-the-mill teen zits. According to dermatologists, adult acne usually develops on the lower half of the face, whereas teen acne tends to appear on the upper half. Teen acne also tends to form on the surface of the skin, where it can easily be drained. Learning how to get rid of adult acne is a little more complicated because adult blemishes are often deeper and form under the skin like cysts — making them much more frustrating to deal with.

How to Get Rid of Adult Acne

There is more to tackling adult acne than good skin care, but a personalized skin care routine is a crucial component of resolving this skin concern. Before shelling out cash for products, it’s important to know the most common factors that can contribute to developing adult acne and how to treat each factor.

Common causes of adult acne:

  • Hair products coming into contact with your face

It even has a name — pomade acne is what happens when oils from hair products seep into the skin, trapping acne-causing bacteria inside your pores. These clogged pores swell, harden, get red, and develop pus, which leads to blemishes along the hairline.

How to get rid of adult acne triggered by styling products: keep your hair away from your face and cleanse your skin daily to remove stray hair product residue.

  • Removing facial hair

Having a smooth face is nice, but facial hair removal processes can sometimes lead to breakouts and irritation. During hair removal, the hair follicles can become irritated and develop folliculitis, an itchy rash and bumpy skin.

The remedy for folliculitis? A warm compress, or even antibiotics in some cases. Before hair removal, take time to prep the skin by de-fuzzing and stick to using only non-comedogenic products throughout the process.

a woman using a hair removal strip on her upper lip

  • Switching up your skin care too often

One of the most important factors for maintaining healthy skin and learning how to get rid of adult acne is using personalized skin care targeted for adult acne. Everyone is different, so you may need to meet with a dermatologist or other medical professional to identify the best products for your skin. Consistency is also key — it’s important to avoid switching up your skin care regimen too frequently. Even products meant to prevent acne can have the opposite effect if you use too many.

The solution? Avoid using too many products at once. Identify the best products for your skin, and get rid of the rest. If you already use too many products, remember that it may take some time to get results. Give your skin about 4-6 weeks of adjustment time once you switch to your new routine, and you might be surprised to see how easy it is to get rid of adult acne.

  • Not removing all your makeup

Makeup can combine with your natural face oils and seep into your pores, causing clogs and breakouts called acne cosmetica. The chances increase when you factor in sweat, dirt, and grease buildup that accumulates throughout the day. Failing to cleanse your face allows acne-causing bacteria to clog your pores and trigger acne.

How you apply your makeup can also be a factor. If you apply makeup too abrasively or use dirty makeup brushes, you can easily irritate the skin and cause stubborn breakouts.

How to get rid of adult acne triggered by makeup: apply your cosmetics gently. After wearing makeup, always wash your face with a cleanser formulated with adult acne skin care ingredients. Regularly clean and disinfect your makeup brushes and avoid sharing your cosmetics with others. Never go to sleep with makeup on.

  • Post-travel breakouts

Dramatic changes in the environment attributed to the heat, humidity, and sunlight can wreak havoc on your skin, triggering breakouts. You might think it’s a small price to pay for a vacation, but there are measures you can take to get rid of adult acne post-vacay.

What to do: You can’t control the weather, but you can control your level of sun exposure. Wear a hat and always use SPF to protect your face from the sun’s harsh ultraviolet rays.

  • Wearing the wrong sunscreen

Protection from the sun is crucial for healthy skin, but the wrong SPF can clog your pores and cause even more breakouts. There are two different types of sunscreen: chemical sunscreens, which are absorbed into the skin and protect against UV rays; and physical (or mineral) sunscreens, which sit on the surface and create a shield against UV rays.

Which one is better for adult acne skin care? Physical sunscreens are usually better for those with sensitive or acne-prone skin. Always use SPF 30+, and always wash your sunscreen off at the end of the day. No matter how hard you try to get rid of adult acne, even the lightest, oil-free SPF can clog your pores and trigger breakouts if you don’t wash it off before bed.

Other factors that can contribute to adult breakouts include: a poor diet, stress, dry or dehydrated skin, a dirty cellphone, hormonal changes, and genetics.

a woman with beautiful skin smiling at the camera

It can be frustrating trying to identify the right skin care for adult acne, but there are products formulated for acne-prone skin that can help you achieve the smooth, healthy skin you’re after. Once you understand what triggers your breakouts, preventing them becomes a lot easier.

If you still find yourself struggling with how to get rid of your adult acne, remember we’re here to help. Get in touch with our friendly staff anytime to schedule a complimentary consultation!

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