Adult Acne—Causes, Treatment and Prevention (Updated March, 2020)
Adult acne is a frustrating problem for guys – we can help! Learn what causes men’s adult acne, how to treat it and the best ways to prevent future breakouts.
Just when you thought that you’d left acne behind in your teens, it rears its ugly head in adulthood.
Unfortunately, adult acne is not an uncommon problem.
Although adult acne can be frustrating and difficult to treat, it is possible to keep your breakouts under control.
The trick is to find the source of your acne breakouts and go from there.
To begin with, here are three things you should know about adult acne:
- Adult acne can be caused by grooming products and fluctuating hormones
- The best way to treat adult acne is by using Salicylic Acid, Retinol or Sulfur
- Changing your daily habits can improve your adult acne
OK, ready to dive in and get to the bottom of why you’re breaking out?
Read on for everything you need to know about adult acne.
What Causes Adult Acne?
For both adults and teens, acne is usually caused by fluctuations in hormone levels.
However, adult acne can also be caused by hair products (take pomade acne, for example) and pore-clogging skin care products.
If you’ve already ruled out your cosmetic products as the source of your breakouts, here are some other likely causes of adult acne:
Once you reach adulthood, life can suddenly become a lot more stressful.
You need to pay the bills and possibly support a family.
The mounting stress from your daily responsibilities can have all sorts of negative impacts on the body, including your skin.
In a 2003 study published in Arch Dermatol, researchers found that college students experienced worsening acne during their exams, a time when their stress levels were particularly high (see claim: “…changes in acne severity correlate highly with increasing stress…”)
If you have a family history of adult acne, there is a good chance that you’ll experience it as well.
This most likely has to do with your family’s skin type. If oily and acne-prone skin runs in your family, you may experience a greater number of acne breakouts due to a buildup of excess oil on the skin.
The correlation between diet and acne is still heavily in dispute by scientists.
However, there is compelling evidence to suggest that it can stimulate hormones that trigger acne breakouts.
For example, a 2003 study published in the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that diets with high glycemic loads and frequent dairy consumption were linked to acne severity (see claim: “… high glycemic index/glycemic load diet and frequent dairy consumption are the leading factors in establishing the link between diet and acne.”)
How to Treat
If you’re suffering from adult acne, there are several effective treatment methods you can try.
Here are a few of the most popular treatments for adult acne:
Using a daily retinol for men may help reduce your acne blemishes.
Retinol is a vitamin A derivative that is highly-effective at treating acne and also happens to double as an anti-aging ingredient.
2. Salicylic Acid
If you have sensitive skin, a Salicylic Acid-based treatment is your best bet for getting rid of adult acne.
Effective and powerful, this acne-fighting ingredient helps reduce excess oil and naturally exfoliates the skin.
You can find Salicylic Acid in many over-the-counter acne creams, including our Acne Cream for Men.
Give it a shot by applying our Acne Cream regularly and you should see a noticeable difference in a few weeks.
Sulfur has antimicrobial and keratolytic properties that make it an effective acne-fighting ingredient.
It works by absorbing excess oil on the skin and is often paired with Salicylic Acid to maximize its effectiveness.
Like many skin conditions, adult acne can come and go.
If you want to reduce your breakouts, here are a few effective ways to prevent adult acne:
1. Stick to a Regular Skin Care Routine
One of the best ways to keep adult acne at bay is by getting on a regular skin care routine and sticking with it.
This includes a daily face wash, a daily moisturizer and a face scrub.
Exfoliation is a particularly important step for treating adult acne.
Try using a gentle exfoliating scrub for men on your face twice a week to remove dead skin cells and excess oil.
Follow up with a daily moisturizer for men (yes, even acne sufferers need a moisturizer!).
2. Eat Healthy Foods
If you suspect that diet might be the cause of your adult acne, you can always try going on an acne diet plan to see if it helps.
Consult with a nutritionist in advance to ensure that you get all the nutrients you need.
3. Find Ways to Relax
Truthfully, you should be finding ways to reduce your stress regardless of whether or not you have adult acne.
Simple things such as taking up meditation or going on nature walks with your dog can provide a range of mental and physical health benefits that are worth looking into.
If you suffer from adult acne, consider getting a men’s facial treatment.
Not only is it a great way to relax, it can also provide skin-boosting benefits to help you combat adult acne.
The best way to treat adult acne is by preventing it in the first place.
Once you get your adult acne under control, switch to a regular skin care routine that allows you to maintain clear, blemish-free skin.
If all else fails, book an appointment with your dermatologist.
Actual Tiege Hanley customer testimonial:
“Over a 3 year period, I probably spent over two grand in skin care and still had acne. I decided to reach out and request to be a part of the Tiege Hanley Acne trial and I have been blown away. After two weeks, my skin was clear. It’s not the acne cream alone that cleared it up, but how all of the products work together as a whole.” Kyle B., NJ.
Chiu A, Chon SY, Kimball AB. The Response of Skin Disease to Stress: Changes in the Severity of Acne Vulgaris as Affected by Examination Stress. Arch Dermatol. 2003;139(7):897–900. doi:10.1001/archderm.139.7.897
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. "High glycemic index foods and dairy products linked to acne." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 February 2013.