Adult Acne- I Thought I Was Supposed To Outgrow This!

I was not prepared for adult acne.  Acne is an issue mostly reserved for teens and tweens, so I thought.  Adult acne is not all that uncommon, especially for women, into their twenties, thirties, forties and during hormonal fluctuations such as stress, PMS, pregnancy, and menopause.

Though the causes are relatively similar, adult acne shows it’s ugly self in different areas than when we were in our boy band fan phase.  Acne during younger years typically pops up on the cheeks, nose and forehead, whereas, adult acne usually surfaces around the chin, jawline and neck.

I had minor teen acne in to my early twenties which calmed down for a few years and then suddenly creeped back onto my face in the form of adult acne in my late twenties.  I’ve managed to control it well through my skin care regimen, but stress still results in a couple of pesky unwanted visitors around my jawline.  I understand how embarrassing it is to face the world Rudolf style with your pimple leading the way.  Don’t reschedule that date or meeting and don’t allow yourself to be held back by acne, I’ve got you.

Adult Acne Treatment

Face wash: Be sure you have two regimens for your washing routine.  Gentle face wash for general maintenance and an acne wash active break outs.  I used to make the mistake of always using acne wash, which was over drying my skin and throwing off my moisture balance.  I was making my skin work harder and it showed.

Pay attention to the active ingredients in your products.  You’ll find that there are different acne fighting ingredients and if you’re not tolerating one or not seeing results, switch it up.  There are also different concentrations of active ingredients, which can cause sensitivity at higher doses or perhaps may not be effective at lower doses.

Shop Cleansers for Adult Acne:

Cleansing devices like Clarisonic Mia Fit, Pink will get the most out your wash.  I use my Clarisonic every morning in the shower and it helps keep my face cleaner and free of outbreaks and it shrinks my pores.

Shop Clarisonic Cleansing Devices:


Spot Treat:  Treat pimples as they occur.  This one is a no brainer!  I think I’ve tried all the spot treatments out there with all the ingredients claiming to vanish pimples over night including prescription RetinA.  The best spot treatment for my stubborn skin is Eradikate by Kate Somerville.  This stuff is great for fighting monstrous pimples over night.  I only use it at night because it’s a paste that can’t be concealed under makeup.  For daytime spot treatment, I use Anti Bac by Kate Somerville. Just a tiny bit does the trick.  I have sensitive skin, so other acne products have dried my skin and caused irritation, but the benzoyl peroxide in these two products don’t irritate or over dry.

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Shop Adult Acne Spot Treatments:

Conceal it:  How do you cover it without caking on your makeup?  Science!  Using green color corrector, cancels out the red tone of a blemish.  You can use a small amount of green, then top it off with a dab of concealer (after you’ve applied your foundation).  Learn more about this with the post I did on color correcting makeup.  I happened to be pretty sick with a virus and had an active breakout when I did the post, so it made for a great tutorial.  Seek out makeup that is less oily.  When I have a breakout, I switch from bb cream to a light weight air brush makeup from Dior.  It covers well and doesn’t add moisture to my routine.

Everything You Need To Know About Adult Acne

Chemical peels:  I know, peels sound scary, but the acid used for peels will kill any bacteria on your face.  I don’t get too many breakouts any more, but when I’m super stressed, my face looks like a constellation.  Once that process starts, I have to interrupt the cycle, or I continue to aqcuire new little friends.  I have very sensitive skin, but there are different levels of peels, so I go with a less abrasive peel and it works wonderfully.  Follow along the chemical peel process in this post I did on chemical peels.

Seek expert consultation:  When none of these efforts work and you’re still struggling, see a dermatologist.  Sometimes antibiotics are necessary to cut down the bacteria on your face and there are a variety of prescription products that may be beneficial as well.  Cystic acne should be treated if it’s persistent.  I occasionally battle cystic pests and I can assure you that it is not normal to feel that level of discomfort from a pimple.  These are the deeper pimples that throb and can scar if picked.  Cystic acne is an indication of a bacterial infection and popping thesm will not only risk scarring, but it also spreads the bacteria on your face.  I can get by with a peel or spot treatment to rid my skin of cystic acne and I only experience it under extreme stress, but if it’s a persistent problem, a dermatologist should manage it.

What are your favorite products?  Comment below.

Kate Thakkar

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