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6 causes of adult acne and possible ways to get rid of it

The journey through adulthood often comes with a sense of triumph over the skin woes of our teenage years. We've tackled acne, survived breakouts, and emerged on the other side, or so we thought. However, adult acne has no guarantee and appears out of nowhere. This puzzling situation can often leave us searching for answers. In this article, we will look into the surprising factors responsible for adult acne and help you with effective solutions.

1. Hormonal Imbalance

When it comes to adult acne, hormones often play the leading role in this drama. You might wonder, "Haven't I already dealt with my hormonal imbalances during puberty?" Unfortunately, hormones continue to have a significant impact on your skin well into adulthood. 

Hormonal fluctuations, such as those that occur during menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause, can trigger acne breakouts. Elevated levels of androgens, like testosterone, can lead to increased oil production in your skin, clogging pores and fostering the growth of acne-causing bacteria.

What you can do: 

  • Skincare routine: Use gentle, non-comedogenic products to minimise irritation and maintain a healthy skin barrier.  
  • Stress management: Practice stress-reduction techniques like yoga, meditation, or deep breathing exercises to help keep your hormones in check. 
  • Consult a dermatologist: They can recommend hormone-regulating medications to stabilise your hormonal fluctuations.

2. Diet Plays An Important Role 

Food can be a source of joy and nourishment, but it can also be a sneaky contributor to adult acne. While the link between diet and acne is complex and varies from person to person, certain foods can exacerbate breakouts.

High-glycemic foods, such as sugary snacks and refined carbohydrates, can cause rapid spikes in blood sugar levels. This, in turn, triggers the release of insulin, leading to increased oil production and inflammation in your skin—both of which are acne culprits.

What you can do: 

  • Opt for a balanced diet: Focus on whole foods, including fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains, to help regulate blood sugar levels. 
  • Hydration is key: Drinking plenty of water helps flush out toxins and maintain skin hydration. 
  • Consider a food diary: Identify potential trigger foods that worsen your acne and adjust your diet accordingly.

3. Wrong Skincare Products  

The beauty industry is awash with skincare products promising miraculous results. But sometimes, your well-intentioned skincare routines can inadvertently trigger adult acne. 

Overzealous skincare habits, like excessive exfoliation or using harsh, drying products, can disrupt your skin's natural balance. This leads to increased oil production as your skin tries to compensate, ultimately causing breakouts.

What you can do: 

  • Simplify your routine: Stick to a gentle cleanser, moisturiser, and sunscreen. Avoid overdoing it with too many products. 
  • Patch test new products: Before slathering a new product all over your face, test it on a small area to check for any adverse reactions.

4. Stress

Stress and acne are interlinked and it’s clear that more stress, leads to more chances of acne or let’s just say, adult acne. When you're stressed, your body releases cortisol, a hormone that can trigger oil production and inflammation in your skin. This creates a prime environment for acne to thrive.

What you can do: 

  • Manage stress: Incorporate stress-reduction techniques into your daily routine, such as exercise, mindfulness, or hobbies that bring you joy. 
  • Prioritise self-care: Make time for relaxation and self-indulgence to counteract the effects of stress. 
  • Seek professional help: If stress is overwhelming, consider therapy or counseling to develop healthy coping strategies.

5. Your Makeup Remover

Surprisingly, makeup remover or the incorrect removal of makeup can also contribute to adult acne. Failing to remove makeup thoroughly can trap dirt, oil, and cosmetics in your pores, leading to clogged pores and breakouts. Here's how to properly use makeup remover as part of your skincare routine:  

What you can do: 

  • Choose the Right Makeup Remover: Opt for a gentle, oil-free makeup remover that is specifically designed for your skin type. Look for non-comedogenic or oil-free labels to ensure it won't clog your pores. 
  • Double Cleansing: Consider a double-cleansing routine, especially if you wear makeup regularly. Start with a makeup remover to dissolve and lift away makeup and sunscreen. Follow this with a gentle cleanser to remove any remaining residue. 
  • Be Gentle: When removing makeup, be gentle on your skin. Avoid excessive rubbing or scrubbing, as this can irritate your skin and plausibly worsen acne.

6. Dirty Phones & Bedsheets

Smartphones collect dirt and bacteria, transferring them to your face during calls or texts, clogging pores and causing breakouts. On the other hand, unclean bedsheets become a breeding ground for dirt, sweat, and oil, which can lead to clogged pores and acne, especially on your jawline and cheeks. 

 What You Can Do: 

  • Clean your phone daily with a gentle, alcohol-free solution. 
  • Use headphones or speaker mode during calls. 
  • Wash sheets weekly with hypoallergenic detergent to reduce skin irritation.

Skincare Routine To Keep Adult Acne At Bay

An effective skincare routine for adult acne involves a combination of gentle, non-comedogenic products and targeted treatments to address the specific needs of your skin. Here's a step-by-step skincare routine to help manage and prevent adult acne:  

1. Cleansing:

Use a gentle, sulphate-free cleanser to wash your face twice a day, in the morning and before bedtime. Look for a cleanser that's designed for acne-prone or sensitive skin. Avoid harsh cleansers at any cost. Our Face Wash With Salicylic Acid & Thymol T Essence is the best Salicylic Acid face wash that sticks by you even during difficult days.

Face Wash With Salicylic Acid & Thymol T Essence

2. Exfoliation (2-3 times a week): 

Exfoliation helps remove dead skin cells that can clog pores and lead to acne. Opt for a chemical exfoliant with ingredients like Salicylic Acid. Be cautious not to over-exfoliate, as this can cause irritation. Start with once a week and gradually increase if your skin tolerates it. Try our Exfoliating Scrub with Salicylic Acid. This one is gentle and does the job right.

Acne Squad Exfoliating Scrub with Salicylic Acid

3. Toning: 

Choose a gentle, alcohol-free toner to balance your skin's pH levels. Look for soothing ingredients. Toners can help remove any remaining residue after cleansing and prepare your skin for the next steps in your routine. A product that promises all this? Our Face Toner With 4% PHA.  

 Acne Squad Face Toner

4. Treatment (as needed): 

For spot treatment of active breakouts, use a spot corrector product that has Salicylic acid, Niacinamide just like our Breakout Terminator Spot Corrector. Apply it directly to the blemish and avoid using it on your entire face, as it can be drying. 

Acne Squad Breakout Terminator Spot Corrector

5. Serums: 

Consider using a serum with ingredients like Niacinamide or Hyaluronic Acid. Niacinamide helps control oil production and reduce inflammation, while Hyaluronic Acid provides hydration without clogging pores. Opt for our 10% Niacinamide Serum for Acne Prone Skin. It helps moisturise your skin and shields it from environmental hazards. 

Acne Squad 10% Niacinamide Serum

6. Moisturising:

Even if you have oily or acne-prone skin, it's crucial to use a lightweight, non-comedogenic moisturiser. Our Face Moisturiser with Niacinamide & SPF 25 PA+++ is known for its multitasking skills. It adds protection from external aggressors that lead to acne and inflammation. It also helps maintain your skin's barrier function. 

Acne Squad Face Moisturiser with Niacinamide & SPF 25 PA+++

Frequently Asked Questions:  

Q:1. Can I use the same acne treatments as I did in my teenage years? 

A. Not necessarily. While some over-the-counter products may work for adult acne, it's essential to consult a dermatologist. Adult skin is different, and a professional can recommend tailored treatments that address your specific concerns.

Q:2. Are there specific foods that can worsen adult acne?

A. While the relationship between diet and acne is complex and varies from person to person, some individuals find that high-glycemic foods (like sugary snacks and refined carbohydrates) and dairy products can plausibly worsen acne. Consider keeping a food diary to identify potential trigger foods and consult with a healthcare professional for personalised dietary advice.

Written by Needhi Dhoker on Nov 23, 2023
Fashion & beauty fanatic. Tea or coffee dilemmas. John Mayer vibes. Spilling words and swooning over skincare.

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