Life: Living With The Unexpected Nightmare That Is Adult Acne

Adult acne is like an unexpected nightmare, a cruel trick from the powers above. When you’re a teenager you expect to get acne but when you’re a grown woman with your teenage years far behind you, you don’t expect to wake up one morning and discover a breakout of acne, do you?

The truth is that adult acne is actually exceedingly common, but a lot of us don’t realise that and instead presume that it’s only something that affects teenagers. Acne can affect anyone of any ages, but because your teenage years are when your body goes through the most hormonal changes that is when acne is most likely to occur.

However, a lot of people also get acne in their 20s, 30s and 40s, many of which have never suffered from acne before. It’s a cruel world, and adult acne is like an even crueller joke from the universe. It’s one thing to be worrying about spots as a teenager, but as an adult, it’s a nightmare because you’re even more self-conscious about it as adults aren’t meant to get acne.

The good news is that adult acne is very manageable, it’s just a case of determining the cause of it. To help you find the cause of your acne and treat it, below are some tips and pieces of advice that you may find useful.

What causes breakouts and how can you beat them?

The key to treating adult acne is determining the cause of it, so that should be where you focus first. To help you work out what’s causing your acne, below are some of the most common causes, along with the best treatment options.


People who smoke are twice as likely to develop adult acne as people who don’t smoke. This is because the smoke from cigarettes is packed full of chemicals which can block the pores and cause spots to occur. If you smoke and have developed adult acne, quitting smoking is probably the best solution. Or, if you can’t go cold turkey, swapping to vaping is another option to consider.

Bad diet

A common cause of adult acne is a poor diet. If you eat a lot of junk food or food that is high in processed sugar, you increase your chances of developing adult acne. Studies have shown that the healthier you eat, the less likely adult acne is to occur. So if you’re suffering from breakouts, it might be worth changing your diet up and eating more healthily.

Skincare routine

Many cases of acne can be linked to skin care, as sometimes not looking after your skin properly can cause breakouts to occur. To keep your skin clear from acne, a daily skin care routine consisting of cleansing, toning and moisturising, as well as exfoliating a couple of times a week is a must. There are also specialist facials that dermatologists recommend, such as an oxygen facial or microdermabrasion, for instance. The more time you put into caring for your skin, the healthier it should be, as long as you use quality products, that is.

Hormonal contraceptives

Another common culprit of adult acne is hormonal contraceptives. Because hormonal contraceptives are putting hormones into your body to prevent ovulation and pregnancy, they can cause acne breakouts. It’s normal to have breakouts when you first start a new method of birth control, give it a couple of months and your skin should settle down. If it doesn’t, then it could be worth looking at your other birth control options.

Adult acne can be a real nightmare, but the good news is that it is treatable, it’s just a case of working out what the cause is and treating it appropriately.