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Adult acne causes and treatments - Dermatologist update

Are you 20, 25, or 30 years old, and your acne isn’t going away? Have you visited tons of aestheticians and dermatologists, and nothing is working? Don’t feel hopeless — we’re here for you. Remember that acne is always treatable. If you’re suffering from a breakout, here are a few things you can do RIGHT NOW to help.

A recent study published in the Journal of Women's Health found that acne affects nearly 50% of all women in their 20s, 25% of women in their 30s, and 12% of women in their 40s. This article will be your guide to learning about adult acne causes, treatment, and steps you should take for beautiful, healthy skin in your adult life.

What are the causes of adult acne?

Acne is a result of many underlying factors. The main causes are genetic familial tendencies and hormonal changes combined with external factors; stress, wrong diet, wrong makeup, etc.

These factors start a cascade of events that results in the typical acne breakouts:

The oil glands in our skin produce a special kind of oil (sebum) that keeps it moisturized. However, hormonal fluctuations cause these glands to create sebum in excess. This sebum mixes with dead skin cells and clogs the skin pores forming blackheads and whiteheads. Those blackheads and whiteheads can further develop in papules, pustules, and cysts.

How to prevent adult acne breakouts?

Reduce intake of refined carbs.

The process of refining a food removes the fiber and much of the nutritional value (Including B-complex vitamins, healthy oils, and fat-soluble vitamins). Researchers found that people who followed a low-glycemic index diet (Low in refined carbs) had a 22% decrease in acne than a control group that ate more high-GI foods. Carbs cause the release of more insulin that, in turn, triggers a release of growth hormones — that causes the sebaceous glands to enlarge and increase the skin's oil production. Avoid foods like white bread, pancakes, bagels, pretzels, flour tortillas, donuts, snack chips, and most breakfast cereals.

Reduce Intake of milk and dairy.

If you have acne, you would need to avoid or reduce milk and dairy in your diet. Other foods to avoid are sugary, high glycemic food, iodine-containing salt, and iodine supplements. All those food ingredients are believed to cause more acne breakouts. A 2006 Harvard study found that girls who drank two or more milk glasses daily had about a 20% higher risk of acne than those who had less than a glass a week. Studies published last year suggested that fat-free milk, which is higher in sugar than whole milk, is the worst.

Change your makeup!

One of the main causes of acne breakouts for women in their 20s and 30s is using makeup and moisturizers, clogging their skin. Always use oil-free and non-comedogenic products. And always, always, ALWAYS make sure all of your makeup brushes are clean. Clean them weekly with a mild medicated acne cleanser.

Check you other drugs:

Antidepressants (lithium), contraceptives, epilepsy treatments, corticosteroids, and possibly Adderall can cause acne or make it worse. If your acne got worse after starting one of those medications, advise about these medications' needs with your local physician.

Reduce Stress.

Stress hormones, like cortisol, can stimulate your oil glands. Many Dermatologists believe that reducing stress through exercise and meditation may reduce breakouts. Stress may result from an overload of work, change in the weather, sleeplessness, etc. There is also research evidence to show that allergies, migraines, and excessive smoking can lead to adult acne.

Do not touch or pick at your skin.

Unfortunately, picking can be a tough habit to break, but it is doable! The best way to stop it is with an effective topical acne treatment program. By reducing your acne breakouts, it can reduce your incentive to touch your skin (and things to pick at!) Pimple patches are a good addition to the MDacne treatment. These can be used to heal single big pimples faster and will prevent you from picking.

What are the most effective treatments for adult acne?

To handle adult acne effectively, there are specific types of treatments that dermatologists suggest. These adult acne treatments are mostly safe for use and have proven results after a short time. Most importantly, consistency and patience is the key to treating adult acne for good. Here are the best adult acne cures to try:

What Is the best retinol cream one can use for adult acne?

Retinoids are a group of topical skin products closely related to Vitamin A. Retinoids can unclog pores in the right formulation, reduce acne blemishes and wrinkles without your skin becoming dry. MDacne retinol contains two active ingredients — pure retinol & niacinamide. Niacinamide is a form of vitamin B3 that helps to reduce skin blemishes after a bout of acne. The best way to get started with retinoids is to do it gradually. Using the MDacne dual strength retinol system, one starts with works because the first tube, containing 0.25% of pure retinol, helps your skin get accustomed to retinol without irritation. Subsequently, you then switch to a higher concentration of 0.5% in the second tube. Its treatment boosters include sunflower extract, tea tree oil, chamomile extract, aloe vera leaf extract, and a host of other necessary ingredients.

What Is the Best Niacinamide Product for Adult Acne?

Choosing the right skincare products and hair care is essential for women with adult acne. To reduce adult acne, one needs to look for skincare products that are oil-free and non-comedogenic that do not clog pores. Niacinamide is an active ingredient that helps to build skin cells and, at the same time, protects them from external environmental stress factors, including the sun and toxins. Even better, it helps to clear up post-acne scars and tightens the skin for a more youthful look. One good example of a niacinamide-based moist is MDacne's active moisturizer.

What are the best supplements for women with adult acne?

Birth control pills and spironolactone can treat hormonal acne. Another option to control the hormonal imbalance and hormonal fluctuations causing adult acne in women are oral supplements. DIM Skin Clearing Supplements were specially formulated for adult and hormonal acne in women.

Through natural ingredients found in cruciferous vegetables, MDacne has formulated this product to help with hormonal imbalance. The active ingredient in the supplements DIM (or Diindolylmethane) keeps your body’s response to hormonal changes in check and treats adult acne caused by hormones.

This supplement also works well for other hormone-related female challenges like irregular menstrual cycles, excessive bleeding during menstruation, and PMS. As always, this product is dermatologically tested and cruelty-free.

Some of the key ingredients in this supplement include DIM; this naturally occurs in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, Brussel sprouts, kale, etc. There's also spinach, alfalfa and kale powders, and Bioperine. These powders have skin-nourishing nutrients that cause underlying acne-causing factors to clear out naturally. DIM supplements can be taken in combination with oral contraceptives and are suited for women of all skin types.

What is the best topical treatment for women with adult acne?

The best cleanser for women with adult acne will include salicylic acid (BHA). A good natural addition to salicylic acid is green tea extracts. Green tea was shown to reduce excess oil production in the skin and be antibacterial and antifungal.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, the best single anti-acne topical ingredient is benzoyl peroxide. Benzoyl peroxide kills acne bacteria and fungi on contact. In contrast to topical antibiotics, it does not cause bacterial resistance and can be used for months and years without any long-term side effects.

What is the best treatment for adult cystic acne?

Cystic acne is the most severe type of acne. Over-the-counter and prescription topical treatment can help with severe acne or cystic acne but would not eliminate it. Teens and adults with multiple deep inflamed cysts need to see their local dermatologists and consider oral treatment with Accutane (isotretinoin).

Can the covid masks make adult acne worse?

Yes, they can. The humidity and heat caused by single-use surgical masks can cause acne breakouts on the chin and around the moth. Areas that are asl a common location for adult acne. To reduce acne in those sites, women with a tendency for an adult should look for multi-use cotton masks that are more breathable and less irritating to the skin. A special type of cotton mask infused with copper and silver particles is especially helpful and can reduce acne accumulation, causing bacteria and fungi under the masks.

What are the best dark spot removers for women with adult acne?

MDacne’s Dark Spot Remover is undoubtedly the people’s favorite. Imagine the thought of going from acne-ridden skin to clear, supple skin; that is what this product offers you. If you’ve been struggling with dark spots resulting from adult acne on the chin, forehead, back, or neck, this product works marvelously to clear out the spots evenly.

Unlike many other products that leave the skin hyperpigmented, this product includes Hydroquinone 2.0%, the gold standard for ensuring hyperpigmentation never occurs. It’s also oil-free, which is especially important for acne-prone skin that produces excess oil.

Many have described this product as a sort of ‘magic wand’ that clears up dark spots with visible results in as little as 1 week. It also includes skin-friendly compounds that improve skin radiance, leaving your skin glowing like it never has.

Please take a look at some of its main ingredients: Hydroquinone 2.0%, unmatched for dealing with hyperpigmented skin—Vitamin E for protection against free-radical skin damage. In addition, Bearberry leaf and Aloe vera leaf extract hydrate the skin and boost even skin tones.


Dealing with acne when many of your peers have long forgotten about it can be a pain. Not only do the pimples leave ugly marks on the face, the irritation and discomfort it brings can also increase your worries. To start with understanding the causes of your acne and a few preventive measures. But, of course, it doesn’t stop there. It would help if you also had quality, clinically-tested adult acne treatment that clears your skin without the hassle.

Relevant Scientific Papers:

Adult Acne Versus Adolescent Acne

Understanding the Burden of Adult Female Acne

A review of diagnosis and treatment of acne in adult female patients

The epidemiology of acne vulgaris in late adolescence

Emerging Issues in Adult Female Acne

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