Adult Acne

Why is your skin breaking out: 5 surprising causes leading to ADULT ACNE

If you are an adult and suffering from adult acne then unfortunately it's really common to have constant breakouts. However, whatever your skin type is whether it's dry, oily, or a combination or you dont have any idea of what skin type you have pimples could be really disturbing. These annoying little things are frequently a skin condition that undermines confidence and affects millions of people worldwide. While it's widely known that factors like hormonal changes and poor skincare can trigger acne and mostly adult acne on cheeks is very significant. there are several surprising and less obvious culprits that can contribute to those annoying breakouts. In this blog, we'll delve into ten surprising causes of acne to help you understand what might be causing those unwanted blemishes.


Here are the leading causes of Adult Acne:-

Adult Acne Causes

  • Unbalanced Diet

Dietary habits can significantly influence adult acne. White bread and sugary snacks are examples of foods with a high glycemic index that raise insulin levels, which in turn promote oil production and pore congestion. Dairy products, especially skim milk, can also lead to insulin surges and contain hormones that influence skin oiliness. Consumption of saturated fats, processed, and refined foods can trigger inflammation, aggravating existing acne. Food sensitivities or allergies, notably gluten or dairy, may manifest as skin inflammation. Excessive caffeine or alcohol consumption, along with inadequate hydration, can disrupt skin detoxification and hydration levels. Additionally, a diet deficient in essential nutrients can compromise skin health and worsen acne. While diet is a factor, genetics, hormones, skincare routines, and environmental elements also contribute to acne development.

How to fix it?

Controlling adult acne involves a holistic approach that combines lifestyle changes, a proper skincare routine, and, in some cases, professional intervention. Here's a comprehensive guide:

Adopt a Balanced Diet:

Eat a diet high in lean proteins, healthy fats, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Reduce consumption of high-glycemic foods, dairy, and saturated fats.

Stay Hydrated:

To keep your skin hydrated and to aid in the detoxification process, drink plenty of water.

Regular Exercise:

Exercise regularly to lower stress and improve general well-being. Remember to cleanse your face after workouts.

Proper Skincare:

Make sure to use products that are non-comedogenic and oil-free for your skin type. Establish a routine including cleansing, toning, moisturizing, and regular exfoliation.

Gentle Cleansing:

Cleanse your face twice a day to get rid of pollutants, extra oil, and dirt. As hard rubbing can irritate the skin, avoid it.

Avoid Touching Your Face:

Try to avoid touching your face as much as you can to avoid transmitting bacteria and oils from your hands to your face.

Manage Stress:

To manage stress levels, try stress-reduction exercises like yoga, meditation, or deep breathing.

Regular Sleep:

To aid with skin regeneration, aim for 7-9 hours of sound sleep each night.

  • Not Cleansing Before Going to Bed
Adult Acne Treatment

    Not cleansing your face before bedtime allows dirt, oil, and potentially makeup to accumulate on your skin's surface throughout the day. Even if you've been relatively sedentary, these impurities build up. If you go to bed without washing your face, this grime transfers to your pillowcase and then back to your face the following night. Dermatologist warns that consistent exposure to a dirty pillowcase can lead to skin inflammation, irritation, and breakouts.

    How to rectify this:

    To prevent breakouts, it's crucial to cleanse your face diligently every night. Consider using a 2 percent salicylic acid cleanser to effectively reduce excess oil in your pores without causing dryness. If your acne has not cleared up after three weeks, using a 5 percent benzoyl peroxide wash twice a week can aid in the fight against acne-causing microorganisms. For those wearing makeup, which often lingers even after cleansing, adopting a double-cleansing approach in the evening is beneficial. Begin by removing makeup with an oil-based makeup remover, followed by your regular face wash to eliminate any remaining residue while preserving your skin's moisture.

    However, maintaining a clean face won't yield optimal results if your pillowcase is laden with makeup, sebum, and bacteria. It's advisable to wash your pillowcase every few days or swap it every other night, preferably for a satin or silk alternative. Compared to conventional cotton pillowcases, these materials absorb less moisture and skincare products and lessen friction on your skin and hair.

    • Heavy Makeup and Skincare products

    Heavy skincare products can inadvertently exacerbate acne due to their composition, which includes thick or oily ingredients. These products, often laden with oils, emollients, or comedogenic compounds, can clog pores and lead to increased sebum production. When pores are clogged, an environment is created that is perfect for the growth of bacteria that cause acne and the emergence of acne lesions.

    To address this concern, opt for non-comedogenic, oil-free, and lightweight skincare products. Since non-comedogenic formulations are made to not clog pores, they are excellent for skin that is prone to acne. Water-based moisturizers and gel-based sunscreens are excellent choices, as they hydrate the skin without leaving a heavy residue. On the container, look for the words "oil-free" or "non-comedogenic" to identify the product.

    How to manage it?

    Incorporating a consistent and gentle skincare routine is essential. Begin with a mild cleanser to remove impurities without over-drying. After cleansing, moisturize with a non-comedogenic product to keep the skin nourished without clogging pores. In the case of acne-prone individuals, consider using topical treatments with active ingredients like salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide, as recommended by dermatologists.

    Frequent exfoliation can help eliminate dead skin cells and prevent clogged pores. But avoid using abrasive scrubs, which can irritate skin and worsen acne. Additionally, if you experience persistent or severe acne, seeking guidance from a dermatologist can provide a tailored approach to skincare, ensuring the use of appropriate, acne-fighting products that suit your skin type.

    • Excessive dryness of the Face

    Excessive drying of your facial skin is a notable culprit for acne. Whether this dryness is innate due to your genetics, influenced by your outdoor exposure, or a consequence of your skincare routine—using either excessive or inadequate amounts of specific products—it can trigger acne. Overuse of spot treatments, for instance, can dry and irritate the skin, compromising its integrity and resulting in breakouts, as emphasized by licensed aesthetician Samantha Wright.

    Moreover, despite common beliefs, even oily skin requires proper hydration to function optimally and combat acne. Prolonged usage of potent acne-fighting products can strip the skin of necessary moisture, potentially causing excessive shininess and more breakouts.

    Surprisingly, sun exposure can also contribute to skin dryness. The sun depletes the skin's moisture, prompting an overproduction of oil, which, in turn, can congest pores. Consequently, aiming to dry out oily skin and acne by basking in the sun can worsen breakouts and isn't beneficial for overall skin health.

    How to fix it?

    Addressing this issue involves adjusting your skincare routine. If your skin frequently appears or feels parched, reduce the use of drying active ingredients like acids and retinoids, while increasing your moisturizer application. Opt for an oil-free, gel-based moisturizer morning and night to replenish your skin's moisture barrier without feeling heavy.

    Regarding spot treatments, apply a single type like azelaic acid serum (such as salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, or sulfur-based) to a pimple a maximum of three times per week. If your skin experiences discomfort like itching, tightness, or burning, discontinue active product use for at least five days.

    • Using Acne irritating Ingredients

    The components within your skincare items may be triggering your acne. It is suggested to use certain ingredients, such as mineral oil found in some face creams, which could be too thick and may lead to pore blockage, especially if you're susceptible to blackheads and whiteheads. Another well-known product that might lead to outbreaks is coconut oil, especially if you have skin that is prone to acne. Furthermore, ingredients like fragrance, particularly harsh for sensitive skin, and sulfates, known for stripping oils, are commonly present in various products and can incite inflammation and redness, further aggravating existing acne.

    Here's how to address this issue:

    Check the ingredient lists of all your products, and be on the lookout for any unusual ingredients like mineral oil, coconut oil, sulfates (particularly sodium lauryl and sodium laureth sulfates), added scent, and essential oils. It's crucial to remember that what could be problematic for one individual might be beneficial for another. Skincare unfortunately involves some trial and error, but identifying and avoiding these ingredients can be a helpful starting point if you're prone to experiencing breakouts.

    Take Aways

    Dealing with acne is often challenging, regardless of your skin type. Apart from known triggers like hormones and skincare routines, unexpected factors can fuel those frustrating breakouts. Dietary habits play a significant role—foods with a high glycemic index and dairy can aggravate acne. Not cleansing before bed allows accumulated grime to linger on your face and transfer to your pillowcase, potentially causing inflammation and breakouts. Heavy skincare and makeup products, as well as ingredients like mineral oil and coconut oil, might be clogging your pores. Acne can be effectively managed by identifying and avoiding such offenders, as well as maintaining a healthy diet and skincare regimen.


    Q. What is adult acne?

    Ans. Adult acne is a common skin condition that occurs in adults, typically from their late 20s and onwards. It involves the presence of pimples, blackheads, whiteheads, and sometimes cysts or nodules on the face, neck, chest, or back. It can be influenced by factors such as hormones, stress, diet, and skincare habits.

    Q. What are some adult acne home remedies?

    Ans. Some at-home remedies for adult acne encompass utilizing tea tree oil, applying a mask made of honey and cinnamon, using aloe vera gel, integrating an apple cider vinegar toner, and maintaining a nutritious diet. Seeking personalized guidance from a dermatologist is crucial to prevent skin irritation and receive tailored advice.

    Q. How to get rid of adult acne naturally

    Ans. To naturally treat adult acne, maintain a balanced diet, stay hydrated, cleanse your face with gentle products, use tea tree oil or aloe vera, apply a honey mask, and avoid picking or squeezing blemishes. Consistency and patience are key to seeing improvements in your skin.

    Q. What are the adult acne treatments?

    Ans. Topical medications that clean pores and reduce inflammation, such as benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, and retinoids, can be used to treat adult acne. In severe cases, oral treatments like antibiotics, hormonal therapies, or isotretinoin may be advised. Dermatologists may also suggest in-office procedures like chemical peels, microdermabrasion, or laser therapy, depending on the specific skin condition.

    Q. Can sugar cause acne in adults?

    Ans. While the link between sugar and acne is still a topic of ongoing research, some studies suggest that a high-sugar diet may influence acne development, especially in individuals who are already prone to acne. Consuming sugary foods and drinks can lead to spikes in blood sugar levels, triggering a release of insulin and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), which may contribute to inflammation and excess oil production in the skin—factors associated with acne.

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