Adult acne

Everything You Need To Know About Adult Acne

Acne plaguing your life even in your 20s? Here is everything you should know about it, including the cause, prevention and treatment of adult acne.

What was the most unpleasant part of being a teenager? Apart from the pressure of academics, for most of us at least, it was the acne—something that certainly affected our confidence levels at that age. This is when almost all our mothers made us their version of a homemade mask—a turmeric or a multaani mitti face pack.  Back then, you were told how acne was merely a passing phase. But now you’re in your 20s or 30s and acne seems to be just as much a part of your life as the stress. Turns out acne isn’t a puberty ordeal only!

But you’re not alone in this—you probably already know so many of your friends who are struggling with adult acne too! What’s to be blamed, you ask? Irregular lifestyle, stress, poor diet, hormonal fluctuations and even climate changes—there can be several reasons behind adult acne.

What causes adult acne?

Acne is nothing but a clogged pore. Pores are openings around each hair follicle. It is these pores that get clogged with dead skin, oil or bacteria. Acne can be classified into blackheads, whiteheads or even inflammation. But what really is the monster behind adult acne? Here’s listing a few reasons…

Hormonal changes

Hormones going crazy is a common phenomenon in women. These fluctuations take place on or around your menstrual cycle. This is when progesterone levels spike causing excess sebum production (oil produced by the sebaceous glands). This can even lead to hormonal acne that’s typically seen around the chin and jawline.


Ever wondered if your daily commute was leaving your skin angry? Well, pollution can cause dirt particles to accumulate on your skin. This, in turn, can lead to clogged pores and acne.

Lack of sleep

It is at night that your skin gets the chance to rejuvenate and undo all the damage done by pollution and the sun. Lack of sleep can lead you to become weak making you more susceptible to acne-causing bacteria. Moreover, lack of sleep also triggers the stress hormone, cortisol, which in turn causes acne.

Poor diet

All those pizzas and French fries you’re consuming might actually be affecting your skin! Eating too much junk, greasy or processed food can lead to acne. High glycemic foods like white bread, cakes, etc, raise blood sugar levels and cause insulin to rise. This can lead to acne too. A little control never hurt no one!

Poor hygiene

If you’re going to bed with makeup on, you know where your acne is coming from. This is because all the makeup, sweat and grime starts to settle into your pores throughout the night leading to clusters of acne. Additionally, not washing your face twice a day with a cleanser might also trigger acne.


It is no secret that pregnancy causes changes in your hormonal levels. For some women, it can lead to adult acne too!


Studies suggest that stress and mental burnout can cause many health problems, acne being one of them. Mental stress can lead to a pH imbalance, changes in your menstrual cycle, excessive sebum production, which can all lead to acne.

What can you do to prevent adult acne?

We get it—adult acne can be a real struggle. The good news here is that there are a few things you can do to try to prevent it. Here are a few tips you can follow:

Clean your face before going to bed

Always go to bed with a clean face. Take off your makeup and wash your face before you call it a night. Not too much to ask of yourself if you really want to put up a strong fight against adult acne!

Rely on balanced diet and exercise daily

A healthy diet combined with regular exercise can improve your life in many ways. It reduces stress and leads to healthy skin. The skin is the largest organ in your body and just like the other organs; it needs proper nourishment to thrive.

Visit a dermatologist

If adult acne seems to be a recurring concern, it’s time to visit a dermatologist in addition to using the right skin care products. Moreover, a doctor would also be able to guide you in the right direction and detect if it’s an underlying hormonal problem or not.

In conclusion, you might feel rather dejected when you wake up to adult acne but tweaks in your diet, regular workouts and the right skin care products can easily help you combat adult acne.

Image Credits: @taylor_hill (Instagram)

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