Adult Acne Treatments – A Lifelong Problem?

As a result of the hormone increases that accompany puberty, more than 85% of teenagers have acne. For many of them, the condition will lessen or go away completely by the time they their twenties. For some adults, however, acne becomes a lifelong problem.

Many adults particularly notice acne flare ups during periods of stress. This is indicative of the complex relationship between our emotions and our bodies. By identifying and treating the causes of acne, it’s possible to manage the condition and achieve clear skin at any age.

This article will discuss:

What is Adult Acne?

Adult acne can be either an extension of teenage acne or a new condition that appears at any age. Very often, adult acne breakouts are associated with hormonal shifts or periods of stress.

Acne is a skin condition characterized by clogged pores in the skin. Pores are openings in the skin that contain oil glands. These glands excrete oil called sebum that lubricates skin while promoting the removal of old, dead skin cells and the regeneration of new ones. When the oil gland produces an excess amount of oil, it can mix dirt, bacteria, and dead skin to form a clog in the pore.

If the pore is closed at the surface, it is called a whitehead. If open to the skin, the clog oxidizes and becomes dark and is called a blackhead. Sometimes the clog can become infected. When this happens, the body’s immune response causes increased blood flow to the area. This supplies white blood cells and oxygen that help fight the infection, but also contributes to the redness and inflammation often associated with acne.

What Causes Adult Acne?

Adult acne is caused by the same combination of genetics, hormones, stress, and environmental factors like weather that cause teenage acne. Although adult hormone fluctuations are generally not as severe as those in teenagers, it still plays a role, particularly in women. Pregnancy, menopause, and the menstrual cycle are all accompanied by hormone changes that can affect the skin. Harsh or oily skin care products and cosmetics often used by women can also contribute to clogged pores.

A major culprit in many adult acne breakouts is stress. breakouts is stress. This is the reason acne flare ups tend to coincide with emotional or high-tension life periods. Emotional stress results in elevated levels of a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol causes an increase in blood sugar levels and an inflammatory response in cells all throughout the body. This inflammation can worsen acne on its on as well as by increasing skin oil production.

Adult Acne Treatments

There are multiple ways to treat adult acne. Often, the most successful regimens address internal and external factors to combat the acne’s different causes.

External methods for treating adult acne
include thousands of washes and lotions. Typically, these treatments either have antibacterial properties to fight the possibility of infection or work to remove dead skin cells and debris before they can cause clogs.

One of the most common and effective ingredients is salicylic acid, a substance that helps exfoliate skin. Salicylic acid removes dead skin and other contaminants from the pore, keeping them clean. Dr. Perricone uses salicylic acid in both the Skin Clear Toner and Skin Clear Cleanser.

The Perricone Skin Clear line, made cheaper with a special Perricone deal, also includes ingredients to fight the signs of aging and to reduce the dryness that salicylic acid can cause. Alpha lipoic acid provides antioxidant protection and while refining fine lines and skin texture.

The Skin Clear Hydrator uses lactic acid to smooth skin and hydrates and protects with allantoin. It also contains DMAE to help lift, firm, and tighten skin.

Many women use birth control pills as an internal treatment to help clear up their acne. Birth control works by maintaining constant hormone levels. Regulated hormone levels in turn help regulate oil production, thus reducing clogs.

Perricone MD also recommends internal treatments because acne is a systemic, inflammatory condition. Skin Clear Supplements contain powerful antioxidants like ALA and vitamin C as well as omega-3 fatty acid to improve skin texture and support a healthy immune system.

For more on omega-3, watch this video:

Dr. Perricone’s Anti-Inflammatory Diet is a particularly potent way to help stop acne before it starts. It is designed to treat the systemic inflammation at the root of a number of conditions, including acne. It focuses on healthy fats, low-glycemic carbohydrates, high-quality protein, and antioxidant rich fruits and vegetables. These foods are especially well suited to reducing the inflammation that contributes to acne and keeps skin from looking clear and radiant.

Finally, stress reduction like yoga, meditation, or even just calming walks in nature can help to clear skin. Anything that relaxes you will lower your cortisol levels fight the tension that can result in adult acne blemishes.


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16 Comments • Please comment below


  1. I am a 33 year old nurse, with three children and tons of stress! I never really had acne in my teens. And I never had sensititve skin before, everything (and I’ve tried dozens and dozens of products) I try for acne makes my face peel and feel very sore.
    My face is full of terrible painful acne, it is embarrasing. At one point in my life I thought I was okay looking – but now I’m just ugly. Please help me! I need a miracle, I want to be beautuful for my husband again.

    PLEASE, let me be a product tester!

  2. I am a 42 year old wife and mother of 2 teenagers. I never had bad acne as a teen, but had it on and off in my 20′s and 30′s. Now, at 42, I have acne I can’t get rid of. It is mostly on my neck, cheeks, and jawline. I would love any help and advice. Thank you!

  3. Hi! i’m 22 yrs old, a nurse, and working in a hospital. obviously, stress and hormonal imbalances (which can also be related to stress) are the major culprits of my acne right now… i used to have teenage acne before but not as worst as my adult acne.i have already tried many products and even consulted derma clinics but nothing helped… i’d really love to try Perricone products hoping that it would be the miracle i’m waiting for!

  4. [...] Adult Acne Treatments [...]

  5. Please please can I test this product.
    I have tried the laser light, facials and other cleansers but still I have acne. I have to wear makeup every day to cover it which I hate to do.

  6. [...] likely to leave scars, so it’s important to treat the disease as soon as possible. Controlling adult acne is no quick task, but it can be improved with the right ingredients and right [...]

  7. I am 25 yr old male and have started to suffer from acne as an adult. I have tried Proactive, Acne Free, Neutrogena…EVERYTHING. Nothing seems to work. I need help. Please help me!!

  8. I am 36. A mother.
    I have just started college and two weeks into college i am the face of acne!
    Don’t get me wrong its not really bad but it is all down both sides of my face to neck to chest to back and on occasion my forehead stings?
    This is very strange as ive never really suffered from it until recently :(

  9. I’ve suffered from acne since I was 13. People would ask me what it was on my face and I would feel too embarrassed to say the truth so I’d say it was allergic reactions. I’m now 36 with fine lines, large pores, blackheads and still with this acne that won’t go away. I’m so tired of trying so many things that I’d love to find the perfect system for my skin issues.

  10. Im Lillian and I have had troubled skin all my life, but my adult acne is unreal. As if getting older is not enough I also have to deal with unsightly skin. Please Help!

  11. Hi. I’m Jamie. I have many troubled spots on my face. I tend to be oily. Please let me become a product tester. Thank you!

  12. I have combination skin, and I was searching for my life for the acne treatment that works. I’m 29 years old who just got married. Before the wedding, I received one chemical peel and botanical peel for the adult acne that made my face full of scars and redness. I’m not sure if my acne problem was due to the peelings or not but the problem got worse after a while. I’d like to test Perricone and see if it is the right one.

  13. I heard about Perricone from my step-mom, who looks more like my sister. Her skin is beautiful! I asked her for her secret and she said that it is Perricone! I have been researching the line and am slowly working to switch over as I run out my Kinerase. I have Dry/Normal Skin and still break out. The products I have tried are working great. I don’t think I will ever go back to Kinerase. Kuddo’s to Perricone! Love it!

  14. I’d love to test these products. I have dealt with oil, clogged skin most of my life. At 45, it is hard to believe there is something out there that can actually help my skin!

  15. I am a 52 year old female who suffers from acne. I have combination skin – particularly oily breakthrough in t-zone. I have other issues such as lack of firmness, some lines, particularly around eye area.

  16. I am 25 years old, and I still break out! I really think the main culprit lately has been stress, I have been job hunting, and it really takes a toll on our bodies. I just purchased the skin Clear Cleanser, and some other Perricone products and I am in love with them already…