What Is the Best Skincare for Adult Acne?

best skincare for adult acne

Between 40 and 55% of adults suffer from acne, and 54% of women aged 25 and older have adult acne.

If you’re still dealing with acne in your adult years, this post is for you. We’re going to delve deep into why adult acne occurs and the best skincare for adult acne- so you can finally start loving your skin again.

Ready? Let’s get started.

Why Are You Still Getting Acne?

Did you sail through those hormonal teen years without a blemish insight, only to get stuck with a pizza face in your early twenties? Maybe you’ve been battling acne for the past decade and you keep getting your hopes up that it has to end “sometime soon?”

Many people assume acne is a problem for young people since most of us have ou most severe breakouts during our teens. Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean your pimples will magically disappear on your 21st birthday. In fact, it’s common to be battling both acne and zits at the same time. Life isn’t fair.

Every pore on your face is part of a hair follicle. When those follicles become clogged with oil and dead skin cells, the bacteria that causes acne will flourish inside that follicle, instead of staying on the surface of your skin, where it can be washed away.

The bacteria eats away at the contents of the follicle, starting a domino effect. This produces inflammatory enzymes and chemicals, attracting white blood cells and leading to more inflammation. Then the wall of that follicle breaks down, which leads to zits.

Here are some reasons why you may have adult acne:

Hormone Sensitivity

Some people are unlucky and their oil glands have more hormone receptors. This means that when they have androgens in their system, they’re more likely to end up developing acne. The number of receptors we have is determined by our genetics, but for women, birth control pills and other hormonal treatments can block the receptors.

Immune System

While we all want a healthy immune system, some of us have a gene known as TLR7. When this gene senses bacteria, it sends out more white cells than it normally would. This makes it more likely that you’ll have inflamed zits. Anti-inflammatories can be a great way to stop this from occurring.


Noticed that stress seems to make your acne worse? You’re not alone. Research has shown that stress and acne severity go hand-in-hand. That’s because the stress hormone cortisol can impact your androgen receptors, triggering a breakout.


While it’s a myth that chocolate causes acne, too many refined carbs can indeed increase your breakouts. A balanced diet is not only good for your overall health, but it’s a great way to beat the zits too.

Carbs raise our insulin levels, which trigger the release of hormones that increase oil production and inflame our follicles. Try to avoid high-carb and high-sugar foods and introduce more sources of protein, vegetables, and low-glycemic foods.


Women are more likely to have adult acne. That’s because their hormones change throughout the month. As they get closer to that time of the month, estrogen levels dip, meaning testosterone is left unchecked.

Testosterone is an androgen which can crank up the oil production in your skin, meaning a higher chance that your pores will become clogged, leading to pimples.

The Best Skincare for Adult Acne

Luckily, there are more treatments and skincare options for adult acne than ever before. Whether you want to rely on a cleansing regimen like CleaRx, topical medications, or homemade acne treatments, here are a few things you can do:

Chill out

It turns out that the best skincare for adult acne may start with your stress levels. Since stress impacts your cortisol levels, and cortisone contributes to oiliness and inflammation, it’s a good idea to get this under control.

Think about ways you can de-stress. This could mean taking a kickboxing class, talking to someone about your problems, or practicing mindfulness.

Choose Adult Products

It may seem obvious, but many people are still using the same acne regimens they were using in high school.

These are specifically designed to treat teenage acne and are therefore not the best skincare for adult acne. As we age, our skin becomes less resilient. And harsh acne treatments can make the problem worse. This can also include harsh side effects like sensitivity, flaking, redness, and itching.

Consider Retinol

Retinol A is a derivative of vitamin A, and you can find it in a number of products. Topical retinoids are one of the most effective acne treatments around. They also happen to be one of the most effective antiaging ingredients because they actually help build collagen in your skin. Two birds, one stone.

Exfoliate Regularly

Exfoliation is crucial, and one of the most important things you can do to fight acne, prevent it and treat it.

You should try to exfoliate 3-4 times a week. Look for products with glycolic acid which help get deep down into your skin.

Spot Treat

When you really need to kill a pimple (or pimples) ASAP, consider benzoyl peroxide. Ok, it’s harsh, but it’s your best friend when it comes to zapping your zits. Just dab it onto your trouble spots and it’ll dry them out and kill bacteria.

Fight Inflammation

Unfortunately, inflammation is always part of a breakout. It causes the redness and swelling that we’re usually trying to cover up with concealers. Look for skin repair treatments that are rich in antioxidants and ergothioneine which repair skin cells that have been damaged.

Don’t Pick

Many people have cystic acne. These large, painful pimples will scar if you prod and pick them. The only way you can reduce these zits is by draining them, but it’s not something you should do yourself. The reason they’re so painful is that they expand and stretch the nerves.

Take an anti-inflammatory, apply either a cold or warm compress (see what feels better to you) and visit a dermatologist who will give you a cortisone shot.

Wrapping up

Acne sucks no matter what your age. But by using the best skincare for adult acne, you’ll reduce your breakouts and avoid acne scars.

Remember: What you eat will show on your skin, so check your diet, get enough sleep, and treat your skin well and you’ll be rewarded will clear, glowing skin.

Looking for more beauty tips? Check out some of our most popular beauty posts today.

Anything to Add? Leave a Comment!

Follow Us On: Thrifty Momma Ramblings Facebook for more great tips for thrifty living!