The Regimen

Adult Acne: What You Need to Know about Preventing Break Outs

Adult acne affects up to 50% of women and 25% of men.

Adult acne can be frustrating, especially because many adults who are managing this issue feel that acne is something that is only common among teenagers. The truth is, acne can become an issue at any age. Thankfully, there are a number of steps you can take to reduce the frequency and severity of breakouts.

Causes of Adult Acne

Unfortunately, there are many things that can cause adult acne. Stress and lack of sleep can be a factor, as well as hormone shifts or even medications you take. Also diets that are high in carbohydrates can contribute to acne. Some of the things you do to take care of your skin can even cause acne. But fortunately, some can help to prevent it.

How to Prevent Adult Acne

The first step to preventing acne is to wash your face. "It's very important to cleanse your skin every day," says dermatologist Doris Day, MD, of Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. Use a acne specific cleanser and leave on for 3-4 minutes to get the benefit from the cleanser, then pat (don't rub) your skin dry. And don't overdo it - once or twice a day is plenty.

There are various creams that can help treat adult acne. Each treatment works in a different way, so some work better than others depending on skin type and sensitivity.

Benzoyl peroxide is a moderately strong treatment. It is one of the few topical treatments where the BP goes down into the pore and kills the bacteria, but it can be drying to skin, so it should only be used as directed by your aesthetician. If used properly, benzoyl peroxide is an effective treatment for adult acne. A product like BP 10% Gel Medication is suitable for acne-prone skin and for acne of the back and chest.

Salicylic acid, a BHA, is typically milder than benzoyl peroxide and can be a more effective treatment for sensitive skin. Even so, many users start slowly and use it every other day for the first week or two. If your skin becomes red or flaky, it's probably best to skip a day or two before resuming use.

Alpha hydroxy acids, or AHAs, are another effective treatment for acne. AHAs are a group of acids found in milk and fruit sugars, which act to remove dead skin cells so that they can't clog pores. As with salicylic acid products, your skin can become dry or irritated with use of AHA products, so starting slowly is recommended. AHAs, as well as BHAs, also make skin sensitive to sun exposure, so using a high SPF sunscreen is important to avoid sun damage. Mandelic acid is a mild AHA that is safe for use on all skin types and all skin hues. Our Mandelic Acid 3-in-1 Wash can help combat adult acne and it is safe to use on all skin colors.

Retinoid creams and pills can be an option when other treatments have not proved to be effective. Retinoids can unclog pores so that other acne medications can work better, and can reduce acne by keeping pores clear. It takes 3 to 6 months of regular topical retinol use to see results, with the best results coming between 6 to 12 months of use.

Retinoids do carry risks, however, including sun sensitivity and, in the case of prescription strength isotretinoin (the pill form of tretinoin), possible birth defects if used during pregnancy. Talk to your doctor before using any retinoid product during pregnancy.

Vivant Skin Care has many products designed to treat adult acne and improve the appearance of your skin. Browse our skin correcting products to find the best option for your skin or call our customer help hotline (1.800.984.8268) if you are unsure about what you need to clear your skin. 

Subscribe to get our latest newsletter on email