Solve Your Adult Acne From The Inside Out

July 15, 2020

Solve Your Adult Acne From The Inside Out

In this article:

  • What is adult acne & what causes it
  • How to treat & prevent acne through proper skincare and diet
  • What ingredients and nutrition choices to beware of
  • Daily supplements that target health & texture of skin from the inside-out

You may have reached a point in adulthood where you realized you were no longer a youth, but you are still experiencing acne breakouts. You may feel surprised and frustrated to find acne popping up in your 20’s or 30’s, despite having survived puberty already. Well, that is because it is a common misconception that acne is reserved for young teens whose bodies are changing due to hormones and puberty. It’s a common myth that acne is an unfortunate drawback of being an adolescent. However, most of the things that cause acne in teenagers also contribute to adult acne, such as hormonal shifts, diet, improper skincare regimens, and stress. 40-55% of adults suffer from adult acne, which shows just how common it actually is.

What Is Acne?

If acne isn’t just a symptom of puberty, what is it? Acne is a chronic skin condition that causes whiteheads, blackheads, and pimples. It is caused by inflammation of the hair follicles and sebaceous glands of the skin. The sebaceous glands produce sebum (oil) with the purpose of moisturizing the skin and hair. The hair follicles work to push sebum and other cellular debris to the surface of the skin to be excreted. When the sebaceous glands are over-stimulated and sent into an overproduction of sebum, the hair follicles are unable to discard excess sebum, causing blockage and clogging. The clogged area causes bacteria in the hair follicles to multiply, leading to acne breakouts. Many areas of the body can be affected, however, the most common areas include the face, forehead, chest, upper back and shoulders.

What Causes Adult Acne

  • Hormones: Acne is triggered by a fluctuation of hormones. As we navigate life, there are many factors that contribute to hormonal changes, such as pregnancy, menstrual cycles, medication, menopause, and illness. Hormonal changes trigger an overproduction of sebum and result in clogged pores.
  • Stress: Adulting can be stressful. There are many things to balance: work, family, financial responsibilities. We get it. The stress of the world and our day-to-day lives can show up in our skin’s appearance. Feeling scared, stressed, or anxious can send our adrenal glands into overdrive, releasing the stress hormone cortisol, which can affect our skin.
  • Diet: What you feed your body is important for your overall health and wellbeing. Your diet affects more than just your weight. Some foods have the ability to increase your blood sugar quickly such as pasta, sugar, or white rice. When this occurs, your body releases insulin into the bloodstream. Excess insulin in the blood results in an over oil production with the excess oil increasing the risk of an acne breakout.
  • Medication: Some medications, such as birth control pills, can play a contributing role in adult acne. Negative reactions to medications can also result in breakouts.
  • Environment: Environmental factors can affect your skin. The air contains many toxins and irritants that clog the pores; especially in cities that have heavy smog.
  • Products: We encourage you to read the labels on your hair, skincare and sunscreen products. The ingredients in your hair products can cause irritation or add more oil to the skin that can clog pores. It’s easy to buy a ton of products in the hopes that they will banish acne forever, but choosing the wrong products can contribute to irritation and acne. Organic products are best for ensuring clean ingredients.
  • Genetics: Acne is one of the unfortunate genetic traits that can be passed down from one generation to the next. People who have this predisposition are more likely to get adult acne.

Treating and Preventing Adult Acne

Skincare routine: Develop a consistent skincare routine that includes a cleanser, exfoliant, and moisturizer. If your acne is persistent, use a spot treatment.

Skincare Products: When it comes down to the products that you include in your skincare routine, it is imperative to read the label first. Many products claim to be the holy grail of acne busters, however, when you get down to reading the label you will learn which are actually best for your skin. Ingredients to look out for are:

Non-comedogenic: Products that are non-comedogenic are formulated with ingredients that have little to no chance of clogging your pores

Over-the-counter acne treatment products that work hard to help you maintain acne-free skin

    • Retinol/Retinoids, a topical ingredient promoting skin cell turnover and stimulates the production of collagen, treating hyperpigmentation.
    • Benzoyl peroxide is a topical antibacterial product that clears the skin of bacteria, dead skin cells and unclogs the pores.
    • Salicylic Acid works to clean deep into the pores by exfoliating the surface of the skin to reach the pores and remove the oil and reduce inflammation and redness.
    • Hyaluronic acid can help boost the moisture in the skin while decreasing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles that come with aging. Hyaluronic acid can also help reduce and soothe redness while helping speed up the recovery process of scars and wounds.

Diet: As we mentioned before, what you put into your body matters. Too much sugar, dairy products, and saturated fats can cause inflammation resulting in acne. Maintaining a diet rich in complex carbohydrates, zinc, vitamin A and E, omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants can help make sure that your body is actively fighting off acne and keeping the hormones and sebaceous glands balanced.

Supplementing Your Diet

  • Vegan Omega-3 is rich in DHA, a structural component of the skin that is responsible for the health of cell membranes. Incorporating vegan omega-3 into your dietary routine helps replenish and smooth out the skin, reducing acne flare-ups. Opt for a vegan formula for more eco-friendly ingredients than fish oil.
  • Marine Collagen, made up of type 1 and 3 collagen protein. Contains amino acids for healthy skin. Marine Collagen promotes the production of collagen, helping repair damaged skin from inflammation and hyperpigmentation.
  • Liposomal Vitamin C regulates and promotes collagen production, which contributes to skin health as we age. Vitamin C works to help reduce pigment synthesis that causes hyperpigmentation and acne scarring.
  • Liposomal Glutathione promotes a clear and even complexion. Scarring occurs as a result of picking at blemishes, and glutathione works to reduce scarring to reveal beautiful and flawless skin. Glutathione has also been associated with its skin-lightening effects.

Acne is the last thing you want to be worried about. Unfortunately, at some point in adulthood, most people experience this skin condition. We want to remind you that this is not a life sentence. We believe everybody deserves clear skin and there are ways to address and prevent acne breakouts topically and internally. We recommend contacting a dermatologist for more intense and effective treatment dermatology options if these tips don’t help you.

Summary Points

  • Acne breakouts are possible even after puberty, in your 20's and 30's
  • Acne is a chronic skin condition caused by inflammation triggered by bacteria
  • Underlying causes of acne include: hormonal changes, stress, diet, and inadequate skincare
  • Treatment and prevention of adult acne relies on proper skincare, good quality topical products, and dietary changes, such as daily supplementation
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Article References

  1. Acne. Retrieved on June 15, 2020. From https://www.drugs.com/health-guide/acne.html
  2. I’m a Decade Past Puberty, Why Do I Still Have Acne? Retrieved on June 16, 2020. From https://www.healthline.com/health/adult-acne
  3. Adult Acne. June 15, 2020. From https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/acne/really-acne/adult-acne 
  4. How to Treat Acne with Benzoyl Peroxide.  June 16, 2020. From https://www.healthline.com/health/benzoyl-peroxide-for-acne#benefits
  5. Anti-Acne Diet. June 16, 2020. From https://www.healthline.com/health/anti-acne-diet#foods-to-help-your-skin
  6. Everything You Need to Know About Using Salicylic Acid on Your Skin. Retrieved on June 15, 2020. From https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/beauty/anti-aging/a30982749/what-is-salicylic-acid/
  7. Anti-Acne Diet. Retrieved on July 8, 2020. From https://www.healthline.com/health/anti-acne-diet
  8. 7 Surprising Benefits of Hyaluronic Acid. Retrieved on July 8, 2020. From https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/hyaluronic-acid-benefits




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