What Really Causes Adult Acne?

March 19, 2018 – Posted in: Education, Ingredients, Skincare Philosophy

By Colleen Welsch

Adult acne can be embarrassing and annoying, to say the least. When we’re teenagers, we hear the advice “you’ll grow out of it” – but unfortunately that doesn’t always apply. Maybe you didn’t have acne as a teenager, but developed it in later years. Luckily, adult acne is usually treatable with some simple lifestyle changes. But first: what causes adult acne?

Hormonal Changes

It’s no secret that hormonal changes can affect your skin; after all, the changes your body goes through during puberty are part of what causes that troublesome teen acne. However, if you thought that your hormones would stabilize when you became an adult, that’s unfortunately just not true.

Women’s hormones are constantly fluctuating, whether it’s due to PMS, childbirth, or perimenopause. Potential health concerns such as polycystic ovarian syndrome or excess testosterone can also contribute to adult acne. Hormones may also be affected by potential endocrine disruptors in products, plastics, and packaging such as parabens, phthalates, and Bisphenol A (BPA). Finally, meat and dairy that come from hormone-treated animals can cause hormonal fluctuations and breakouts as well.

Stress

Adults are often under a lot of stress and, yes, stress can also cause acne. When you’re stressed, your body produces extra cortisol, a stress-response hormone. Excess cortisol can cause several issues including menstrual problems, high blood pressure, and tumors on the adrenal or pituitary glands. High cortisol levels also cause excess oil production in the skin, which can lead to acne.

Poor Diet

Your skin requires a wide variety of vitamins and minerals to regenerate itself and stay in tip-top condition. If your diet isn’t meeting your skin’s nutritional requirements, your complexion will suffer.

Additionally, some foods can actually alter your hormones. For example, meat and dairy that come from hormone-treated animals can cause hormonal fluctuations and breakouts.

Enlarged Pores

Over time, skin loses its elasticity due to sun damage, smoking, stress, poor diet, or even dehydration. When collagen in the skin starts to break down, it leaves pores stretched and ripe for clogging and breakouts. Enlarged pores may also produce more oil, which attracts acne-inducing bacteria.  Now that you know why adult acne happens, it’s easier to narrow down a solution.  Here are some steps you can follow on your own to treat adult acne:

How To Clear Up Adult Acne

Now that you know why adult acne happens, it’s easier to narrow down a solution.  Here are some steps you can follow on your own to treat adult acne:

 Drink plenty of water each day to ensure proper hydration.

Consider some changes in your food intake, such as switching to a plant-based diet. If you do eat meat and dairy, make sure that you’re sourcing from organically raised and hormone-free animals.  

Take a multivitamin to cover any gaps in your diet.

Try massage, meditation, or exercise to reduce stress levels.

For excess oil production, refine your skincare routine and include a product such as our Extraordinary Face Oil – Wooshie’s Blend – to fight bacteria and pore-clogging oils.

Add witch hazel to your routine. Witch hazel shrinks enlarged pores and balances the skin. We recommend our Dew pH Perfector, which includes witch hazel along with a whole host of skin-clearing ingredients.

If you suspect your hormones are to blame, visit your doctor to have your hormones tested.

Whatever steps you take, keep in mind that it is possible to control and reduce adult acne. Plus, you may find that these solutions have other health benefits as well!