26th February 2020

How to Treat Adult Acne: 7 Things You Need to Know

Last Modified: August 3, 2022

The face wash that you used when you were fifteen isn't going to cut it these days. Your life has evolved, now its time for your skincare routine to grow up.

So what should you use?

The specific types of treatments you will use depends on the severity of your acne, as well as your skin type and age.

Though everyone's skin is different, there are some general guidelines you should follow when approaching how to treat adult acne.

1. Use a Hydroxy Acid

You'll likely want to start with a cleanser that has a hydroxy acid in it, usually alpha hydroxy acid or beta hydroxy acid. It's an exfoliant that can help decrease inflammation and even out tone and texture.

An alpha hydroxy acid will be on the ingredients label as glycolic acid, lactic acid, citric acid, hydroxycaprylic acid or hydroxycapric acid.

A beta hydroxy acid would appear as salicylic acid, tropic acid, tretocanic acid, or beta hydroxybutanoic acid on the ingredients label.

Reduce use if your skin is drying out.

2. Don't Pick!

One way to help prevent adult acne and work towards treating it is to keep your hands off your face.

Our hands carry millions of bacteria that transfer to our face with each touch and pimple pop.

So moral of the story, keep your hands off of your face unless you're applying your cleanser and products!

3. Stay Hydrated

One easy way to improve your skin and get rid of acne is to drink a LOT of water. Staying hydrated is an often overlooked aspect of your skincare routine, but it is really paramount to having clear and healthy-looking skin.

4. Keep Calm and Learn How to Treat Adult Acne

Stress and hormones can trigger acne production. Easier said than done, but if you can help it, try to reduce the amount of stress in your life.

If you're not able to take a bit off your plate, try adding something to your life that will help reduce stress, like a babysitter for a few hours out or a yoga class.

Wondering how to fix hormonal acne? Oral contraceptives may be prescribed by your doctor to help balance hormone changes and control your skin. Retinoids may also be used for acne treatment for stress and hormonal acne.

5. Pick Up Better Habits

It isn't just about your skin. Keeping acne away is about a clean lifestyle too!

Eating healthier with less fat and sugar will help clear up your skin without any additional treatments.

In addition to better eating, it may be a good idea to amp up your house cleaning routine.

Think about this. When you take the time to remove your makeup and clean your face, you apply a moisturiser and you get ready for bed. Then you put your face against a dirty pillowcase and all of that effort was for nothing.

Keeping your sheets, towels, and makeup brushes clean will help improve your skin without doing any direct or additional treatment to your face.

6. At-Home Treatments

If you'd rather approach your adult acne with something more natural, there are a lot of options to choose from.

Apple cider vinegar is a popular topical treatment; literally apply directly to face! Tea tree oil and green tea extract can also be good tools for reducing inflammation.

7. You Could Be Clogging Your Pores

Your current makeup and beauty routine could be clogging your pores and causing acne.

If your current moisturisers and sunscreens aren't cutting it, replace them with products that are labeled non-acnegenic and non-comedogenic.

Need Professional Help With Your Acne?

Sometimes we can't tackle our acne by ourselves. So if you can't figure out how to treat adult acne, contact a professional for help.

Contact us at Dr. Aesthetica today for help with your adult acne and skincare routine.

Post Reviewed by: Dr Baldeep Farmah
Medically Reviewed on: 26th February 2020
Dr Baldeep Farmah is the Medical Director and lead Doctor of Dr Aesthetica, a Medical Aesthetic Clinic.

"We want to empower everyone who walks through our clinic doors, to be able to look in the mirror and see a happier, brighter version of themselves."

For everyone that walks through our clinic doors, you may think you are alone, but you are not. Our patients all have a different story to tell but all come from a similar place.
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