The Top Causes Of Adult Acne – And How To Prevent Them

(Last Updated On: February 23, 2020)

The Top Causes Of Adult Acne – And How To Prevent Them

Adult acne is an annoying, if common, problem – you manage to make it all the way through the dreaded teenage years, and then you hit your twenties and thirties and all of a sudden you’re waking up with a face full of acne. Pretty frustrating, right? Whether you suffered with acne in your younger years or not, no-one’s immune – but you can understand what might be tricking your acne to stay on the front foot.

Here’s our top five causes of adult acne – and how you can get the better of them.


Stress has a powerful influence on our hormonal state, and pretty much everyone in the modern world suffers from some level of anxiety or another thanks to work, family issues, sleep deprivation, relationship worries and a host of things in between. This makes us more prone to break outs, as when we’re stressed the adrenal gland pumps out the stress hormone cortisol to help us deal with it.

The problem here is that it’s often accompanied by testosterone, which is a major red flag for women as this encourages the oil glands to go into production overdrive – and if there’s anything that acne loves, it’s oil.


If you live an urban area, your skin is probably bearing the brunt of increasing pollution levels – you just don’t know it

Pollution is ground zero for acne, covering the face in a layer of bacteria that leaves skin cells blocked and struggling to breathe. For this reason it’s crucial that you ensure you clean your face regularly after being outside – just one glimpse of a facial wipe after you do this will easily highlight the real impact of pollution in plain sight!


Fluctuations in hormones, especially before the menstrual cycle, are a major cause of acne, especially male hormones like testosterone. This tends to manifest itself in unsightly, painful cysts on the chin, neck and back.

The Wrong Skincare

Oily or combination skin prone to breakouts requires oil-free or water-based products to do the job, as these will ensure your moisturiser won’t clog your pores. In other words, make sure the skin care products you’re using are actually geared towards the specific type of skin you have. If not, you could be making the problem worse, no matter how good your intentions are.

Your Diet

While definitive lists of acne-causing foodstuffs have generally been debunked by professionals, you should keep a close eye out for any cause and effect patterns with regards to what you’re eating and when you’re suffering from breakouts.

Sugar, however, is a well-known acne trigger as it raises insulin levels which, in turn, can trigger oil-heavy male hormones. Professionals recommend sticking to foods with complex carbs, as they break down in the body more slowly, avoiding spikes in insulin.

Over Washing Your Face

While it may be tempting if you’re suffering from a killer breakout, cleansing more than twice a day dries and irritates the skin, so take it easy! Some powerful acne-busting ingredients to look out for include salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, sulfur, glycolic acid is an alpha-hydroxy acid and retinol.

Top Tips For Preventing Acne

Always Exfoliate!

Exfoliation is a powerful tool in your arsenal when it comes to preventing and treating acne. This is because it gets rid of bacteria and dead skin cells on the surface of your face, leading the way for skin regeneration.

Keep A Spot Treatment Close By

While benzoyl peroxide is a harsh chemical, when used sensibly it’s a powerful ally for drying out troublesome pimples and killing bacteria.

Seek Products That Also Fight The Inflammation

Inflammation and acne go hand in hand, so treat one and you’re on your way of treating the other. When it comes to keeping acne at bay the main thing we’re often seeking to counter is the ugly redness and swelling it causes, so a treatment that deals with this means half the battle is won. This means you should always look for products that are antioxidant-heavy to ease irritation and repair skin cell damage.

Exposed Skincare is Australia’s best selling, and most effective topical acne care system, using a blend of scientific ingredients along with natural compounds, The Exposed Skincare range of products are guaranteed to give you clearer skin in just 30 days, or your money back!

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The information in this website is for advice and guidance only. It is based on my own intensive research and personal experiences, and is not intended in any way to replace professional medical advice, or to diagnose or treat any health conditions. All rights reserved.