Adult Acne - Causes & Treatment
In this article, we will discuss the causes of adult acne and treatment for the same. If you suffer from acne in your 30s, 40s or 50s, rest assured, you're not alone!

Once you enter your 30s, you tend to safely start to assume that acne & pimples are a thing of the past. However, it comes as a rude shock when you see that your facial skin has started to develop acne & pimples! You will also be surprised to know that women with no history of acne during their teens and 20s suddenly develop acne later in life.

Typically, acne that develops in men & women aged above 30 years is referred to as 'adult acne.' There are a number of reasons why it occurs.

Let us take a look at some of the most common causes of adult acne:

1) Hormonal Changes
Hormonal changes, especially during the pre-menopausal stages, causes changes in the body's ability of producing sebum. In addition, ovarian cysts, stopping or starting birth control pills, and an irregular menstrual cycle are also some of the factors that cause adult acne. They result in a sudden spike in sebum production by the skin, which increases oiliness on the skin's surface and pore clogging. This can result in acne or breakouts. Acne near the chin area indicated hormonal imbalance.

2) Use of Cosmetics Containing Heavy Oils & Synthetic Fragrances
Anti-ageing creams, sunscreen creams/lotions, hair sprays, hair creams, etc., which contain heavy ingredients such as butters & oils that are not balanced with other lighter ingredients can clog your skin pores. This is also another major cause of adult acne. Acne caused by the use of the wrong or incompatible hair products is seen on the scalp, forehead, and along the hairline.

3) Daily Diet
Diet has also been found to play a major role in the development of adult acne. Research shows that diets high in dairy products, sugars, trans fats, and saturated fats are likely to stimulate a growth factor similar to insulin, which can cause breakouts.

4) Stress
High stress levels result in a variety of disorders, one of which is adult acne. Stress interferes with our sleep, promotes unhealthy food cravings, as well as causes dehydration as it affects our ability to look after ourselves well. Hence, the first sign of neglect in the form of lack of sleep, consuming fast & processed foods that contain too much of salt, oil & sugar, and dehydration is adult acne breakouts.

Moreover, stress rapidly boosts the production of androgens, hormones that occur naturally in women and men. However, their overproduction stimulates the production of sebum in the skin, which can also lead to breakouts.

As we can see, reducing stress levels by practicing better sleep habits, meditation & regular exercise can go a long way in providing relief from adult acne and keeping it at bay permanently.

5) Family History
Family history plays a major role in the development of comorbidities in any individual. In the same manner, adult acne is also said to have been caused due to a family history of the same. Thus, if your mother, grandmother, sister or anyone else in your family suffered from acne at any age, you are likely to suffer from it too.

Adult Acne Treatment:

1) Cleanse your skin correctly:
Cleanse your skin twice a day with a foaming face wash, preferably one with natural skin-soothing and antiseptic ingredients, such as neem, peppermint, turmeric, and aloe vera. Most importantly, your cleanser/face wash should balance the pH of your skin. An imbalanced skin pH is also a cause of many skin concerns.

It is very important to cleanse your skin as soon as you wake up, as your skin has shed dead cells during your sleep and you might also notice a layer of oiliness on your skin surface after waking up. Also, it is equally important to cleanse in the evening or night to get rid of the buildup of dirt, pollutants, oil, makeup & other buildup resulting from the use of skin care products including sunscreen creams from the skin's surface. They have already stayed on your skin for several hours, and if they stay for a longer time, they will only attract more dirt & grime that will clog pores, thus resulting in acne.

Also, the cleanser should be skin-clarifying and non-comedogenic so that it doesn't clog pores. It should not contain any heavy creamy or oily ingredients. Also, avoid oil-based skin cleansers or cleansing balms.

2) Use only non-comedogenic skin care & makeup products
Non-comedogenic products/ingredients are those that do not clog the pores of the skin and allow the skin to breathe freely. They contain a perfect balance of heavy moisturizing ingredients & light skin-hydrating and nourishing ingredients that ensure that the overall product is not too heavy on the skin (check out the Barva Mango Butter MoisturizerPerfect Glow Creme BB Cream/Primer & SPF Foundation in 3 Shades)

Also, remember to cleanse your skin first by washing it with a mild face wash before you apply any product to it, so that you can be sure that there is no buildup of an stale product, makeup or skin oiliness. If you skip cleansing, even the best skin care product can cause breakouts/acne.

3) Use a spot treatment product:
Apply an acne cream that contains ingredients such as shatavari, ambe haldi, aloe vera, neem, cica, peppermint oil, licorice, and calendula on your acne twice a day - once after a bath & once at night before bedtime on cleansed skin. As mentioned earlier, cleansing your skin before applying any product is very essential.

No matter what the cause of acne, such acne spot creams (check out the Barva Skin Therapie Turmeric Acne Spot Cream), when applied regularly for at least 10 days, get rid of acne & pimples effectively without drying out or irritating the skin. They also prevent the formation of any spots in place of the acne.

4) See a dermatologist if:
a) You have had acne consistently ever since your teenage years right upto middle age.
b) Has suddenly appeared as a new skin problem during middle age and is stubborn.

A dermatologist will be able to determine the root cause of your acne and prescribe the right medication that will help regulate your hormones. Also, he/she will be able to treat your acne without irritating or drying out your ageing skin.

We hope this article answered all of your questions about adult acne. Do write to us at or comment below if you have any questions. We would love to hear from you :)

Last but not the least, take care, stay safe & stay beautiful!