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Acne, Not Just a Teenage Challenge?

Acne, Not Just a Teenage Challenge?

Did you know that acne is not just a problem for teenage skins? More and more adults are suffering from acne. There are many factors that can cause or worsen adult acne - Let's tackle those issues!

adult acne
teenage acne
20 Dec 19

Did you know that acne is not just a problem for teenage skins? More and more adults are suffering from acne.

Acne on jawline

What is the difference between teenage acne and adult acne?

Teenage acne is usually associated with excess oil, with an abundance of black heads and pimples found all over the face.

Adult acne is usually localised in one or two specific areas - often the jaw line or cheeks, and is often more sensitive and inflamed with breakouts lasting for longer and healing slower.

While the cause of teenage acne is the onset of puberty, adult acne can have a number of triggers.

Why do I have acne as an adult?


  • Hormones play a huge role in adult acne, the main one being testosterone. When there is too much of it in our body, it causes an over production of oil in the skin.

    As adults, our hormones can fluctuate massively for lots of different reasons, such as menstruation, pregnancy and menopause, so acne may start to develop or get worse around these times
  • Some medications can make acne worse, especially any medication designed to adjust hormone levels in the body, so it is important to identify if this is why your acne is there
  • The environment you live in can have a huge impact on your skin and the development of adult acne. Heat, humidity and pollution can lead to excess sebum production and bacteria build up on the skin. Likewise if your skin is becoming dried out due to cold weather or air conditioning. It may start to over produce oil to make up for the lack of water in the skin, causing more breakouts
  • Skin problems can also be hereditary, and genetics may play a part in some people having adult acne while others may breeze through life without a spot.

What factors can make acne worse?

  • Over exfoliating or cleansing - People who suffer with adult acne often feel the need to excessively wash and scrub their skin so it feels “clean”.

    This actually causes more damage than benefits, as over cleansing can dry out the skin, stripping it of its natural oils and moisture, and over exfoliating can cause micro tears in the skin bringing more inflammation and longer healing time.

  • Not using any skincare at all - On the other end of things, there are people who feel they shouldn’t use any products on their skin because they don’t want to cause any further problems.

    This will actually worsen the acne, as there will be a build up of oil, bacteria and dead skin cells on the skin that will clog pores causing even more breakouts.

The products you use in your routine will be determined by how severe your acne is.

Any of our Dermalogica Experts at GLO will be happy to help you customise a skin regime to suit your personal skin needs.

In general however these are some good rules to follow:


Tip #1 - Cleanse effectively

#1 Double cleanse your skin at night to effectively remove makeup and build up of bacteria, pollutants and excess oil.

We recommend PreCleanse or PreCleanse Balm for your first cleanse at night. These products melt through dirt, grime and oil to allow your second cleanse to cleanse the skin effectively.

Tip #2 - Exfoliate to help keep skin smooth and clear


#2 Exfoliation helps to keep the skin feeling smooth and the follicles clear. Our pores can become congested from oil secretion along with a build up of dead skin. Regular exfoliation along with ingredients that target the breakouts is key here.

We recommend either of these two products: Age Bright Clearing Serum or Active Retinol Clearing Oil.

Age Bright Clearing Serum is a 2-in-1 brightening serum helps smooth the skin, clear the follicles and prevents post-inflammatory marks post breakout

Retinol Clearing Oil targets concerns of ageing and breakouts at the same time and visibly clears skin overnight

Tip #3 - Always apply a moisturiser

When we deprive oily skin of hydration it will often over produce oil to make up for the lack of hydration in the skin. Moisturisers help keep all the good things in and acts as a protection for the skin. No matter how oily a skin is, we all need to be moisturising our skin morning and night. For a breakout/acne prone skin, we recommend Active Moist for your night time moisturiser.

Tip #4 - Apply sunscreen daily

The Oil Free Matte SPF30 will help prevent post inflammatory hyper pigmentation left behind from old breakouts. Oil Free Matte SPF30 is ideal as it provides a matte appearance plus protects the skin from the harmful UV daylight rays.

Extra tips to help manage adult acne:

  • Change your pillow cases regularly

  • Disinfect your mobile phone

  • Clean your makeup brushes often

  • Avoid touching your face

  • Don’t use products that are intended for other parts of your body on your face - e.g body moisturiser, shampoo or hairspray

  • Always wash your face after exercising or sweating excessively

  • Drink plenty of water to flush out toxins and keep skin hydrated

  • Keep a diary of when you get breakouts and the severity of them to determine triggers. This way you can tell if they are hormonal related, stress related ect.


About the Author


My name is Sarah and I am the founder of GLO Skin Body. With over 17 years experience, I believe a professional relationship with your skin therapist is crucial in helping you to achieve your skin care goals and to ensure your skin is always looking and feeling its best. Whether it's in person or through our online support, Im here to guide and support you towards your healthiest skin ever.

On a personal note, I am a Mum of 3 so I understand completely the juggles and balancing of life and family commitments . My goal is to help everyone have an effective and enjoyable home care routine that gets you the results you want...no matter how busy you are!


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