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Peace out, pimples: how to axe adult acne

Ah, that all too familiar fear of the mirror. You know what we're talking about – that nervy walk to the bathroom (or, let's face it, a quick flick of the phone to selfie mode while still in bed) to see if any new bumps have shown up on your face. Adult acne is just plain cruel. Shouldn't we have been able to leave the pimple panic back in high school with capped dial-up internet and our L plates?

Unlike making that special someone fall in love with you in time for formal back in the day, there is something you can do about your adult acne. Read on to learn a bit more about adult acne causes and find some quality options to lean on when it comes to skincare for acne.

Common causes of adult acne – and what to do about them

One of the most frustrating things about adult acne is there can be a lot of everyday aspects of life that lead to the problem. Below are some of the most common causes, which can be a good starting point for figuring out how to treat your annoying acne.

Hormonal acne

If your acne is popping up on the lower part of your face, you could have what's known as hormonal acne. This is something that usually shows up in women – yup, yet another thing the ladies get the pleasure of dealing with! When the androgen and estrogen balance in your body is a bit off-kilter, it produces too much sebum which creates acne. (Hey, sebum, could you maybe just chill the F out for like two seconds? You're also a huge reason why some of us have to deal with oily, greasy hair and are suspect numero uno when it comes to most oily skin concerns.)

Hormonal acne treatment: While many of the general tips and tricks for dealing with acne can help you keep your hormonal acne issues at bay, if your hormones are imbalanced you should consider seeking out advice from your GP or dermatologist. 

Acne from stress

Research has shown stress can't directly cause acne. However, it can make the problem worse, as your body's ability to fight blemishes worsens when you're frazzled. And other studies show stress can cause hormone levels to jump, including a boosted level of cortisol, which can lead to oilier skin. Acne with a correlation to stress often shows up in your T-zone. 

Acne from stress treatment: There are plenty of tips and tricks for de-stressing, including spending time outdoors, exercising, talking about your issues with friends or other professionals and, perhaps our favourite, making sure you're familiar with our friend the big "O"!

Acne from diet

In addition to being a reason for your dull hair, your diet can also play a role in causing your adult acne to flare up. So, which foods cause acne? OK, don't be mad, but it's a lot of the tasty stuff: greasy, oily food (damn you, delish drive-thru), refined grains and sugars like the ones found in white bread and soft drink and potentially chocolate (though the jury is kind of still out on that one). Listen, we don't make the rules – if we did you deffo wouldn't see chocolate on that list.

Acne from diet treatment: The best thing you can do is try to cut down on some of these pimple perpetrators. If you need a bit of a choccie hit, try swapping in some dark chocolate, which can have less sugar in it. Opt for wholemeal grains and bread when possible. Also, see if you can get some food for good skin into you. Fruits and veggies, fatty fish and nuts are all good choices.

Skincare for adult acne

Having the right products to fight acne and scarring is a vital part of any sort of treatment plan. Here are a few of the important ingredients to have on hand when whipping up your own personal skin maintenance plan. 

Cosmeceutical care

Peptides can help repair your damaged skin barrier. This can be one of the reasons your adult acne flares up, as it allows the impurities to get under your outer layer and wreak havoc on your complexion. Adding some peptide products to your routine in the form of Aspect Phytostat 9 Moisturiser and Medik8 Copper PCA Peptides Serum can help beef up your barrier.


Along with peptides, hyaluronic acid is another cosmeceutical that can do wonders for fighting adult acne. Finding the right hyaluronic acid product and making it a regular part of your routine (as directed – make sure you don't overdo it) can help you fight adult acne. This can be especially beneficial for those with dry skin and acne, as HA products are magnificent moisturisers. See how you go with some BIOEFFECT Imprinting Hydrogel Facial Masks and Murad Clarifying Oil-Free Water Gel.


And don't forget about retinol for acne, which is often seen as an anti-ageing aid but can also help limit flare-ups and associated scarring. See if you can add some rad retinol products, which not only help gently exfoliate the skin, but also get under your outer layer for a deeper clean. Medik8 Crystal Retinal 3 Night Serum packs a punch, delivering results comparable to clinical-grade Vitamin A. 

If retinol seems a little daunting but you’re looking for a product that can clear the gunk out of your pores and leave your face glowing, go for a product that contains BHAs like salicylic acid. Chemical exfoliants like salicylic acid are great for clearing pores of all the yucky substances that can lead to acne. asap Clear Complexion Gel contains both AHAs and BHAs, a powerful combo to help treat and prevent acne. 

Don't forget the essentials

While adding high-powered cosmeceuticals can be a great idea, don't forget about the tried and true mates that have been by your side for years. Face scrubbers, cleansing brushes and other cleansing devices can help keep you on the path to clarity by helping you remove all traces of makeup and gently exfoliate on the daily. Exfoliating your face with a scrub (aka a physical exfoliant) is another trusty way to clear clogged pores, just remember to limit use to once or twice a week, and not use in conjunction with a chemical exfoliant. Overdoing it with exfoliating products can leave your skin dry, sensitive and damaged, which can exacerbate acne. Last but certainly not least, make sure you are using a quality moisturiser day and night to keep your skin hydrated & healthy. 

Say adios, au revoir, auf wiedersehen and arrivederci to acne today with the help of Oz Hair & Beauty and put an end to mirror fear once and for all. 

posted by

Annaliese Evans on June 10, 2021



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