Dealing with Adult Acne

Dealing with Adult Acne

There’s things you probably don’t miss about being a teenager, such as your ‘awkward’ stage when you had pimples breakout all over your face. Now that you’re older, you’re long past the problems that caused teenage acne, right? Well, we’ve got some bad news: adult acne can happen. So if you thought you left breakouts and blemishes behind with that first boyfriend you had at 15, think again. 


What’s interesting about adult acne is that you can get it even if you didn’t have it as a teenager. Also, although pimples look the same, grownup breakouts are different from the ones you would have typically had during school. The location of the acne can differ for teenagers and adults. Adult acne usually appears on the lower half of the face, while teen acne is typically upper half. 


So what’s causing these annoying breakouts? One culprit: an imbalance in hormone levels. This includes premenstrual dips (otherwise known as those dreaded period pimples!), breakouts during pregnancy, peri-menopause and menopause, and as a side effect of discontinuing (or starting) birth control pills. 

Other factors to blame are your skincare routine, lifestyle choices and the makeup you wear, as well as factors you’ve probably never considered. 

Hair Products 

Hair products that come into contact with your skin can cause breakouts. It’s actually so common there’s a name for it: pomade acne. 

When you use styling products, it seeps oil into the forehead, which can trap acne-causing bacteria in your pores. This results in clogged pores which can become inflamed, resulting in redness, pus, and ultimately blackheads and whiteheads along the hairline and forehead. A BIG no thank you. 

Also, your choice in hairstyle matters too. We know curtain bangs are all the craze right now… but bangs can actually worsen your acne by bringing skin-clogging hair products right against your forehead. Therefore, it’s important to purchase hair products that don't contain nasty chemicals and are natural and gentle for your skin, hair and scalp. 

We recommend Grahams Natural Shampoo and Natural Conditioner, which contain natural ingredients and are free of any sulphates and harsh chemicals that can dry out and strip your hair and scalp.

Facial Hair Removal 

No one wants to have a baby stache on their lip, so when your wax lady asks “lip too?” you almost always say yes, right? Well, sure… you’ll have a fuzz-free face, but this also comes with another problem: bumpy skin. 

Topical products applied to your skin before or after hair removal can clog pores and promote acne. So to reduce bacteria on your skin, you need to clean hairy areas before your facial hair removal and use non comedogenic products that won’t clog your pores. 

You’re Doing Too Much! 

A mistake many people have is not being patient with their skincare! Skincare products need time and consistent use to show results, and your skin needs to adjust to the changes in your skincare routine. You might try several products in a year on your quest to find your holy grail products. This is good for the cosmetic industry but not so good for your skin. 

Switching products often or not allowing time for a new product to do its thing means your skin is constantly being introduced to new preservatives and active ingredients. This can be irritating for your skin and cause it to breakout. 

Because of your skin’s turnover time, you need to give at least four to six weeks adjustment period before trying something new. The good news? You’ll be saving money in the process! 

Your Makeup 

Your makeup remover can clog your pores, while not removing your makeup well enough can leave makeup, oil, and dirt to build up on your skin. Look for noncomedogenic products, and remove your makeup completely every night using gentle, natural products. Also, clean your makeup tools such as your makeup brushes and sponges on a regular basis, and don’t share products with others. 


There’s a lesser likelihood of this being the problem given we’re in a pandemic at the moment, but the change of environment - the sun, heat, and humidity -  can trigger acne. 

It’s impossible to change factors such as humidity levels and weather when you’re on vacation, however what you can do is avoid too much sun exposure and wear a natural physical sunscreen, like SunClear, to reduce the likelihood of a breakout. 

Your Diet 

A diet high in processed food and refined carbs (such as white bread, crackers, cake, and cookies) that are high on the glycemic index may increase the development and severity of breakouts. Studies have shown the consumption of dairy products can also be a factor in triggering breakouts. To reduce breakouts, you should cut back on snacks, and switch to veggies, fruits, high-protein foods and whole grains. 


Research has found a relationship between stress and acne flare ups. When we’re stressed, our bodies produce more androgens (a type of hormone). These hormones stimulate the oil glands and hair follicles, which can lead to acne. This explains why we have breakouts when we’re under constant stress. 

To reduce stress, you should first identify the root of the problem whether it be not enough sleep, relationship troubles, or work stress and see what you can do to calm your nerves. Picking up a hobby, talking to your boss about any concerns you have, or spending some quality time with your friends and family are some ways you could reduce your stress. 

Your Phone 

You expose your mobile phone to so much bacteria every day, and when you talk on your phone, this bacteria comes close to your mouth. What you can do to help with this, is reduce the time you spend on your phone and clean your screen with an alcohol wipe daily. 


Dry Skin

It’s now Autumn which means cooler weather and drier air. This can mean dry skin as well. We all know oily skin can cause bad breakouts, but did you know dry skin can also be the culprit? Dry skin can have microscopic cracks and fissures in which bacteria can multiply and cause acne. Plus, dry skin flakes can clog pores. 


What do we recommend?

Grahams Natural  Acne Gel and Acne Wash was formulated around the powerful ingredients of Aloe Vera, Calendula, Gotu Kola, Witch Hazel and active Manuka Honey. Suitable for even the most sensitive skin types, this calming gel will cool and soothe troubled skin, helping to reduce redness and inflammation for a clearer complexion.

We take a 2 step approach with our triple action formula.

To find out more, click here.