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Best Treatments for Adult Acne


So you’re all grown up. You have a job, you live on your own, you pay your bills. But one day, you notice something you haven’t seen since you were a teen… a giant pimple. No big deal, it’ll go away. Then more start showing up and before you know it, you’ve got a full blown acne breakout! 

This isn’t supposed to happen!

Your teenage insecurities come rushing back. You thought this phase of your life was over, but here you are, with adult acne. Or maybe you’re someone who never had to deal with this when you were younger! What can you do?

What Causes Adult Acne

Adult acne is fairly common. It’s considered adult acne if it occurs after age 25. At the root, acne is caused by clogged pores, excess oil, bacteria, and inflammation. It can happen to anyone in their 30s, 40s, and even 50s and usually affects women. It can even happen to people who didn’t battle acne as a teen. And for those who did suffer from teenage acne, treatments that worked then don’t always work now,

Here are some reasons why you might have adult acne:

  • Hormones: This is most common for women. Hormonal changes during your period, pregnancy, and even menopause can trigger breakouts.

  • Stress: When you are stressed out, your body produces androgens, a hormone that can stimulate sebum production. More oil means more opportunity for clogged pores when can lead to breakouts. 

  • Diet: Certain foods seem to trigger breakouts. If you’ve been eating a lot of greasy food lately, this could be part of the problem. Excess sugar can trigger inflammation throughout the body and that sometimes manifests on the skin. Dairy is another possible trigger. 

  • Genetics: If a family member has or had adult acne, there’s a chance that you may have it as well. 

  • Skincare products or cosmetics: Certain products and ingredients can clog pores and lead to breakouts. To prevent this, the skincare and makeup that you use should be either non comedogenic, non-acengenic, or oil free. Anything that says “won’t clog pores” on the label falls under these guidelines.

  • Side effects of medication: Some prescription medications can cause acne, particularly ones that affect your hormones. If adult acne becomes a problem, talk to your doctor about an alternative medication, or discuss acne treatments.

  • Medical Conditions: There are medical conditions that can trigger acne. If something seems off, see your doctor. Sometimes you’ll see adult acne alongside hair loss, excess hair growth or irregular periods. Along with acne, these are possible symptoms of polycystic ovarian syndrome, or an endocrine disorder. When the condition is treated, the acne should clear up.

Preventing Adult Acne Breakouts

You can’t always prevent adult acne, but you can take steps that may help control them just a little bit. Most of these are common sense and things you should be doing as a part of your normal skin care routine. 

  • Don’t wear makeup to bed. 

  • Wash your face nightly using a gentle cleanser, whether or not you wore makeup.

  • Look for skincare products and cosmetics that are labeled non-comedogenic or oil free. 

  • Avoid touching your face.

  • Some spots are not acne but are something called post-inflammatory pigment changes. If you’ve ever had a spot from a pimple or zit that is long gone, that is likely what has happened. 

Best Products for Adult Acne

There are a lot of treatments for adult acne. And how you treat the problem depends on the severity. There are both prescription and over the counter options that you can try. 

Non-Prescription Treatments for Adult Acne

Walk into any store and you’ll see a full aisle dedicated to non-prescription products designed to fight acne breakouts. There are many effective ingredients that are contained in these products.

  • Benzoyl Peroxide: Works by killing bacteria and removing excess oil.

  • Adapalene: A retinoid that helps unclog pores.

  • Salicylic Acid: A beta hydroxy acid that unclogs pores and prevents new breakouts.

  • Alpha Hydroxy Acids: Soothe irritated skin and provide non-oily moisture.

  • Azelaic Acid: Can help prevent clogged pores and soothes irritation or discoloration from acne scars.

Prescription Treatments for Adult Acne

Over the counter products don’t always help adult acne, especially when it comes to severe breakouts. Sometimes you need to consult with a doctor and get a prescription. Usually they’ll prescription any one of the following:

  • Tretinoin: A retinoid that has been clinically proven to treat acne. It works by breaking down dead cells on the surface of the skin and stimulating new cell production.

  • Isotretinoin: The pill form of tretinoin. It is the strongest treatment you can get for severe acne and is usually only prescribed after trying topical treatments. 

  • Tetracyclines, Erythromycin, Trimethoprim, Clindamyacin: All of these are antibiotics that are prescribed to kill bacteria. In some cases, bacteria on the skin can cause breakouts. They’re commonly prescribed along with retinoids. In some cases, these are only prescribed for a limited period of time so the body doesn’t develop resistance. 

  • Oral contraceptives: Yep, birth control pills! Because so many breakouts are hormonal, birth control pills can help regulate excessive hormone levels that can trigger breakouts. This treatment option is only available to females. 

What adult acne treatment works best?

With so many options on the market, it can seem like a guessing game. What works best for you might not work for someone else. That’s why it’s best to look into a customized skin care routine. At Qyral, that’s what we are known for. We take the guesswork out of fighting adult acne.

After you take our skin assessment quiz, we’ll take a look at all of the factors that are unique to your skin and mix a prescription or non-prescription formula made just for you. It’s so unique that your name is literally on the bottle!

If you choose the prescription option, you’ll pay a doctor fee of less than $50. This covers the services of a board certified dermatologist and it’s good for a full year! When you reorder, you won’t need to pay again until your prescription expires. Plus, if you have any questions about your Qyral products during that year, the dermatologist can answer them at no additional cost!

If you’re ready to fight adult acne the right way and for your exact skin type, get started by taking our skin assessment quiz today!

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