Mike Parker

Nostalgia for the Good Ol’ Days is all well and good, but one thing you probably don’t think of fondly from your teenage years are those annoying acne breakouts. Now that you’re an adult, those days are a forgotten memory in the rearview mirror of life, right? Well, maybe not.

Lots of adults still struggle with acne outbreaks in their 20s, 30s, 40s and even in their 50s or later. It’s even possible for adults who never suffered from acne to develop what dermatologists call ‘adult onset acne.’ If you dealt with this troublesome malady, you know how frustrating it was to treat. Even more frustrating is that the stuff that used to work when you were a kid, is completely useless now that you are an adult…and might even make your condition worse.

Adult women tend to suffer from acne more than adult men due to fluctuating hormone levels due to menstrual cycles, during pregnancy, peri-menopause and menopause, or when starting or discontinuing birth control pills. And stress, and common factor among both sexes these days, can also disrupt your hormones, resulting in a breakout. Adult acne can be a side effect of certain medications, or it might even be a symptom of an undiagnosed medical condition.

So, what’s a grownup to do? The American Academy of Dermatology recommends checking the labels on your skin care products, hair care products, moisturizers, cleansers, and sunscreens to make sure they include at least one of the following terms on every container:

  • Non-comedogenic 
  • Non-acnegenic
  • Oil-free
  • Won’t clog pores

These products are least likely to cause acne. If none of the old tried and true treatments work on your adult acne, it’s probably time for a visit to your dermatologist. Almost every case of acne, even adult onset acne, can be effectively treated, according to the AAD, although it might require a bit of time and patience.


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