Adult Acne: Factors and Other Things to Consider

I am 33 years old and breaking out like a teenager. ARGH! What is that about? Some say hormones, some say it may be the weather but what I say is that it’s awful.

Three years ago, I moved to the Bay Area and had the worst acne I have ever had in my life. It was all over my face, back and chest. It was embarrassing and I had to choose my outfit based on my breakouts. It was the worst feeling in the world. I couldn’t even make eye contact I felt so conscious. Finally, I went to the derm and he prescribed a 10% benzol for my body and 5% for my face. That cleared it up and I haven’t had it that bad since but each year around October and November, I break out. It’s like clockwork.

So here we are in October and low and behold, I had a strange small bumps/breakout all over my forehead area and sides of the eyes just above the cheeks and on my neck. My NECK?? This time I wasn’t the only one. Two others, a male and a female, that I work with also experienced the same breakout.

Since we have never broken out there before, we were sure we had come in contact with something that caused all of us to have the same reaction. We felt completely helpless as it seemed to get worse rather than better. This went on for two weeks and my make-up only accentuated it. Finally, I used an acne moisturizer and it went away completely within a week. It reminded me that clear skin is a gift and many people battle acne every day depleting their self confidence. I had to figure out why we get acne as adults. What it comes down to is imbalance.

Factors to consider:

  1. Hormones: Hormonal changes due to pregnancy and birth control play a role in adult acne.
  2. Weather: The winter weather can cause our skin to dry out. Consider a heavier moisturizer to balance.
  3. One factor that I failed to recognize was stress. Stress can cause acne in adults and we are all coming up on the most stressful time of the year, the holidays. Find ways to balance your life now so when the holidays get here, you will have sound practices in place. I had been really stressed out and over worked causing me to not sleep or eat properly which leads me to the next point.
  4. Diet: Our bodies naturally dispose of toxins through our organs; however, it can also flush out toxins through the pores of our skin. Eating a well balanced diet will help reduce the toxins and waste in the body. I had been eating takeout for two weeks and not drinking very much water.

The Basics

  • Don’t touch your face. Your hands touch everything from computers, door knobs to the remote control. Imagine how many hands have touched those before you. Gross.
  • Don’t pick your at your face: We have all had that moment where we are out in public and one rears it’s ugly head. Picking at it only transfer germs and makes you breakout even more. Am I asking you to walk around with whiteheads, no. I am saying that there is a better way to extract. We have germs underneath our nails that you don’t want coming in contact with your pimple.  If you must, clean your hands and nails thoroughly and cover your fingers tips with a piece of paper towel or toilet paper before extracting. Again, I don’t recommend this but desperate times call for desperate measures. What I would recommend is that you pick up a bottle of Burt’s Bees Herbal Blemish Stick and carry it in your purse. At the first sign of a breakout, put a little bit directly on the pimple and it will be cleared up in a few days vs. a week or linger if you pick it and scar it. Scaring can take 6 months to a year to clear. Here is a great video: How to Remove Whiteheads
  • Exfoliate: This is the key to keeping your skin bright and clean. Gently removing dead skin cells helps prevent clogging. Check with your skin care specialists to determine your specific needs. Over exfoliating can cause you to breakout too.

Other Things to Consider:

Clean your cell phone and/or work phone receiver. We all share the phone and our cell phones are tossed in our purses or pocket and used after we have touched money or shaken hands with someone. Then we put the phone to our face and hold it there while we multi-task like opening the door with one hand and holding a coffee in the other.

Clean your purse handles. Think about all of the surfaces that our purses come in contact with. A public bathroom door or floor, public transportation doors and handles, money, hooks etc. All public and rarely cleaned. Then we touch it transferring the germs.

Drink more water: Water helps flush out toxins and will help keep your skin looking plump and soft. Drinking water also keeps your breath fresh.

Your hair: My bangs were getting in my eyes at work so I would brush them to the side. Every time I did that, I was touching my forehead causing me to breakout in that spot. Additionally, your hair has natural oils and hair products in it so try to keep your hair off of your face while you sleep and throughout the day.

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