What causes adult acne?

This is a question that I get from my clients oh too often, “shouldn’t I be over acne, I am in my 30′s?”. Well the short answer is not necessarily. In both men and women, there are so many hormonal changes that happen in their lifetime that the skin fluctuates with each change. This is a key factor when choosing your skincare products, because the reality is, you may need to change your routine more often than you think.

What are some of the causes of adult acne in women? Did someone say hormones? Let’s take a look back for a brief second, once a teen girl hits puberty, there becomes a monthly fluctuation of these three hormones: estrogen, progesterone & testosterone. Thus causing an increase of sebum (oil) & the build up of cellular debris, where bacteria and breakouts can develop. Well that explains acne as a teen, but how are we still having the same kind of breakouts 20 years later? Environment, lifestyle and skincare routine can all play an import role in keeping your skin healthy and clear, but another explanation could be what is called perimenopause. Perimenopause in short is when a woman’s fertility begins to decline, this can start to happen as early as your mid 30′s. Basically what this creates is a fluctuation between estrogen and progesterone levels, which can take your skin on a roller coaster of hormonal changes and often cause unwanted breakouts. Another factor that we can look into is PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome), which is an imbalance of the female sex hormone. Extreme hormonal breakouts are often present along the chin and jaw line, and those with PCOS often see the presence of deep, painful cysts. If PCOS is a possibility, we can work with your Dermatologist to come up with treatment options to keep you and your skin healthy.

Adult acne can also be a big concern for men as well.  Just the same as girls during puberty, boys experience a production in testosterone. This causes an increase is sebum (oil) and thickening of the skin, which can lead to more frequent breakouts. In their 20′s, men also experience spikes in testosterone production, this often leads to increased bacteria and breakouts until testosterone levels can be evened out. However, if there is a family history of acne, this may be a struggle for a longer period of time and should be addressed more frequently with professional treatment.

How can I take care of my skin and prevent breakouts? Consistency! I recommend facials for my clients every two to four weeks, depending on the concerns we are addressing. In addition to professional treatment, an at home skincare routine is imperative and can be customized to each and every client. Small lifestyle changes can impact the condition of your skin as well, try avoiding dairy and processed foods, take professionally recommended nutritional supplements, get adequate sleep and regular exercise.