Adult Acne – Causes and Treatments

Hello, lovelies!

How are you doing? Today I leave you with a post that has a special meaning to me, since I suffer from this myself.

As I told you on a previous post (here), I have been suffering from acne for about ten years now. And I thought that it would have disappeared by now but it has not, not completely.

I was having a severe breakout crisis the past couple of weeks and I thought that was really odd, because it usually does not last that long. So I went online and searched, and searched, until I found the information I was looking for. As it turns out, my breakout was being caused by a combination of three things: stress, PMS and unhealthy eating. And that ends up being a vicious circle: you are feeling stressed so you tend to ingest food that is not very good for you, then you start to breakout and begin to feel even more stressed because of that. And as you get more stressed, you tend to eat even more of what is bad for you. Damn you, hormones!

So I decided to put an end to the circle and start eating healthier – just a bit, nothing drastic. That along with the fact that the PMS was gone made left my skin so much better, the difference really is astonishing!

Also, I was surprised to discover that 50% of adult women are suffering with adult acne, and even more so to learn that most of them did not have breakouts in their earlier years!

And this is why I decided to write this post, because I know I am not alone in this struggle and there are a few things that can be causing you to breakout, the answers to which can be found on your face!

The Reasons For Breaking Out:

First of all, I want to start by saying that there is not a rule for this, since every person’s skin is different to begin with. Throw in factors like lifestyle, environment and diet and it only complicates the situation even further. That being said, what works for one is likely not going to work for everybody.

With that in mind, there are 6 main causes of adult acne in women:

  • Hormone Changes. This type of acne usually begins in a woman’s mid-to-late twenties and persists into adulthood. This particular type of acne can be attributed to androgens, the hormones responsible for stimulation the oil glands and hair follicles in the skin. When this hormone overstimulates, a woman’s facial acne can flare up. Dermatologist Diane Berson says:

“When adult women experience acne outbreaks, hormones are usually the primary culprit.”

  • High Stress Levels. The androgens I was telling you about before also overproduce during times of stress, overstimulating oil production and causing breakouts. It is a popular belief among dermatologists that women who are able to get their stress under control may also be able to clear up their complexion (which I think was the case for me).
  • Medication. Yeah, it is true, certain types of medication can trigger breakouts in women. Chemicals like anticonvulsants, corticosteroids, sobriety drugs and even some birth control pills can make your skin worse. The solution? Talk to your doctor about the medication you are on and find out if there is a more skin-friendly alternative.
  • Diet. This is a subject that was once widely disputed among dermatologists, who now agree that diet does play a significant role in someone’s complexion. Some swear milk and dairy are to blame, while others believe excess sugar triggers breakouts (as for me, I agree with both). A good thing to do is to keep a food journal during an acne flare-up so you can try to find out the potential cause.
  • Products and Cosmetics. Pay close attention not only to what you put on your face, but also what you put near it. Hair styling gels, sprays and other products can clog pores and cause breakouts. Also, if you have bangs, try pinning them back for a few weeks and see if your skin clears up. You can try changing your make-up routine to something more natural if you feel that your cosmetics could be causing your acne.
  • Environmental Factors. Humidity, pollution and weather are all possible causes for acne. But there are some things that can cause it as well that I had not thought about before I did this research. For example, if you are talking on your mobile phone a lot, you may experience breakouts more frequently. This happens because your screen is not clean, and the bacteria it gathers can have a negative effect on your skin.

Where your acne is & what is causing it!

Luckily, where our acne presents itself can say a lot about its root cause (insert angels singing here).

  • Forehead: Digestive system and bladder. In order to improve acne in this area, you may need to consider a diet change or an increase in your intake of water. Cutting back processed foods can also help to clear up this area of your face.
  • In between eyebrows: Liver. To eradicate in-between-eyebrows pimples, consider a sort of a detox. Cut down alcohol consumption, eat lighter foods, and consider any foods you may have developed an allergy to (like dairy, for example), as this is an area where allergy traditionally manifests itself.
  • Outside of eyes (between them and your hairline): Kidneys. This is a quick fix: cut down on coffee, soda, and other sugary beverages, and drink more water instead. Hydrate your body and you should see a significant decrease in acne around your eyes. Also, acne on your ears relates to kidney as well.
  • Nose: Heart. Acne on your nose could mean high blood pressure or high cholesterol. Try cutting back on red meat and increase your intake of foods with Omega 3, like avocado and fish.
  • Cheeks: Respiratory system. Acne in this area usually points to allergies or smoking. In the case that is neither, consider keeping your body at a neutral temperature rather than allowing it to overheat – avoid spicy foods and add more green veggies to your diet. You should also make sure that the items that touch your face the most (mobile phone, pillowcase and hands) are impeccably clean.
  • Outside corners of the mouth: Hormones. Acne in this zone is particularly difficult to eradicate because hormones, by nature, are sort of out of our control. However, getting enough sleep at night, keeping the skin clean and moisturised, and a balanced diet can help. Also, just as a curiosity: the side of the face this acne presents itself is indicative of which side a woman is ovulating!
  • Chin: Stomach. Because this area is associated with the stomach, increasing the amount of fibre in your diet, drinking more water, and generally detoxing your body may help clear up this area.

These zones and the organs/systems they correlate to can be very useful in self-diagnosing your acne problems and addressing them properly. If your issue truly is internal, no amount of creams and cleansers will clear up your face anyway – clearing up adult acne takes some dedication and lifestyle changes (ugh, being an adult sucks!).

Hope this post is helpful!


Alice ❤

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