YOUR SKIN:

Understanding Adult Acne

Treatment for Adult Acne

Acne can be a lifelong condition for many. Up to 30-40% of adults experience acne well into their 30s, 40s and 50s. For some, it is a continuation of their teenage acne. For others who avoided acne as kids, breakouts can start in adulthood, which is called "adult-onset acne." Regardless of your age, acne results from the same process: Clogged pores, stimulation of oil glands, an overgrowth of bacteria, and inflammation. And whether you are 15 or 55, acne has a deep emotional impact. Treating adult acne comes down to understanding what causes adult acne and assessing your adult acne treatment options.

Adult Acne in Women

Genetics

The majority of adult acne sufferers are women between the ages of 20 and 54. Because adult acne looks different from teenage breakouts, many women don’t realize that what they are experiencing is, in fact, acne. In women, acne generally consists of a few large, tender, bumps that last for weeks, and never "come to a head." And as one breakout clears, a new one always seems to be forming, especially during the week before menstruation.

Many women mistake their blemishes for an allergic response to a skincare product. In reality, a product rarely brings on acne. Or, a woman will believe it's a reaction to hormones – and they're right to blame their hormones. No matter your age, all acne is caused by your hormones. Women's hormone levels fluctuate every month and throughout their lifetime. Puberty, the monthly cycle, pregnancy, starting or stopping birth control pills, perimenopause and menopause all signify hormonal shifts associated with acne. Also with age, women's estrogen levels decrease, causing a relative increase in androgen hormones, flaring acne in genetically predisposed individuals.

Stress further upsets the hormonal balance, releasing cortisol and androgen hormones, thereby increasing oil production. Because women release more androgen hormones from their adrenal glands, stress tends to have a greater impact on their complexions than on men's.

Along with adult acne, many women battle other complexion concerns associated with aging – dry skin, large pores, wrinkling, uneven pigmentation and persistent facial redness. Frustration arises when women feel they must choose between treating their acne and addressing their aging skin issues. In trying to manage both, women often "mix and match" products from different brands only to discover that the benefits of one may negate those of the other. Fortunately, with advancements in skincare formulation technology and new ingredients, adults can have the best that both medicine and skincare has to offer, which is exactly what Proactiv+ provides. Adult acne products like Proactiv+ can provide clearer, more even-toned, healthy-looking skin, without dependency upon makeup for adult and teen acne sufferers alike.

Adult Male Acne

Genetics

Unlike women, men don’t face the hormonal roller coaster that triggers breakouts, making acne far less common with age. Because their testosterone and dihydroxytestosterone hormone levels remain constant in adulthood after surging during puberty, most men have outgrown acne by their mid to late twenties. But up to 25% of men see persistence of their teenage acne well into their 40s and 50s.

As is the case with women's acne, men's acne can flare in response to stress, prescription drugs, steroids, friction from headbands, hats or athletic gear, exposure to heat and humidity, pomades and sunblocks.

Men, especially those with curly hair, are predisposed to shaving bumps. Different from acne, shaving bumps are caused by ingrown hairs which barb back into the skin, provoking redness and inflammation. Also known as pseudofolliculitis barbae, these pimple-like blemishes have been estimated to occur in more than 45% of African American men. Changing razor blades every few days, using a medicated shaving product, or switching to an electric razor can help minimize this common problem.

Guys with problem skin frequently suffer in silence, failing to seek treatment or products to control their breakouts. But the impact on self-esteem and confidence can hamstring men just like women and teens. Armed with information, we urge boys and men to take a hands-on approach to clearing their skin. The rewards are clearly visible and truly worthwhile.

Sets starting as low as C$29.95

Achieve your best results with a variety of Proactiv® options. Plus, as a member you save up to 50% off non-member prices.

Proactiv+ products