Adult acne and pimples.  What causes the breakouts in men and how to treat them?

Unfortunately, acne is not limited to those awkward teenage years.  Many men, well into their adulthood, still deal with this reality.  When acne surfaces, it can erode your self-confidence and give you flashbacks to those awkward teenage years.  Fortunately, as an adult you’re armed with better information to deal with this annoyance. 

What is adult acne?

Acne is most common among teenagers, but it affects people well beyond their teenage years.  In adults, this is referred to as adult acne.  Acne and pimples are formed when your hair follicles become plugged with excess sebum (oils) that are mixed with bacteria from dead skin cells. 

What are the most common causes of acne in men?

  1.  Stress: Stress increases androgens (male hormones) which stimulates sebum (oil) production and increases the risk of pimples and acne.
  2. Excessively Dry Skin: Using a harsh cleanser or not moisturizing the skin can cause the skin to dry out and rev up the sebaceous glands to produce more oil to balance out your skin.  An overproduction of sebum puts you at higher risk for blemishes, pimples, and acne.
  3. Using Harsh Skincare Products: Products that are not compatible or are too harsh for your skin may cause irritation and stress out the skin, leading to blemishes, pimples, and acne. 
  4. Overusing Skincare Products: When it comes to skincare, easing into a new regimen or product is key.  Overusing products or using too many products in a short period of time can lead to irritation and increase risk of pimples and acne. 

How to combat and treat adult acne. 

When it comes to treating acne, patience, a healthy lifestyle, and a simplified skincare regimen are key to success. 

  1. Reduce stress, eat healthy, and get adequate sleep. A healthy lifestyle reduces stress hormones and keeps your sebaceous glands from overproducing oil.
  2. Use gentle skincare products. Use a gentle pH-smart face cleanser that cleans without stripping your skin of its natural oils during the morning and night. Then follow with a non-comedogenic (non-pore clogging) moisturize with SPF for daytime and non-comedogenic moisturizer at night.
  3. Simplify your regimen. Cleanse morning and night, exfoliate 2-3 times a week with either a chemical exfoliant (alpha hydroxy acids, salicylic acid) or physical exfoliate (like URTH Scrub). Moisturize daily (with SPF) and at night. 
  4. Treat active acne, pimples, and blemishes.

Daytime regime.

  1. Cleanse with gentle cleanser
  2. Apply toner containing salicylic acid (2% is best)
  3. Follow with moisturizer with SPF
  4. To conceal an active pimple/acne, apply a concealer (look for one a shade lighter than your skin) using your fingertip to dab and blend the concealer until it masks the acne.  **Key is to use a small amount and keep dabbing until it blends into skin and becomes unnoticeable.  

Nighttime regime.  

  1. Cleanse with gentle cleanser
  2. Use a warm compress on the acne (helps bring it to a head at the surface)
  3. Use a 2% salicylic acid toner
  4. Moisturize
  5. Apply a pimple patch over the acne to treat, reduce inflammation and bacteria

** Urth’s Post Shave Elixir is a highly effective serum developed for ingrown hairs and shaving irritation.  It is also effective as a spot treatment for pimples and acne.  Dab on affected area and reapply as needed until the acne is healed.