How to Avoid Adult Acne

Three Methods:Practicing Good Cleansing TechniquesUsing Natural ProductsCreating a Healthy Diet and Lifestyle

While you may have thought that acne only affects teens, acne can be a part of anyone’s life—even adults. If you are dealing with adult acne and have had enough, there are ways that you can control it, hopefully, vanquish it for good. By learning proper skin cleansing practices, using natural products, and creating a healthy lifestyle for yourself, you will be able to wave goodbye to your days of acne. Scroll down to Step 1 for more information.

Method 1
Practicing Good Cleansing Techniques

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    Pick out a mild soap or gentle cleanser to wash your face with each day. You should try to pick out a face cleanser that is specifically designed for acne-prone skin. These sort of cleansers will regulate how much (or how little) oil your skin produces, and will be less likely to irritate sensitive skin. They also help to get rid of dead skin cells, a place that germs thrive and cause acne to form.[1]
    • Try lipid-free liquid cleansers. These sort of cleansers don’t contain soap, so they are gentler on your skin. They also don’t contain oils or fats, so you are less likely to break out when you use these cleansers. Cetaphil and Aquanil are two different lipid-free cleansers.
    • Use synthetic detergents to wash your face. These cleansers have a pH that is very similar to your skin so it is less likely that they will irritate or dry out your skin like some soaps do. An example of a synthetic detergent is Dove Sensitive Skin Bar.
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    Use your fingers to gently apply the cleanser and wash your face. Wash your face at least two times a day to keep your skin from excess oil that can create acne. When you wash your face, use warm water, rather than hot or cold water. Both hot and cold water can dry out your skin.
    • To apply your cleanser, rub your fingers in a gentle, circular motion over your whole face. You want to be careful not to be too rough with your skin because when acne is present your skin can be damaged pretty easily.
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    Try not to touch your face too much throughout the day. Your fingers can collect a lot of bacteria by touching things during your daily activities. When you touch your face without washing your hands first, you are unwittingly spreading germs and bacteria on to your face that could ultimately lead to a breakout.
    • If you do have to touch your face, try to wash your hands before doing so. Even applying some hand sanitizer to your fingers can help keep your face from breaking out.
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    Ignore the urge to pop pimples. While you may see a pimple and immediately want to pop it, it is important to remember that pimples contain bacteria. When you pop a pimple, that bacteria can land on other parts of your skin, creating more pimples.[2]
    • Your fingernails can also pose a bacterial threat. When you pop your pimple with your nails, any bacteria that is under your nails could get into the now open pimple-wound, causing further infection.
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    Avoid putting cosmetics on your existing acne. Many cosmetics contain oils that can actually make your acne worse. While you may want to cover up your acne, it is best to avoid oil-based cosmetics. If you would prefer to use cosmetics anyway, buy cosmetics that say they are oil-free.
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    Use salicylic acid-based shampoos to keep your head dandruff-free. Salicylic acid is an exfoliating substance that helps to control dandruff and get rid of dead skin cells. When your dead skin cells are removed, they cannot clog up your pores and cause a pimple.[3]
    • Exfoliating agents like salicylic acid also help to keep your pores open by helping your body to shed mature, superficial skin cells that can also cause acne.
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    Apply benzoyl peroxide cream to your acne. Benzoyl peroxide helps to reduce the inflammation caused by acne and prevents future acne by reducing the amount of oil that you skin produces. Before applying the cream to your face, wash your hands and face so that your skin is clean.[4]
    • Spread a thin layer of the cream on to your acne. Do this once or twice a day unless you were given specific instructions from your doctor.
    • Benzoyl peroxide can also come in gel and wash forms.
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    Try topical vitamin A cream. Topical retinoids like vitamin A cream work by unplugging clogged pores. When your pores become unclogged, other topical medicines, like antibiotics, can enter the hair shaft and fight underlying infection. Topical retinoids come in cream, gel, and liquid forms.
    • You should apply the medicine to your skin once a day, usually at night. Generally you should wait to apply the cream until at least 20 or 30 minutes have passed after washing your face.
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    Talk to your doctor about trying to balance your hormones. When your hormones get thrown off, be it because of stress or some other life event, you become more likely to develop adult acne. See your doctor about ways that you can correct your hormone balance.[5]
    • For example, if you are a woman who notices that her period is not normal and you have developed adult acne, it is very likely that your hormone levels are messed up. Talk to your doctor about ways that you can correct them.
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    Talk to your doctor about dermabrasion to get rid of acne scars. Dermabrasion, or planing the skin, is a treatment that is used to remove superficial scars created by acne. Revolving wire brushes or sandpaper tools are used to remove these scars.
    • This should only be done by a licensed dermatologist.

Method 2
Using Natural Products

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    Apply an oat mask to your skin. Oats contain a very unique compound called avenanthramides. This compound is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. This means that oats can reduce the inflammation caused by acne, and help prevent it in the future. One great way to use oats is by trying an oatmeal mask.[6] To make an oatmeal mask:
    • Cook a half cup of regular oatmeal. You can add 2 to 3 teaspoons of honey to the oatmeal because honey has antiseptic qualities.
    • Let the oatmeal cool down and then apply it to the spots on your face where you tend to get acne. Wear the oatmeal mixture for 30 minutes.
    • Rinse your face with warm water and pat it dry with a clean towel. Repeat this process as necessary.
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    Use a baking soda mask or take a baking soda bath. Baking soda contains sodium bicarbonate, which can reduce inflammation and clean out existing pimples. For facial acne, you can try a baking soda mask. If you are dealing with acne on different parts of your body, try a baking soda bath.
    • To draw a baking soda bath: Fill your bath-tub with warm water. Do not use hot water because hot water can make your skin dry out. Add one cup of baking soda to your bathwater. Soak in the baking soda bath for 15 to 20 minutes.
    • Try a baking soda mask: Wash your face with warm water. Take eight teaspoons of baking soda and mix it with a cup of water and stir the ingredients until they form a relatively thick paste. Apply the mixture to your acne and let it sit on your skin for about 15 minutes. Rinse your face off with water and pat it dry.
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    Make a homemade face wash from gram flour and turmeric. The gram flour removes excess oil from the skin and turmeric acts as an antiseptic as well as a natural healing agent. Replace gram flour with fine wheat flour, if your skin is very dry. Mix two tablespoon of gram flour, half a teaspoon of turmeric and 2 tbsp. of water. Wash and scrub with this smooth, gentle, antiseptic, natural cleanser.
    • Add a teaspoon of olive oil to the mixture if your skin is overly dry.
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    Apply honey to your pimples. Honey has antiseptic, anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce inflammation and clean acne-prone areas. It is also a natural healing agent that can help clear up acne scars while keeping your face germ-free.[7]
    • Wash your hands and face. Use your clean fingertips to apply honey to each pimple. Repeat twice a day or as necessary.
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    Put a cucumber paste on your face each day. Your skin can break out in acne when it gets too dehydrated, as well as when it gets too oily. Cucumber can help to keep your skin hydrated as it has one of the highest water contents of any food. To make a cucumber paste:
    • Take half of a small cucumber (skin on) and reduce it to a paste in the blender or food processor. Apply the cucumber paste to your skin and let it sit there for 20 to 30 minutes. Wash it off with warm water.

Method 3
Creating a Healthy Diet and Lifestyle

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    Keep yourself hydrated. As stated above, your skin can get damaged and form acne when it becomes very dry. To keep your skin hydrated, try to drink plenty of water. Try to drink at least 8 to 12 glasses of water each day, and consider drinking more if you are very active.
    • If you get bored with regular water, try adding some fruit juice to your glass to give your water some flavor.[8]
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    Stay away from foods that can make you break out. Certain foods, like the ones listed in the substep of this step, are primarily made up of simple sugars. Simple sugars can elevate your blood sugar levels, which in turn creates a demand for insulin, even if your body doesn’t really need it. These excess levels of insulin can make your skin produce more oil and grow pore-clogging cells, leading to pimples. Foods that are primarily made up of simple sugars include[9]:
    • Saturated fats like butter and fried food.
    • Soda.
    • Refined bread.
    • Sugar.
    • White rice.
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    Exercise daily. Exercising is an important way to keep your body, including your skin, healthy. If you can, try to exercise for at least 30 minutes, three to five days a week. Doing this will keep you in shape and will keep your body functioning properly. Try to do both cardiovascular exercises and strength and flexibility exercises.[10]
    • Examples of cardio exercises include walking, biking, running, hiking, and swimming.
    • Examples of strength and flexibility training include weightlifting, yoga, and stretching.
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    Try to avoid stress as much as possible. Stress can cause you to break out. Stress can make your body produce more cortisol. Cortisol has been linked to acne breakouts so if you are concerned about adult acne, try to limit the amount of stress you experience each day.
    • Get plenty of sleep each night. By getting 7 or 8 hours of sleep a night, you will be well rested and prepared to take on the challenges of the day.


  • Avoid using oil-based cosmetics because they can clog up your pores.
  • Add fiber to your diet to prevent constipation. Some people find that being constipated makes them have more acne.

Sources and Citations

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Article Info

Categories: Skin Care | Acne Treatments