adult acne

Why Do Adults Still Have Breakouts?

Like high school yearbook pictures and old social media posts, acne is something that can follow you well into adulthood.

“Acne does not discriminate against age,” says Paul M. Friedman, M.D., a New York dermatologist and the director of the Dermatology & Laser Surgery Center.

While many teen acne sufferers eventually stop getting zits — or at least find their breakouts getting less severe  — flare-ups can pop up well into our 40s. 

So what’s behind your adult breakouts?

Though puberty may be behind us, our hormone levels continue to fluctuate, leading to excess oil secretion, Dr. Friedman says.

Clogged pores: 
Sometimes skin cells don’t slough off the ways they should and instead end up blocking the hair follicle, causing a whitehead or blackhead.

Freaking out about your skin is actually bad for your skin! “Research has found our bodies respond to stress by producing an increased amount of androgens [male hormones], which stimulates the hair follicles and oil glands in the skin, leading to acne,” says Dr. Friedman.

Certain beauty products: 
“It is important to check the labels of hair- and skincare products to ensure they are non-comedogenic, non-acnegenic or oil-free as these are least likely to cause acne,” he advises.

Changing hormone levels are likely to blame!

Regardless of the cause, the same health care professionals treating your teenager can help you with your acne as well, even if your flare-ups are minimal. 

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