9 Unexpected Causes of Acne in Adults

Thought acne breakouts and blemishes left you after your college? Think again. Acne in adults is more common than you think.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, nearly half of women over 25 still suffer from acne breakouts.

And shockingly, if you never had them as a teen, it doesn’t mean you are safe from breakouts.

Although the acne breakouts may look the same in adults, they’re a bit different from the ones you may have had in teens.

Acne in adults usually appears on the lower half of the face. And they usually appear as cysts or under the skin which is impossible to drain.

So what exactly are causing acne breakouts in your 30s? One culprit is changing hormone levels. Others include premenstrual dips or fluctuations during perimenopause.

But did you know, there are many other unexpected causes of acne in adults? Sometimes your skin-care regimen is to blame, and sometimes your lifestyle plays a major role.

If you’re confused about why acne breakouts are still frequent in your adulthood, here are 9 unexpected reasons you may be getting them.

Top 9 Unexpected Causes of Acne in Adults

Believe it or not, sometimes getting facial hair removal, or using excessive hair products can cause a breakout. If your hormonal balances are perfectly fine, then perhaps its time to revisit and reshuffle your beauty drawer a bit. Here are some common culprits.

Facial Hair Removal

Tweezing, waxing, shaving can all cause the skin tissue to swell. This opens up the way for acne-causing bacteria to enter deeper into skin pores.

Sometimes even topical products applied to your skin before hair removal can clog skin pores and promote a breakout.

To make sure this never happens, simply use 1% hydrocortisone cream before you remove facial hair.

Try to kill off some bacteria too by cleaning the hairy area thoroughly.

Makeup Removers

Cosmetics are notorious for clogging skin pores. They can combine with natural skin oil and cause breakouts.

But the real problem always doesn’t lie with the product themselves. It has more to do with the way you remove the makeup too.

Oil and dirt can easily buildup on makeup after a long day. This can trap acne-causing bacteria within the skin that results in acne.

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After removing your makeup, make sure to wash your face thoroughly. If the problem persists, try washing your face before removing makeup as well.

Stress

If you can’t sleep all night because of a deadline or an important meeting the next day, you’re probably stressed out. Although stress alone can’t cause an acne breakout, it can accelerate the process.

Stress causes the body to release inflammatory chemicals and changes some hormonal balances. This triggers a breakout. So if you’re experiencing huge cyst-like pimples that are redder, bigger, and painful, they are probably there because of stress.

The best way to deal with such pimples is to use products containing benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid.

Sometimes cyst-like pimples can leave scars. Try these effortless home remedies to treat acne scars.

Sunscreens

Some sunscreens promote acne in adults
Some sunscreens promote acne in adults

Most sunscreens are made with two active ingredients. The first is a long list of chemical agents that protect your skin from ultraviolet rays. The second is physical agents that basically sit on your skin surface and create an invisible barrier.

This barrier is bad news for your skin.

Sunscreens that contain titanium or zinc oxide can promote excessive sweating underneath them which can cause acne.

So next time you are about to apply sunscreen, make sure to read what ingredients you’re dealing with. Try to avoid sunscreens with pore-clogging physical agents.

Dry Skin

If you think oily skin is the only culprit behind breakouts, think again. Dry skin can cause tiny cracks in the skin which can open doors for acne-causing bacteria to enter and multiply, resulting in a breakout.

Make sure to gently exfoliate the skins at least 2-3 times a week. Some moisturizers can clog your pores, so be careful what you’re applying. Always apply noncomedogenic moisturizers on dry skin.

Hair-Care Products

Hair spray can cause acne breakouts too

Haircare products meant for styling commonly cause acne. These products increase oil in your scalp and forehead trapping acne-causing bacteria in skin pores.

Clogged pores can easily become inflamed and result in a breakout.

When applying hair styling products, make sure that you are applying it with your hands. Avoid using hair sprays because most of the times these products end up on your forehead.

After application, use a facial cleanser to remove any traces of the styling product from your forehead and face.

Skincare Products

Skincare products are made to provide nourishment and care for your skin, right?

The truth is many skincare products are made with synthetic chemicals and other harmful ingredients that promote acne breakouts.

If there’s any skincare product that causes irritation, stop using it immediately.

Avoid switching too many skincare products rapidly. When you try a new skincare product, you are also providing your skin with new active ingredients, chemicals, and preservatives. These can irritate the skin which leads to acne.

Excessive Traveling

Traveling a lot means changing environments and new challenges for the skin.

Every city, or country has its own humidity, weather, and water elements. Environmental changes can sometimes trigger acne breakouts since your skin is not used to the new atmosphere.

Expert travelers recommend washing your face with bottled water. They also recommend avoiding hotel soaps.

Diet and Lifestyle

If you thought eating chocolate and Mcdonalds no longer messes with your skin, you may be in for a surprise.

The diet-related causes of acne are still true to your age. A recent study found that carbohydrates that have a high glycemic index can increase the severity and development of acne in adults.

So do your best to cut back on junk food such as burgers, pizzas, fries, and other fried food. Instead, make a switch to veggies, fruits, grains, and high protein foods. But do this gradually to give your skin enough time to deal with the changes.

  • Causes of Large Pores and Ways to Get Rid of ThemThe pores you see on your skin are actually hair follicle openings that serve as a way out for body toxins and perspiration. Sometimes these pores can become enlarged and when they become big in size, they can be seen with the naked eye. Pores typically become large on oily and aging skin. When they get big, sometimes debris and oil such as sebum from within the skin get clogged within them. If you get more enlarged pores on your skin, it means that you are prone to pimple breakouts.

    What Exactly Causes Skin Pores to Become Large?

    • Enlarged pores are typically caused by genetics. Other causes for big pore size is oily skin since the excess oil that sits around the pores of the skin can make them appear large in size.
    Unclean or unmanaged oily skin can cause the oils to clog around the pores which makes them appear larger as the skin around the pore starts to thicken. The skin can also thicken due to aging or damage from the sun since it causes the skin cells to build up around the opening of skin pores.  Most cosmetic products serve as a magnet for oils and dirt which leads to enlarged pores. So the best way to deal with this problem is to use a makeup remover to remove the makeup thoroughly. 
    • Contrary to popular belief, blackheads do not cause enlarged skin pores. They are though an undesirable side effect because when the dirt settles into large skin pores, they can make the pores darker which leads to the formation of blackheads.
    As you age, the sebaceous gland in your skin, and your skin cell’s renewal activity and collagen production significantly slows down. Thus it leads to large pores. When skin loses its elasticity as a result of aging, the pores may seem to appear larger than before.

    How Can You Get Rid of Skin Pores?

    • You cannot actually get rid of skin pores if they are caused by genetics, however, there are many ways you can minimize the size of the pores and their appearance. 
    The best advice most dermatologists have for women is to clean makeup every night with a good makeup remover product. After that, skin cleansing can be a good addition to keep the pores tight. 
    • Another great way to reduce the appearance of large pores is to use toner products that tighten the skin. Exfoliators are also quite effective in this regard since they can slow down dead skin cells and prevent skin pores from getting larger. Facial masks can also be used for the same purpose.
    In order to keep your skin healthy, firm, and free from enlarged skin pores, ensure to moisturize your skin plenty. Moisturizing is essential for the skin because it nourishes it and keeps it well hydrated. This way you will be able to create an invisible barrier between the pores and oils. 

    Natural Ingredients to Fight Large Skin Pores

    • If you are someone who likes a natural approach rather than buying synthetic skincare products, there are actually quite a few ingredients you can use to help reduce the appearance of enlarged skin pores, thus controlling acne breakouts.
    When buying your next natural skincare product, look for one that has Clary in it. It is a herb that prevents oil production in the skin. You can also look for products with Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA). 
    • Many exfoliators are made with AHA which significantly improves the appearance of the skin, treats acne, and cleanse your face by removing debris from the skin. 
    You can also try clay facial masks that naturally detoxify the skin and prevent the pores from looking larger. Just be sure to check the mask before you apply it to prevent it from irritating your skin. 

    Conclusion

    Large skin pores are the most common causes of acne on the skin. Regardless of what skin type you have, if oils and debris clog your pores, you will be able to see them on the surface of the skin.  Use skin care products designed to reduce these pores, especially if you have naturally oily skin or skin that is sun-damaged. When you look after your skin, the pores tend to stay normal and thus acne breakouts are avoided. 

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