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Adult-Onset Acne: What It Is and How It Can Be Treated

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Unfortunately, for some people, acne doesn’t always go away after those dreaded teenage years. While it’s more common for teens to experience breakouts as part of the natural process of transitioning into adulthood, many adults can also experience acne breakouts, even if they really didn’t suffer from it in their youth.

The news is even worse for women, as more women are prone to adultonset acne and breakouts than men are. In fact, studies show that about 50% of women in their 20s will experience breakouts, 33% of women will in their 30s and 25% of women in their 40s will have acne. Those are pretty big numbers, so if you are experiencing breakouts in these age demographics, know that you are not alone. 

Adult-onset acne in women is most likely to appear on or around the jawline more than the T-zone area that is comprised of the forehead and nose. If acne is being experienced on the jawline, this can be evidence of a hormonal imbalance a woman is experiencing. However, there are other causes of acne in adulthood, including our diets and even the skincare products we may be using on our faces.

Acne Due to Hormonal Imbalances & PCOS 

We have all heard someone respond to a person complaining about acne with “maybe it’s your hormones.” There is a lot of truth to that statement! Acne, especially in female adults, can be caused by your body’s androgen levels increasing. What are androgens? They are a male hormone that really promote an increase in your pores clogging and stimulate your oil gland production. Fun, right? 

Other women may have different hormonal imbalances caused by factors like stopping hormonal therapies their bodies have become used to, such as birth control pills. Women can also experience shifts in their hormone levels from natural parts of life like menopause or even during or after pregnancy. 

Another factor, besides a shift in hormone levels that some women face, may have to do with an underlying condition they are unaware of. This condition is known as Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). This can cause irregular periods, ovarian cysts, facial hair growth, gaining weight, and even thinning of hair on the scalp. Acne happens to be one of the symptoms as well. 

adult acne treatment


Food & Dietary Habits Can Play a Big Part in Fueling Acne Breakouts 

We’ve all heard someone tell us to stop eating so much chocolate, it can lead to acne and breakouts. We know how you feel, it annoys us too! But the truth is, many clinical studies have found evidence that dairy and sugar (two major ingredients in chocolate) are very much responsible for fuelling acne.  

Some studies have even gone deeper into studying individuals who consume dairy products versus those who don’t. People who consume more dairy products had higher cases of acne then those who consumed less dairy. Now, this doesn’t mean anyone who eats dairy is guaranteed to break out or suffer from acne. Every individual is unique and the factors that contribute to acne differ from person to person. 

Sugar is also a big factor in fuelling breakouts. Studies have shown that people who consume more chocolate, pastries, soda, etc. are more prone and more likely to suffer from acne. So maybe, just maybe, it’s time to cut all that junk out – we can all start our diets Monday! 

women acne before and after


Skincare, Sleep & Stress… All Factors that Can Cause Acne Too! 

Hormones and diets are big factors that can help fuel adult-onset acne. But there are other lifestyle choices we can very much control that also lead to nasty breakouts. The good news? Most of these factors can really be a small change in our daily routine to clear up that face. 

Much research has shown us that poor sleeping habits and stress can contribute to outbreaks as adults. It is important to make sure that you have a regimented sleep routine to allow your body the time it needs to rest and rejuvenate itself. This also alleviates the body of being overworked and helps destress the body both physically and mentally. Don’t forget to change your pillowcases and sheets often as this also contributes to acne and breakouts! 

Skincare can be a huge factor for anyone suffering from acne. The real question here is, are you even using the right skincare products? If you have skin that is oil-prone, for example, you want to focus on products that do not trigger your body to produce more oil on the face. Products like this will lead to your pores to clog up even more. 

Another thing to consider is over washing and overuse of cleansers and exfoliators. If you over wash your face, acne can get much worse. You essentially help break down the skin’s natural protective barrier, which then allows bacteria and irritants to find a home in your pores. You will also dry out your skin, which will trigger your body to produce more oil and that can also lead to clogged pores. 

It is paramount to also research the best products to use for your specific skin type and make sure they’re filled with quality ingredients. Medical-grade skincare should be the only option you use on your face. This is your face we’re talking about after all… it is definitely worth the investment! At Lucere, we are proud to carry premium, medical-grade skincare from brands like ZO Skin Health, Vivier Skin, Alumier MD and much, much more!


So, what is the Solution to Treating Acne? 

Acne can be difficult to deal with at any age, but it’s especially difficult to cope with as an adult. It’s a huge factor in lowering self-esteem, but we at Lucere want you to know that you’re not alone! We are proud to offer many treatments and products that can be a great solution to your specific case. 

Medical-Grade Skincare Products 

It all starts with great skincare products! You need to seek expert guidance to set up a treatment plan of medical-grade skincare that is right for your age, skin type, goals, skin conditions, etc. Skincare is a great first step in seeing real results. If more advanced treatments are needed, medical-grade skincare will also help in maintaining and boosting your results. The trick here is to also commit to your routine! You need to clean your skin daily and nurture it with great ingredients that will help you see results. 

Oral Medications 

There are oral medication options available for treating acne as well, especially for those who suffer from hormonal acne. There are specific oral contraceptives that do not promote acne as they contain less components that actually cause it. There are medications that also regulate the effects of androgen production in women, which can be especially helpful for reducing acne breakouts. 


Retinoids, a powerful derivative of Vitamin A, are also very effective for decreasing oil gland production, unclogging pores and regulating the way our skin sheds. In more severe cases of acne, it’s effective to have oral retinoid options like Accutane prescribed. This can be prescribed to you by your local dermatologist if they deem it will be effective and under their supervision. This is only for severe acne, and women who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant, should not be on Accutane as it has high birth defect risks that are severe. 

men acne before and after


Medical Facials & Chemical Peels 

At Lucere, we also have great treatment options that are done in clinic as an effective way to manage, prevent and clear acne. Some of these options include Medical Facials and Chemical Peels 

Our signature Luminous Peel is a personalized chemical peel that is exclusively offered at Lucere. It is customized to fit your exact skincare needs and concerns. The exfoliating solution of the peel is filled with antioxidants that work to remove dead and damaged skin cells and deeply hydrate the skin. This treatment is great for exfoliating acneic and congested skin, while improving the appearance of skin tone. 

Isolaz Deep Pore Acne Treatment 

Isolaz is a deep pore cleansing treatment that gives your skin the ultimate clean by vacuuming everything out of your pores and emitting a gentle light to kill acne-causing bacteria. Dirt, excess oil, dead skin cells and blackheads are all drawn up to clean your face. 

For optimal results, we recommend a series of 3-6 treatments to really get your acne to a manageable state. This treatment is definitely safe to have as often as you’d like to continue maintaining the results of your glowing skin. 

The biggest thing to remember is that no two cases are the same, and it is important to consult with our Board-Certified Dermatologist, Dr. Zaki Taher, and his team of skin experts to find the best treatment plan for you. If you are interested in booking a free consultation to learn more, book here today! 

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