Adult Acne - We Break Down the Breakouts

Posted on 06/11/2019

Adult Acne - We Break Down the Breakouts name

So, you’re in your thirties, forties, fifties, and you’re still getting acne??

It’s understandable to think adult acne is a terrible injustice and that acne should be contained to those early pubescent years. Unfortunately, as we age, skin health deteriorates, which can create a suitable environment for adult acne. Many factors can influence adult acne, such as hormones, diet, poor skincare or makeup, stress and lifestyle, but ultimately your skin condition will determine whether those breakouts occur, as well as how severe they are, and how long they last for. Despite internal influences, acne can be treated by improving the health of the skin through good topical skincare.

As we accumulate sun damage and if we use poor skincare or makeup, we break down the protective ‘lipid barrier’, which is essential for healthy skin. The lipid barrier sits on the skin’s surface and is naturally excreted from the skin. Composed of free fatty acids, ceramides and cholesterol, it is anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and maintains the all-important skin hydration. Hydration impacts the inner workings of the skin as it creates pathways for cell communication; once hydration has decreased the skin is unable to protect itself as efficiently and the cycle of decline begins.

Sun damage and declining skin cell health create thickening at the skin surface, causing blockages. Combined with fluctuating hormonal changes, this can create the perfect environment for developing a skin spot. A spot or pimple is caused by oil that is trapped in the pilosebaceous unit (the structure consisting of the hair follicle and sebaceous gland) which creates an anaerobic (non-oxygen) environment which acne-causing bacteria thrives in, and creates inflammation. This inflammation leads to further damage of the surrounding tissue, and the cycle continues.

Another important consideration is skin microbiome, the community of microbes on the surface of the skin that protect the skin. The composition of this microbiome may be disrupted and cause disease. Factors that influence the microbiome include your age, sex, certain mediations, hygiene, poor quality skincare and poor quality makeup, all of which can alter the skin’s pH, creating an imbalance in the microbiome.

So, what can be done?

A healthy lifestyle is fundamental to general health, and will to some extent influence the condition of your skin. Unfortunately, just eating well and exercising is not enough to maintain great skin: the biggest impact on the skin is environmental, especially UV exposure. Even with a good diet, skin exposed to UV cannot absorb enough nutrients from what we eat to protect itself and maintain homeostasis (a balanced, healthy environment). The nutrients that are absorbed from the diet are quickly metabolized by free radicals created by UV in the skin; even sitting by a window, driving or working in front of a computer is enough to deplete your skin of these essential nutrients.

Acne can be prevented by keeping the skin healthy, improving skin turnover, and allowing skin excretions to flow freely. This negates the opportunity for anaerobic bacteria to thrive and maintains the lipid barrier to create a healthy, hydrated skin environment.

To improve the health of the skin and prevent acne it is essential to incorporate Vitamin A in a form and strength appropriate for your skin condition. Vitamin A is a skin cell normaliser, maintaining all cell interactions, stimulating repair and regeneration in the skin, and creating a healthy, compact stratum corneum (the outermost layer of the skin, which supports the lipid barrier).

Antioxidants are also essential to protect against the free radicals caused by UV, pollutants and other sources, such as over-exercising.  The Vitamin B antioxidant, niacinamide, is helpful for all skins, but is particularly useful in acne because of its anti-inflammatory properties. You may also be recommended a form of AHA or BHA to exfoliate and help ‘clear’ the skin.

AND ……….as always, sunscreen.


Our client before and after 6 months of regular skincare and monthly peels.


Our client after 7 months of medical-grade skin care and treatments.


Your skin journey starts with an initial consultation with one of our medical skin team, from there we can help choose the most appropriate forms of home care for you.


From your Skin Team Leader, 


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