As a teenager, you may have once heard numerous promises and assurances from others that any acne woes that you suffered as a hormonal teen would eventually fade away in due time. Alas, far too many of us still continue to suffer from acne, even as a fully grown adult, long after those youthful days of yore. It’s true that many adults are blessed enough not to be able to relate to this predicament — but those people probably saved an entire nation in a past life, or something equally heroic. The rest of us regular folk, however, continue to suffer in silence. So why does this keep happening to us and can this ever be surmounted? Fortunately, the answer to the latter is yes. Technology now allows us to better care for our skin by helping us understand and identify triggers as well as offer us highly effective acne treatments. Let’s take a look at some of these adult acne triggers.


Hormonal Fluctuations

Not everyone is built the same way. Some women are more prone to adult acne than others due to variations in hormonal fluctuations that may occur in some sections of their menstrual cycle. It’s the testosterone in particular. Our oestrogen levels tend to decrease when our uterus gets closer to shedding its lining during our periods, which may, in turn, increase levels of testosterone in our bloodstream. High levels of this hormone may then result in a spike of our skin’s production of sebum, the sheen of oil that you may see on your skin surface. Sebum is largely responsible for maintaining moisture in our skin, but too much of it leads to greater incidences of clogged pores in our skin follicles. In fact, high testosterone levels are also a major leading cause of acne in men. It’s just biology.


Your Makeup May Be The Cause

Makeup helps many women boost their self-confidence but the very thing that helps us feel less conscious about appearance could be the root cause of yet another beauty woe. Fortunately, not every makeup spells bad news! If you suspect that this might be the cause all those pimple breakouts, then do a quick and yet thorough double-check of all the makeup in your arsenal. The right kind of makeup for your skin should be non-comedogenic. This means that they will not clog your pores and lead to the formation of a clogged hair follicle in your skin, known as comedones. Preventing the occurrence of comedones in the first place will then reduce the odds of skin inflammation that ends up as angry, red pimples that we all know far too well. Oil-based makeup should also be avoided at all costs since they also tend to clog pores.


Breakouts As A Result Of Hairstyling Products

Your hair could be the reason for those pimple outbreaks, too, and it’s not necessarily about how dirty it is. Instead, take a look at what you’re using on your hair after you get out of the shower. This includes any essential oil that you may be using on your hair, every pomade or hairspray that you apply to achieve just the right amount of volume and style. Many styling products that are oil-based tend to contribute to the occurrence of clogged pores that ultimately result in acne. It’s the same thing that happens when you used oil-based makeup or anything that isn’t non-comedogenic. Fortunately, you can now also purchase hairstyling products that have been specially formulated to be non-comedogenic as well.



Experts still scratch their heads at the specific mechanism involved in the relationship between stress and acne. Yet, it still does not change the fact that stress is a classic major trigger of adult acne — and with great age, comes great stress. Many adults struggle to maintain the right work-life balance to keep our stress levels within a healthy, small range. As such, too many of us are stressed all the time, and prolonged stress can reportedly aggravate our adrenal glands. This results in an increase in the production of sebum, not quite unlike what happens to us as a result of hormonal fluctuations. Oily skin tends to be far more acne-prone since it creates just the right environment for acne-causing bacteria called Propionibacterium acnes to proliferate.

To make matters worse, stress may also interfere with our body’s ability to process key nutrients consumed in our diet, which may ultimately lower our immune system and slow down our ability to combat infection. This could easily explain why your skin just won’t respond to your skincare routine no matter how carefully and gently you care for it. If your body just isn’t capable of controlling the spread of this bacteria, no amount of thorough cleansing is going to overcome the resultant acne since the bacteria tend to accumulate beneath our skin’s surface. This is why it’s so important to find the right ways to effectively manage your stress levels well before its harmful effects begin to manifest.