What causes Adult Acne?

Adult acne affects far more people than many of us realise and is common in both women and men. Acne can affect people of all ages, and it doesn’t just have a physical effect on the skin; it can be painful and can cause emotional distress and even contribute to feelings of depression. It can be maddeningly irritating, so it’s important to be aware of its causes for both management and prevention.

Keeping a diary will help you record and track a possible cause of your acne. It might also be sensible to include a record of what you’ve eaten and how you’ve slept. Sleep is vital for healthy skin, and getting enough can go some way to reducing breakouts. Dietary factors like high glycemic index foods have been shown to aggravate acne in predisposed people.


80% of adult acne sufferers are women, and unfortunately, one of the main reasons for this might be rapidly changing hormones. Hormones can fluctuate during pregnancy or can depend upon what day or week of the month it is.

If you know that there’s a particular time of the month where your acne will be at its worst, make sure you are taking measures to balance everything out. Hormone supplements are available, but it’s always important to hear a doctor’s opinion before seeking them out. You should also make sure you’re taking that extra little bit of care with your skin during these times, maybe changing something up about your skin care routine just before a breakout.

Physical and mental wellness

Stress is a massive contributor to adult acne levels. It’s no secret that your skin is at its worst when you’re run down, and especially when you’re stressed or feeling under the weather. A way to combat this is by ensuring you’re taking the time out to look after your body and mind. Stress and anxiety cause physical reactions such as a raised heart rate and increased sweat, and this excess of blood and sweat can put pressure on the skin. Meditation is in no way a direct cure for adult acne, but keeping those levels to a minimum is sensible.

If you do suffer from stress or anxiety, ensure you’re getting enough exercise. If your blood is pumping around your body, but you’re not exerting energy, this could have an adverse effect on your health. There’s also no better way to relax than with a few spa treatments, so head to the salon! A Lumineo Advanced LED facial penetrates deep into the skin. It can help to even out skintone and keep breakouts at bay, so it’s perfect if you’re trying to minimise the appearance of adult ace or its after-effects.

Other causes?
There are a few other factors that cause adult acne. Unfortunately, adult acne can run in the family, so if your mother or father has suffered from it in the past, chances are you could too. 

Ever noticed an increase of acne on your chin during the winter months? Take a look at that scarf and make sure that it’s properly cleaned on a regular basis, as anything that is in regular contact with your face, from your pillow to your makeup brushes, could cause breakouts if bacteria and grime is allowed to thrive.

How bad is my Adult Acne?

adult acne

Acne is ranked by severity:

  • Grade 1 (mild): Mostly whiteheads and blackheads, with a few papules and pustules.
  • Grade 2 (moderate or pustular acne): Multiple papules and pustules, mostly on your face.
  • Grade 3 (moderately severe or nodulocystic acne): Numerous papules and pustules, along with occasionally inflamed nodules. Your back and chest may also be affected.
  • Grade 4 (severe nodulocystic acne): Numerous large, painful and inflamed pustules and nodules.

How can I treat my Adult Acne?

If you feel your adult acne is a grade 3 or 4, we suggest you see a professional. You will only see results in combination with professional treatments or medication. So whether you start with a dermatologist or a skincare specialist, don't attempt to treat these higher grades of adult acne with any professional advice. 

LED Light Therapy 

Now increasingly popular for home-use, this therapy is one of the main treatments in a professional clinic for adult acne. We suggest browsing our range of LED Face Masks and starting on a course of blue and red light therapy straight away. Our award winning range can help you find relief in your adult acne, if you're unsure it will suit you, contact one of our skin experts for help on info@neoelegance.co.uk 

Cut the heavy creams

Some anti-ageing creams are extremlely oily and suited only for very mature skin, cut back and see if this helps reduce your adult acne. Opt for a non-greasy formulation. 

Simplify your skin-care routine

Our motto for skin is to keep it simpl! You don't need 50 creams and seums because the wrong combination could be affecting your skin. Cleanse, Treat with a beauty device, targeted serum and moisture is needed, use a sheet mask once or twice a week for a boost. See our acne-prone skincare kit

Chemical Peel

This professional treatment uses special chemicals to remove the top layer of old skin. After removal of the top layer of skin, new skin grows in smoother and can lessen acne scars. Do not attempt this at home or purchase any 'peels' you can do at home. Some treatments just require a professionals technique. 


The main takeaway when treating adult acne is to understand the causes and approach with multiple treatments and best of all with professional advice. Adult acne is a skin concern that can be easily exacerbated if the wrong approach is used and there's no cream, serum or treatment to solve it in one day! 

Speak to our adult acne specialists from Neo Elegance Skin Clinic, contact us today for free advice