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Most individuals anticipate and accept that acne is part of growing up. As adults, though, they expect to be free of this ailment and often revel coming out of puberty relatively unscathed by it. While pubescent acne affects more males than females, adult acne is more prevalent in females. Acne can hit adults in their 30s, 40s or even 50s, and as adults it is much more difficult to treat.

Here are some factors that may contribute to adult acne:

Hormonal Fluctuations

For many females, acne is due to changes in hormones and often occurs around the mouth area and on the chin. Hormonal fluctuations leading to breakouts occur around monthly menstrual cycles, during pregnancy, starting or ceasing the use of birth control pills and when going through peri-menopause and menopause.

Clogged Pores

Four basic skin changes contribute to acne, and they all involve the pilosebaceous unit or hair follicle: increased sebum production from the sebaceous gland, clogging of the duct, increased bacterial activity and inflammation. Since acne presents as different types of lesions (blackheads, whiteheads and inflamed lesions), then one or more of the factors may be involved depending on the resulting change in the skin.

Sensitivity to Skin Care Products

Some skin products may also contribute to acne, because some ingredients have a greater potential to clog pores. Identifying products that have been tested for comedogenicity and/or acnegenecity may be helpful. Sometimes individuals are simply more sensitive to certain ingredients.


Stress can instigate acne flare-ups1 and trigger the production of corticoid hormones, causing an androgen response in the body. Sebaceous glands are stimulated by androgens, ultimately causing more production of oil or sebum. This provides an environment in the skin follicle that supports more bacterial activity, resulting in acne. Taking time to relax may help mitigate this underlying cause.


Historically, the belief that what we eat influences acne has fluctuated, but recent research has shown a correlation may exist between acne and high glycemic diets2 9 (diets of carbohydrate-containing foods). Thus, eating less sugar and more complex carbohydrates and fiber may help reduce acne breakouts.

To help you cope with the symptoms of acne and sensitive skin, we put together some smart acne skin care tips:

– Create a daily skin care routine with the right products for your skin type. Use an effective, yet gentle skin care system that is free of irritating ingredients and harsh chemicals.

– Use a gentle cleanser for your skin type and wash your face every night before bed and again in the morning. Ingredients capable of emulsifying oil soluble impurities are needed. Thus, cleansing the skin helps to keep pores clear, and daily washing helps the skin look refreshed.

For further assistance, please contact us Skin Clinic Brisbane