Adult Acne 101: Why It Happens, How to Manage It and the Skin Positivity Influencers Changing the Face of Beauty

Airdrop, the Internet, and why one hour at the gym feels 10 times longer than a Netflix hour are amongst the things that our brains struggle to understand. Want to know one more? Acne. As an adult. The evenings of homework and awkward interactions with literally everyone are behind us (kinda), so what could be the reason for troublesome skin clinging on as long as this pandemic well into sufferers late 20s, 30s, 40s and beyond? 

Adult acne, characterised as acne presenting in those aged 25 and above, is oftentimes caused by the same root issues as those in their teens, however continues presenting into adulthood during which time it is expected that sebum (oil) production would decrease and skin would naturally calm down. As with troublesome skin at any age, these spots can be extremely painful and difficult to manage, and despite skin positive movements on social media and a shift towards embracing complexions that aren’t airbrushed beyond recognition, a study by the British Journal of Dermatology found that there was a 63% increased risk of depression in those with acne compared to someone without. Narratives around conventional beauty are continually evolving in the 21st century, but it’s clear that acne and skin conditions in general still have a huge impact upon self-esteem and self-image.

Last year saw #CleanBeauty and makeup routines take TikTok For You Pages by storm, and when mostly donned by those without so much of a pore insight,  it’s easy to feel like your natural, textured skin falls short of these unattainable beauty ideals. 

Adult acne occurs due to a combination of factors. Hormonal shifts stimulate increased oil production and a build of keratin in the pores, leading to spots. Derrick Phillips

Whether you’re embracing it or hoping to change it, you probably still want to understand what’s triggering these breakouts. So, what causes adult acne, especially if someone has never dealt with troublesome skin…

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