Acne is a stubborn condition that tends to be thought of as a teenager’s problem… but clinical studies show that 40-55% of adults aged 20-40 struggle with persistent acne and 54% of women older than 25 have some type of facial acne [1].

These adults are left asking the same questions they asked when they were middle school students…

“What is causing this acne?”

“Why are none of the treatments working”

“How can I get rid of this stubborn acne?!?”

In this blog post, I hope to answer those questions to a respectable degree of certainty and offer some tips and treatments that may offer you the relief you’ve been craving for all of these years.

What causes acne?

Acne is caused by several factors, some of which include:

  • hormones
  • stress
  • menstrual cycles
  • hair and skin care products
  • excess oil on the skin
  • makeup
  • diet
  • trapped dirt in pores
  • certain medications

The causes of acne are often compounding, meaning there are several contributing factors to your acne. There are no definitive tests to determine what causes your acne, but the process of elimination in treatments is a tool that many use to find out what might be creating their skin problems.

That brings us to our next question…

Why are the treatments I’ve tried not working?

It is important to note that your acne is unique and is likely caused by an array of factors that need to be addressed. Your acne may not be resolved by certain treatments depending on the causes of your acne.

For example, if your acne is hormonal and you try a topical treatment, your results are likely to be subpar. A hormone regulating treatment, such as birth control for women, will oftentimes produce better results for this type of acne.

While it would be ideal to have a simple test to determine what treatment will resolve your acne issues, it doesn’t quite work that way.

Finding which treatment works for you is oftentimes a slow process of elimination that begins with topical creams and special soaps and progresses toward medications. The process can be frustrating, but it is important to remember that solutions are found for most individuals who stick with treatment plans and consistently try new treatments when previous ones fail.

How do I get clear skin?

Ah, yes… The final question… The question we have all been asking for so many years and yet can’t seem to answer.

As has been stated throughout this blog post, the answer to this question is not clear cut or simple. It is unique to your skin type and acne causes. The answer for one person may or may not be the answer for another.

Nonetheless, I will not leave you high and dry… Here are some helpful tips that may resolve your stubborn acne.

  1. Use non-comedogenic products
    These products are proven to reduce blockage of visible pores, and thus help prevent annoying breakouts caused by your makeup and skin care products.
  2. Develop a skin care routine and STICK TO IT
    I know, I know… this is way easier said than done, but it is SO important to the health of your skin. Find a wash that doesn’t irritate your skin and helps fight acne, use an acne treatment cream (like benzoyl peroxide), NEVER go to bed with makeup on, and use a non-comedogenic sunscreen daily.
  3. Consider laser treatments
    For those with acne that will not go away despite trying everything, consider receiving laser treatments at your dermatologist or local med spa. Skin resurfacing and IPL treatments help treat chronic active acne aggressively and safely.
  4. Try microneedling
    Most people think of microneedling for treatment of scarring. It is very effective at treating acne scars, but it can also really help with active acne.
  5. Take a multivitamin
    I know this is a weird one, but things like zinc and Vitamin D really help create healthy skin. If you are not getting the full amount of your needed daily vitamins, your skin may be suffering.
    I saved the hardest tip for last. I know you have heard this a million times, but seriously… don’t touch your face.

I hope this blog post offered some tips that you haven’t considered or refreshed your memory on some of the most basic acne facts. You’re not alone on this long journey towards clear skin.

And remember, no matter how many blemishes you have…