Adult acne - why do I still get acne in my 30's?

Adult acne - why do I still get acne in my 30's?

Adult acne - why do I still get acne in my 30's?

Acne is often portrayed solely as a teenage problem, but many people continue to suffer from acne throughout their lives, often well into their 30s. As we grow older, we tend to spend a little more time and effort caring for our ageing skin, and persistent adult acne breakouts can be quite frustrating. It can be difficult to pinpoint the problem, so we’ve broken it down for you. We’ve even picked the perfect Poko products that will help manage adult acne.

What causes adult acne?

There are many myths and theories about what causes acne, many of which are untrue. Everyone’s skin is different, but the following factors will certainly influence your acne-prone skin.

Hormonal changes

There are many trials and tribulations of adolescence, the majority of which are down to hormonal changes. Acne is no different, in this case. The sebaceous glands produce oil, and they’re mainly controlled by hormones. That’s why during your teenage years, your skin will have become more oily – often leading to acne breakouts. Hormonal changes don’t just happen during puberty, though. Many people with adult acne experience more or fewer breakouts as their hormones naturally fluctuate throughout the month. Many expectant mothers may experience adult acne during the pregnancy, even if they never had it before. It’s all down to hormones.

Does chocolate really cause acne?

Many myths are surrounding certain foods causing acne. Although food doesn’t necessarily cause adult acne, if you have acne-prone skin, it might not help. Many dermatologists suggest that the over-consumption of carbohydrates (bread, pasts, chips) may worsen acne if you already have it. At the end of the day, you are what you eat. Making sure that you’re eating a balanced diet, with plenty of fruit and veg will help give your skin a healthy glow, and it will benefit your overall health. Some studies have also linked dairy consumption to adult acne. If you’re prone to adult acne, the hormones in dairy products might not be helping. If you think this might be the case, perhaps opt for a soy latte on your next Starbucks run and see if that helps.

Can dehydrated skin cause adult acne?

Water plays a huge part in skin health and hydration. Drinking water is important for your overall health, but it also affects the appearance of your skin. Dehydrated skin will trigger excess oil production. Making sure that you get enough water will help balance the oil production, and the overall appearance of your skin.

Poko Regenerating Collagen Moisturiser

Using Poko’s Regenerating Collagen Moisturiser can help to fight the signs of dehydrated skin and the signs of premature ageing. Packed with aloe vera juice, vitamin C and vitamin E, this product can help reduce the effects of UV damage. This means that it can help to reduce the signs of age spots and fine lines, and can help to even the skin tone. As this moisturiser is infused with collagen, it’s perfect to help perk up ageing skin as well as dehydrated skin.


Stress works similarly to diet. Although stress doesn’t necessarily cause acne, it certainly doesn’t help. When you’re stressed, your skin produces cortisol, aka the stress hormone. This triggers oil production in the sebaceous glands, leaving skin more oily and more prone to breakouts.

Makeup brushes

We’re all guilty of not cleaning our makeup brushes as often as we should. But if you find that you’re suffering from adult acne, your brushes could be to blame. Using the same brushes every day means that products build up. Dead skin cells, bacteria and oil will also transfer from your face, onto the brushes and then back to your face, when you use them. Soaking makeup brushes at least once a week will ensure that they are clean and bacteria-free. Pay particular attention to foundation and concealer brushes as they have the most contact with your skin.

Your pillows could be the culprit

Every night, whilst you snooze, you rub your face, hair and hands all over your pillow. Inevitably, there will be a build-up of skin cells and oils from your face and hands on your pillow. Coupled with the build-up of dust from the environment, your pillow could the cause of your adult acne woes.

Woman sleeping on her pillow

All of this build-up can transfer back on your face as you sleep, often causes blemishes and breakouts. If you suspect your pillowcase could be the culprit, consider changing it once a week to see if that helps minimize breakouts.

Touching your face

Although we’re washing our hands now more than ever, it’s still not advisable to touch your face. Your hands harbour bacteria, oils, and dirt which is then transferred to your face. If you tend to lean on your hand whilst you’re at the desk, you may notice that more breakouts occur on your cheeks or chin. At the moment, our hands aren’t the only thing touching our faces – we’re talking about face masks. Face masks rub against our faces and can also harbour bacteria, makeup, and dead skin cells. Washing your mask after every use can help with this. Face masks can irritate the skin as they’re physically rubbing on the skin, often for long periods of time. To avoid physical friction, choose a soft cotton or silk face mask.

Cystic Acne

If you find that you're suffering from persistent, painful under-the-skin pimples, you may be suffering from cystic acne. Cystic acne is caused by the same things are common acne, but is it often more severe. This type of acne appears as red, angry pimples with a cyst under the surface of the skin. Many cystic acne sufferers find that the above steps can help in managing the condition, but often need to seek medical help. Over-the-counter treatments may not be strong enough, so don't hesitate to book an appointment with your GP, if you think you may have cystic acne.

Let’s bust some adult acne myths

As we know, acne is the build-up of bacteria, oil, and dead skin cells. This means that eating things like chocolate, nuts, or greasy food isn’t going to cause acne. Obviously, having a healthy, balanced diet is good for your overall health, and therefore your skin health. But indulging a little and treating yourself to a bar of your favourite Lindt chocolate won’t give you acne.

Adult Acne is not a sign of poor hygiene

In fact, excessive scrubbing or cleansing may actually make acne worse. Excessive washing or using harsh chemicals on the skin can strip the skin of its natural oils, meaning the sebaceous glands will overcompensate. This means that your skin will produce more oil, to protect the skin, often worsening acne.

Good news, makeup lovers with adult acne

Wearing makeup does not cause acne. Priming the skin before applying makeup will give your skin a protective barrier for the makeup to sit on top of. If you choose to wear makeup, make sure you avoid the common skincare mistake of not removing your makeup properly. This is a two-step process – remove makeup and then cleanse the skin to remove excess oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria. An effective double cleanse will mean that the makeup doesn’t clog your pores. A balancing act for ageing and dehydrated skin It can be difficult to juggle the needs of ageing skin that is adult acne-prone, but not impossible. Using some powerhouse Poko products and the steps outlined above can certainly help get those pesky breakouts under control!

If you liked reading this, read our similar blog on: Acne: Symptom, Causes and Treatment

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