Adult acne sucks.
You'd think that once you hit your 20s and 30s, you wouldn't have to deal with annoying teenage problems like pimples (just annoying adult problems like rent and unrequited love).
But that's not the case. Us adults have to deal with acne and all that annoying grown up stuff – zits, 401ks, marriage pressure from the parents…
I'M NOT READY, MOM, OKAY??
Ok, it's not that bad. But the acne struggle is real, even for adult men.
Many grown men suffer from mild to severe adult acne. Most of us just get the occasional pimple, but even that's frustrating.
There's nothing more stressful than breaking out or having a “bad skin day” during an important week or big event.
I have mild adult acne, and I've figured out a daily skin care routine to help prevent and treat it, which is what I'm going to share with you today.
Adult Acne Is Complicated
Adult acne is a very tricky condition. We (and by “we” I mean medical experts and dermatologists) don't actually know what causes acne in adults.
You see, it's a whole different beast than the acne teenagers get, and there's a lot of bad information out there about what causes adult acne and how to prevent it.
For example, all that “advice” you read about acne being caused by greasy foods, stress, dry skin, oily skin, alcohol consumption, etc.?
There's so much of this crap on the internet, especially since awful sites like ActiveBeat (featured in the above example) just regurgitate inaccurate information over and over again, usually in annoying slideshow format to rack up page views from unsuspecting visitors.
These “tips” are speculation, at best.
In fact, much of what you read about preventing acne is complete guesswork – not based on actual science.
The only thing we (again, the scientists…) know for sure if that it's probably linked to genetics and hormones – two things you can't really control.
So what can you do about adult acne? You can do everything in your power to stop it right when it starts. And the best way to do that is with a rock solid, daily skin care routine.
3 Step Skin Care Routine to Prevent Adult Acne
In this video, I actually go through each of the three steps using my favorite products.
I also explain the difference between the most popular acne fighting ingredients (the stuff you'll find in almost every non-prescription skin care product).
If you want to skin straight to the routine, fast forward to the 04:30 mark:
If you're not into video, here's a quick summary:
Any good skin care routine consists of three phases:
- Spot treatment
Let's quickly review each stage:
Phase 1: Cleansing
In this phase, you use a facial cleansing soap (or some sort of cream that lathers when mixed with water) to remove dirt from your face.
You should cleanse once per day, ideally in the shower when your face is soaking wet (and where it's very easy to rinse thoroughly).
My favorite facial cleanser is: Clearasil Daily Clear Oil-Free Face Wash
Phase 2: Spot Treatment
This phase is only necessary if you have visible pimples, blackheads or blemishes that you want to get rid of.
You simply apply an acne fighting cream to your face, directly on top of the problem areas (not all over your face).
My go to spot treatment cream is: Clean & Clear Acne Spot Treatment
And my secret “emergency use only” weapon is: Clean & Clear Persa-Gel 10 (with 10% benzoyl peroxide)
Warning: Benzoyl peroxide will bleach fabrics that it comes into contact with. So I don't recommend putting it on your face before bed (unless you don't care about your sheets).
Phase 3: Moisturizing
This is probably the single most overlooked grooming task among men, and it's absolutely crucial if you want healthy, clear skin.
Whether you have dry skin or oily skin, you need to moisturize.
We're hard on our skin. Even just taking a long, hot shower is a pretty rough experience for the sensitive skin on your face.
You've got to rejuvenate your skin with moisturizers, but many moisturizers are too oily and thick, and they'll clog up your pores and make you break out.
The key is to use an oil free, fragrance free moisturizer that has a little bit of acne fighting power.
I've tried a bunch of moisturizers, and the best one I've found so far is: Clean & Clear Acne Control Moisturizer
Keep in mind, you can find the same products in different brands. I just use Clean & Clear because it's usually the cheapest option I can find on Amazon.
If you apply this right after a shower or shave, while your skin is still moist, it'll soak right in, and you won't even know it's there (unlike sunscreen, for example).
If you don't have a skin care routine, you need to get on that. If you're an adult with mild to moderate acne, the routine I outlined above is probably a great start.
If you already have clear skin, that doesn't mean you can just skip skin care altogether. But you won't need to use products that have acne fighting active ingredients in them.
Remember: always check the active ingredients in the products you're buying. Don't buy the brand or the promise – buy the ingredients.
And keep experimenting to figure out what works best for you. If you want to dive deeper into skin care, the Skin Care Addiction sub is a great place to explore.
Another really solid skincare resource is the website Simple Skincare Science. It's one of the most unbiased and in-depth skincare blogs I've come across.
Do you have adult acne? Leave a comment below!