Best acne treatment and products for adult acne

Battling breakouts at the same time as dealing with the signs of ageing seems unfair, but, sadly, truth is spots are not just teenage problem. A study from 2015 revealed a 200% increase in adults seeking treatment for acne.

Typically, adult acne sufferers are female – 80%, in fact – with hormonal changes before menstruating, pregnancy, contraception and conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) being partly to blame.


Acne is caused when the hair follicles become clogged by excess sebum (the oil produced by the sebaceous glands in the follicles) and dead skin cells.

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“Acne prone skin tends to produce gloopier oil, and more of it, which the dead skin cells then stick to,” says dermatologist Dr Sam Bunting.

This plug of oil and dead skin cells becomes either a white head or black head depending on how close to the skin surface they are. Normally harmless bacteria that live on the skin can then contaminate and infect these blocked pores resulting in breakouts. So just how severe do breakouts have to be to be classed as adult acne?

Says Dr Bunting: “I have a simple mantra for patients – if it bothers you, it bothers me and I’ll take it seriously. Acne doesn’t have to be endured.”

Acne treatment: How to deal adult acne

In order to tackle your acne breakouts Dr Bunting recommends a simple cleansing routine and opting for treatment products that target acne-prone skin.

Start by finding a cleanser that is suited to your skin type. She advises avoiding harsh, foaming cleansers that can send your skin in to oil producing over drive. Look for a gentle, non-foaming cleanser that is non comedogenic, meaning it won’t clog pores. Dr Bunting recommends La Roche Posay Effaclar H Hydrating Cleansing Cream.

In the week before your period she suggests opting for a cleanser containing salicylic acid, because the skin has a tendency to produce more oil at this time. Salicylic acid can reduce sebum production and has inflammatory properties that will help calm existing breakouts. It’s also an excellent exfoliator so great for sloughing off some of those dead skin cells.

Acne doesn’t have to be endured


Dr Bunting advises massaging your cleanser in to the skin for a good minute before rinsing clean with tepid water. Once you’ve cleansed you can move on to applying products that will stop breakouts in their tracks.

“You need to…

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