Adult Acne Causes
The Factors Contributing To Your Condition

adult acne causes

Determine which adult acne causes are affecting you so you can treat it properly, clear your skin, and get on with your life!

Adult acne can be very persistent, and often happens suddenly. Deep pimples and cysts, especially in the chin area are common. 

(After reading this page find out the best treatments here)

Pimples, Cysts & Blackheads Are Symptoms Caused By:

The acne symptoms (pimples, cysts and breakouts) are inflammation reactions caused by an excess of sebum and dead skin cells (see what is a pimple?), but if it was only that simple certain topical treatments would work perfectly.

But we need to get below this, what is causing the increase in sebum, dead skin cells and inflammation in the first place? Especially those deep blind pimples or cysts that seem to emerge from the depths of your skin?

The answer: hormones.

Below is a perfect description of exactly how important they are:

"Hormones are your body's chemical messengers. They travel in your bloodstream to tissues or organs. They work slowly, over time, and affect many different processes." Quote - Medline

This highlights the direct relationship hormones have with our largest organ, our skin. 


"Hormones are powerful. It takes only a tiny amount to cause big changes in cells or even your whole body."

Now it's fairly easy to see why so many teenagers suffer from acne. Their hormones are going crazy and this often manifests in their skin. The male hormone Androgen in particular is responsible for oil production and skin cell turnover. 

But what about us adults? Aren't we supposed to be over that?!

Adult hormonal changes are influenced for different reasons. Taking these into consideration makes treatment much more successful.

Hormonal Causes & What Affects Them

Adult acne is getting more and more common. You have to wonder if it has to do with our increasingly unnatural and modern lifestyles. 

Disrupted sleep patterns, high levels of stress, refined foods and sedentary lifestyles - all disrupt our body's natural equilibrium (hormonal balance):

  • Sleep - inadequate sleep increases your body's level of the stress hormone cortisol which increases inflammation. Plus the body repairs itself in deep sleep which includes skin cells.
  • Lack of exercise - exercise is one of the best ways to control stress by burning off extra energy, promoting better sleep, and creating endorphins in the brain which just make you feel better. The increase in circulation also ensures all your body systems are working optimally.
  • An unnatural dietlack of whole foods, good fats and vitamins. Or it could be too much dairy, sugar, refined carbs or bad fats.
  • Stress - a huge influence on body chemistry, and related to all the above.

How To Know If Hormones Are Responsible For Your Acne

How do you know if your skin is breaking out due to hormones? Here are a few suggestions:

  • Other symptoms of a hormonal imbalance include fatigue, difficulty to loose weight, and major cravings. If you deal with these you might like to see your doctor who can give you a blood test
  • Females - for a couple of months keep a dairy or simple notes on a calendar for when you notice your worst breakouts. Often us woman experience breaktouts at the same time of month and by keeping notes this becomes very obvious. It's then easy to understand when they are likely to happen and to take steps to prevent or eliminate
  • Often we're aware of poor sleep patterns, lack of exercise, high stress levels or an emphasis on too much 'white food' (sugar, salt and flour) but are so used to it we don't give it much thought. Is this you?
  • Did your acne suddenly come on during a time of high stress or pressure? Your body may be still dealing with this and taking time to rebalance
  • Another cause for females is polycystic ovary syndrome, see your doctor if you believe this may be the case (if you haven't already done so!)
  • Pregnancy of course, can bring on acne (the opposite to that expecting 'glow'!). This often cures itself after birth

There are ways to help keep hormones balanced (beyond just 'more sleep' and 'exercise') - see this page for the best treatment options.

If acne is a big problem for you please see your doctor who can perform tests and give you specific guidance. 

Below are external reasons you may be suffering from acne. These are definitely worth looking into first as they can at least contribute to the underlying condition and are easier to treat!

External Adult Acne Causes 

External causes can be pinpointed to outside factors, the most common:

  • Not cleansing before exercising - a surprisingly common cause especially for women who wear make up. Do you work out straight after work without washing your face beforehand? If you breakout mainly on your cheeks, this could be the case
  • Pollution/smog/humidity - smog, grime and dirt can settle on skin and mix with sunscreen, sweat and make up. Humidity can cause sweating that dries on skin and opens pores which are then susceptible to clogging. If at the end of the day you notice a 'film' on your skin, this could very well be a contributing factor. 
  • Touching your face - jobs where you talk on the phone a lot, touching your face due to stress, pressure or nervousness
  • Skin care products - sometimes anti aging creams can be too rich for your skin and cause breakouts. Sunscreen and make up that isn't washed off properly, inadequate cleansing, and unhygienic make up practices, towels or bedding
  • Shampoo and hair products - yes, sometimes it really is the simple things. If you mainly breakout out around the side of your face or forehead, it could be you're not rinsing your shampoo thoroughly, hair products or even just your hair itself touching your face and distributing pore clogging oils
  • Picking your skin! - had one or two pimples that have now turned into a nightmare case of acne? Yes, sometimes it can be as simple as picking which spreads germs, damages skin both on the surface and below, and leaves scars

How To Determine The Causes Of Your Adult Acne

Some causes may be obvious to you now. However, while it's extremely beneficial to find out the main cause of your acne condition, it's not essential. Certain treatments, products and lifestyle changes can be all you need without really figuring 'why' you were made to suffer.

But to really know what to attack, try the following very beneficial exercise:

I highly recommend keeping a log or journal for at least 1 week, ideally 1 month. Record:

1) Your daily diet (this can be surprising once it's on paper!)

2) Sleep patterns, tiredness, energy levels

3) Your skin - new breakouts you notice and how long they last. Excess oiliness or dryness etc.

4) Anything you think is significant (alcohol, a stressful time, change in environment etc)

After a month you will definitely see patterns and these become invaluable to you.

How To Treat Your Acne (For Good)

After all this, whether you've determined what is most likely causing your acne or not, the most important thing is treating it successfully so you can get clear skin and get on with your life.

You can take principles from the above causes and combine them with proven treatments for the best approach.

That's exactly what this next article is about:

The Best Adult Acne Treatment For You



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