Adult acne is a problem faced by many men and women. This late-onset acne occurs well after adolescence, which distinguishes it from the acne that can sometimes occur during puberty. In order to find the right treatment, it is first and foremost important to understand the cause of your adult acne and then implement the appropriate solutions for your skin.
What is acne ?
Generally speaking, acne is a chronic skin disease that affects the glands responsible for producing sebum: the polisebaceous follicles. The secretion of sebum, whose purpose is initially to create a film to protect the skin, is altered and becomes excessive. This phenomenon leads to the obstruction of the skin's pores and consequently to the appearance of :
Blackheads or open comedones
Whiteheads, closed comedones or micro cysts
Pimples, which are usually whiteheads that become inflamed due to bacteria. They can become papules (non-purulent red pimples), pustules (purulent pimples) or nodules (pimples deeply embedded in the skin).
These different manifestations occur on the face, back, shoulders or the front of the chest. There are several types of acne, ranging from mild to severe.
The specifics of adult acne
If the above definition corresponds to all acne-prone skin, there are certain specificities for adult acne and notably the age at which it occurs. Indeed, the presence of blemishes is common during adolescence. Some adults also experience this problem and this is why it is called adult acne. It is not uncommon for an adult over 25 to experience acne, even at 30 or 40 years of age.
The problem of adult acne is in fact very widespread, with one in four adults over the age of 25 reporting having had acne (1). Moreover, men and women are not equal when it comes to the problem.
Are men and women equal when it comes to acne?
Men and women are not equal when it comes to this disease. Women are far more prone to adult acne than men. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology (2), 50.9% of women aged 20 and 26.3% of women aged 40 suffer from acne. In men, 42.5% of 20-year-olds and 12% of 40-year-olds are affected. Although the causes of adult acne are sometimes difficult to determine, it seems that gender plays a major role in this late-stage problem.
What are the consequences of adult acne?
Before looking at the causes of adult acne, it is important to understand the consequences. The appearance of acne-prone skin can be greatly affected by the presence of pimples, blackheads, but also scars from old pimples. The more severe the acne, the less smooth and even the skin. The aesthetics of the skin are therefore greatly affected, which can have important psychological repercussions. If acne is already difficult to live with in adolescence, it is even more so in adulthood. It is not uncommon for people with severe acne to seek psychological support.
In addition, the presence of pimples can cause infections that can be very uncomfortable and even painful. The quality of life of a person with adult acne can therefore be greatly affected.
What causes adult acne?
Before considering treatment, it is very important to look at the causes of adult acne. There are several causes to consider.
The hormonal factor
When we talk about adult acne, we often talk about hormonal acne. This is a very common cause of acne. Indeed, an overproduction of androgenic hormones may tend to favour the presence of pimples and blackheads. It can also have an impact on hair growth, menstruation, weight gain, etc. Hormonal acne is very common in women and it is usually a health professional who will be asked to test for this cause of acne through blood tests.
Chronic immune stimulation
Another cause of adult acne is chronic immune stimulation. The development of resistant strains of the bacteria responsible for the inflammation would maintain a chronic inflammation that would constantly stimulate the immune system. This would explain the presence of acne, particularly in adult women after puberty.
An altered skin microbiome
Just like many other organs, the maintenance of the skin microbiome contributes to its good health. An alteration in this microbiome could result in the presence of the bacteria responsible for acne.
Habits and lifestyle
Finally, although the primary causes of adult acne mentioned above are more medical in nature, lifestyle habits can have a significant impact on adult skin. It is now known that stress, smoking, alcohol, sunlight, poor diet and the use of unsuitable products can have a real impact on late acne.
What are the treatments for adult acne?
There are several treatments that can be used to regulate sebum production and therefore limit the presence of acne in adults.
Adopt a healthy lifestyle
Certain changes can be made on a daily basis to limit sebum production and especially inflammation. Opting for a healthy diet, sufficient physical activity, but also stress management techniques are recommended for people who suffer from acne. It is quite possible to be accompanied in this respect by a naturopath, for example.
Choosing the right cosmetics
Using the right skincare and cosmetic products is also part of the treatment to address the causes of acne and limit the presence of pimples. At Laboratoire Garancia, we offer several solutions such as:
La Sulfureuse Pâte du Marabout: a purifying, cleansing and anti-imperfection paste
L'Elixir du Marabout: a concentrated anti-imperfection and anti-ageing serum
La Perle du Marabout: a moisturizing and matifying evanescent gel that smoothes the skin texture.
Marabou-T: an anti-imperfection S.O.S roll-on for the T-zone
Le Chardon et le Marabout: an anti-ageing, high-tech and repairing tinted cream, which combines make-up and care in a single step.
It is also possible to test our products with a 7-day treatment thanks to our 7-day Marabout Express Cure box.
In all cases, it is recommended to choose non-comedogenic skincare and beauty products to limit the appearance of blackheads and pimples. While an adult acne cream is not miraculous, a daily skin care routine can be a very effective treatment.
See a dermatologist or gynaecologist
Finally, if you are unable to find a suitable solution or if you think you are dealing with hormonal acne, you can seek the help of a dermatologist. This health professional will be able to carry out analyses to understand the causes of your adult acne. He or she can also prescribe dermatological treatments that are only available on prescription. Most often, the dermatologist intervenes in cases of severe adult acne.
For women, the choice of a contraceptive pill can have an effect on hormones and therefore an impact on acne. A gynaecologist is therefore able to prescribe a more suitable contraceptive in the case of acne.