Not Another Teen Breakout: What’s Actually Causing Your Adult Acne

Anna Denson
Written by
Anna Denson

You spend your teenage years looking forward to adult life.


More money! More freedom! Clear, acne-free skin!


But then you actually hit your 20s and you’re still having pesky breakouts. Or maybe you enjoy clear skin until your 30s, when you’re suddenly hit with red blemishes.


The sad truth? Acne doesn’t magically disappear on your 20th birthday. Welcome to the world of adult acne.



It hurts to keep discovering pimples after your teenage years, and realize that your face hasn’t kept up its end of the bargain. All your clear skin dreams, suddenly crushed!


But acne doesn't have to be a life-long diagnosis. Adult acne has been Averr Aglow’s mission from the start, and we are here to provide you with all of the advice and products you need to leave your breakouts in the dust!


What is Adult Acne?

Adult acne is defined as persistent breakouts after the age of 25. There are two main types of adult acne:


Lingering acne: when your teenage breakouts continue into your 20s and beyond


Late-onset acne: sudden adult acne that seems to pop up out of nowhere


If you’re suffering from either of these issues, you may be left wondering:


How old do I have to get? At what age does acne STOP?


There’s no precise answer. You see, adult acne isn’t just teen acne overstaying its welcome. Adult acne has some key differences.


Teen acne tends to crop up all over the face, but adult acne is usually denser on the lower third of the face. You know — those zits that always pop up on your chin and jawline.


Plus, adult acne often appears as inflamed cysts rather than those whiteheads and blackheads of your high school days. Not exactly an improvement.


At least when you were a teenager, most of your friends were in the same boat. Skin problems like adult acne can feel very isolating.


But trust us, you’re not the only one struggling!


Adult Acne is More Common Than You Think

Become a Success Story with the Averr Aglow Clear Skin Kit


One study estimated that an average of 1 in 5 women experience adult acne at some point. Another study put the number closer to 1 in 2, as 45% of women in their 20s showed acne blemishes.


However you break it down, one thing is clear: you are not alone.


What Causes Adult Acne?

At its core, acne is caused by:


1. Overproduction of sebum, the natural oils produced by your skin

2. Pores becoming clogged with dead skin cells, makeup, and other impurities

3. C. acnes bacteria that live on your skin and colonize the blocked pores


    When sebum mixes with the skin cells and impurities, they form a dense plug that clogs up your pores. Then C. acnes bacteria move in and start feeding on the trapped oil. These bacteria cause blocked pores to become red and inflamed, resulting in acne blemishes.


    Acne is common in teenagers because puberty hormones often trigger the overproduction of sebum, which gets the acne ball rolling.


    But why do these factors sometimes linger on, causing breakouts in adults?


    Fluctuating Hormones


    Many women experience hormonal fluctuations around their menstrual cycle and as they age. Bad news for skin, because fluctuations in your estrogen and testosterone levels can spur on oil production and lead to acne flare-ups. Cue the PMS breakout!


    Women can also experience this type of hormonal adult acne during pregnancy, perimenopause, and menopause.



    Have you recently stopped or started taking birth control pills? Oral contraceptives also alter your hormone levels, which can leave you with zits while your body adjusts to its new normal.


    These fluctuations tend to come and go. But if you have persistent, chronic acne, dig deeper. It may be a sign of a true hormonal imbalance.


    High Stress Levels


    You probably know already that there’s a relationship between stress and breakouts.


    Stress causes the release of acne-triggering hormones called cortisol and CRH. Cortisol can increase oil production, and CRH activates inflammation, two factors leading to acne flare-ups.


    For quick relief from inflammation, try a spritz of our Clarifying Hydration Dew. With calming cucumber and soothing rosewater, it's a refreshing balm for swollen and irritated skin!


    Averr Aglow Clarifying Hydration Dew



    Tragic as it is, the foods we eat definitely impact the clarity of our skin. The most common troublemakers include diets high in sugar, refined carbohydrates, and dairy.


    High-sugar diets cause a spike of the hormone insulin in your bloodstream. Insulin, in turn, can increase your skin’s oil production, leaving you a greasy, blemish-prone mess.


    Meanwhile, dairy has been linked to similar insulin issues AND interference from a hormone called IGF-1, another potential acne trigger.


    To shape your eating habits toward a positive, clear-skin goal, keep in mind a few important dos and don’ts for an anti-acne diet.




    If your skin is producing a lot of oil, it makes sense that you want to wash your face more often. But washing your face too much can actually dry out your skin and cause it to produce even more oil. Especially if you are using a harsh, skin-stripping cleanser!


    We recommend cleansing once in the AM and once in the PM. Don’t overdo it!


    And for best results, use a gentle cleanser like our Radiant Cleansing Nectar twice a day. It’s tough enough to take off oil and impurities, but soothing enough to leave your skin happy and hydrated.


    Averr Aglow Radiant Cleansing Nectar


    How to Get Rid of Adult Acne

    Now the part you’ve been waiting for: how to actually treat adult acne.


    There are a few approaches you can take, and everyone’s skin will react differently. We suggest keeping a skincare journal, so you can note which methods you try and how well they work on your unique skin.


    Try to incorporate one method at a time (rather than all of them at once), so you can really figure out which ones are working best for you.


    1. Use Actual Adult Acne Treatments


    We’re sorry to break it to you, but that the skincare routine you used to treat breakouts in high school isn’t going to work for your adult skin.


    Teenage skin is more resilient than adult skin and can stand up to harsher ingredients. Adult acne sufferers need products formulated for more sensitive complexions. So those severe teen-targeted ingredients are bound to leave you red, itchy, and flaky.


    For adult acne, it’s better to use natural ingredients that nourish your skin rather than punish it. Averr Aglow knows all about it — our products were specifically crafted to heal adult acne, by someone who lived the struggle!


    2. Clean Up Your Diet


    We already mentioned some food groups you’ll want to minimize or avoid altogether. But you can also give your complexion a boost by focusing on ingredients with skin-supporting vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants!


    To make it a little easier on you, we’ve already compiled a list of the 99 Best Foods for Clear Skin.


    3. Try Techniques to De-Stress


    Anything you can do to relieve stress can also help reduce your breakouts. So try a few de-stressing techniques — it’s good for your skin and your mental health!


    — Meditate

    — Exercise

    — Go to bed early

    — Snuggle pets or loved ones

    — Have a self-care spa night

    — Enjoy your favorite hobby


      4. Don't Pop Your Pimples


      Adult acne tends to appear as inflamed cysts rather than your run-of-the-mill whiteheads.


      Pimple poppers beware: cysts are nearly unpoppable, and trying can lead to infection and scarring. There are better techniques to shrink your cysts safely.


      For one, we suggest using a healing spot treatment like our Clear Skin Elixir. This overnight face mask uses rare ingredients like French pink clay to detoxify blemishes and deposit skin-restoring nutrients.


      Averr Aglow Clear Skin Elixir Overnight Face Mask

      5. Choose Products Designed to Work Together 


      If your skincare isn’t working for you, it’s time to start fresh.


      Many women with adult acne have a complicated skin care routine that isn’t doing them any favors. Combining contradictory products from different skincare lines can actually cancel out their hero ingredients, so the products (and your skin) never live up to their full potential.


      That’s right: mixing product lines can often make acne even worse.


      That’s why it’s incredibly helpful to find one complete, well-rounded product line that addresses all your skincare needs. Our Clear Skin Kit provides a total clear skin solution, with carefully-formulated products that work together to:


      — Heal breakouts

      — Clear clogged pores

      — Restore dull and lackluster skin

      — Even out skin tone


        All of our products are designed for sensitive complexions (hey there, adult skin), with nutrient-rich, non-irritating ingredients.


        Best of all? This system is just four steps, so it’s easy to fit into your busy routine!


        Averr Aglow Clear Skin Kit

        6. Give Yourself Time to Heal


        We know you’ve been waiting a long time to finally reach clear, beautiful skin. But be easy on yourself and give your skin the time it needs to fully heal and clarify!


        Remember: no skincare routine works instantly. (And altering your skin routine too frequently can actually irritate your skin even more!) It’s important to give your new skincare routine at least two to three months to experience results.


        It’ll be so worth it! xx

        Anna Denson
        Written by
        Anna Denson
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