4 Best Skincare Ingredients for Adult Acne Treatment

Adult acne is acne that occurs after the age of 25. Knowing the root cause of your acne will help you get rid of this problem and achieve healthy and clean skin. The most common reasons for adult acne include: 

  • Hormonal imbalances

  • Chronic stress

  • Using skin care products that clog pores

  • Pollution

  • A diet that can affect overall inflammation 

  • Genetics

  • Certain conditions (PCOS)

  • Certain medications (steroid inhalers, birth control pills, testosterone, lithium)

  • Sunscreen 

Adult acne along with other symptoms like hair loss, irregular periods, weight gain, and excess hair growth might indicate a systemic issue. Therefore, it’s essential to be attentive to your body and visit a dermatologist and other doctors to find the cause of your acne and treat it. 

Along with following your main treatment, you need to use skincare products with the right ingredients. We’ve collected for you four ingredients that have been shown to treat and prevent acne and even reverse some signs of aging: 

1. Salicylic acid

Salicylic acid is a popular remedy for acne. It has the ability to exfoliate the skin and keep pores clean. It’s effective for blackheads (open clogged pores) and whiteheads (closed clogged pores). Both are types of mild acne. 

Salicylic acid enters your skin and dissolves sticky dead cells accumulated in your oil glands. It’s also effective in eliminating post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation caused by acne. Salicylic acid has anti-aging effects. It can improve skin tone and stimulate collagen production.   

2. Retinols

Retinol is a type of retinoid derived from vitamin A. It has been shown to successfully treat acne and wrinkles due to its ability to improve skin cell turnover and promote the production of collagen and healthy skin cells. 

Adding retinol to your skincare routine will help you reduce whiteheads, blackheads, wrinkles, and fine lines. But be careful when using retinol, skincare products containing this ingredient might cause:

  • Burning

  • Dry skin 

  • Redness

  • Itching 

  • Irritation

  • Flaking and peeling of the skin

  • Increased sensitivity to the sun 

3. Azelaic acid

Azelaic acid is an acid that’s naturally found in rye, barley, and grains. It’s a great option for those who have acne and hyperpigmentation from acne. Azelaic acid possesses antibacterial, antioxidant, and comedolytic effects meaning it helps prevent pore-clogging and skin irritation, and inflammation provoked by bacteria. 

This ingredient is also good for people with melasma or sun damage. It can brighten the skin without side effects. Azelaic acid is full of antioxidants which means it fights free radicals that damage your skin and thus reduces wrinkles and fine lines. Azelaic acid is also appropriate for rosacea as it lowers inflammation and improves the appearance of swelling and visible blood vessels. But if you have an allergy to azelaic acid, stay away from this ingredient. The signs of an allergic reaction to azelaic acid include:

  • Fever

  • Blistering or flaking skin 

  • Difficulty breathing 

  • Hives and itching

  • Tightness or pain in your joints

4. Glycolic acid

Glycolic acid is alpha-hydroxy-acid derived from fruits. It’s appropriate for all skin types and can be used during pregnancy. Glycolic acid is beneficial for mild acne since it boosts skin turnover and eliminates dead skin cells. Glycolic acid has other good benefits: it can improve skin tone and discoloration, collagen production, and overall skin appearance.  

If you have adult acne, it doesn’t mean you will have it always. There are lots of good options that have been shown to be effective for acne-prone skin. But remember that it’s essential to treat the main cause of your acne. Proper skin care routine combined with treatment will make your skin clean and healthy.


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Written by Amelia Grant

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