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4 Things That Helped My Adult Acne Outbreaks

4 Things That Helped My Adult Acne Outbreaks


What is it about being an adult that makes the universe want to pile it all on? As if having a mortgage, learning to cook, and finally getting around to folding the laundry that’s been sitting in the dryer wasn’t enough – now adult acne starts to rear its ugly head (pun slightly intended).


Even though I study this -ish regularly, I still fall victim to the same challenges that you do and adult acne is one of them. The good news is that you get the benefit of me being a serial researcher (honestly, in my past life I was some type of PI or something) and I have searched and tested a few at-home solutions that you should try if you are experiencing random adult acne outbreaks.

Related: The Real Difference Between Blackheads & Whiteheads


Tips For Dealing With Adult Acne

Eliminate Skincare Products

This may seem counter-intuitive because you were probably thinking that I would say to buy a bottle of tea tree oil or calamine lotion (still testing these theories), but it’s actually the opposite. I found the most success when I eliminated most products from my regime and slowly added them back in as my skin recovered. That means that I put my daily retinol + vitamin c routine on pause. Try sticking to the absolute basics like a good face wash and water-based moisturizer (I love this one) until your skin heals. 

Related: Using Vitamin C Did Wonders For My Skin


Prevent Adult Acne By Washing Your Pillowcases

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This one was a game-changer for me. We have white sheets so we already were washing our sheets and pillowcases often, but the idea that I needed to change them weekly was brand new information. I ultimately ended up buying an additional set of white pillowcases so I could make the swap without stripping the bed weekly and my skin was happy about it. If you are like me and don’t wash your hair daily (who does?!) then this is something that you should consider. The oil and product from our hair will seep into pillowcases and make their way into our pores. This is usually a red flag if you have breakouts on your cheeks. Bonus – my esthetician recommended switching to satin pillowcases because they tend to be less absorbent than cotton. I got mine off of Amazon here

Related: A Top Dermatologist Answers Your Biggest


See Also

Use Benzoyl Peroxide in the Morning

When all else failed I asked my dermatologist what I could possibly be doing wrong and he told me to stick with the course and that the changes I made should be resulting in impact soon. Instead of putting me on a heavy dose of medication, he told me to pick up this $10 face wash from Target and use it in the mornings. The key is to look for one with 10% Benzoyl Peroxide to help combat the adult acne breakouts.

Related: How to Start a Skincare Routine for Beginners


Switch To a Different Towel

This little trick to combat adult acne trick was one that came from research and now that I’ve tried it – I agree. When you shower, make sure that you use a different towel to wash your face compared to the one that you use for your body and hair. I keep a little white face towel near my skin and I use only this towel whenever I wash my face. (Mine is from Amazon, you can get it here.) This is a small switch but ensures that any elements from your body or hair won’t make their way to your face. Bonus points for using a white towel so that you can ensure that there’s no product left on your face after you wash it.  

Related: How Cell Turnover Affects Your Skin

I hope these tips will help you see fewer breakouts and fight random outbreaks of adult acne. As if we didn’t have enough to deal with, these breakouts need to hit the road.