Dealing with Adult Acne

I am a 30-year old who STILL has acne. I've done the dermatologist route, tried Proactive, and other regimens and while it gets better for awhile, it seems nothing I do can really prevent me from breaking out. I started doing in the last year the Korean skincare routine, and I like it a lot. For awhile, it seemed my acne had subsided but now I'm finding I'm breaking out again.

Can anyone please provide some recommendations on what I can do for this? I'm also getting married next year and want to make sure my skin looks good! Thanks!


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Hi! I'm 21, but I've been having issues with acne for almost a decade. Every time I think I've found something that works, it immediately stops working. I'm afraid I don't have any great tips, but one thing I've found to help is aloe vera gel for the redness. I get the basic non-brand name stuff with no extra chemicals or anything and work it into my skin every day. I've already seen the redness start to go away and it's only been two weeks! Hope this helps :)
I have three pieces of advice. I always suffered from acne, and still have far from perfect skin. My skin was incredibly oily. I could wash my face in the morning, and two hours later it would be shiny with oil. Instead of going to a doctor, I finally went to an esthetician. She explained to me that the soap I was using which was designed to cut down the oil was actually creating a cycle where the oil was quite bad. The skin has a natural function to create a protective oily mantle. If that has been stripped down in a harsh way, the skin will redouble its efforts by creating even more oil.

She put me on a gentle cleanser and she told me, "For the first three weeks, your skin will continue to dump oil. But after that it will normalize. Stick with it. Don't use ever use harsh soaps and especially don't use antibacterial soaps."

It happened exactly how she said it would. In three weeks time, the oil production normalized significantly. I never had problem with the same kind of acne after that. I still have congested skin, but nothing like it was before that time.

You might want to experiment by not using any products at all on your face except water. And as often as your face is oily, simply go splash some warm water on your face to cut the oil and then splash some cold water over it to close the pores. Just work with only water for a while and see how that works. Water is a solvent. It dissolves oil. It may be the only thing you need to cut down the oil ~ if oily skin is your problem.

Here's the second piece - get rid of dairy products. Or at least try it. For a little while, I got hooked on a coffee drink that had milk in it. Suddenly I looked like my teenage self again. I switched to soy and my skin cleared up. So that indicates to me that milk is definitely connected to acne - at least for me. This is how the holistic health people explain it: pasteurized, homogenized milk destroys all the enzymes that help the body to assimilate milk sugar and milk protein. If we were drinking raw milk, theoretically it would not be a problem.

The last piece is simply this - experiment with fasting and cleansing diets to see what happens to your skin. I did this quite a bit and even though it wasn't my goal necessarily to heal my skin, my skin definitely cleared up when I was doing super healthy diets or fasting.
Thank you so much for your well-thought out response! Unfortunately for me, I have the opposite problem (I tend to run dry rather than oily), but I think that's a great idea to go to an aesthetician. I will look into that. As well as looking into the dairy thing (I honestly had not that of that).

Thank you so much for your well-thought out response! Unfortunately for me, I have the opposite problem (I tend to run dry rather than oily), but I think that's a great idea to go to an aesthetician. I will look into that. As well as looking into the dairy thing (I honestly had not that of that).

I have one last suggestion. Acne Bootcamp. This guy right here might be able to help you.
I also want to emphasize changing your diet. My dermatologist suggested I eliminate diary from my diet. Once I stopped eating dairy I noticed a change in my skin. Apparently the hormones in cow milk affect our hormones causing more oil production which equals clogged pores.
Witch hazel. While my acne is not the most severe, it is something that I was always self conscious of. In addition to having acne as a problem, I have very sensitive skin, so all of the damaging chemical filled products seemed to make it worse. For me, Witch Hazel and a good clean diet have cleared up my skin more than anything else! Best of luck and good luck on your wedding! I am getting married in November and get fever blisters several times a year, I am terrified I will get one before my wedding.
I have had horrible acne since my early teens as well, over ten years now. I ended up going on accutane, which has some pretty horrible side effects but it kept me from having as much scarring from my cystic acne. I still have acne ongoing, and have since then, it's just not completely covering my skin anymore. What has nearly cleared it up for me (I still get some smaller, less painful pimples from hormonal changes) is not eating sugar, for me, a piece of cake equals a huge painful pimple in the middle of my cheek within 24 hours of eating it. I found this out by cleaning up my diet a few years ago, I went off sugar and a few other things and my acne went away, I introduced the others back slowly but as soon as I started eating sugar again (cane sugar, corn syrup, processed sugars) the acne came back. So now my skin care includes a mixture of dermatologist (clindamycin, tretinoin), gentle soap, and diet awareness. Before my wedding last year I cut out nearly all kinds of sugars for about 3 weeks beforehand and ended up having completely clear skin for my wedding day! It's interesting that some people on here mentioned dairy, I am really sensitive to dairy products so don't eat much of that either, so maybe that helps me out too. I hope your wedding is wonderful!
A lot of things can cause it to flare up again. Stress, certain foods, not showering soon after you workout. Rodan and Fields is what I used before I got married and it helped keep me from breaking out. I've found that soda and fried food make me break out. Cleaning up your diet could possibly help a lot. And drinks LOTS of water
I have less face acne, and more body acne... but my girlfriend has had a tough time dealing with facial acne herself.

She recently saw some mass improvement after cleaning up her diet (she was vegetarian for years and recently removed dairy from her diet, switching to a full vegan diet). Some things she did to help was by using non-fragrant gentle face-wash, doing a nightly face wash followed by moisturizing with argan oil, and she found a product called "The Ordinary" brand Glycolic Acid 7% Facial Toner ( ) which she uses daily. These steps alone hav been helping her amazingly, and she's gone from daily break-outs to having her acne scars clear up and begin to heal.

She also used this stuff called Differin gel which helped her make improvements - but she's used it interchangeably and one should not use both products at the same time. Of course, diet, stress, and environment have a lot to do with flare-ups - but you can accomplish a lot by keeping your face clean, facial skin healthy, changing your diet, and trying out some new things! Everybody's body is different, so what works for some may not work for you, but there's hope for you and many products which can help you are available over the counter and for way less than 'Pro-Active' or other expensive remedies (which typically fail to work).

Best regards!