Adult Acne? Here's Why and What Can Help.

November 11, 2020

DeepMarine Collagen Woman with bag on her head to hide adult acne

If you are decades beyond braces and puberty but again struggling with acne breakouts you are not alone.  Although it seems unfair, acne doesn’t disappear after adolescence and it‘s not uncommon to be battling both acne and wrinkles at the same time.

What Causes Adult Acne?

Acne occurs when oil or sebum, dead skin cells and bacteria get trapped in a hair follicle. The follicle becomes inflamed and forms a pimple.

Although this mixture of dead cells and bacteria causes skin inflammation what experts now know is that frequently there is underlying inflammation already present in the body, and it’s this inflammation that makes some people more susceptible to acne.

Hormonal Changes

Whether it’s your menstrual cycle, the onset of menopause, or an endocrine disorder, the accompanying hormonal influx drives an increase in overall skin inflammation, sebum production and acne producing bacteria.

During menopause we experience a drop in estrogen and rise in the male hormone testosterone.  This change in balance of female and male hormones is often the catalyst to set these acne producing risk factors into motion.  An increase in testosterone is also responsible for increases in pore size in our skin, which can lead to clogged pores and acne.

Tell your doctor if your adult acne is accompanied by symptoms of irregular menstrual periods, hair loss, or rapid weight gain or loss; all of which can be a sign of an endocrine disorder.

Stress

A 2017, study published in the national library of medicine showed that increases in stress severity strongly correlated with an increase in acne severity.  Researchers determined that the presence of the stress hormone, Cortisol, directly increased both sebum production and inflammation in the skin.

Slow Cell Turn-Over

Adult skin is prone to the buildup of dead skin cells.  This is because cell turnover diminishes as we age. This accumulation of cells makes skin look dull and also clogs pores.

High Glycemic Diet

Although the role of diet in the formation of acne has often been dismissed, a dermatology study published in 2016 in PubMed clearly showed a relationship between the consumption of high glycemic foods and the severity of acne.  Again this association is likely related to the fact that high glycemic foods increase inflammation in the body.

Smoking and Alcohol

Although alcohol consumption doesn’t directly cause adult acne, it can depress your immune cells making it more difficult for your body to fight off infections and bacteria that cause acne.

By robbing skin of oxygen and necessary nutrients, smoking not only ages skin but it impedes the healing process and frequently worsens adult acne.

How to Treat Adult Acne

Acne Medications

Unlike teenage acne, which is typically small pimples in the T-zone, hormonal induced adult acne often presents on the lower part of the face as deep nodules under the skin.  This type of acne can be resistant to over-the-counter topical treatments and usually responds better to either oral or topical prescriptions. Speak to your family doctor or dermatologist about the treatment that is best for you.

Lifestyle

Stock up on colorful fruits and vegetables and cut down on high glycemic foods.  Increasing anti-inflammatory foods in your diet has wide ranging benefits from improving heart and brain health to creating healthy, younger looking, clearer skin.

Don’t forget to build healthy de-stressors into your daily routine.  Regular exercise, meditation or laughing with a good friend can go a long way in reducing overall cortisol levels.

How Can Collagen Help With Adult Acne?

Some people report that collagen helps to reduce their acne.  Although the science around this is unclear and undetermined this may be due to marine collagen’s strong anti-inflammatory properties and ability to improve blood flow in the skin.

What science is clear about, is the fact that marine collagen works very well to hydrate skin.  This is extremely useful if you are using acne treatments that are drying to the skin.  Some of the very effective oral acne medications have severe side effects of drying mucous membranes and leaving eyes, nose and lips cracked and sore.  DeepMarine Collagen relieves these side effects while the medication treats the acne.

Marine collagen also stimulates new collagen production in skin which improves overall tone and texture.  Many people find the hyper-pigmentation or red marks, left from acne, fade considerably with regular use of collagen peptides.