If this sounds familiar, don't worry - for a start you aren't alone: studies show that up to 50% of us are affected by acne well into adulthood. What's more, there are plenty of steps to take to treat it. While it's important to remember there are no "miracle" cures, there could be plenty of causes and working on any of them might be a step to solving your acne worries.
Adult acne vs. teenage acne
Acne breakouts may be hormonal - consult a doctor or dermatologist about this, and a medical treatment could be found that works for you. Women often report suffering from a recurrence of acne during times of hormonal irregularity such as pregnancy and the menopause. if this is the case, a medical treatment may then be complemented by other treatments and approaches. Whether or not you are using a prescribed treatment, there are skincare routines that can support your skin and alleviate the symptoms of acne.
It is important to keep in mind that adult acne and teenage acne, though equally frustrating, are different. Our skin changes throughout our lives. As teenagers our skin is literally (if not metaphorically) thicker than adult skin, which weakens with age, so harsher products might work on teenage skin, but are not ideal for treating adult acne. Instead choose soothing options which are enriched with soothing and calming properties. Exfoliating skin too much can also cause acne to flare up, so avoid using harsh exfoliators and products which cause redness to worsen.
The stresses we face as teenagers are also different to those we face as adults, but stress itself is a persistent factor in acne woes. Exercise is known to help reduce stress. Expending energy in exercise can also help you to get good sleep, which is an important part of skin-care, not to mention further keeping stress at bay and preventing the vicious circle of acne --> stress--> more acne.
Makeup, buildup and bacteria
Talking of your slumber, never sleep with makeup on. You should always remove it before you go to bed, using gentle products that are to cleanse and also soothe your skin. If you're too tired to do your usual full cleanse, use a thermal water-infused foaming gel. When you have a little more time and are looking for a relaxing acne treatment and deep cleanse, try a purifying mineral-based mask. It's important not to further irritate your acne by using products intended to dry out oils from your skin. Don't be too harsh on your face (or body) as the more oil you remove, the more your skin will compensate by producing sebum.
Opt for water-based, mineral-enriched products. If you touch your face too much during the day, bacteria on your hands could aggravate the acne problem. Keep your hands clean with regular washing using a gentle soap, and try to keep them busy with other tasks - what a great excuse to use those busy fingers to get researching new beauty ideas!