How to Treat Adult Acne

Recently the NHS released a list of 35 conditions they would no longer be treating on prescription. The list included acne, which has risen in adults in recent years, with studies suggesting as many as 55% of those aged between 20 and 40 struggle with acne. If you’re in that number, don’t panic! Here’s how you can keep acne under control without prescription products.

Identify Your Triggers

Keep a note of when you get an acne breakout and see if there are any patterns. Adult acne can often be caused by stress, hormones, pollution and diet. Do you wake up to new spots at the same time each month? Its likely hormone related. Break out after a busy period at work, or after a week eating chips? That’s stress and diet causing the problem.

If you can see the triggers, you can try to prevent or pre-empt them, and have the right products ready to go.


Stay away from the harsh treatments you used as a teenager, and opt for something better suited to adult skin. Choose a cleanser that regulates oil production, such as Avene Cleanance Cleansing Gel, Bioderma Sensibio DS Purifying Cleansing Gel or La Roche-Posay Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel.

Wash your face morning and evening, using your fingers or a soft washcloth. Make sure you’re not missing your jawline and neck. If you wear make-up, you get sweaty during the day, or you’re often in a high pollution area, double-cleanse at night, either by washing twice, or pairing your cleanser with a product like Eucerin Dermo Purifyer Micellar Cleansing Water.


Apply a toner by swiping it over your face on a cotton ball or pad, to remove any leftover make-up, dirt, oil or cleanser. Toners are especially good for oily skin, but there are more hydrating options out there if your skin is dry. We love Vichy Normaderm Purifying Astringent Lotion Toner and La Roche-Posay Effaclar Clarifying Lotion.


Next, apply any treatments or serums you’re using. For acne, we like Eucerin Dermo Purifyer Resurfacing Treatment, and Vichy Normaderm Hyaluspot.


Even if your skin is oily, you need to use a moisturiser. Acne treatments can dry the skin, so add back moisture and prevent your skin from producing even more oil to deal with the dryness. La Roche Posay Effaclar H Moisturiser is designed for oily skin and will reduce shine. For day, you could try Eucerin Dermo Purifyer CC Mattifying Fluid, which moisturises while also concealing blemishes, in one easy step.

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