32 With Acne :(

Updated on June 18, 2013
S.S. asks from Douglasville, GA
18 answers

I've been battling break outs more so in my late 20's and into my early 30's than I had when I was a teen! Any suggestions on washes or acne spot treatments? Looking at the store, there are tons to choose from. I've got sensitive skin, t-zones, oily dry combo. I've tried proactive and gave it a full year before I decided I hated it. :) Suggestions other than Proactive are needed! :) thank you!

In regards to the hormone comments? I've already been tested for another matter and my hormone levels are perfect. Dr. thinks my acne it's stress related, which is a leading reason for adults having breakouts.

What can I do next?

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answers from Los Angeles on

I'm 40 and I still have pimple problems. What a pain! I use phisohex antibacterial wash, and a cream my doctor gave me. The phisohex helps a lot.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

I had really bad adult acne and finally caved and went to a dermatologist. My face is now clear - why didn't I do that years ago?!!

Try it ;-)

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Dallas on

Go to a dermatologist and find out if he/she can pinpoint the issue. It could be as simple as hormones that your OB could find out for you.

I've been very fortunate with my skin and never had breakouts. I have used Clinique all my life and I love the line. I use the repairwear series now. I also have sensitive skin and I've never had an issue with Clinique.

My 18 yr old uses Clinique as well and during the time when she experiences a blemish (she too had never had a full blown breakout), she uses the Clinique Acne line which has some great products.

The pricetag of Clinique scares a lot of people but in reality, it is not that bad because a $50 jar of cream will easily last 6 months if you are using it properly. I use the laser focus large bottle, around $80 something and I've had it over 6 months. Just 2 drops and that's it! Also it is guaranteed if you don't like it or it just doesn't help you, you do get money back.

I do know that Clinique is on a recommended list by Dr.'s as well as Cetaphil, and Purpose. You don't want to be washing and scrubbing too much as that will make it worse.

Check your diet, drink lots of water as well.

Good luck.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

First, you really should get a referral to a dermatologist and see what they recommend.

I'm 32 and have had acne as long as I can remember, but my skin is almost always clear these days because I stay on the regime from my doctor... which is NOT washing until my skin falls off.

Adult acne behaves differently than teen acne (often) and scrubs and washes designed to remove oil can just irritate and aggravate your mature temperamental skin. Stick to gentle noncomedogenic washes and use a moisturizer (weird I know, but the oil and acne can come from your skin THINKING it's too dry).

What works for me:
I wash my face morning and night... gently... Neutragena Oil Free acne wash in the evening, Basis gentle bar in the morning.
Retin A cream at night before bed.
Azelex cream in the morning.
Cetaphil sensitive skin lotion after washing in the evening.
Amoxicillin every day <--- this I don't love the idea of, but dropping it brought back breakouts :(

Just to note, "perfect" hormone levels doesn't mean your acne isn't related to your hormones. There's a reason acne shows up around puberty, just because they're doing what they're supposed to, doesn't mean they aren't to blame for this. If you're open to birth control pills, you might find that it completely solves your acne issue. The ONLY time my acne has stayed away without the daily creams and antibiotics was when I was on the pill and when I was pregnant and breastfeeding (unfortunately those times frames were also filled with migraines... so not worth it).


2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Ok..if it is stress related then attack that. Do you get plenty of exercise, sleep, healthy diet and water??

Find some stress relievers to fit into your daily life. I pray, do ZUMBA, meet up with girlfriends each week, laugh a lot, read and hang out and chat with my husband...and weekly date nights.

As for attacking the skin itself?? I use Cetaphil face wash each night then use water in the morn. Then use Lubriderm or Cetaphil lotion on my face under my make up.

Good luck! Also...try hard not to touch your face with your hands..and clean your phone often. This keeps bacteria from reaching your already challenged pores. :)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Think about food too. I've had acne since I was 12. It was dry and oily like yours. No products or anything the dermatologist said to do seemed to help much at all. It got better in my 20s but was still significant. Then I had my daughter, and she developed all kinds of behavior problems. We realized it was due to food additives and preservatives. She improved DRAMATICALLY on a "real food" diet. Well, what do you know? When I started cooking and eating "real food" my acne cleared up A LOT. If it is food for you, it might not be a food additive sensitivity; it could be an intolerance for gluten, or milk, or eggs... Sensitivities or intolerances for food can cause acne.

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answers from Washington DC on

i wonder if it's something that 'looks' like acne but isn't, like an allergy or rosacea. and stress is a likely culprit too.
i'd look into addressing the causes of stress, and also looking at your diet and doing the elimination dance to figure out what foods exacerbate the problem.
i also second the advice to look into olive oil. that stuff's like magic!
good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I'm sorry you're going through this. It's important that you understand your problem originates deeper within your body. Topical stuff isn't going to help you - as you've noticed. It's probably going to irritate your skin at this point. There are only 3 ways for your body to get rid of toxins and waste products: elimination (urine/feces, sometime tear ducts), mucus membranes and similar outlets (nasal passages, saliva, etc.) and the skin (pores). You've got the last one. I can give you some advice for regulating your body internally - I will tell you that you will probably get worse for 2-3 weeks while your body gets rid of this stuff, but then your skin will be much more stable. I know that doesn't sound too appealing, but really, what you're doing isn't working. If there were a magic product out there, you would have found it. It's time to try something different. There's a lot you can do for stress too - so this would be comprehensive.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Hartford on

Is there any chance it only occurs around your menstrual cycle? Otherwise my suggestion is to take a look at your diet and see if there's something triggering the acne, such as refined sugar or high fructose corn syrup or artificial food colorings or preservatives or fried foods... see where I'm going?

You could also be mistaking an allergic reaction for acne. There could be a food or chemical in your diet that you're reacting to, and it's showing up as "acne." Keep a food journal and see if it flares up at particular times over others.

For that matter, see if it flares up during times when you spend time in certain places or around certain animals or plants. Consider going to an allergist, if possible, and having a RAST blood test done.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I didn't have much acne at all as a teen but in my late 20's I developed acne. I saw a dermatologist who said I had roseacea which does appear in the adult years. I took an anti-biotic to clear up the acne and then just used regular otc acne products to keep it in check. I'm now 70 and still do have some pimples from time to time. My complexion is a little reddened. I can cover it with make up but choose not to.

I suggest that you see a dermatologist. If what you have is roseacea there are better treatments now. It's possible that with prescription strength products the acne will clear up to the point that it's easier to keep it at bay.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Milwaukee on

The PPers friend prob had a chemical peel or took Accutane. My husband took accutane when he was young and it cured him - not fair lol

I have had acne since puberty. Now that I am 42 I only get it close to my period. Depending on what type it is I treat differently.

My tricks-
Cystic acne - deep under surface have to be careful of drying creams. I use this on them http://www.amazon.com/Desert-Essence-Blemish-Touch-Stick/... works great!! You can get it much cheaper at your local heath food or vitamin shop.

Regular pimples with a whitehead under skin - I alternate between a salcytic acid (kind of exfoliates top layer of skin) gel http://www.amazon.com/Alba-Botanica-Acnedote-Invisible-Tr... benzoyl peroxide (antibacterial properties but is very drying) I only use a 4% solution cream I got from the dermatologist. Most places sell a 10% which dries out your skin so much the pimple cannot come to the surface. I did find this one that is only 5% http://www.amazon.com/BENZOYL-PEROX-GEL-Health-Beauty/dp/...

I wash with a microfiber washcloth and I usually do not use soap. Just warm water and light rubbing to exfoliate a bit. For my face lotion I use California Baby super sensitive baby lotion (husband does too) they sell it at Target in the Baby section http://www.amazon.com/California-Baby-Everyday-Lotion-Fra...

This system has come from years of trial and error. If you get a really bad break out then a dermatologist may want to put you on some antibiotics to get control and then you can try again.

Oh and my skin is exactly how you describe yours.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Columbus on

Look into Dermalogica and the clarisonic cleaning systems. They are great!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Omaha on

Cystic acne runs in my family. My dad and brothers had it worse than I ever did, but I got my fair share of breakouts. As I have gotten older (I'm 42 now) my skin is lovelier than it's ever been. Here are some things I do that you could try:
Beauticontrol has a great skincare line for acne prone skin and also sensitive skin. It is reasonably priced too. I can get the cleanser, face scrub, toner and moisturizer for around $30-40 and it will last 3-6 months. A lot of people that used proactive have switched to this product because it gets to the root problem, not just cleaning up the surface of your skin.
Nuskin also has an excellent line of skincare products, but they are more expensive. You can also get a pharmaceutical grade skincare called Obagi offered only through physicians that offer it. I am not sure how much that is, but it may be covered through insurance.
Drink lots of water and avoid processed food/greasy fast food. Treat yourself to regular facials. If you can find an esthetics school in your area, you can get them fairly cheap because the students do them for practice. You can also find a ton of deals through groupon and the like.
Always, always wash your face every night. I use the pre-moistened facial washcloths. You can find them at walmart for about $5 for a 3 month supply.
Make sure you keep your hands away from your face. I used to rest my chin in my hand a lot and would break out along my jawline because of it.
Hope this helps!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I had acne until I was in my late 50's. I got it at puberty. I don't know what caused it. The only time it would go away is when I got a bad sunburn. The acne would go away for the duration of the sunburn and I was acne free on the sunburn site.

I knew a guy that had acne much worse than mine. He went to see a doctor in his late 20's when he had a job with medical insurance. The doctor "burned" his face once or twice and that cured his acne. I don't know what the treatment was, but I remember it looked like a real bad sunburn.

If I could live my life over again I would have gone to see a doctor after I discovered that a sunburn would drive away my acne so I could see if he could cure me.

I hope that helps. If you decide to ask the doctor about what I've said and he has a cure four you, please let me know so I can pass it on to someone else and help them out. Thank you. (I'm only here on mamapedia to help those in need.)

Good luck to you and yours.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

I use Neutrogena Oil Free Acne Wash, or even the WalMart version is good. I also use one of those facial sponges that's wrapped in a woven mesh; so it's a gentle way to exfoliate. That's been the only thing that has worked for me for the last several years. Of course, the hotter it gets in the summer time, the more I sweat and feel the need to constantly wipe my face....which doesn't help. Try to remember to not put your hands on your face and don't prop your chin or cheek onto the palm of your hand. Friction can make it a lot worse.


answers from Houston on

Use witch hazel as an astringent.



answers from Little Rock on

I have a friend that used coconut oil and it cleared up her acne in a week. And it is cheap to try!

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