Need Suggestions About Adult Acne

Updated on September 12, 2011
C.S. asks from Cedar Rapids, IA
22 answers

I am 41 years old and am still getting zits, mostly in my T-zone. In particular, I get them between my eyes (on the upper bridge of my nose). Very strange place to get them! I wash my face thorougly in the morning and evening. Mornings I use Cetaphil Antibacterial bar soap and evenings I usually use L'Occitane Shea butter Ultra Rich Face Soap (also a bar ~ I prefer bars to washes). For awhile I liked Avene's cold cream soap, but it dries out the rest of my face. I moisturize in the mornings and evenings (L'Oreal's Youth Code line), and in the evenings I also use a salicylic acid gel on my pimples. They don't seem to coincide with my menstrual cycle at all. I don't wear an excessive amount of makeup - usually a tinted moisturizer and a little bronzer. No eye makeup/mascara or lip products.

I know others have this issue, and I'd like to hear from you as to what you use on your skin that has helped get rid of these things! What cleansers/moisturizers do you use? For those who have perfect skin - I applaud you, but I want to hear from those of you who have had problem skin and what regimen you used to improve it! Thanks, Mamas.

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So What Happened?

Thank you SO MUCH for all the suggestions! I am a nurse so wash my hands religiously throughout the day whether I'm working or not, and I don't touch my face (or wax my eyebrows). :-) My diet is great - lots of fresh stuff and plenty of water. We rarely eat out. I've actually lost 40 pounds over the past 6 months because of our diet changes. I did pick up some NeoStrata products as I have never used AHA before and read good stuff on MUA about it. I have a few exfoliator produts at home already so will add those back in, too. Thanks mamas!

Featured Answers


answers from Kansas City on

Like others said, my face has gotten better since I started using Bare Minerals 2 years ago. Right now it's a mess, but I am pregnant and that is to be expected unfortunately.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

For me my diet has very much to do with how my skin will be. When I'm consuming loads of water and eating less greasy foods and more fresh fruits and veggies, my skin is more radiant and less flawed.

I know Bare Minerals works great for skin but there are other mineral makeups that are better and less expensive than Bare Minerals with more color ranges. I'm always on and discovering new healthy makeup and skin care products.

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from New York on

I found that when I suffered from constipation that would definetly aggrevate my skin. Seemed like all those toxins were trapped inside. So make sure everything is moving along. Also, I would have your thyroid tested. Once I got on thyroid meds for an underactive thyroid my skin improved dramatically! I use Pro-active once every other day and that seems to keep things under control.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Milwaukee on

When I switched to Bare Minerals my skin got MUCH better. Yes, MAKE-UP made my skin BETTER!

I could do a commercial for them!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I have been having crazy break outs the past year. Not in T-zone, but I do have the combination of aging and zits - woo hoo! right?
I came across a product line called exuviance. it is not a bar soap, it is a foam, but it has the toner in it. I use the anti age wash and night cream and the "oily" line daytime lotion. I also use the clarifying mask two times a week.
FINALLY clear skin and not that "tight" or dry feeling. It is a bit pricy, but it goes a long way and they have little "trial kits" that have product enough for a month to test it out! I also pepper in the Mary Kay timewise exfolianting scrub.
If you have an Ulta or Sephora - they sell this product - you can also get from



answers from Lake Charles on

I get them there too.. do you wax your eyebrows? Thats why mine are like that.. but if i DONT wax I look like chewbaca (sp?) so I just deal with it. My hubby uses something called BenzoFoam and its works wonders on his little white heads (and black heads too.).. His derm reccommended washing with an antibacterial soap (not all face washes are anti-bacterial from what she said..).


answers from Redding on

I'm pretty sure acne is driven by bacteria. Keep your hands washed often. Clean your sunglasses often. Clean your cell phone often. I like witch hazel as an astringent. I get an occasional zit when I'm stressed out, I'm assuming my immune system lowers during stress and then bacteria takes over.
I'd visit a dermatologist and see what she thinks. It very well could be hormonal as well. Maybe your gyno would have a suggestion. Try taking some black cohosh for awhile and see if it helps.



answers from Roanoke on

Do you ever exfoliate your face? I started using St. Ives apricot scrub a few years ago and noticed a huge difference. I use it 2-3 times a week in the shower. Other than that, I do about the same thing you do. Then I just cover it up with makeup (Bare minerals is awesome..been using it for a few years and will never use anything else).



answers from Pittsburgh on

I'm also a fan of St Ives Apricot Scrub and use it nightly. (No animal testing, no parabens, or phthalates AND Made in the USA!)
However, gotta say, I am 47 and STILL get the occasional zit! LOL
WHEN does it end? Grrrrrrrr......



answers from Spokane on

I swore off ProActive when I was a teen because it didn't do a darn thing for my horrible skin even though the commercials promised it would :( Fast foward 15 years, and multiple products later... I have tried over the counter stuff, gone to get monthly facials, and bought expensive product lines online that family swear will help.
My skin has definitely imporved with age, but I still constantly have minor breakouts, and react horribly to anything with perfumes in it (even hair products make my face break out!)
I decided to try ProActive again because I was out of options... guess what? In the past month my skin has been clearer than ever! This may be the "honeymoon" period, as happens with a lot of products on my skin, and after a few months I am back to the breakouts, but I am hoping not. My sisters have used ProActive since high school and now that they are 35 they STILL use it and would never use anything else. I JUST met a woman this week who is selling a new line geared toward adults by the same company that makes proactive (can't think of the name off the top of my head, just google it) - may be a start for you!


answers from Los Angeles on

Hey there,
been dealing w/ varying severity of acne since 21; I'm now 42. I've found a combo that really works for me right now; I've been using this regimen for about 2 years now:

1. Kiss My Face Potent and Pure Start Up Exfoliating Face Wash

2. NeoStrata Gel Plus AHA 15 -- this stuff is amazing and goes a long, long way

3. Good for You Girls Moisturizer (I realize this is made for teens, but teens have troubled skin, too and I also really, really like that it has no parabens, sulfates, petrochemicals, synthetics or dyes)


answers from Chicago on

I use all natural products they can be found at your local Lush store ... I find I get better results when my products are all natural ... I do not have zits but I have redness and the suggested products have seriously reduced it ... as well their products have removed my neices bacne (poor thing is a cheerleader those uniforms suck!) better and faster than proactiv.


answers from Omaha on

I agree with Mama2B who asked if you exfoliate. The cleansers will help clean the dirt off your face, but doesn't take off the top layers of dead skin which will trap dirt & grime in our faces. I personally have my issues around the mouth. I've been using Mary Kay products for a month now and have had considerably less issues. I would suggest their 3-in-1 cleanser which is a cleanser, exfoliator and toner in 1 step (and it comes in a bar!). I'm lazy at night and don't want to spend a bunch of time so 3-in-1 is great for me. I would also suggest their Microderm Abrasion. It's the same active ingrediants used at dermotologists & salons but MUCH cheaper. I use it 2 times a week. They also have an acne treatment gel with Benzoil Peroxide that I use when I have a pimple pop through. Here's their website if you want to check it out: There's a link to find a sales rep in your zipcode. Good luck!



answers from Chicago on

I use Neugtrogena Naturals. It is made of all natural stuff and it works wonders on my acne. They do have a bar soap that you could use. I use the pump, but that's my preference. You can get it at your local Walgreens.

Good luck!


answers from Columbia on

I've had loads of problems with my skin. Especially when I deployed overseas and the water was AWFUL.

I've found that Johnson and Johnson foaming face wash for sensitive skin and one of those cheap face washclothes with the one side that looks like loofah is a miracle for me. I exfoliate very lightly every day. After I get out, before my skin dries completely, I use Philosphy's "Hope in a Jar." I've used this regimen for two years and it's been wonderful. I still get one or two pimples before my period, but they come and go very quickly and are not the freakishly painful cysts I used to get.

I also use Bare Minerals, but have read GREAT reviews about people who've switched to the Avon minerals make up from Bare Minerals and love it (it's MUCH cheaper), so I'm thinking of trying it!

Good luck to you!



answers from Madison on

Your skin is the biggest detoxification system your body has. Anything that goes in that your body doesn't like, it will "cleanse itself" by coming out of the skin, usually as acne or psoriasis or eczema, etc. That includes food your body doesn't like, chemicals, pesticides, insecticides, dyes, preservatives--anything in your water, food, personal products, etc.

You'd be amazed at how many people who suffer from acne, psoriasis, or eczema, if they got their systems checked for food allergies or intolerances at a naturopathic doctor's office and discovered what their bodies don't like, and stayed away from those foods, most or all of their skin issues would likely go away. Eating organic and staying away from junk food also helps keep the complexion clear.



answers from Richmond on

I would suggest you go to a dermatologist. I tried everything over the counter and nothing worked. The dermatologist prescribed Duac and Retin A for me and I have clear skin 99% of the time.


answers from Boston on

Try prevaderm. It really helps me. One thing I learned is that acne is bacteria in your system that comes out your pores. Stop it before it comes out. Prevaderm is a pill. I love it.
type in prevaderm and it will give you all the information of what's in there.
Hope it helps.



answers from Madison on

I feel your pain! I, too, have struggled with adult acne - very frustrating! I finally went to see a dermatologist and have kicked myself for waiting so long! I highly recommend you go see one! She prescribed me 2 topical ointments, Clindamycin is a topical antibiotic, and is mixed equal parts with 5% benzol peroxide cream I use in the morning. At night, I use Tretenoin Gel (Retin-A). I've been using this regimen for almost a year and there was great improvement almost immediately. I'm not cured, by any means - still have a couple of breakouts related to my menstral cycle, but it's sooooo much better! Oh, and I only had two follow up appointments with the dermatologist; then she recommended my primary doc continue with the refils on the scripts so I didn't have to continue with co-pays just to see her. Best of luck!


answers from Kansas City on

I have used all over the counter cleansing rituals, prescriptions for months on end and even years.

My regime now includes the bar of Cool Dove to cleanse my face, and a few drops of Tea Tree Oil on my acne and acne prone areas. "Knock on wood" I have not had a big ol red gross zit in two months!



answers from Minneapolis on

I didn't read through all the other responses, but wanted to quickly let you know that I went through a bad period of adult acne (which is way worse than teen acne!) and finally went to a dermatologist. I got a few different creams from them, and then learned about the magic of microdermabrasion. I bought a 5-time package (yes, expensive, but SO worth it!), and my skin has been pretty great since then. There are a lot of dermatologists that offer it, but also lots of medical spas/laser treatment spas too. I continue to get regular microdermabrasion after 10 years and still love the results! Good luck!



answers from Detroit on

I'm like you. Don't break out bad but when I do it's in my T-zone area plus I have combination skin. I swear by the Tea Tree products from The Body Shop. I started using them and my face started clearing up. They are excellent products. I use the wash, mask, scrub and face moistizer. They also make a blemish gel so when I start feeling a zit I dab that and it goes away within a couple of days. I have been using Tea Tree for over 4 years now. Believe me like you I have tried everything else. Tea Tree was the only thing that has worked for me.
Good luck!

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