Adolescents get pimples and acne; adults do not. Something is wrong with the previous statement, isn’t it? Not every adult outgrow acne, unfortunately, and some of us struggle with acne even as an adult. Adult acne is harder to tackle as older skin is drier, more sensitive and slower to heal. Therefore, it is essential to treat adult acne with more care than we do for adolescents.

Why do we get acne?

Adult gets acne for different reasons. It is possible to go through adolescence without acne and then get acne for the first time during your 30s, 40s or 50s. Women tend to get acne more than men, primarily due to hormonal changes. The below reasons all contribute to adult acne:

  • Fluctuating hormone levels due to menstruation, pregnancy or discontinuing/starting on birth control pills
  • Stress
  • Family History (Genetic)
  • Hair and Skin Care Products
  • Medication (Side Effect)
  • Undiagnosed medical condition

Acne is frustrating and makes a person self-conscious about his or her looks. While most acne clears eventually, some acne does persist and require professional treatment. It is vital to note that while most acne occurs on the face, acne can also affect the body such as the back. Hence, an acne breakdown does not always happen on the face.

How to treat acne?

The first step to treat adult acne is to wash the face twice a day with a gentle cleanser that has ingredients such as salicylic acid, sulphur or tea tree oil. At the same time, avoid abrasive scrubs with non-dissolving particles as they bring more harm to the skin in the long run.

The vital thing to look out is the area of the acne breakout. A severe breakout that covers more than 50% of your face/body deserves a professional treatment at the dermatologist and should not be self-treated. If the acne breakout is concentrated in specific areas on the face/body, you can consider the below products for a DIY treatment.

1) Avene Cleanance Cleansing Gel

The Avene Cleansing Gel is a soap-free facial gel that cleanses acne-prone and oily skin gently. It regulates sebum production and maintains the hydrolipidic film on the skin’s surface to prevent over-drying and irritation. The result is fresh and clean skin that has a lower risk of acne.

Price: $30.50
You can buy it from: Guardian, Watsons and other leading pharmacies.


2) La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo

La Roche is a popular brand among the dermatologists, and many recommended this brand. This particular moisturiser is a power pack for acne sufferers. It promises to lessen the severity of acne after 24 hours as well as corrects and prevent acne scars and pigmented marks. Its ingredients include a patented ceramide with proven skin repair properties, anti-inflammatory niacinamide, lipo-hydroxyl acid, salicylic acid and skin-healing linoleic acid.

Price: $38.90
You can buy it from: Guardian, Watsons and other leading pharmacies.


3) The Body Shop Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is anti-bacterial and helps to soothe inflammation of the skin quickly. The Body Shop Tea Tree Oil is proven to tackle pimples and acne efficiently without over-drying the skin. The trick to using the tea tree oil is to apply just a little to each zit, instead of applying the oil liberally over the face. That might backfire instead!

Price: $19.90
You can buy it from: The Body Shop


4) Atorrege AD+ Acne Spots

The Atorrege AD+ Acne Spots is a serum-like liquid gel that tackles pimples without stinging or peeling. The three major ingredients in this gel are witch hazel that helps to control excess oil and reduces pores, soybeans to soothe with its anti-oxidant effects and chamomile to reduce skin irritation, inflammation and bacterial growth. Similar to the tea tree oil, just dab a little drop on your pimple and do not apply it over the face.

Price: $59
You can buy it from: Guardian


5) Hada Labo Blemish Oil Control Hydrating Lotion

Hada Labo is a leading Japanese brand that many Singaporeans swear by, and we are no different. The Blemish Oil Control Hydrating Lotion by Hada Labo is a gentle product that protects older, drier skin that is acne-prone. The lotion contains botanical extracts such as hatomugi and chamomile to treat acne while preserving the skin’s delicate oil and water balance.

Price: $22.90
You can buy it from: Guardian, Watsons and selected NTUC FairPrice stores.


How to Prevent Acne?

 Prevention is always better than cure. To prevent acne, here are some things that you can do.

  • Keep your face clean by washing it twice a day with a gentle cleanser.
  • Moisturise your face using products that are “Non-comedogenic”. The word means that the moisturizer will not cause acne.
  • Use cosmetics that are non-comedogenic.
  • Avoid touching your face and never pick or pop pimples with your fingers.
  • Avoid the sun between 10 am to 2 pm. Use sunscreen if you need to be in the sun.
  • Watch your diet and avoid greasy food. Add more vegetables and fruits to your daily diet.
  • Exercise helps to reduce acne and keeps you fit and healthy too.
  • Reduce stress if possible.

While it may not be possible to do all of the above, trying to keep the first four things in mind can definitely improve your situation!