Are you 35 and still get pimples? From make up brushes crawling with bacteria to your diet… skin expert reveals the reasons for your adult acne

Having acne through your teenage years is a rite of passage many women have had to deal with.

But having acne as an adult can be signs of underlying internal imbalances, dietary problems or deficiencies.

Sydney based skin expert Charlie De Haas spoke to Femail about the reasons why you might still be suffering from acne as an adult and what you can do to fix it.


Monthly cycles: Hormonal acne happens every month, regular occurrences can be sign of PCOS

Women can breakout and get pimples before their monthly cycle around chin, jaw line and corners of your mouth.

This kind of hormonal acne happens when oestrogen levels rise.

‘If it’s something that is there regularly, if it’s active and inflamed it can be an underlying sign of polycystic ovaries (PCOS) or if they are on the pill,’ Ms De Haas said.

‘If you’re experiencing hormonal acne in that area, its important to look if it is there for just those days of your monthly period or if its something that’s active.’


Sugar rush: Diets high in sugar and glucose can cause acne in adults 

A diet high of any sugar or glucose is another contributing factor to adult acne, causing breakouts in the cheek area.

Sugar causes glycation, which is the binding of collagen and elastin, and the congestion of underlying acne and dead skin cells.

Ms De Haas explained that alkalising, the process of returning the body to its normal pH level between acidic and alkaline, by eating dark green leafy vegetables, green juices and chlorophyll can help reduce acne. 

‘If you’ve got that red underlying, irritated congestion that can definitely mean you might need to cleanse or tidy up your diet.’


Heavy make-up: Beauty trends using heavy, cream- based make up can does not allow skin to breath

Wearing layers and layers of make-up is another reason why women may still be suffering from acne as an adult.

With many of the beauty trends using cream based products Ms De Haas says don’t allow for the skin to breath through it.

‘If you are experiencing acne, particularly in those areas that you’re using those products then it is definitely related to that skin problem.’

The skin expert added if you do intend to continue wearing heavy make up to consider doing a double cleanse at night before going to bed and cleansing again in the morning to remove any build up.


Spreading acne: Make-up brushes should be cleaned regularly to avoid the spread of acne bacteria

Make-up brushes are another cause for acne in adults.

‘Brushes just basically hold bacteria, so they’re going from your hands to brushes, into the product and what happens is it just breeds germs you put directly onto your skin.’

Ms De Haas said make-up brushes should be cleaned at least every two weeks using shampoo and conditioner.


Deficient: Taking a double dose of zinc supplements can help fight adult acne 

Charlie De Haas has 10 years of experience as a skin therapist

Ms De Haas said a lot of time people don’t eat enough of the nutrients needed to fight acne.

She said taking double doses of zinc supplements can help fight adult acne for the first two weeks, particularly if the red or purple marks around it take too long to heal.

‘I find that if you learn and listen to your skin, and look at the symptoms you’re skin will tell you what you’re missing,’ she said.

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