Clearing Adult Acne - Best Adult Acne Treatment Solutions

Adult skin is different than teenage skin, so clearing adult acne requires a unique approach. Adult skin is typically drier and more sensitive than teen skin, and adult acne can be more severe and persistent. Many over the counter acne products can be drying and may even cause adult acne to get worse.

Of course acne at any age can be distressing, especially when you thought your problem skin would disappear after puberty. But adult acne need not be a losing battle: Here’s how to fight acne with tips specifically geared towards adult skin.

Top tips for clearing adult acne

1. Go gentle. Instead of overloading your skin with high-strength ingredients, try gentle products with lower concentrations. Because adult skin isn’t as tough as a teen’s, try effective active ingredients, such as benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid, in lower solutions. For instance, choose 1% salicylic acid instead of 2%, or go with 2.5% benzoyl peroxide instead of 5 or 10%.

2. Try an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA). AHAs are great exfoliators that treat acne by sloughing off dead skin cells, while also targeting wrinkles and discoloration. Invest in an AHA moisturizer, particularly a glycolic cream or lotion. Glycolic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid that targets both blemishes and wrinkles, making it ideal for clearing adult acne.

3. Retinoids could help. If over-the-counter products haven’t been working, your dermatologist can prescribe retinoids, including Retin-A and Differin, which accelerate cell turnover and have been used to treat acne for a very long time. Retinoids are effective for treating blackheads and blemishes, but in addition, they’re also used to reduce wrinkles and improve the complexion — big bonuses for aging skin!

4. Read labels carefully. Make sure all your beauty products say they’re either oil-free, non-acnegenic or noncomedogenic. Cosmetics without these labels can clog pores and promote acne.

5. Don’t overdo it. Doing too much to combat acne can actually backfire and promote blemishes instead. Washing your face more than twice a day, exfoliating too often, scrubbing aggressively or using too many acne products on your face — all of which are excessively drying — can cause your skin to generate more oil.

6. Wear sunscreen. Many acne treatments increase sensitivity to sunlight and sunburn, so wear sunscreen daily. Wearing sunscreen not only protects you from skin cancer but also helps prevent premature aging.

Just as adult skin differs from adolescent complexions, the same is true for acne. As an adult, your skin is typically drier and more sensitive than teen skin. Also, adult acne tends to be worse, last longer and is prone to discoloration. It’s important to consider these differences when choosing a unique approach for clearing adult acne.

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Adult Acne Product Picks


Dr. Michelle Copeland - AHA Face Cream

Helps skin look smoother and feel softer. Stimulates cell renewal. Helps reduce the appearance of fine lines. 


Jan Marini Benzoyl Peroxide 2.5% Facial Wash  

Reduces the presence of P acne bacteria. Leaves skin feeling clean without stripping or excessive dryness.


Md Skincare Alpha Beta Daily Face Peel 2 Step System  

Evens skin tone, minimizing areas of discoloration and enhances skin's radiance and clarity.


Replenix Power of Three Cream

Ideal for those who are concerned with aging, post-procedure healing and blemish-prone skin. Gentle enough for sensitive skin. A rich-emollient texture.