6 Adult Acne Mistakes We See Every Day


Guest blog by Emily Segal, Senior Naturopathic Skin Therapist

We treat loads of acne at The Clear Skin Experts, and this used to be my story too! Most of the adult acne we see in clinic is actually a ‘dry’ acne (acne tarda) which has been really abused by stripping and harsh skin care.

1. Over washing skin (and with the wrong ingredients)

These include foaming, chemical laden products such as surfactants, emulsifiers and SLS’s found in popular over-the-counter ‘acne’ brands. The use of these products destroys the skin’s barrier defence system. This leaves the skin sensitized, inflamed and vulnerable to infection. These chemicals damage the acid mantle which the protective layer of the skin that keeps bacteria and pathogens at bay.

2. Using oil free moisturisers, or avoiding moisturisers altogether

97% of Australians have dehydrated skin, and this causes many skin imbalances including a rebound of oil (sebum) production.  We all need a moisturising product, but it has to be one that is compatible with our skin (and skin type). Scientific research has proven that adding oil (lipid) to a water based moisturiser better protects the skin from dehydration, inflammation and oxidation – the main culprits that proliferate acne on the skin. Bottom line, stay away from oil-free moisturisers but use the right ones. Unfortunately most moisturisers available contain mineral oils and emulsifiers, which will aggravate an adult acne prone skin.

3. Picking and popping adult acne

This is one we see all too often. And we understand, its pretty hard to stop yourself from doing it!  Next time you’re about to pop one of those juicy suckers, try to stop and remember that it injures your skin and creates more inflammation, usually causing hard to shift post-inflammatory hyper pigmentation and scarring.

4. Scrubbing and over exfoliating

The top epidermal layer of the skin is supposed to be like a roof that protects us from environmental toxins, bacteria and infection. A healthy skin naturally exfoliates itself, and when we over exfoliate we strip the skin’s natural protective layer. Skin with no protective barrier leads to redness, irritation tight, dry/flaky disorders and creates the perfect environment for acne bacteria to proliferate.

5. Toxic make-up

This is so challenging, as everyone wants to cover up their adult acne. However, when we use chemical laden make-up we block our pilosebacious units (commonly knows as pores). This means that natural moisturizing factors can’t flow through and moisturize our skin, and oxygen can’t access the pores. This creates an anaerobic environment where p.bacteria (main acne bacterium) loves to flourish, causing pimples, papules and open and closed comedones. Just to think, some of us wear this make up for over 8 hours a day!

6. Not consuming enough essential fatty acids

The quality of our sebum and oil produced in our pilosebaceous unit (pimple HQ) is heavily dependent on our status of essential fatty acids in our diet.  It has been shown that acne sufferers have low levels of linoleic acid on their skin surface, which creates thick custard like sebum that gets stuck in the pimple HQ and causes acne. When we increase our essential fatty acids through our diet, supplementation and skin care our sebum becomes free flowing and moisturises and rebalances our skin.

Need a pimple zapping, skin healing skin prescription? Want to learn more about acne-friendly foundation? Contact us today.