Adult Acne


It might surprise you to know that the best products for adult acne don’t differ whether you’re an adult or teenager, despite what you might’ve read. This may even sound downright shocking, but facts don’t lie and there’s no research suggesting otherwise.

The reason some people get acne, and to what degree they get it, is as much a mystery for adults as it is for teenagers. There are theories – nothing 100% conclusive – but there’s no mystery about what you can do at any age to get the problem under control. And for many, to practically erase the red and white-headed pimples on your chin, T-zone, or other areas altogether.

The Myth About Adult Acne

Here’s a quick myth-buster: Stress isn’t a differentiating factor between adult and teenage acne. Both profiles of people endure stress in their own ways, and if anything, teenagers may even suffer more because they’re still learning how to manage it. However, in both cases, stress can influence the underlying causes of acne.

Types of Products to Control Adult Acne and Pimples

Regardless of your age, the fundamentals of where to start are exactly the same – use a gentle cleanser, a product containing 2.5% to 5% benzoyl peroxide, and a leave-on liquid exfoliant containing 2% BHA (salicylic acid). Is it that simple? Well, almost. The caveat is that these products mustn’t contain the following ingredients because they’ll make pimples worse:

  • Irritants like menthol or eucalyptus
  • Fragrances of any kind, whether natural and synthetic
  • Colouring agents
  • Waxy and emollient ingredients

Instead, look for products with thin or fluid textures.

Also, expecting acne products to work overnight is a big mistake many acne sufferers make. While many people will still see immediate results, it may take at least three to four weeks to see improvement for others. We also can’t stress enough the importance of using these products consistently, because missing just one day can set your skin back.

How to Treat Adult Acne and Pimples

How do you get rid of persistent pimples? The one thing that differs for adults with acne is that they might be dealing with other skincare concerns such as enlarged pores or scars. You’ll need products for these concerns, too, so it can get tricky as your skincare regime must be carefully curated.

Thankfully, a well-formulated liquid BHA is one of the premier skin-smoothing products you can use. Its skin-smoothing, restorative, brightening, pore-minimising, and youth-enhancing properties are well established. BHA is a uniquely multi-tasking superhero like no other!

Additionally, these products will also interrupt environmental assault as well as other damaging enemies of the skin, with the added benefit of addressing other concerns such as uneven skin tone and loss of firmness.

The best acne treatment for adults features everything you need to care for your skin every day, including sunscreen and a 2% BHA exfoliator, especially in hot and humid places like Singapore or other tropical regions. With Paula’s Choice anti-acne products, you would be able to get clearer skin and tackle blemishes. Our lightweight, fluid textures will not clog pores, or make your skin feel greasy, heavy, or dry it out. 

Learn more about acne breakouts.

Shop Paula’s Choice Clear range for effective acne treatments.

References for this information:

Dermatologic Therapy, February 2017, pages 926–935
International Journal of Molecular Science, January 2017, page 18
Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, December 2016, pages 330–334 and 350–357
Clinical Cosmetic Investigative Dermatology, August 2015, pages 455–461
Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, June 2015, pages 14–19 and March 2010, pages 281–292
Inflammation and Allergy Drug Targets, June 2014, pages 177–190
Journal of Women’s Health, February 2012, pages 223–230
American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, December 2011, pages 407–420
Cutis, July 2009, pages 48–55