What’s the Deal with Adult Acne Anyway?

What’s the Deal with Adult Acne Anyway?

So you thought acne was just for teenagers right? And you scraped through those dreamy (hellish) formative years with a few spots, some crap haircuts and questionable outfits (I grew up in the 90’s for goodness sake). Getting through your teens without acne doesn’t mean you are home free…..yep, acne can strike in your twenties, thirties….basically whenever it damn well wants. Which sucks, because whilst your teens are tough for other reasons, you are at least kind of expected to have spots…..and you don’t have to make an impression in say, an interview for a new job or a really important meeting…..or god forbid, your wedding.

A few years ago I went through the most bonkers phase of acneic (note, not acne but gross nonetheless) skin and I had no idea what to do. Working in Beauty should help right? Wrong. I plastered budget skincare aimed at teen skin over my face, covered myself up with concealer and plastered foundation on until my poor skin was screaming for mercy.

The thing is, I was stuck in a decade of skincare that common sense forgot and I believed all the myths I had been told — dry the spot out, don’t wear moisturiser during a breakout, swap 2 litres of wine a day for water….oh, that one is true (disclaimer – NEVER drink 2 litres of wine a day). Actually, what your skin needs is so far removed from what Just Seventeen told us that I wanted to share my TOP tips for coping with naughty skin that is prone to a breakout. (Another Disclaimer – I am not a dermatologist, so whilst this worked wonders for me, it may not for you…..tailor accordingly and if you have acne, a dermatologist/GP are the best people to speak to).

My skin still has a tendency to breakout in various situations, so I’m constantly trying to evolve my routine. These are some things that I have learned along the way….


  • Don’t foam! Just don’t do it…..anything that makes your cheeks feel so tight you are scared to smile is a bad thing, trust me. Don’t be scared of oils and balms and definitely don’t over exfoliate. Actually, on that note – just stop it with the St Ives brillo pad cleansing people….

  • Always double cleanse. I use Sephora Miscellar Water to take my makeup off (most of it anyway) and then, and only then do I move onto the next step…….

  • Try some Cetaphil £8.99 (236ml). It’s creamy and gentle and super duper thorough at cleansing your skin without stripping it dry. I use a few different types of cleanser dependent on time of the month,how my skin feels and to be honest – what I have in my cupboard!  Lush Ultrabland £6.95 (45g) is dreamy, and cheap…..Rodial Glamtox Cleansing Balm, £50 (100ml) is GORGEOUS and The Body Shop Camomile Cleansing Oil, £10 (200ml) is a good substitute for one of my old faves – the Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil.

  • Don’t be scared of acid (AHA’s) in skincare. Good ones for avoiding spotty skin/acne/breakouts are Glycolic and Salycilic and I use both in different ways. The Nip & Fab Glycolic Fix pads (about 3 times a week, and always after a heavy make up day) which are amazing, because they are easy to use (just little throwaway pads!) and have that nice almost menthol-y clean face.

Sephora Miscellar Water, Body Shop Camomile Cleansing Oil, Cetaphil Cleanser, Rodial Glamtox Cleansing Balm.

Sephora Miscellar Water, Body Shop Camomile Cleansing Oil, Cetaphil Cleanser, Rodial Glamtox Cleansing Balm.

Nip & Fab Glycolic Fix Pads.

Nip & Fab Glycolic Fix Pads.


  • Another thing to to be sniffed at or scared of is a serum or oil before you moisturise. Drying out your skin won’t help at all….it will only make everything worse because your sebum glands will go mental trying to get some moisture into your dried out skin and the result will be spots. Obviously don’t cake your face in inappropriately rich creams and potions but try to find something that works for you. Producst with my seal of approval (which is obviously hugely important to both you, and the brand) are Sanctuary Therapists Favourite Facial Oil £17.50 (30ml), Dr Hauschka Normalising Day Oil £@5 (30ml).


– After all of your hard work on your skincare routine, don’t ruin it by slathering on foundation that could be replaced with treatment foundation instead. I have used Clinique Anti Blemish Foundation £24.50 for years and I love it, but it’s not always great when my skin is a bit dryer, so I also use Clinique Even Better Foundation £24.50 which is oil free OR my absolute favourite current gem — Lancome Teint Visionnaire which comes with a matchy matchy concealer and mirror in the lid. LOVE.

Clinique Even Better, Lancome Teint Visionnaire, Clinique Anti Blemish Foundations.

Clinique Even Better, Lancome Teint Visionnaire, Clinique Anti Blemish Foundations.


I really hope this helps, and remember — I am a total Beauty retard, this is just my opinions and what I’ve gleaned from experts and friends over the years..plus a little bit of trial and error! Enjoy.

Let me know what you think!

L x

Lucy Lucraft
Lucy Lucraft

Lucy is a freelance journalist, blogger and podcaster based in Brighton, UK.

She started this blog in 2013 and is the host of blogging podcast What She Said.

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Instagram


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