Finding the best skincare for acne-prone skin remains one of the biggest concerns in the industry. However, considering how each individual differs in skin condition, relying on one definite solution isn’t quite feasible. To find out how to handle this predicament, let’s comb through all the data-driven factors and known risks related to this global skin disorder. 

What is acne-prone skin and who is at risk of having it? 

It’s not a secret that acne often emerges from different skin vulnerabilities such as clogging of pores, excess oil, inflammations, bacteria, and hormonal changes. Over the years, many studies have shown why some individuals struggle with acne more than others. 

Although it’s widely believed that acne is a skin condition commonly persistent in adolescent years, individuals of all ages still suffer from this dilemma. Here are some statistical pieces of evidence showing which age and gender group is at a greater risk of having acne-prone skin. 

Female Adults 

You may not know it, but acne-prone skin is often experienced by female adults all over the world. In research released by The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, 1 out of 3 acne office visits is made by women aged 25 and above. On top of that, twice the female population seeks acne medication and advice more than men. 

Some of the factors contributing to acne risks in the female adult groups are hormonal changes, genetics, and the excessive use of cosmetic products. Hormonal disorders like Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) that increases testosterone production in a woman’s body are among the lead causes of acne recurrence in the female population. Besides that, diet regimens and stress-related elements also add up to the chances of having acne-prone skin. 

Looking at these increasing numbers, the severity of adult female acne is more apparent than ever, affecting over 15% of women aged between 30 to 40 years old. This recurring skin condition seen in most female acne patients is surprisingly similar to the cases experienced by adolescent age groups, with zits appearing around the facial area. 

Adolescents and Young Adults 

While persistent adult acne is more prevalent in the female population, adolescent acne is more common and severe in males. In fact, as stated in the retrospective study of Adult Acne Versus Adolescent Acne, 81% to 95% of young men report incidences of adolescent acne. However, in ages 18 and older, decreased prevalence is observed in both genders from young adult groups.

The signs of acne may even occur two years before the actual puberty period, with some kids experiencing skin bumps as early as nine years old. These occurrences are caused by increased hormone levels, leading to fat glands stimulation and sebum production. 

People with vices and weight issues 

In the same research conducted by The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, it’s concluded that the male adult age group with smoking habits has more acne prevalence than adolescent smokers. While there are minimal studies linking smoking to acne-prone skin, its components that increase skin aging, minimize blood flow, and change skin healing time can be crucial factors to consider. 

Similar to this, the findings published by The European Journal of Dermatology suggest that adolescents with higher body mass index have a higher percentage of developing inflammatory lesions than those with average weight. 

Habits and chemicals to avoid 

More than finding the perfect skincare for acne-prone skin, we all know that knowing which harmful habits and chemicals to avoid will lower our risks in dealing with such conditions. Here are some things we highly suggest keeping your hands off if you’re dealing with severe cases of zits. 

High-Glycemic Foods 

If you’re into everything related to skin health, you probably already heard that low-glycemic food such as vegetables, fruits, and beans reduces acne recurrence. To investigate this claim even further, the American Academy of Dermatology Association did thorough research using their resources. 

Out of 2,258 American patients that they placed on a low-glycemic diet, 87% of them resulted in lesser acne. Positive feedback is also observed in countries like Australia, Korea, and Turkey after reducing intake of high-glycemic foods like dairy products. 

Synthetic and natural fragrances 

When dealing with acne, it’s a no-brainer that certain chemicals can irritate and cause inflammation on the affected skin area. And because perfumes are composed of different components like oils, it tends to clog the pores. Although usage of these products isn't highly discouraged, proper application must be observed to avoid irritation and other acne-related inconvenience. 

Washing your face or any area where these products are often applied is a great idea to avoid acne formation and clogging. However, be careful not to overwash. While it’s no secret how good it is to keep your face clean, rough handling of your skin can trigger inflammation and irritation. It’s also vital to avoid products with comedogenic content as these ingredients increase the development of your zits. 

Exfoliating your skin every day 

Contrary to common beliefs, daily exfoliation isn’t necessarily helpful to some skin types. If you have acne-prone skin, practicing this routine could lead to irritation because frequent exfoliation could interrupt the natural healing process of your skin. 

Although it’s widely recommended to exfoliate three times a week, people with sensitive skin should consider doing it less. Moreover, following your dermatologist’s advice regarding this matter is still the ideal option to avoid further acne problems. 

Skincare routine for acne-prone skin 

Wash and cleanse your face 

The habit of washing your face comes with many benefits, especially when maintaining healthy skin. Keeping the surface of your skin clean helps you avoid contaminants that often build up acne, such as dirt and oil. 

Along with washing your face, you should also add cleansing to your acne-prone skincare routine. There are different types of cleansers depending on your current skin condition, so it’s essential to take note if you’re getting a medicated or non-medicated product depending on the recommendation of your dermatologist. 

Keep in mind that you should choose a mild and gentle face wash to prevent the occurrence of excessive oil production. And above all else, remember not to rub roughly on the surface of your acne formation, as this won’t help clean your skin but will only aggravate your pores. 

Remove excess oil with a toner 

If your skin is oily, using a toner or astringent is an ideal option to fight your persistent blemishes and blackheads. However, avoid applying alcohol-based products as much as you can because this can turn your skin more sensitive and dry. It’s best to buy alcohol-free toners, especially if you’re using acne medications that will often leave your skin dry. 

Use non-comedogenic moisturizer 

Admit it or not, the primary indicator of acne is the extreme dryness or oiliness of your skin. Common areas like your face, neck, ears, and chest shed more cells than other parts of the body, so it’s vital to moisturize these surfaces to allow continuous skin regeneration.

It also helps if your chosen moisturizer is labeled non-comedogenic to make sure that it won’t form any blockage on your pores. 

Wear sunscreen/SPF protection 

Last but not least, apply sun protection when you go out. Although you may think that this is an unnecessary step to consider, acne-prone skin is more sensitive to sun damage. Applying sunscreen is often villainized due to its pore-clogging tendencies, but you should remember that acne medications make you susceptible to sun rays. 

If you look at the available sunscreen options in the market, you’ll see various products that are not thick and greasy. Most of them are now manufactured with lightweight components to prevent pore-blockage. However, it’s best to seek consultation with a board-certified dermatologist before deciding which option to purchase.

Learn more about acne and its treatments here.