How To Fight Adult Acne

I’m 22 and can confidently say my skin is far worse now than it ever was a teenager. I always felt I’d dodged the bullet of acne; whilst a lot of my peers had to be prescribed all sorts of things to help control their skin I never had any real skincare concerns – and yet for some reason the problem hit me in my 20s. It doesn’t seem to change according to time of the month, so I don’t think it’s hormonal, and I always feel calm so can’t put it down to stress. Whatever the mystery I’ve learned the skincare and make-up tips, as well as lifestyle changes, to help keep my pimples at bay. Here’s my advice on how to fight the dreaded adult acne.

The make-up remover
Even if you suffer from oily skin, it’s important to keep your skin hydrated with an oil-based make-up remover. I find Garnier Simply Essentials 2-in-1 Remover to be the best make-up remover for me, as it’s so gentle I can use it on my eyes and doesn’t require any rubbing. Removing make-up properly is the key to preventing blocked pores, which when infected can lead to spots.
Garnier Simply Essential 2 in 1 Make-Up Remover, £2.99

The toner
Although some may argue a toner is not an essential part of a skincare regime, it does ensure you’ve removed all make-up residue. I love the rosey scent of Nuxe Gentle Toning Lotion with Rose Petals, as well as the fresh feeling it provides my skin.
Nuxe Gentle Toning Lotion with Rose Petals, £13.50

The cleanser
A cream based cleanser is perfect for when I’m trying to avoid overloading my skin with oils. Liz Earle’s Hot Cloth Cleanser is iconic and a beauty editor fave; I love the muslin cloth as it ensures the cream is worked well into the skin to lift residue, plus it boosts my skin’s circulation.
Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanser, £14.75

The exfoliant
Whether you have sensitive skin or not, I believe facial exfoliants should never be used every day. Even gentle varieties are abrasive by nature, in order to effectively remove dead skin cells. When suffering from an outbreak I limit my use of exfoliants to once a week to avoid irritation and spread of infection. I also opt for less ‘gritty’ textures as removing the top layer of spots can worsen the problem and cause scarring. My fave? Elemis Skin Glow Exfoliating Face Wash.
Elemis Skin Glow Exfoliating Face Wash, £11.99

The moisturiser
When my skin is especially playing up I like to keep my skincare regime really simple and avoid applying serums or oils before bed. Instead I apply a light layer of a rich moisturiser to ensure my skin stays hydrated and repairs overnight. Nivea Daily Essential Regenerating Night Cream is great as its creamy texture feels super indulgent, but absorbs quickly into my skin.
Nivea Daily Essential Regenerating Night Cream, £4.35

The CC cream
In my opinion the latest make-up must-have lives up to the hype. I have extremely fair, sensitive skin which turns red and blotchy during outbreaks. L’Oreal Paris Nude Magique CC Cream Anti-Redness is a great budget buy; it’s incredibly light so allows my skin to breathe and I don’t feel caked in make-up.
L’Oreal Paris Nude Magique CC Cream Anti-Redness, £9.99

The BB cream
I’m a ‘no make-up’ sort of girl so generally prefer to keep things minimal. However when my skin is particularly suffering I like to apply a thin layer of Dr Jart+ Water Fuse BB Cream under my foundation to provide greater coverage. I love how easily it blends and the fact it contains SPF25. Its real selling point for me is how it always manages to look natural so I don’t turn orange oompa loompa.
Dr Jart+ Water Fuse BB Cream, £9.00

The foundation
Yves Saint Laurent Touché Éclat highlighter is iconic, but for me the Le Teint Touche Éclat Foundation deserves the same credit. It contains everything I look for in a foundation – even coverage, concealing properties, hydrating AND still keeps my look natural.
Yves Saint Laurent Le Teint Touche Eclat Foundation, £29.00

My lifestyle
My diet used to be rather indulgent; I would regularly tuck into several chocolate bars and fizzy drinks feeling no guilt. As I’ve grown up and learnt more about the importance of nutrition and wellness I choose to live by the 80/20 rule – 80% of the time I eat fresh, nutritious food and 20% of the time I indulge. Not only is this better for my overall health and energy levels but it has improved my skin ten-fold. It may sound like a cliché but I genuinely believe health is wealth and if you feed your skin it will reward you.

Written by Alex Thompson



  1. Victoria Howell
    July 4, 2013 / 9:40 am

    Hi, thank you for this brilliant post! I'm 22 and suffering with my skin as you do so any recommendations are a god send.. I was umm-ing and ahh-ing over the Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanser and reading your positive comments has inspired me to give it a try!Victoria

  2. Terri Lowe
    July 4, 2013 / 9:57 am

    I always find acne/spot posts really interesting as some things don't work across the board. For example the Liz Earle Cleanser and all over creamy formula cleaners break me out. I find facial oils are a lot better for my skin type which is dry yet spotty. I've posted about products that work for me today: but I think some of these wouldn't be suitable for others. Such as the Skinetica. It would be useful to know your skin type to compare and contrast the products :)!

  3. *Shug*
    July 4, 2013 / 1:30 pm

    This is a fab post. Im in the middle of finding things that work best for my skin type and love coming across blogs that go into detail. xx ♥@xshugx

  4. Lynda Beech
    July 4, 2013 / 8:56 pm

    I'm a lot older than 22 and I get spots now rather than my early years, I get those white cyst like spots under my skin that don't seem to go away,I only get a few of them but I really don't know why I get them? I don't eat dairy products and I cook from scratch, goodness knows why I get them? I have a desperate urge to pick them and I've made a few scars on my face because the urge is almost destructive! I love the products you've chosen! I'll give those a go 😀

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