The Grooming Manual

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Quick Tips for Managing Adult Acne

Man looking in mirror

In your teen years, acne is just something that you have to go through - a rite of passage that you have to survive to become a man. 

Adult acne, though - that’s something that no one really saw coming. And it's a huge concern for many. Luckily, it’s not an inescapable fact of adult life. Here are some quick tips to help you manage and beat your adult acne. 


Develop a Comprehensive Routine 

Acne can often pop up (no pun intended) for a few completely avoidable reasons. 

The most prevalent of these reasons? Lack of proper exfoliation and cleansing. Oftentimes, excess sebum, dirt, grime, and dead skin cells become trapped inside pores, leading to blackheads and pimples. These unwelcome impurities get trapped because of a lack of proper, frequent cleansing, treating, and exfoliation of the skin.  

That’s why the first important thing you can do to avoid adult acne is to develop a comprehensive skincare routine. 

This should generally include a daily application of: 

  • Cleanser: Start with a blemish-fighting face wash with gentle acne-fighting ingredients like salicylic acid, grapefruit, and tea tree oil. Tea tree oil is anti-viral and anti-inflammatory, making it a powerful, all-natural acne-busting ingredient.  
  • Toner: This may sound like an unnecessary step in your daily routine, but a balancing toner is actually really important. A big problem that people often have is that they’re constantly messing with their skin's pH by using harsh products or even tap water. The longer the skin has to fight to get back to its proper pH, the weaker and the more prone to breakouts it is. A balancing toner gets your skin right back where it needs to be while also delivering anti-septic, anti-inflammatory, and healing ingredients to the skin. 
  • Treatment: Face treatments or serums provide targeted ingredients to help treat your most pressing skin care concerns. The right acne-controlling face moisturizer treatment will hydrate your skin while treating acne blemishes with ingredients like salicylic acid, willow bark extract, tea tree oil, and vitamin E. 
  • Moisturizer: Similarly, an ultra-moisturizing and healing scar clearing moisturizer will naturally diminish the appearance of scars, stretch marks, or sun-damage. Look for effective actives and skin-protecting ingredients like vitamin C, MSM, and antioxidants
  • Spot treatment: Finally, if you’re dealing with a breakout or a blemish that your normal routine just couldn’t tackle, treat the area of concern with an acne-controlling spot treatment. Make sure, though, that you don’t choose a treatment that’s overly harsh since the wrong product can do your skin more harm than good.  

Then, at least once a week, you should also apply an exfoliant and a mask. First, the right exfoliating face scrub effectively sloughs away those dead skin cells, oil, and other impurities that lead to a congested complexion - particularly when applied regularly. Similarly, a weekly activated charcoal face mask removes impurities and diminishes the look of pores without over-stripping the skin. 


Avoid Harmful Drugstore Products 

That brings us to our next point. We all have a natural barrier on our skin. It’s essentially a wall of dead skin cells held together by lipids. This barrier functions as a security guard, protecting what’s inside and preventing UV radiation, pollution, bacteria, dirt, and toxins from passing through.

The barrier also maintains proper hydration, balances lipid levels, and maintains your Natural Moisturizing Factor. In short, it’s really important. 

But harsh skincare products - like many drugstore products, hand soaps, etc. - completely strip away this natural barrier, leaving your skin exposed and much more vulnerable to breakouts and irritation.

That’s why you'd be better off just washing with water than using this kind of product. 


Don’t Pick at Your Face 

When it comes to acne and breakouts, taking matters into your own hands is one of the worst things you can do. 

Improper extraction of a pimple usually makes the situation much worse. When you pick, you usually break the skin, and you can drive impurities deeper down into the dermis. The result? Blackheads turn to full-out pimples, spots get red and inflamed, and you’re left regretting your decision for the next week. 

If you have trouble breaking the habit, alternatives include: 

  • Hiring a professional: If you get regular facials and the esthetician does extractions, you’ll be less likely to do it yourself. 
  • Keeping your nails short: When you pick pimples, most of the damage is done by sharp nails breaking the skin and depositing harmful bacteria. Keeping your nails short can solve this problem and help ensure that less damage is done. 
  • Anxiety relief: More often than not, people aren’t picking just because they have a pimple. The habit usually has something to do with anxiety. That’s why consistent, effective forms of anxiety relief - like exercise, meditation, and therapy - can help. 


Focus on Hydration 

Dry skin is congested skin. For one, excessively dry skin usually flakes, and the excessive skin shedding can clog pores and cause bacteria to thrive. What’s more, if your skin is dry, it’s usually because your barrier is compromised - and that’ll always lead to more toxins and breakouts. 

Dry skin can trigger your body to produce more oils, or sebum, in an attempt to rehydrate. This overproduction can further clog pores and contribute to adult acne. 

The solution is to incorporate humectants, emollients, and occlusives that truly hydrate and balance the skin:

  • Humectants: Usually water-based products like light serums and toners, humectants are water-loving ingredients that work by attracting water molecules - either from the environment or from deeper within the body - and drawing them in, ultimately adding more water content to the skin. 
  • Emollients: These lighter, oil-based substances work to fill in the gaps between skin cells and replace missing lipids to fortify the skin, giving it an instantly smooth, soft feeling. 
  • Occlusives: Thicker creams and lotions that seal in moisture and prevent trans-epidermal water loss. 

To effectively hydrate your skin, you need a combination of all three components - which is why you need a comprehensive skincare routine.

The good news? Many products, like our Clearing Scar Clean For Men, have both emollient and occlusive ingredients. So you can kill two birds with one stone. 

Ready to get started? Get a complete set of acne-controlling essentials in our Acne Controlling System For Men.

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