Adult Acne: Prevalence, Tips to Beat It and Prevention

Adult acne, or post-adolescent acne, is acne that occurs after age 25. In the 1980's adult acne was a rare occurrence amongst our population. Yet within four decades, adult-onset acne now affects more than 50% of women aged 20 to 29 and goes all the way up to 25% of women aged 40 to 491.

Acne is not just for teens — there are extraordinary numbers of adults with acne, and the numbers seem to be going up,” — Dr. Adam Friedman, interim chair of dermatology at the George Washington University School of Medicine.

“I treat more adult acne patients than teens, and it’s mostly women in the thirty to fifty age range.” Friedman says.

Why Is Acne More Prevalent Than Ever?

Dr Friedman believes that certain acne treatments may be to blame as they unbalance the skin’s microbiome2.

“It’s only during the last 50 years that teenagers started using all these acne products” — salicylic acid washes, prescription antibiotics and benzoyl peroxide creams to name a few — “and now we’re seeing massive numbers of adults with acne,” Friedman says.

The DIY revolution has led many to use products that are too harsh for their skin or layer multiple products which were never designed to work together.

This can disrupt the skin's microbiome making their skin more prone to breakouts.

“What we put on our skin can improve or disrupt the survival of these microorganisms. This is something we didn’t know before, but we’re paying attention to now” says Dr. Friedman.

What Should I Do?

Deanna, from Essex, had enjoyed clear skin throughout her teenage years but started to get adult-onset acne through her 20’s. She tried every cosmetic, diet, and lifestyle change imaginable but still could never find any solution that's lasting.

Excluding the factors which are largely out of our control: hormonal-shifts, relocating for work, pollution and stress. Here are some practical tips on how to stop persistent acne:

  1. Less is more when it comes to skincare. Resist the urge to layer on multiple products unless you know they were designed to work together.

    Also, higher concentrations of active ingredients lead to increased side effects. Well formulated lotions often contain multiple active ingredients in lower concentrations because the ingredients work together to drive better results without the need for high concentrations (hence less side effects).

  2. Focus on quality. Opt for ingredients which are US Pharmacopeia or British Pharmacopeia certified. The certifications ensure the purity and potency of the ingredients (less unwanted side effects).

  3. Don't get suckered into fad products. When it comes to acne, look for products which have an established track record of success. Has there been comprehensive medical research on the products?

    Also, look at the Google Reviews on the acne product. I would be suspicious if the brand disabled their Google Reviews and opted for a third party review site where they pay to censor their reviews.

  4. Play the long game. There is too much focus on products that treat a breakout after it has already surfaced when the focus should be on PREVENTING pimples from surfacing in the first place.

    This means purging out the clogs trapped inside your pores that eventually surface as pimples.

How Do I Get Rid of Acne for Good?

At the root of all acne is a clogged pore.

Therefore our primary focus should be on the most effective ways to prevent clogs from being trapped inside our pores before it becomes a recipe for pimples.

To know what's effective, we look at the algorithm below:

algo

Looking at the playbook which dermatologists use to treat acne, retinoids³ are the dermatologist's first choice for treatment followed by AZA. Here's why:

Retinol - The Gold Standard

Maybe you’ve heard of topical vitamin A (retinoids)? They are the primary tool dermatologists use to treat breakouts4.

And for a good reason!

It is very effective in stopping acne by flushing out dead skin and clogs trapped inside your pores.

If there are no clogs, pimples do not form.

Note: Depending on what is trapped inside your pores at the time you start using retinol, pimples may surface as retinol draws out the clogs.

It is necessary to clear these clogs in order to get clear skin. Had you left these clogs trapped in your pores, they would only fester and grow larger in size.


AZA - The Unsung Hero?

In the derm's acne treatment listed above, AZA is often used together to fight acne.

AZA works well with retinol as it flattens the pimples.

It is also very effective in diminishing the appearance of acne marks and hyperpigmentation5.

It takes the edge off retinol as AZA calms the skin and reduces skin sensitivity6.


Meet Clear Out – Effective, Gentle Solution for Clear Skin

Most acne products only have a SINGLE active ingredient. However, to maximize effectiveness and minimize irritation, Clearly Basics spent years formulating Clear Out so that it contains BOTH retinol + AZA.

*We've combined the top two ingredients which derms use to fight acne (in the right percentages) to drive synergy. This means Clear Out is very effective in flushing out clogs while being gentle on sensitive skin.

This unique formulation is a deadly combination that flattens active pimples and reduces future breakouts.

Since retinol is used in low percentages, Clear Out is gentle on the skin and does not disrupt the skin's biome. Over 50% of our users have sensitive or combination skin and they have no issues using Clear Out.

It took us years of intensive research to create this formulation that can’t be found anywhere else on the market!

98% of people who use Clear Out see significant improvements. If you don't see a noticeable improvement after using your first bottle of Clear Out, you can get a full refund through Clearly's moneyback guarantee.

See what others have to say...


Real People with REAL, Lasting Results

Clearly Basics has helped many adults with acne ranging from mild to severe; people with sensitive skin to people with extremely oily skin. For a personalized assessment, please click "Send Message" on the Clearly Basics Facebook page.

Here are some of our user's stories below. These are users who have documented their entire acne journey on Instagram, including products they have used before they started Clearly Basics:


Toni (@xx.tonilumsden), a stylist from Hertfordshire spent over $6500 in acne products and treatments that did nothing for her acne…

Then she discovered the Power Duo and it changed her life…

@xx.tonilumsden Individual results may vary

Never in my life did I imagine my skin would be this clear! Clearly Basics has completely transformed my skin!”


Alisha (@skinwithak) suffered from severe acne and went on oral medications 3 times before finding Clear Out:

alisha
 

@skinwithak Individual results may vary

All I can say is ‘Clear Out’ by @clearlybasics is a Godsend ❤️ It doesn’t leave me overly dry or flaky which most retinol creams did.” "I wish I came across Clearly Basics before starting oral medication as I would have purchased these and wouldn't have had to put my body through so much!"


Although Deanna (@deannaskin) saw minor progress by going vegan and using natural products, she saw the most improvement using Clear Out. Occasionally, she may get a flare up, but with Clear Out, it goes away quickly.

@deannaskin Individual results may vary

“At the moment, my skin looks a lot clearer and fresher than usual and I've gained so much more confidence after using Clear Out."


Or Ella (@_myskinstory), an aesthetician and a makeup artist who has not found anything like Clear Out to keep her breakouts under control.

 

"Clear Out is my favorite and most recommended product to any of my followers who suffer with mild-acne as well as post-acne suffers. The combination of ingredients are unique and work THE BEST in keeping spots at bay as well as improving acne marks & scars."


And many more reviews….


FAQ

How is Clear Out any different from other retinol or AZA products?

Most products in the market contain only a SINGLE active ingredient so it does not use multiple pathways to address your skin concern.

Using multiple ingredients simultaneously is more EFFECTIVE, but getting the percentages correct in order to maximize synergy is difficult without precision machinery.

Every ingredient in Clear Out took years to balance in order to maximize synergy: ingredients work together to address your skin concerns with better results and less side effects.

I have sensitive skin. Can I use Clear Out?

Clear Out can work on its own for 95% of the population. The formulation is gentle yet powerful enough to tackle many cases that would otherwise require prescription medication.

For the 5% with very sensitive skin, add the Protective Moisturizer. Using Clear Out with the Protective Moisturizer will ensure that it works for even the most sensitive of skin. The Protective Moisturizer contains a wealth of antioxidants and botanicals that nourish your skin and peptides that simulate your lipid barrier to regrow.

This moisturizer reduces your skin's sensitivity and reduces general redness/blushing. It doesn't clog your pores even on the most sensitive skin!

I Have Oily Skin, What's Best for Me?

Acne and larger pores are often attributed to oily skin.

As pores are clogged, oil may not reach its intended target leading to a vicious cycle of overproduction (clogged pores -> more oil production -> more clogged pores).

Thus we designed the Matte Hydrator, to break the oil production cycle. It keeps your skin matte and supple so that your skin does not need to overproduce as much oil during the day!

Most skincare brands have one, perhaps two formulations that are really effective.

However, Clearly carries FIVE formulations that are UNIQUE and the BEST in its class: Clear Out, Lighten Up, Protective Moisturizer, Matte Hydrator and Dark Mark Defense.

What if it doesn't work on my skin?

Clear Out is so EFFECTIVE that you will get a full 90-day money back guarantee if you do not see a noticeable improvement after your first bottle. T&Cs apply.

This moneyback guarantee has been on every bottle of Clear Out and we have seen over +98% success rate.

How long will it take to see results?

In the first month, this formulation will trigger a purge of dead skin trapped in your pores which can appear as flakes or low level breakouts.

This purge will peak at week 5 and subside after week 8 of use. At week 10, you will turn over a clearer layer of skin that is less clog prone. See below:

@xx.tonilumsden Individual results may vary.

Directions for use?

Clear Out is only used in the evening as part of your night-time routine:

  1. Wash your face with a cleanser
  2. Apply toner (if applicable)
  3. Apply Clear Out (leave-in lotion)
  4. Apply moisturizer or other skincare that you normally use in the evening

Try Clear Out, Risk FREE!

If you finish an entire bottle and don’t see any results…

You’re entitled to a full refund within 90 days! T&Cs apply.

Try it with CONFIDENCE!



References:
1. Joshua A. Zeichner et al, 2017 : Emerging Issues in Adult Female Acne
2. Adam Friedman, 2019 : Why Is Acne More Prevalent Than Ever?
3. James Leyden et al, 2017 : Why Topical Retinoids Are Mainstay of Therapy for Acne
4. Expert Rev Clin Pharmacol, 2010 : Acne Algorithm from the Global Alliance algorithm to improve outcomes in acne
5. Nazzaro-Porro, et al : AZA in the treatment of acne
6. Paula Begoun : Everything You Need to Know About AZA for Skin

Disclaimer:

Nothing on this article should be interpreted as personal medical advice. For medical related matters, please consult with your dermatologist.

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See what others have to say about Clearly Basics.

Based on 2549 reviews
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Skin Type: Combination
All I can say is wow

Got all the acne products on a whim and they did not disappoint! I have noticed such a difference in the texture of my skin. I have tried so many acne products and felt like nothing was working. The clearly basics range has lasted me soooooo long and I saw results in just 3 weeks! Really happy with my experience, I would highly recommend those with acne to try this brand. Love it!

C
Power Duo*
Chuan Ling T.

Adult acne is a new thing for me- I’ve had clear skin growing up so the outbreaks were very stressful! I did everything and anything I could, from watching YouTube reviews, trying out cult products to professional advice, but nothing quite did the job. So how the power duo panned out for me was definitely a pleasant (-ly hugeeee) surprise. I do acknowledge that my acne challenges are not on the extremely severe end, but I must say, emotionally the positive outcome of using both the power duo encouraged me to wear my skin as it is again. It’s really worthwhile trying as it is also a no fuss duo; hence the currently gild of my staple skincare products.

K
Calm Down*
Kimberly C.

The entire Clearly Basics product line is the only one that has cleared my skin. I tried any product you can think of including doctor prescribed medication and ointment and nothing worked. After having acne for over 15 years I am so happy to have clear, radiant skin!

I have maybe seen some improvement but nothing amazing yet. Have used the product as instructed, religiously. Will try another bottle and stick to it for a few more months.

I love all of clearly basics! They made my confidence rise because I finally feel comfortable without makeup.
This cleanser is amazing 👏
My skin doesn't feel tight afterwards and now I don't get that mid day shine near as bad.

I love everything from clearly basics! It totally changed my life by clearing my acne. Now they have a new sunscreen and it's great.
It doesn't have a smell or leave your face white or greasy. Best of all it doesn't cause breakouts!

The products are just amazing!! My results in 4 months of using clear out extra strength!!

S
Clear Out*
Sophie C.

Love this product 👏🏽

Works really well! Enjoy using this face wash, never stings or dries out my acne prone skin !

E
Clear Out*
Emma S.

Worked really well in quite a short amount of time! I now see long lasting results, my skin is healthy and my acne is finally under control! The first product I have tried which works and is actually affordable!

I struggled with lots of painful cystic acne so tried the clear out product. Found by the end of the first bottle a lot of the smaller spots were not coming back and the more painful larger ones were coming back less inflamed. I was happy with the results from the first bottle so I ordered another, this is halfway through the second bottle and can see most of the acne on my cheeks has gone! I still get cystic acne in the T area but it is much less painful than before. Definitely recommend, but takes time to see real results.

Clearly Basics has been an absolute life saver! Not an over night miracle, be patient and stick with it, amazing products

I saw a huge reduction in new pimples and any new pimples scars healed and disappeared a lot quicker

A
Power Duo*
Anne F.

I have struggled with acne since I was 12 years old. All through my teenage and adult life my skin has been unpredictable and the breakouts have been constant and so frustrating. I’ve tried everything you could imagine but nothing worked reliably. Clear Out and lighten up have been a total game changer for me and I couldn’t be happier with the results

S
Acne Care Kit*
Sinead C.

I started using clearly basics at the beginning of the year. I have struggled with acne most of my adult life and when I saw a video from a customer on instagram, everything she described is exactly what I had done…had hormonal acne on chin and jaw line in particular. I had been to the doctor, was referred to a dermatologist and had been on medication, tried all sorts of creams and gels with no success.

I cannot believe this actually worked. I would say I saw results within the first month and probably took around 4 months so really clear up. I have continued with using it and now only get the odd spot at that time of the month but use the calm down on it. It has given me my confidence back and now I’m working on reducing the scaring. I use clear out each evening, the TLC in the morning, lighten up twice a day (but that is a small bottle so doesn’t last long) and then have tried both the so fresh and balancing cleansers. For me it really worked so would highly recommend.

Tightens pores and brightens and smoothes skin. This was my first bottle but I will continue to purchase. I use day and night.

I already use CB balancing cleanser and clear out extra strength, two years ago my skin was spotty, blackheads, raw and very visible. I wondered if the TLC would make a difference in my routine but it has, a glow and radiance I didn’t expect. This is no filter I’ve just woke up. I turned 50 this year the clearly basics range is also an amazing anti ageing tool!

M
Power Duo*
Mamtha J.

Tried every product out there from proactiv to slurp! None worked, they infact aggravated the condition! Tried clearlybasics as last resort and oh boy it works! Worth every penny! First time in 20 years, stepped out without wearing base makeup! Never thought this day would come!

I suffered with acne for years, and when I finally learned to stop the acne I was left with red and brown scars and hyperpigmentation. But I started using the clearly basics Lighten up cream and Dark mark defends, followed by the moisturiser, and I saw a dramatic difference within days! My scars have lightened so much and most of them are gone. I find this moisturiser is also very hydrating but not greasy, it is absorbed into my skin effortlessly, and it wears beautifully under my makeup. I've now been using the products for 6 months and will continue to use it!

L
Power Duo*
Laura S.

This stuff changed my life!!!!
After reading the reviews I never thought it would work for me in the same way as it had for other people, as my skin was so bad and cystic. But after just a few months of using this and cutting down on dairy, my skin was 10 times better!
I’m still religiously using the Power Duo and don’t think I’ll ever stop 😊

L
Clear Out*
Leah N.

It's such a relief to finally have found something that works. I've had acne since I was around 11 and like most people, I tried so many different products and 'hacks' to try and get rid of the spots but nothing really helped.
I was hesitant to try clear out because of the price but I was reassured by the money back guarantee.
To be honest, the purging process they warn about was pretty severe for me. Mine lasted for the entire first bottle and I was so ready to give up. I contacted customer service and they offered me a refund or 50% off my next bottle, reassuring me it would be worth sticking with it. I agreed to persevere and I'm so glad I did! About half way through the next bottle I really noticed improvements and by the end, my skin was the clearest it had ever been. I've completely stopped having breakouts and only occasionally get a spot or two during my cycle. Overall my skin is smoother and I have much less redness and a more even skin tone. I keep using clear out nightly to maintain my nice new skin and I'll happily keep buying it knowing how well it works for me!

M
Clear Out*
Mandy R.

After a few weeks the results were already visible (right photo). Now the red spots are also less visible!!

K
Acne Care Kit*
Keiwing W.

My son has serious acene problem and the acene comes back when he stopped taking the anti- biotics. After trying the products, the acene starts to dry up. The result is amazing after one month. Now, trying to apply the product to lighten up the marks.

C
Calm Down*
Cara W.

This works amazing. As soon as you see a bump, put a small amount on. I’ve used many acne spot treatments and this is by far the best !!

V
Clear Out
Veronica Ilenya Ranieri

"My skin has changed in better after using these products, they are practical and are not aggressive towards the skin.
I was ashamed of going out in public because everyone was pointing out my acne and scars, but since I started using clearly basic, I found a new me. Thank you changing my life!!"

Individual results may vary

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