Female Adult Acne: Causes and Solutions



Picture this: You’re 35 years old, you’re going to a wedding (or a party, or having a presentation), and you look into the mirror only to realize you’re breaking out. You thought you left this behind in high school, so why are you breaking out like a teenager? You take care of yourself– you’re using all of the right products, staying away from greasy food, and keeping your hair out of your face. You’re doing all of the right things, so what’s the deal? Female adult acne is a tricky issue to deal with, and just like adolescent acne, there’s nothing to be ashamed of. Sure, nobody likes a zit, but the unfortunate reality is that acne is a part of life, even if you’re an adult.


Luckily, you’re not alone. Acne can make people self-conscious, and because it’s so common, we’ve looked into this, and have identified a number of different causes for female adult acne. We’ve also identified a number of solutions and best practices to help you keep that acne at bay!


Causes of female adult acne

Believe it or not, where your acne is recurring is actually a strong identifier to its cause. That’s right! Not all acne is created equal! Sometimes acne is caused from external stimuli such as dirt and oil, but other times it comes from inside in the form of hormonal fluctuations.


Let’s get into it.


  1. Acne on your hairline- The oil buildup in the hair and skin can cause acne to appear in the hairline. Also, oily hair products and makeup can buildup in the hairline, causing acne breakouts in that area.

  2. Acne on your cheeks - Acne on your checks may indicate that you are rubbing your face up against something like the rim of your glasses, a cell phone or a pillowcase.

  3. Acne on your jawline - Acne around the chin and jawline indicates hormonal acne, which is commonly triggered by hormonal fluctuations that occur around a woman's period, her pregnancy and as she approaches menopause.

Treatment of female adult acne

  1. Change pillowcase and bedding often - Bedding has potential to absorb an alarming amount of oil from your hair and face. We’re not suggesting you do the swap out your bedding or do your laundry every single day, but it’s good practice to change your pillowcase and bedding every week or two.

  2. Thoroughly remove makeup at the earliest opportunity - Even when you’re getting in late from a night out, and all you want to do is go to bed, your complexion will thank you if you take a little bit of extra time to remove your makeup and clean up!

  3. Wash your face 2 times a day - Not only should you wash your face twice a day, it’s best to arm yourself with an oil-free moisturizer. Breakouts occur when your skin produces high amounts of sebum, which happens when your skin is dry. It may seem counterintuitive, but moisturizer is your friend.

  4. Don’t be harsh on yourself - Sure we mean this emotionally, but also physically! Hard scrubbing and overwashing will beat up your skin and can set you up for future breakouts. Think about how you dry your face off. Are you scrubbing vigorously, or gently patting dry? Keep it gentle, and your skin will thank you.

  5. Leave it alone - This is the hardest part. Do not succumb to the urge to pop the zit. Popping zits makes acne worse, and can possibly create permanent scarring. A zit is just for today, but scarring is forever. This too shall pass.

We’re here for you


Acne isn’t something you just have to learn to live with. Discuss your skin problems with a licensed medical provider who can diagnose your condition, tell you what kind of acne you’re suffering from, and provide you with a customized treatment plan that will clear up your skin and keep it clear—all from the comfort of your own home.