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What Causes Adult Acne in Men?

What Causes Adult Acne in Men?


Acne - it’s one of the scourges of teenage life. But adults always promise those pimply young people, “Don’t worry, it’s just a phase.”

Except, not always. For some guys, adult acne continues to be a serious skin problem.

The issue goes beyond just having skin blemishes. Researchers have found that chronic skin conditions like adult acne “affect a patient’s quality of life on multiple dimensions, including the psychosocial domain. Psychosocial is defined as the interaction of social factors with an individual’s thoughts and behavior.” Of the data analyzed for this review, “social phobia was present in 45% of patients with acne.”

Clearly, adult acne in men is a major issue. In order to treat this problem at its root, you need to know what causes adult acne.



Stress is one of the leading causes of adult acne breakouts. It gets worse if your lifestyle is causing chronic stress. According to The International Dermal Institute, this can increase your hormone levels and eventually cause excess oil production. That’s because your body’s stress reaction includes the release of androgens - hormones that stimulate the oil glands.

The worst part is that acne can cause itself. When you break out, you get stressed about your appearance. You worry about how others will perceive you or how your acne will affect your professional life. And that acne-induced stress causes more acne, which causes more stress, which… it’s a vicious cycle.


Sensitive Skin

Adults tend to have more sensitive skin than teenagers. So one of the causes of acne is skin sensitivity and irritation. To make matters worse, many guys use harsh skincare products that dry out their skin.

Guys with sensitive skin should use a gentle face wash to cleanse their face each day. It’s best to use a non-lathering product that won’t strip away natural oils. Use it once in the morning and again before bed. Any more than that can be a problem, since over-washing will cause dehydration.

gentle skincare products for men


To protect your skin from dehydration and further irritation during the day, always follow up with a natural face moisturizer. This will seal in hydration and keep your skin in top shape all day long.

What if your issue isn't sensitive skin, but rather acne prone skin with frequent breakouts? In that case, opt for acne controlling face wash that reduces blemish causing bacteria, unclogs pores, and clears up breakouts. Ours is made with 2% salicylic acid, grapefruit, and tea tree oil - all of which fight acne without over-drying or irritating your skin.

Acne Controlling Face Wash


Skin Bacteria

Recent research has suggested that adult acne may be caused by imbalances in skin bacteria on your face. Your facial biome may include a bacteria commonly associated with acne, called Propionibacterium acnes. But this bacteria can also be found on the skin of people without acne. So what gives?

Scientists theorize that the Propionibacterium acnes bacteria comes in two strains - one that causes acne and one that doesn’t. Their findings - achieved by analyzing pore-cleansing strips from subjects - seem to point to a new method for treating acne. It could be that targeted treatments that promote the growth of non-acne causing bacteria would be best.


Improve Your Skin Everyday

Contending with adult acne is not easy. You will have frustrating days when you wake up to a new breakout. But don’t give up!

Make adjustments to your lifestyle and habits to improve your skin. Follow  a smart skincare routine that includes face wash and face moisturizer. And do all you can to limit your stress levels. With patience, you will see results.

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