Annoying Adult Acne Could Be Caused By These 10 Everyday Things

by Laura Caseley
Laura is a writer, illustrator, and artist living in New York City.

There are certainly some wonderful things about being a teenager. You’re young and cute, you have your whole life ahead of you, and you’re making memories you’ll cherish for a lifetime.

But there are also certain nice things about not being a teen anymore. You have more freedom, you can do things your own way, and you’re finally out of that “awkward” stage. Namely? No more break-outs!

However, for many adults, acne is unfortunately not a thing left behind in high school. Adult acne affects many people. Some experience it all the time, while others only experience breakouts or spots periodically. But what gives?

Acne in teens is brought on, in both girls and boys, by increased levels of testosterone and androgens, which makes the skin oilier and more prone to breaking out.

Depending on your own body’s chemistry, your skin might have more or less severe reactions.

In adults, there are actually many reasons why your skin might erupt into blemishes, and they range from internal to external factors. Some might even surprise you!

Check out what might be causing skin breakouts below, and when it comes to having your teenage days recreated, stick with something more fun.

Why Do Adults Get Acne?

Pimple on face
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It might seem like something left behind with adolescence, but in fact, millions of American adults deal with acne at some point in their lives.

In fact, 60% of adults have active acne right now, and 20% of those people have acne bad enough to be considered severe.

Some of the causes for teens and adults are the same, but some are different, and some are more prevalent in adults. And some of them are so simple that you’ll be amazed you never thought of them!

Acne Cause #1: Your Phone

Wipe off your phone
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Phones are filthy, and the heat of a phone’s screen makes your skin sweat when you hold it against your face for long periods of time.

Combine the dirt, bacteria, and sweat, and you have a recipe for breakouts. If you notice your blemishes appear on the sides of your face, your phone may be the culprit.

To prevent this, clean your phone’s screen with an antibacterial wipe regularly.

Acne Cause #2: Lack Of Sleep

Get more sleep
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Not sleeping enough wreaks havok on your body inside and out, and your skin suffers, too.

That’s because not getting enough weakens your immune system, making all parts of your body more susceptible to infection.

And a blemish is nothing more than an infection — a swollen, nasty-looking infection.

So make sure you get enough good sleep!

Acne Cause #3: Vitamin D Deficiency

Absorb more vitamin D
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Vitamin D is also an immune system booster, and without it, your skin also suffers.

It’s especially common in people who work in offices or spend a lot of time inside.

The remedy? Go outside, or at least sit in a sunny patch, when you can. You can also take Vitamin D supplements.

Acne Cause #4: Thick Makeup

Go light on your makeup
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Your skin continues to change even through adulthood, so if you’ve been wearing the same makeup for years, consider changing it up.

If your skin is breaking out, look for oil-free and non-comedogenic makeups — that means they’re specially formulated to not clog pores.

You might also consider switching from a thicker concealer to a lighter tinted moisturizer.

If you have old makeup lying around, you shouldn’t use it. Makeup can, over time, collect bacteria and other nasties that can affect your skin. Toss unused makeup after about six months.

Acne Cause #5: Changing Facial Products Too Often

Keep a consistent skincare routine
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When you switch beauty products too often, it doesn’t give your skin time to adjust, and can alter its pH balance, leading to breakouts.

If you like trying new things, that’s fine. Just give it about three weeks before switching to give your skin time to adjust.

Acne Cause #6: Too Much Sugar

Eat less sugar and more veggies
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

You always hear about chocolate causing breakouts, but in fact, it’s sugar in general.

Sugars cause the skin to produce excess oils, which trap dirt and bacteria in pores and lead to breakouts.

Eating healthy is crucial to keeping your skin healthy, so keep sugar intake low, especially refined sugars, and be sure to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.

Acne Cause #7: Too Much Touching

Stop touching your face
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Sometimes it’s hard to keep from absently touching your face. For some, it’s a nervous habit, and it can be even more tempting to touch, squeeze, and pick when you find a blemish.

But consider all the things you touch all day. Your fingers are gross, and when you touch your face, you’re putting all that grossness all over your skin. It can cause breakouts, and aggravate already infected areas.

Only touch your face with clean hands, and don’t touch any blemishes.

Acne Cause #8: Acne Products

Hold back on acne products
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We know, it doesn’t seem to make sense. But acne-fighting products can actually make your skin even more aggravated.

How? Well, many of them are very drying, and skin that’s too dry is just as prone to breaking out as skin that’s very oily.

When your skin feels dry, it will produce more and more oil to compensate, and flaky, dried skin can also clog pores.

Instead of harsh cleansers, try using a charcoal mask, aloe, or another gentler, natural cleanser.

Acne Cause #9: Shower Water

Keep shower water away from face
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Depending on your water, your shower might be leading to breakouts.

If your shower water contains metals or minerals that make it more acidic or “hard,” this can also affect your skin.

Check the pH of your water, and if you find it to be acidic, try using a water filter to soften it.

Acne Cause #10: Stress

Relieve stress
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Stress is one of the biggest causes of acne, and just about every other minor body issue.

And when you break out from stress, you start stressing out about the breakout! It’s the worst, but it’s also part of life.

To minimize stress’ negative impact on your body, make a conscious effort to work on stress management, relaxation, and calming.

And if you find a blemish anyway? It’s okay! It really does happen to everyone, so you’re not alone.

SHARE these tips with someone who’s stressing over their skin and help them clear things up!