Dealing With Adult Acne: The 7 Tips I’ve Learnt To Help Keep My Problem Skin Under Control (For Now)

You only have to type ‘How To…’ into Google for auto fill to swiftly suggest ‘How Do I Get Rid Of Acne?’ in your search bar.

And whilst I have struggled with bad skin since my teens, I know for a fact that I’m not alone.  In fact, a recent study by skincare brand Avene found that nearly half of women in the UK are affected by adult acne.

Worse still, 45 per cent of acne sufferers feel unattractive, according to the study, while Professor Rino Cerio from The Royal London Hospital admitted he sees women ‘tearful, frustrated and depressed’ in some extreme acne cases.


People rarely discuss the emotional impact of acne but I know all too well the truth behind the sore, broken skin. Some days, my face has looked so bad that I’ve not wanted to come into work, or go out after work, or do ANYTHING really.

But, over the past few months, I’ve noticed my skin has been gradually improving. It’s by no means perfect (saying that, whose is?!) and in fact, a spot has erupted on my chin on this very day, but I finally feel like it’s actually under control (touch wood).

So here are the seven most important tips I’ve learnt to keep my problem skin over control (which can be applied to any skin type!)


1)    Identifying You Have A Problem

Whether it’s stress, hormones, diet or just sheer bad luck, we all suffer from bad skin sometimes. But if it’s getting the point where you don’t want to leave the house without shovelling layers of make-up over it, then you need to actually admit that you have a problem with your skin. It’s not going to get any better if you don’t do anything about it.

2)    Actually Taking The Time To Focus On A Skincare Routine

This is one of the main things I’ve learnt through the years of trying to tackle my bad skin – you really have to dedicate the TIME to a skincare regime. I’m always rushing about in the mornings and knackered by the time I want to go to bed, but actually taking the time to properly take care of your skin makes a huge difference. It literally takes five minutes in the morning, and the same at night, to clean my skin and take my make-up off but I would never NOT do that now.


“Fresh vegetables are good for skin – just fresh products basically. Anything you can eat that’s not processed,” she said.

“Extra Virgin Olive Oil is also good for slow-cooking or using coconut oil for frying. Fish is also a really good source of Omega-3, which is great for skin, and Vitamin B.”

4)    Investing In Regular Facials

I know it’s not easy for everyone but facials have really helped keep my skin under control – more specifically, extraction facials. Eeeek! The facialist I see extracts my blackheads really carefully and my face isn’t red and sore afterwards. But whatever you do, don’t try this at home – it won’t end well.

5)    Using Products With As Fewer Chemicals As Possible

I find that using products with as few chemicals as possible really helps to clear up my milia, which are little white spots that hide under the skin – and skincare expert Dr Kubicka reckons harsh and heavy products will only make my skin, and those suffering from acne, worse.

“What happens is when the acne starts, we try to cover it but then the skin can’t breathe and it just builds up,” she told me.

“People usually use skincare products that are too strong and too heavy and products that contain a lot of additives, including petrolatum, glycerin and mineral oils.
“You’d be surprised at how many products actually contain stuff like this. If we have problems with our skin, we use even stronger products, which aggravates it even more.”

Start by taking a look at the ingredients list of your favourite skincare products and make sure they don’t contain nasty mineral oils, which are distilled products of petroleum. Eeek.

I find that using gentle ingredients, such as lavender and rose, really helps to soothe my stressed-out skin. Saying that, you’ll find that chemical-laden eye make-up removers are some of the best, but just try and keep chemicals to a minimum where you can. It’s what’s worked for me.

Try and use as many organic ingredients, such as rose and lavender, as possible [Rex]6)    Targeting Your Specific Skincare Concerns

I’ve always thought that my skin was oily/blemish-prone but recently, I had my skin analysed in Lloyds Pharmacy and it revealed that my skin was actually really oily AND excessively dry. I didn’t even know that was possible. So now, I try and tackle the underlying dehydration issue to give my skin the moisture it really needs, by double-toning (more on that later).

7)    Consistency, Consistency, Consistency

If you find a routine that works for your skin, blimmin’ well stick to it! You can’t say it doesn’t work if you don’t…

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