Your teenage years are a distant memory - so WHY have the pimples returned? It’s just plain unfair. The days of junk food and partying are well behind you. You do your best to eat well and exercise regularly. And let’s be honest, adulting is hard enough without dealing with adult acne.

Well you aren’t alone, adult acne is surprisingly common. According to the International Dermal Institute and Demalogica, between 40-55% of adults aged 20-40 have regular breakouts and low-grade acne.


So the pimples have returned. The good news is that knowing what is causing your complexion concerns can help the keep breakouts at bay. So let’s get things cleared up…

Hormonal changes are probably still to blame

Hormonal fluctuations are a really common cause for adult acne, especially around the chin, hairline and jawline. Most women struggle with pre- premenstrual breakouts with a little extra testosterone sending our oil glands into production mode. Breakouts form if this excess oil gets trapped in the skins pores by dead skin cells.

Are you feeling stressed? It is well known that stress increases your cortisol levels. Cortisol works on the same pathway as testosterone, and so it all cycles back to your hormones again. If you are stressed it is also quite possible that you aren't eating as well, perhaps not getting enough sleep and maybe to time poor to take your makeup off at night. Any one of these factors, or combination of factors can wreak havoc on your skin.

It’s all about controlling oil production and preventing clogged pores

It’s true what they say - cleanliness is next to godliness…and good looking skin

A build-up of excess dead skin cells, pollution, make-up and grime really increases your chances of breakout. A build-up of anything on your skin can block those pores and sooner or later you have a sensitive red lump rearing its head.

However too much cleanliness can do more harm than good. Over cleansing and washing your face with stripping sulphate-ridden cleansers could be another cause for your complexion concerns. Stripping your skin of hydration and natural oils can not only leave you feeling dry and flaky, but can also put your oil glands into over-drive. And we all now know what oil production leads to…


Healthy from the inside out

Factors like diet, exercise and home remedies have worked on many people for treating adult acne.

Although Nutritionist and author of ‘Falling In Love With Food’ Zoe Bingley-Pullin said no foods can conclusively treat acne, eating a diet rich in fibre, healthy fats, complex carbs and anti-inflammatory foods definitely won't hurt.

Add some extra tumeric, manuka honey, nuts, leafy greens and olive oil into your diet and avoid fried and processed foods which are high in sugar and complex carbs.

Cleanse – Gently

Pimples are caused by oil, so get rid of the oil and your pimples will disappear right? Nope!

Harsh drying products can strip your skin of its natural oils, which will stimulate your oil glands to over produce, and the cycle continues. They also damage your skin's natural hydration levels and barrier protection which has other adverse effects.

Instead, choose gentle, pH neutral cleansers. Cleansing oils and balms are pH balanced (no water means neutral pH!) and great at balancing our oil production and the skin’s acid mantle. Try the SEEH Skincare CLEANSE Makeup Melting Cleansing Balm.

It might seem counterproductive at first, by cleansing with oil is the most effective way to remove makeup and cleanse the day away, while retaining and replenishing moisture levels in your skin. After a week or so, the skin adjusts to the moisture boost and oil production will self-regulate.  


You have a few options here – chemical and physical exfoliation! Physical exfoliation works on the surface of the skin, while chemical exfoliation works at a deeper level so we recommend a combination of both.

Exfoliation can both prevent and treat existing acne, by dissolving and sloughing away any dead skin cells, unclogging blocked pores and promoting skin cell turnover.

While exfoliating is key, don’t overdo it. Start with an abrasive physical exfoliator like the SEEH Skincare SMOOTH Exfoliating Facial Polish once a week. Ramp up your skin turnover with a toner with glycolic acid, lactic acid or salicylic acid after cleansing once a week. We love the gentle Lactic Acid 10% + HA 2% by The Ordinary.

To read more on the benefits of exfoliation read more here.

Stress-less Sista!

Alright, this one may be easier said than done! First thing to reducing your stress is identifying where it is coming from. Are you pulling crazy hours at work, carrying excess emotional load at home, putting a little TOO much pressure on yourself to live up to the Instagram lifestyle and ‘SHE REALLY CAN HAVE IT ALL’ conspiracy? Well look after yourself, cut yourself some slack… and delegate!

Start by taking a little time out every day for yourself. It just takes 10 minutes every day. If that sounds too hard, try 5 mins and build up! Meditate, stretch, put a face mask on and have a cup of tea in silence! Getting enough sleep is also crucial. If you struggle to get your 8 hours read our clever little tips here.

No Touching!

Lastly, avoid the urge to squeeze, pick and touch pimples. Aggravating your acne will only increase inflammation, delay the healing process and lead to scarring.


At SEEH Skincare we LOVE to read our labels. Just like in a grocery store, check the back of the packaging of your skincare and look out for these wonderful ingredients (listed below). If they are included, chances are you skincare regime is on the right track:

  • Astringents
    • White willow bark extract / Salicylic acid
    • Retinol, Retinoid, Vitamin A
    • Glycolic acid is an alpha-hydroxy acid
    • Lactic acid
    • Witch hazel
  • Anti-inflammatory
    • Apricot Kernel Oil
    • Aloe Vera Blue Tansey
    • Calendula
    • Chamomile
    • Colloidal Oats
    • Green Tea
    • Jojoba oil
    • Manuka honey
    • Niacinamide (Vitamin B3)
    • Turmeric
    • Olive Oil
    • Panthenol (Vitamin B5)
    • Rosehip oil
    • Sea Buckthorn oil
    • Licorice

To learn more about ingredients in your skincare, head over to our Ingredient Glossary.

Goodluck lovelies


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