Clearing Adult Breakouts, Explained in Five Minutes

Posted on August 13, 2015 by Rachel Duran

woman with beautiful skin

Rachel DuranAdult acne and teen acne are not equal. Although the pimples and breakouts are just as troubling whether you’re 15 or 45, the skin responds differently as it ages. Forget those ads featuring bubbly prom goers—when you're in your 20s, 30s, or beyond, it’s time to clear blemishes and breakouts with a straightforward treatment plan made for grown-ups. Here's how. 

Check Yourself

Clinical studies indicate that between 40 and 55 percent of adults age 20 to 40 have been diagnosed with persistent acne, but not all blemishes are alike. Take a good long look in the mirror and make mental notes on what you see: Do you have dry skin? Oily skin? Can you plot out your breakouts on the calendar with your hormonal cycle or do you see random flare-ups while traveling or after a stressful deadline?

Make a Plan

Time to read up! Tailor your skincare routine and regimen to meet your unique concerns. Start by researching the much-loved treatments like alpha hydroxyl acids (glycolic, lactic, and malic acids) and beta hydroxyl acid (salicylic acid) to find a treatment that will treat you right. Then stock up on the skin-soothing goodies that partner with these effective formulas: moisturizers, serums, and hydrators like tea tree oil.


Staying dedicated to your acne treatment plan is no easy task, but it’s definitely the most important factor in your quest for clear results. Whether prescribed or an over-the-counter formula, your medication doesn’t have a chance to make magic if you’re not consistent with its application. Compliance can make or break(out) your skin.  

Practice Patience

Healthy skin is worth the wait—but surely that doesn’t make the task of waiting any easier. Adult acne is more persistent and resilient, so it’s unlikely you’ll see immediate improvement from a new and improved routine. Count on hitting the three-month mark before you see results from the new treatment. Proper skincare is all about the long game.


  • Rachel Duran is an editor at Arithmetic
  • About Us: Arithmetic is a new skincare company focused on helping adults achieve clear, healthy skin



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