How Can One Prevent Acne Breakouts in their 30s?

Still getting periodic acne breakouts into 30s. What does one have to do to stop getting acne.  Change diet?  Clean face with special soaps?  Any help is super appreciated.

Doctor Answers 24

5 Tips for acne prevention

There are a few other things you can do to help with acne. These include:

1. Dietary changes that may help include avoiding excessive dairy consumption, due to the presence of hormones in certain dairy products and decreasing your intake of fast-food, particularly fried, greasy foods and increasing your intake of antioxidants including berries (blueberries, pomegranate juice, citrus fruits).

2. Stress can be a significant factor in the development of acne so anything you can do to decrease stress in your life can help. Regular cardiovascular exercise is one way of reducing stress.

3. Any products placed on the face should be oil-free, water-based, non-comedogenic (meaning non pore-clogging). Gentle cleansers rather than soaps should be used to cleanse the face.

4. If you notice your makeup is clogging your pores and causing whiteheads and blackheads, switch brands, preferably to a mineral makeup. I agree that no makeup should be left on the face overnight.

5. Hormonal changes particularly in women of child-bearing age can cause regular acne break-outs. Consider speaking to your dermatologist about available preventative hormonal therapies if this is the case. Good luck.

San Diego Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

People of All Ages Get Acne; Genetics and Hormones Play a Role

Adults get acne too. As a dermatologist, we see people of all ages with acne and we base treatment on what kind of acne one has and then develop a treatment plan that we think best. Acne is genetic and hormonal, and where I have seen people say diet, stress and other things are involved, while they may contribute to things, they do not cause acne in 99.9% of people. Acne happens in adults, and we take care of it to minimize it.  Medicines are used but also lasers and light when needed. See your dermatologist and get it cleared as fast as you can.

Michael Gold, MD
Nashville Dermatologic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

How to prevent adult acne

Adults, and particularly women, tend to flare occasionally with adult acne. In women, fluctuation of hormones during the menstrual cycle play a significant role. Aside from this a few simple measures of prevention of acne include:

1. Cleansing your face twice daily! with a mild cleanser (Purpose by J&J over the counter). This will remove excess sweat and fatty residue that traps the pores and feeds bacteria the excess oils. By the way, never sleep with your makeup for the same reason.

2. While working out at the gym never put your face on the vinyl on a workout bench and do not touch your face while working out wash or shower right after this. Remember you could also get acne on your back.

3.Fatty meals, nuts and chocolate have again been linked to an exacerbation of acne. Eat them with measure.

4. Take plenty of antioxidants. Fruits are preferred like described below. Otherwise, vitamin C 1 gram twice daily ( you'll stay looking younger too!)

5. Continuous use of a thin layer of a retinoid cream on your face at bedtime will not only keep your skin smooth and looking healthy, but will also prevent acne flares.

6. Stress will trigger acne. There is even the 'vacation pimple' because of all the stress of traveling and packing, plus the change in food and sleeping habits that can happen on a vacation.

7. Avoid heavy makeup ( mousse and mineral makeups are preferred for acne prone skin). Avoid heavy oily sunnlocks. Micronized preparations of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide sunblocks offer superior coverage and do not flare acnestHete this information is helpful. Best of luck! Dr. Leyda Bowes

Leyda Elizabeth Bowes, MD
Miami Dermatologic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Breakouts in your 30's...

Acne breakouts in your mid 30's can be caused by many factors, many times it is hormonal. Every patient is unique, so it is important to remain patient as you try to find what works best for you.  As far as caring for your skin, the most important things to include are to cleanse twice a day with an appropriate cleanser, exfoliating with either a gentle scrub, and controlling oil with a toner. Introducing a retinol product at some point may be beneficial for you, as it will help to keep skin cells turning over and can reduce acne breakouts, plus help to prevent age-related changes you may start to see in your 30's.  Some in-office treatments or peels can be done for extra exfoliation, and many of our patients benefit from using LED lights to help reduce acne bacteria and inflammation that comes with acne breakouts.  An anti-inflammatory diet - eliminating sugar, dairy and possibly gluten can help.  We also have had great results supplementing with Green Tea supplements and/or Skin Accumax which is available through Jane Iredale in the United States.  It is important to be patient with whatever changes you are implementing because with acne, compliance and consistency is key!

Frank Barone, MD
Toledo Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 53 reviews

Treatment of Adult Acne

Adult acne is frustrating, and unfortunately very common.  Recent research has suggested that foods with a high glycemic index may be related to the development of acne, so you may consider examining your diet.  However, my best advice is to meet with a dermatologist to evaluate your skin closely.  Adult acne is often hormonal, and different patterns of acne will indicate to your dermatologist that this is the case.  They can then recommend the appropriate treatment.  Our patients with adult acne often see tremendous improvement after undergoing a short series of Isolaz acne treatment and Photodynamic Therapy in the office.  These treatments can provide dramatic improvement, especially for people who have not seen improvement with prescription medications or dietary changes.

Eric Schweiger, MD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
3.8 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Adult acne in the 30's

Acne is adults is extremely common. Like teenage acne, it's likely caused by the interaction of hormones and your skin. The treatments are similar to teenage acne, including topical creams, pills, laser, blue light therapy, and birth control pills for women. Only your dermatologist can determine the right treatment for you. Diet, keeping clean, etc, appear to have little to do with adult acne.

Gary Goldenberg, MD
New York Dermatologist

There are several simple steps that anyone can follow to...

There are several simple steps that anyone can follow to keep skin clear and evenly toned.

  1. First, use moisturizers and sunscreens. Moisturize frequently and use sunscreen whenever outside. Sunscreens must have both UVA and UVB protection incorporated in the products. Make it even easier by using a moisturizer with SPF included.
  2. Second, be sure to get enough sleep, eat a healthy diet, and exercise regularly.

David Goldberg, MD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
3.3 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Prevent Acne

There are many ways to treat and prevent acne. Adult acne is completely normal and there are many reasons you could be having break outs. One of the most common reasons is hormonal acne this can be controlled with a good skin care regimen that focuses on adult acne and can include a cleanser, exfoliator, and acne control serum and moisturizers. There are other reasons you can be experiencing acne such as your diet some foods that can cause acne are salt, chocolate, dairy and spices. Purchase a good skin care regimen, you can do this by visiting a local esthetician that can help assess your skin and help you choose products that are right for your skin. Great skin care treatments that can also help break outs would be a salicylic acid chemical peel or an acne facial.

Fadi Nukta, MD
Ashburn Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Acne Treatment

Hello and thank you for your question.

While acne is a condition that is prevalent for many teenagers, it is a skin concern that can also extend into adulthood. It is a complex problem that occurs for numerous reasons, including the buildup of bacteria, hormones, an increase in oil production and the irregular shedding of dead skin cells.

Stress and hormones can also influence the development of acne. Although living with acne can be a frustrating experience, there are a variety of treatment options available that can treat your active acne and help keep your skin clear such as BLU-U, Chemical Peels, Vibradermabrasion, Prescription Medications, and Photodynamic Therapy.  I recommend booking a consultation with an expert for a personalized treatment plan.   I wish you the best of luck. 

P. Alexander Ataii, MD
San Diego Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Acne happens at all ages!

People of all ages can get acne: including newborns and older adults.

Acne is the most common skin disorder and can be a long-term condition. It involves the oil glands around each hair. Hairs grow from a "follicle," which can become plugged by oil. Once the follicle is plugged, germs invade and cause bumps that can fill with pus and become red, swollen, and sometimes painful.

Acne can range from mild to very bad.  Acne is most common on the face, back, neck, and chest. There is no cure for acne, but you can treat the symptoms by keeping hair follicles from getting plugged. Once a bump has formed, you can use medicines that help with the redness and swelling.

The most common type of acne medicine is a cream or gel that you put on your skin. Many of these can be bought without a prescription. These medicines may help if your acne is mild. Benzoyl peroxide is the most common type. It is in most over-the-counter acne medicines.

If over-the-counter medicines don't work, your doctor can prescribe other types of medicine. These are usually antibiotics or retinoids. These medicines can cause dryness or redness. If this becomes a problem for you, your doctor can tell you ways to make your skin feel better.

For example, Salicylic acid is present in a variety of over-the-counter cleansing products. Salicylic acid has some "anti-acne" effects, work for some, and don't have many high quality scientific studies. Side-effects are dryness, mild skin irritation.

-Clindamycin gel is an example of an antibiotic gel. Side-effects can be redness, peeling, dryness, itching, burning, oiliness. Antibiotics that are applied to skin (like a gel) are used mostly for the treatment of mild to moderate inflammatory or mixed acne. Clindamycin and erythromycin are the most studied. Guidelines recommend using benzoyl peroxide with them (to keep the bacteria from becoming resistant.)

If you have very bad acne, your doctor may prescribe pills. You may need to take these for several months before your skin gets better. If you do seek assistance from a doctor, it is important for them to explain the range of acne--from mild to severe, inflammatory and noninflammatory--and the approaches to treatment. 

Because acne is such a common condition, there are many treatments out there. Some are supported by data, others aren't. Some treatments are expensive, but that doesn't necessarily mean they are better. Overall, give response to treatment some time. How much time? Depends on the severity of your acne, and can range from weeks to months. 

Barbara Persons, MD, FACS
Bay Area Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.