The Truth About Adult Acne – and 4 Easy Steps to Control It

Photo courtesy of Milena Mihaylova

Photo courtesy of Milena Mihaylova

Serious Acne Care 101 with Rob Hardwicke, President and Product Master at Awakening Mineral Therapies.

Those pesky teen acne outbreaks may be nothing more than a distant memory when suddenly, as Yogi Berra liked to say, “It’s like déjà vu all over again.”

Some people develop acne in their twenties, thirties and even forties… even if they never had acne as a teen. And although there are certain environmental factors that can increase the severity of adult acne breakouts, the ultimate cause is the same as with teen acne: hormones.

“But wait,” you say. “My hormones haven’t been crazy like this in years!” Well, you may never experience hormonal imbalance at the “teen spirit” level again, but there are many natural fluctuations of hormones throughout your life (for women, pregnancy and menopause are the two biggies). And while adult acne does affect women at a higher rate than men, most sources of hormonal fluctuation are gender-neutral (and far too commonplace): high stress levels, poor sleep, buckets of caffeine and other stimulants, poor diet, and exposure to toxic chemicals (more common than you’d think).

And yet, these things are practically required for Americans these days. Let’s face it, if you’re not stressed out and “busy,” you must be some kinda slacker! Well, the good news is, that’s total BS. And if you take the time to take better care of yourself, you’ll probably find that your adult acne breakouts diminish noticeably.

Just by using some very simple skin care remedies, you’ll join many of our customers who have experienced amazing results simply from using MUDFACE, our proprietary Dead Sea mud masque, combined with SKIN or FACE&NECK, our antioxidant face creams.

What follows are 4 “no brainer” steps that will help you start to control adult acne breakouts by helping to regulate hormonal imbalances.

1. Reduce Stress

A lot of people talk about stress, but what does stress actually do inside your body? As it turns out, stress is “expressed” in your body by increasing levels of, that’s right – hormones. Hormonal imbalance can cause the oil glands to overcompensate, and even birth control pills, which are often prescribed for acne in women, can actually aggravate acne breakouts in some cases. Not only that, but when cortisol, insulin, and other hormones are out of whack, this puts added stress on your immune system, liver, and other eliminatory organs. Try incorporating any of those many little stress-relievers we all know about these days – take pleasant walks, do yoga, meditate, read a good book, drink less caffeine… the list goes on. Most adult acne sufferers see a rapid improvement if they make a concerted effort to reduce stress in their lives. Try it for a month and see what happens – you may just be delighted with the results!

2. Feed Yourself Right

Many people don’t realize it, but food can actually cause a lot of stress in our systems. How? Well, when you are sensitive to certain foods (sometimes called “food allergies” or “invisible inflammations”) your immune system can have an inflammatory response that breaks down the protective barriers in the digestive track. This negative immune response does two things that can make acne worse:

First, it triggers a spike in cortisol, a stress hormone that already gets way too much action these days – from things like double lattes and “energy drinks”. Second, large molecules of food are not broken down properly and can be released into the bloodstream. The liver is forced to deal with most of this excess. But if the liver becomes overwhelmed, your skin, as the body’s other main detoxifying organ, will try to help process these toxins, and you end up with increased susceptibility to acne, eczema, and other skin conditions. Food sensitivities are probably not the underlying cause of your adult acne, but they can contribute to making it a lot worse.

3. Use Gentle Care

The skin care industry’s general approach to acne is to scream at us to dry out that excess oil. So we do, and usually our acne improves – sometimes dramatically. Eventually though, acne treatments that work by drying skin will lose their effectiveness – either because those hormones are still in overdrive or because our sebaceous glands kick it up a notch, trying desperately to replace the oil our skin needs for healthy functioning. With drying acne medications, our bodies get caught in a vicious cycle of trying to compensate for what we’re taking away, and the whole thing backfires.

The deal is, no matter how hard you scrub, you can’t scrub off acne. In fact, it can make it worse. There is a protective barrier on the skin called the “acid mantle” that protects the skin from bacteria, viruses, and infections. Because this barrier is acidic in nature, and most of these infectious critters are alkaline, the acid mantle neutralizes them. Soaps are alkaline, and so scrubbing and over-cleansing strips away the acid mantle, leaving a breeding ground for bacteria on your face, and often worsening acne. So put down your loofah, your rough washcloth and any other abrasive or “industrial” tools in your bathroom.

A kinder, gentler approach is to use our Dead Sea mud masque for deep and gentle cleansing. The naturally bioactive mud from the Dead Sea exfoliates without scrubbing, and naturally pulls excess oil and dead skin cells from your pores. It also contains a wide array of natural antibacterial and antiviral agents which will bring down the P. acnes count in your skin (P. acnes is the name for the pore-clogging bacteria Propionibacterium acnes that can make your acne outbreaks a lot worse).

After using the masque, just hydrate your skin with a light Dead Sea mineral face cream. Just doing these two things, when added to a regime of good general health, will do more to tame adult acne breakouts than anything you can buy over the counter at Rite Aid or Walgreen’s.

4. Throw out Your Acne Medications

There are of course extreme situations where a visit to a dermatologist and the use of drugs are appropriate. Getting bacteria levels down quickly through the use of an oral antibiotic (in the SHORT term) can actually get you some quick, noticeable improvement. But you can’t stay on antibiotics for ever, and unfortunately, most of what’s out there in the way of acne treatments is either questionable or downright dangerous. Here’s a very typical list of recommended acne medications, taken from another “authority site” –

  • Azelaic acid cream
  • Alpha-hydroxy acids
  • Benzoyl peroxide
  • Antibiotic pills
  • Topical antibiotics (gels, lotions, and solutions
  • Birth control pills for women
  • Accutane or Sotret for severe acne

Read on for a brief description of why you may want to avoid any of the above.

Azelaic acid is a compound that occurs naturally in wheat, rye and barley – and in human skin. It’s used in various creams and lotions. Slight stinging or burning, itching, tingling, redness or drying of the skin may occur, and it will definitely burn the heck out of your eyes and nostrils. It also may worsen asthma symptoms. And you shouldn’t use it if you’re pregnant or breast feeding. Oh, and, last but not least, if you have a darker skin tone, be careful, because azelaic has been confirmed to cause hypopigmentation in some people. In other words, it may fade your skin color. Fun times.

Alpha-hydroxy acid formulas (which include glycolic acid, lactic acid, and gluconic acid), when used in high concentrations (like at a dermatologist’s office) are often referred to as “chemical peels.” But this is exactly what is happening in lower doses as well. In fact, that’s how they work: by burning layers of skin off your face. But it’s unlikely that you’ll hear about the dangers of alpha-hydroxy acid from your dermatologist or pharmacist. But the truth is, many people who regularly use alpha-hydroxy products end up with badly irritated, red, even ravaged skin. Regular use in any dosage is to be avoided.

Benzoyl peroxide. Ah, good ‘ol benzoyl peroxide. I wrote extensively about the warhorse of the “fight on acne” in an earlier article, Acne Myths Exposed. For now I’ll just say this: It’s bleach. It’s a probable carcinogen. It makes you hypersensitive to the sun, and makes your skin age faster. Does it help reduce acne? Sure. But so do a lot of other things.

Topical antibiotics. The popularity of these kinds of medications rests on a misunderstanding of the role of bacteria in acne. As I mentioned above, the bacteria in question is called P. acnes, and it’s present in everyone’s skin. However, when additional oil, skin cells, and keratin are present in pores (which causes acne), the conditions for P. acnes are ripe for reproduction, and they can go haywire. Take away the conditions for their success, and they die off naturally. And besides, do we really need to be putting MORE antibacterial agents onto our skin? Read this article for more information about the dangers of antibiotics and topical antibacterial agents.

Oral antibiotics. While there is evidence that severe cases of acne can be helped by taking oral antibiotics, this should be a last step, not first. Haphazard use of antibiotics can lead to antibiotic resistance, and besides, most acne sufferers have no idea that there are many natural acne treatments that will help control adult acne breakouts in 90% of the cases.

Birth control pills. Please – don’t take birth control pills unless you want birth control. If a dermatologist is happy to write you a prescription for birth control pills because it “may” help with your acne, you should take a step back. Would you let your gastroenterologist write you a prescription for Prozac? (Hint: it happens).

The point is that if a lessening of acne symptoms is a positive side effect of taking birth control pills because you want to be on birth control pills, then wonderful. But as a skin-care treatment, sorry – that just doesn’t fly. And besides, you can do A TON of stuff to help regulate your hormones (and support healthy skin) without taking birth control pills.

Accutane or Sotret. Here’s a dandy little quote from an article about Accutane from

“Accutane is available only under a special program called iPLEDGE. You must be registered in the program and sign documents stating that you understand the dangers of this medication and that you agree to use birth control as required by the program. Read all of the iPLEDGE program brochures and agreements carefully. Ask your doctor or call the drug maker if you have questions about the program or the written requirements.”

Whoa, what is this, the Secret Service? “Sign documents?” For acne?!

Wait, it gets better…

“Accutane can cause severe, life-threatening birth defects if the mother takes the medication during pregnancy. Even one dose of Accutane can cause major birth defects of the baby’s ears, eyes, face, skull, heart, and brain. Never use Accutane if you are pregnant.”

But of course, it’s JUST FINE for you if you’re not pregnant. Yeah, right. Any medication with this list of cautions that isn’t for life-threatening conditions should be made illegal. Period.

The Way Forward

The truth is that our bodies are not “static.” We all have fluctuations of various kinds – digestive, energy levels, and yes, skin conditions. We can do a lot to help our bodies stay balanced, but it’s important to remember that there will always be ups and downs. If you’re suffering from adult acne, hang in there, follow the advice above, and most importantly, expect change, because change is going to come no matter what!

In the meantime, try using our Dead Sea mud masque in combination with our antioxidant Dead Sea face cream for a powerful alternative to conventional acne medications. We guarantee that our products are the best you’ve ever tried, or we’ll cheerfully refund your money, no questions asked. Click on either image below to start experiencing clearer skin today.





Awakening Mineral Therapies has been hand-crafting unique Dead Sea mineral skin care products for over 15 years. For more information about this and other natural mineral-based skin care remedies, visit our main site at:

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