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Adult Acne: What You Need to Know

For some people, acne doesn't magically disappear after puberty. Keep reading to learn about adult acne and what you can do about it.

Do you wanna know the biggest skincare lie I’ve EVER heard? 

That acne will somehow magically disappear after you finish going through puberty. 🙄 

Seriously, nobody told 18-year-old Graydon that she would NOT wake up with perfectly flawless skin on the day she turned 19. Instead, I had to learn things the hard way.  

And because of that, you won’t have to. 

In this article, I’ll give you the skinny on adult acne and what you can do about it.

What causes adult acne?

Let’s be real: Acne is a super complex subject and the causes vary from person to person. So there’s simply no way for us to make a blanket statement about what might be causing your acne.

Salicylic acid works to unclog pores of impurities and excess sebum. At Graydon Skincare, we use a natural BHA in the form of willow bark extract, which is a gentler alternative to traditional salicylic acid.

However, some people might experience acne due to increased sebum production, inflammation, clogged pores, an impaired skin barrier, and/or overactivity of the acne-inducing P. acnes bacteria.

And finally, the more prevalent trigger for acne is fluctuating hormones.

Your hormones influence many things, including sebum production. The more sebum on your skin, the more likely your pores will become clogged, which can lead to acne. Sebum also happens to be P. acnes' favourite food, which causes an imbalance in your microbiome and also leads to acne.

This is why women, whose hormones are constantly fluctuating, tend to be more acne-prone than men. And this is also particularly true for pregnant women

Since acne is so multifaceted, you have to approach it based on your skin’s specific needs. Here are a few things that you should consider:

Adjust your skincare routine 

My number one advice: Always listen to your skin!

Since adult acne often revolves around hormone fluctuation, you should monitor your skin on a daily basis. Maybe your skin feels a bit drier today than usual or maybe it feels a bit more oily. Or maybe you feel that your pores are getting congested. In any case, make sure you adjust your skincare routine according to your skin's needs.

Three natural skincare products for acne-prone skin on a wooden surface with plants in the background.

Include helpful ingredients into your routine

Certain ingredients like retinoids or salicylic acid have been proven to help keep acne at bay.

Retinoids can speed up skin cell turnover, effectively preventing dead skin cells from clogging your pores. They also keep your skin looking smooth and supple. However, a drawback to conventional retinoids is that they can dry out the skin. This is why we use the botanical retinol alternatives bakuchiol and moth bean extract to give you all of the benefits without any of the drawbacks. 

You can find these ingredients in Fullmoon Serum and Phyto Clear.

Salicylic acid works to unclog pores of impurities and excess sebum. By doing so, it helps to prevent acne. At Graydon Skincare, we use a natural BHA in the form of willow bark extract, which is a gentler alternative to traditional salicylic acid.

You can find it in Face Foam. Pair this cleanser with our Bamboo Charcoal Sponge and you’ll have a gentle, yet powerful exfoliating duo that will leave your skin feeling clean and looking bright and smooth.

Approach your beauty routine holistically

Your body is a well-oiled machine. Or at least, it should be. 

But sometimes, there are things going on internally that reflect onto your skin. Perhaps you're eating certain types of food such as dairy products that are triggering your acne. Or maybe you’re going through a stressful time in your life, which can also cause your skin to breakout. 

The point is, there are multiple factors that contribute to adult acne. And if you’re unsure of where to start, email and our product experts will help you!

Visit a dermatologist

If all else fails, then consider seeking help from a medical professional like a dermatologist or naturopath. 

They might be able to better pinpoint the root cause of your acne and recommend an appropriate treatment. Make sure you seek the advice of from someone that’s willing to work with you and truly listen to your skin's needs.



  • Acne can be caused due to increased sebum production, inflammation, clogged pores, an impaired skin barrier, and/or overactivity of the acne-inducing P. acnes bacteria and fluctuating hormones.
  • Use Fullmoon Serum and Phyto Clear as they both contain Botanical retinol alternatives to speed up skin cell turnover and prevent dead skin cells from clogging your pores. 
  • Salicylic acid works to unclog pores of impurities and excess sebum. You can find it in Face Foam. Pair this cleanser with our Bamboo Charcoal Sponge for a gentle exfoliation 


Niacinamide is the Swiss Army knife of the skincare world. Click here to learn about this ingredient's properties and who it’s good for.

Want the skinny on the art of scrubbing? Then click here to learn about the do's and don'ts of exfoliating your skin.

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