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Adult Female Acne

We often think of acne as being something that only teens and young adults suffer from.  Sadly that is far from the truth. Often adult women find themselves facing acne and breakouts once again, it’s called Adult Female Acne.

Even in adulthood, acne impacts self-worth and self-confidence negatively. Acne, more often than not, makes women feel self-conscious and uncomfortable in their skin. This is a huge burden for anyone to bear and often affects a woman’s quality of life, often contributing to depression and anxiety (Tanghetti, n.d.).

Often this type of acne is caused by both genetics and hormones.  Adult female acne is often caused by the following: increased production of sebum, diet, stress, medications, smoking, and endocrine disease.

Cosmeceuticals, like facial cleansers, moisturizers, and sunscreens for acne, are often the first choice. “Clinical data on retinoids retinol, retinaldehyde, retinyl ester, adapalene 0.1%, niacinamide (active form, amide, niacin or nicotinic acid or vitamin B3) and glycolic acid in concentrations of 5 to 20% indicate that they may be useful in the initial, mild to moderate forms of acne, particularly comedonal and accompanied by increased seborrhea (Bagatin et al., 2019, p. 70)”.

An adult female acne is a form of acne that is not the same as adolescent acne and is also not acne vulgaris.  It is often chronic and can last until after menopause—some things you’ll notice about adult female acne. Mature acne sufferers may see that their skin is more sensitive and perhaps less oily. Stress, insufficient sleep or sleep disorders, medications, diet supplements, and the like can make managing adult acne more difficult.

If you suffer from adult female acne, a starting point might be to see which acne cosmeceuticals your skin can tolerate.  Niacinamide, Retinol, Glycolic are all great for minimizing adult acne.

Keywords: Acne vulgaris, Adult, Advanced treatment, Consensus, Hormones, Hyperandrogenism, Skin, Therapeutics


Bagatin, E., Freitas, T. H. P. D., Rivitti-Machado, M. C., Ribeiro, B. M., Nunes, S., & Rocha, M. A. D. D. (2019). Adult female acne: a guide to clinical practice. Anais Brasileiros de Dermatologia, 94(1), 62–75. https://doi.org/10.1590/abd1806-4841.20198203

Tanghetti, E. A. (n.d.). Understanding the burden of adult female acne. PubMed. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24578779/