Bad skin is something we don’t always leave behind in our teens – if you’re struggling with adult acne, take a look at our top tips.

As a teen, I had pretty bad skin. It never quite strayed into acne territory, but I was plagued with pimples and pumping out oil like nobody’s business. My hormones were all over the place and I just couldn’t get a handle on my face – it completely knocked my confidence.

After a few years of struggle, I finally saw a doctor and got a prescription for my skin. Within days it was much better and a couple of months down the line, my skin was completely clear. It stayed that way until my mid-20s, when all of a sudden, Skin Armageddon – The Second Coming kicked off.

Having bad skin as a teen is kind of a rite of passage, but bad skin as an adult is a real kick in the teeth. As you approach your 30s spots feel like something you should’ve left behind with alcopops and The Backstreet Boys, but adult acne is quite common, and it comes with its own special blend of heartbreak. If you’ve ever tried delivering a presentation to a roomful of your peers with a face of angry red spots, you’ll know what I mean.

It took a good few months for my skin to settle down, but some people struggle for years with bad skin. If you’re currently going through a period of adult acne or your skin has just decided to throw a strop, here are some things you can do to get on top of it.

 How to deal with bad skin

Cleanse gently

When your skin is erupting, the easiest mistake to make is to slap on every treatment you can find. Spotty skin is often unbalanced and sensitive, and that means overloading it with lots of different products can make things even worse. Treat a breakout kindly with a gentle, non-drying cleanser and a fragrance-free moisturiser.

Avoid essential oils

Many of the most popular skincare products are loaded with essential oils and synthetic fragrance – two things that can be absolutely detrimental to spot-prone skin. After months of angry, raised bumps, I finally worked out that all my fancy skincare was packed with stuff my skin hated, so I switched to a very simple, fragrance-free routine and my skin instantly looked better.

Never, ever pick

I know, I know… easier said than done! It’s so tempting to pick away at a spot but often you’re left with an open wound that looks much worse than before, and then a nasty scar that can take years to fade (trust me – I’ve got ‘em!). Try your hardest to leave spots alone and if you absolutely can’t help it, make sure your fingers are clean and never use your nails.

Visit your GP

If your skin is very bad and you feel like you’ve tried everything, go speak to a doctor. If you do have acne, a course of prescribed medication might help more than anything you can do at home.

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Jen Allison
Jen is an online writer with a penchant for rose gold jewellery and oversized knitwear. She’s a stickler for grammar, loves a good book and can’t get enough of Instagram.

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