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  • Dietetics | Health
  • 21.03.23

Over 30 and fighting acne? Here’s what you need to know

Thought your days of acne were over once you finished puberty? Think again. Many people experience adult acne into their 30s, 40s and beyond. While approximately 85% of Australians aged 15 to 24 will experience acne, about half of men and women will have acne in their 30s. 

Adult acne can bring about embarrassment and frustration as you struggle to deal with constant breakouts. Just like it does in your teenage years, acne can impact your self-confidence and how you feel about your body. 

What causes adult acne?

Acne in anyone over the age of 20 is classified as adult acne. Acne is a skin condition where the hair follicles under the skin’s surface are clogged by sebum (the skin’s oil) and dead skin cells. Acne usually breaks out on the face but can also appear on the back, chest, buttocks and shoulders. 

There are a few leading causes of acne when you’re over 30 years of age. 

  • Physical and emotional stress.
  • A diet high in fat and sugar. 
  • Changing hormone levels. 
  • Genetics – hereditary. 
  • Contact from outside irritants. 
  • Medications such as antidepressants and epilepsy medication. 
  • Skincare products.
  • Some medical conditions, such as PCOS and Cushing’s Syndrome. 

Treatment for adult acne

There are many options to treat adult acne; which option is best for you will depend on the cause. Some treatment options include:

Home management

For mild cases of adult acne, there may be ways you can manage your skin from home, including: 

  • Keeping your skin clean, cleansing twice a day and moisturising. 
  • Over-the-counter skin care products. 
  • Always remove makeup before you go to bed. 
  • Avoid touching your face or squeezing pimples. 
  • Self-care to reduce stress.
  • Change your skincare products. 
  • Vitamin supplements. 
  • Ensure you are hydrated and drink plenty of water. 
  • Create a good sleep routine. 
  • Quit smoking. 

dietitian Gold Coast


A diet high in sugar and fat can lead to acne. It’s essential to eat a healthy, balanced diet rich in antioxidants, fruits, vegetables and grains to prevent acne. 

There could be a part of your diet that is triggering acne breakouts. Speaking with a dietitian can help you identify and eliminate these triggers and ensure you eat the right foods for your body. 

At Grace, our dietitian Sharnie Dwyer can help you determine if you have any deficiencies contributing to your acne breakouts and ensure you eat an anti-inflammatory diet to reduce your acne. Sharnie may also recommend supplements that could help reduce your adult acne and complement your healthy diet. 

Medical treatment

For more severe cases of adult acne, you can speak with your GP. Here at Grace Private, our Gold Coast Specialist Women’s Health GPs can help you get on top of your acne and find a treatment that works for you. In some cases, your GP may prescribe medication to treat your acne. Which medication will depend on your condition. 

Your GP will be able to discuss the medication or medical conditions causing your acne and work with you to devise a solution. If you are experiencing hormonal acne, your Grace GP may refer you to our endocrinologist, Aakansha Zala, to discuss possible hormone imbalances. 

If you’re going through perimenopause or menopause, gynaecologists at Grace Private may also be able to discuss hormone therapy options to help with your adult acne. 

Book an appointment

If you’re experiencing constant breakouts and are fed up with your acne, book an appointment with one of our GPs and let’s find a solution together and devise an individualised treatment plan that’s right for you. 

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  • Dietetics, Health