Adult Acne: Haute Beauty Experts Share How To Best Treat It

adult acnePhoto Credit: ShutterstockJust when you thought you were done with acne after your teenage years, it trickles into adulthood. Acne can be very discomforting and causes huge insecurities especially when you're already dealing with wrinkles. Haute Beauty sat down with our experts to discuss top products and procedures to treat adult acne. Here's what they had to say:

Dr. Bertha Baum | Skin | Miami/Fort Lauderdale

The top products continue to be medicated creams and oral medications. Most of the time we recommend combination therapy including a combination of different topicals such as benzoyl peroxide, clindamycin and in general I like to give a Vitamin A derivative such as adapalene, tretinoin, or tazarotene depending on their skin type and type of acne. Also oral medications, especially off-label use of spironolactone as well as low dose tetracycline, finally in severe cases we use oral isotretinoin. Obviously, a major concern with a lot of these medications is making sure the patient is not pregnant and on birth control.

In terms of procedures, we have a lot of options such as different laser treatments, IPL, 1065 laser, resurfacing lasers especially for scarring, Blu light treatments, and radiofrequency micro-needling as well as localized radiofrequency among others can be an excellent choice and treatment for acne as well. Most are not covered by insurance but excellent options when medicated creams and orals are not giving results or in certain cases in conjunction with the more conservative treatment. Some recommendations given in the office are not to pick their faces, no waxing, and making sure their sunscreen is mineral as well as all their makeup products need to be non-comedogenic.

For more information, visit Dr. Baum's website, Instagram, or Facebook!

Dr. Tahl N. Humes | Medical Aesthetics | Denver

Treating acne can be life-changing for a patient and equally rewarding for the practitioner. From teenagers and young adults to athletes and menopausal women, acne is a common skin condition that can affect almost anyone. Treating acne gives someone back their self-confidence, which is priceless.

When a patient with acne and acne scarring presents at VITAHL, we analyze root causes like hormones, decreasing estrogen, increased testosterone, caking on make-up to cover other skin ailments, and prolonged sweat sitting on the skin. Finding the right treatment that works for each patient makes all the difference.

Often, the first line of beneficial treatment is a chemical peel, like the Prodigy Peel. Other treatments include in-office laser treatments. All patients benefit from a regular facial schedule and a home skincare regimen.

For more information, visit Dr. Humes' website, Instagram, or Facebook!

Dr. Alina Sholar | Medical Aesthetics | Austin

​​It’s so not fair to have wrinkles and pimples on the same face! As troublesome as it can be, in adults, acne is more likely to appear on the lower part of the face, especially around the mouth and jawline. If you’re troubled by more than the occasional breakout, don’t try to treat yourself at the skin-care aisle of the local pharmacy. While proper skincare products do play a big role in adult acne treatment, we first take a deep dive into our patient’s skin biology and lifestyle to create a bespoke strategy to clear their skin quickly. I perform a comprehensive biometric analysis of their skin before deciding on any products or treatment. Then, I educate them to set them up for skincare success. I treat acne with an inside-out plan.

Most of the over-the-counter acne products include harsh cleansers and benzoyl peroxide, which can actually make adult acne worse. Instead, I start with a gentle, pH-appropriate, emulsifier-free cleanser like Dermaviduals Cleansing Milk. Then I usually try to incorporate some type of retinoid into the mix to keep skin exfoliated, but this also helps with wrinkles, so that’s a bonus! My favorite retinoid is GlowbioticsMD Retinol Renewal. Finally, a nice barrier-repairing cream makes all the difference to keep pathogenic bacteria out of the skin altogether. A favorite of our adult acne patients is Dermaviduals Classic DMS Cream that we custom-formulated with active ingredients to treat acne like azelaic acid, niacinamide, and zinc.

The SkinWave HydroFacial with LED Light Therapy is not only a favorite of our patients, but it is a very effective way to exfoliate with alpha-hydroxy acid, then clean out the bacteria hiding inside pores with beta-hydroxy acid, infuse the skin with hyaluronic acid, and simultaneously treat with LED light therapy. Exposing your skin to different types of light- blue light, red light, or a combination- kills acne-causing bacteria while stimulating collagen production for an anti-aging bonus. Only Skinwave has electroporation Hydrogen Therapy that provides antioxidant benefits, hydration, and reduces inflammation. Finally, the massaging roller stimulates blood flow and lymphatic circulation of the skin’s surface.

Using gentle, clean daily skin care in combination with in-office SkinWave treatments results in clear, sustainable skin that empowers you to put your best face forward! For more information, go to

For more information, visit Dr. Sholar's website, Instagram, or Facebook!

Dr. Tatiana Batista and Esthetician Alison Falada | Chicago Breast & Body Aesthetics | Chicago

Adult acne is a very common skin condition we see that affects many adults. Luckily there are several products and advanced skin treatments available to help 1) First, a good skincare regimen at home is a must and should include a gentle cleanser, topical retinol, and salicylic acid. 2) Chemical peels help exfoliate the skin and remove dead skin cells and excess oil that may be clogging the pores and leading to pimples. 3) Microneedling is another great option to treat adult acne because it creates "micro-injuries" to the skin which stimulates the production of collagen and improves the appearance of acne scars. 4) Morpheus8 is another newer form of microneedling combined with radiofrequency which targets deeper layers of the skin to further enhance collagen production. 5) Lastly, hormone treatments or testosterone blockers may also be prescribed to help control adult acne, we usually recommend a blood test to determine if the acne may be caused due to hormonal imbalance.

For more information, visit Dr. Batista's website, Instagram, or Facebook!

Dr. Deepa Verma | Integrative/Anti-Aging | Tampa/St. Petersburg

There are many factors that contribute to adult acne. Always speak to your doctor to determine the underlying cause(s) so you can customize the proper treatment(s).

I always recommend evaluating hormones and diet. I suggest in-depth lab testing for gut health, food sensitivities, hormones, and even genetic skin testing which can reveal a lot about what your skin may be prone to.

My favorite go-to products for adult acne include retinol/retinoid, salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, glycolic acid along with tea tree oil, gotu kola, aloe, passionflower, sage, and peptides. My 3 steps for healthy skin are cleansing, treat, moisturize. Be wary of OTC products as they can contain harmful ingredients. Speak to your physician about medical-grade products that are tailored for your skin type.

Aside from topical skin care products, I highly recommend laser skin resurfacing and RF microneedling (combining them amplifies the effect), chemical peels, and dermabrasion. My personal favorite devices are Hydrafacial, Secret Pro, and Excel V Plus and Juliet, all by Cutera.

For more information, visit Dr. Verma's website, Instagram, or Facebook!