Adult Men Can Still Get Acne! 5 Causes of Adult Acne in Men and 2 Things You Can Do To Control Acne

Published on Jul 19, 2019

Frustrated with the sudden acne-flare up in adulthood? 

You're not the only one. An estimated 20% of men still experience acne in their 30s.

Before you can control it though, you need to first understand acne and how it is formed. 

What is Acne?

Acne is caused by excess secretion of sebum in your sebaceous glands. When the sebum is mixed with bacteria, white blood cells enter into the infected area, the pore becomes clogged and a microcomedone is formed. If you nip it in the bud, the acne can be removed early on as a whitehead but if you don't arrest its development, it may develop into a full blown pustule, particularly if your immune system is unable to fight the infection. 

What are Some Causes of Acne?

The excess secretion of sebum is typically caused by excess activity of the male hormones like testosterone, at the level of the hair follicle and oil glands.

This is most commonly caused by the following factors:

  • Stress: Stress increases androgens, which stimulates your sebaceous glades to overproduce sebum. 
  • Lifestyle: Drinking alcohol, eating fried and unhealthy foods as well as taking prescription drugs can cause adult acne in men
  • Excessively Drying Out Skin: Using skincare products that overdry the skin can cause your sebaceous glands to work too hard to restore the skin's natural oil. This causes too much oil to be produced,  go into overdrive to bring your skin’s oil level back into balance. This overdrive mode creates too much oil, filling your pores and clogging them.
  • Chemicals & toxins: Chemicals and toxins in skin care products you’re using can irritate the skin, causing inflammation leading to acne. Inflammed skin is more likely to see a build of up white blood cells, causing pimples to appear. 
  • Poor Immune System: Bodies with a strong immune system should be able to kill the bacteria that may enter the skin. Compromised immunity due to lack of sleep and other factors 

What You Can Do To Control Acne

There are a few ways you can go about controlling the acne problem.

The best solution is of course to identify underlying causes of acne, be it stress, lifestyle, immunity, lack of sleep or incompatibility of skincare products.

Usually, the EASIEST cause to deal with is incompatibility of skincare products. Many men purchase facial products that are far too harsh for your skin, overdrying the skin and causing the acne problem to become worse. What Anna from acne control specialists Indulgence Beauty suggests is to STOP all use of facial products. Your skin has a natural renewal cycle so let it do its job and simply use water to wash your face. Your face may become worse in the first week but for those of you experiencing acne due to incompatibility of skincare products, you will actually see your face get better in less than a month. With the advice of an experienced facial therapist, you can then add suitable skincare products back to your daily routine one at a time to see which works for you and which doesn't. 

Often however, incompatibility of skincare products is just ONE of the many causes of acne. If a new job is the cause of your stress or perhaps breaking up with your significant other may be causing you lack of sleep and indulgence into unhealthy foods, you are unlikely to be able to stem the rise in hormones with willpower alone. 

At this point, there are generally two ways to deal with the problem:

1) Medication: If you go to a dermatologist or even the local GP, they are likely to prescribe medication to help reduce your hormones. Such medication includes Antibiotics as well as Accutane. Antibiotics help to kill the bacteria so that they do not develop into serious acne. The side effect however is that it increases your risk of developing bacterial resistance, which becomes a problem when you do get a severe infection.

If acne doesn't respond as well to oral antibiotics, the doctor may prescribe Accutane. The mild side effects of Accutane include dry skin, chapped lips, dry eyes and dry nose, leading to nosebleeds. More seriously, it may cause increased cholesterol as well as joint and muscle problems, pressure on the brain, skin rash, organ damage, vision and eye problems, hearing issues, low red blood cells, low white blood cell count and even mental health issues. Those who are intending to have children (men included) should also not take Accutane as it is known to cause birth defects. 

Although it makes intuitive sense to combat hormones with hormone control pills, as we've discovered, those pills come with quite a bit of side effects of their own. You'll also find that relief from acne is also often temporary ie. the acne will be gone when you are taking the medication but will come back when you stop taking the medication. 

2) Better Skincare Routine

If like us, you're averse to the side effects that medication can bring, the alternative is to deal with the excess secretion of sebum via a better skincare routine. It all begins with understanding your skin type and what type of skincare products best suit your skin as well as type of foods you should eat / avoid to minimize the secretion. It will also involve careful extraction of blackheads and whiteheads to prevent them from developing into the more serious nodules. As it gets complicated really quickly, it is often ideal to go to a professional who can guide you through the process. 

We hate to sound like we're selling something but one of the salons we're most impressed with in terms of effectiveness and education is Indulgence Beauty. They not only have a treasure trove of skincare information on their website, their staff is also a lot more knowledgeable in the area of acne control. With their systematic 4-step approach, they have also eliminated acne for a lot of their customers, both male and female. 

One of their success cases is Agent CN, a Singaporean male who suffered from severe acne. 

Men's Hormonal Acne Before Treatment at Indulgence Beauty

He didn't just get the usual pimples, many of his acne have already become the very serious nodules. Things however improved after he was introduced to Indulgence Beauty

6 months later, this is how his skin looks like: 

After 6 Months of Hormonal Acne Treatment at Indulgence Beauty

If you're keen to find out about his journey, read about his experience at Indulgence Beauty below!

Hi, I'm Agent CN. I'm a regular Singaporean guy working at a GLC. I'm not the vain type of guy but seriously, who can sit and do nothing when their face is so rabak.

Men's Hormonal Acne Before Treatment at Indulgence Beauty
Men's Hormonal Acne Before Treatment at Indulgence Beauty

My face wasn't always like that. It was actually pretty smooth for most of my teenage life so I was very surprised when so many pimples pop out. 

I went to Watson's and bought many OTC pimple creams and anti-acne facial wash but my face only got worse. 

I googled and came across this facial salon Indulgence Beauty. They seemed not bad from all the reviews and their website, so I decided to just give it a try. The experience was indeed pretty good. I've never been to a facial salon so I can't really compare but I like how the process was very systematic. The facial therapist used a machine to check my face and asked me a lot of questions to understand about the products I use, my facial routine. She then customized the facial according to what my skin needs and after the facial, recommended me to stop using all my facial products. It was quite interesting that she didn't make me buy more skincare products immediately but asked me to stop all skincare products to "purge" my skin of those chemicals. 

I didn't know if it will work or not but I'm glad that I started to see improvements after just one session; my acne began to dry up and there seems to be fewer inflammations.

Men's Hormonal Acne

This convinced me to go back a second time, a third time... and now 3 months later, my skin looks like this.

Improved Acne on Men After 3 Months of Treatment at Indulgence Beauty
Improved Acne on Men After 3 Months of Treatment at Indulgence Beauty

Not perfect but already a lot better than what I had before. 

Honestly I'm quite satisfied already but am still coming here regularly to maintain the progress. I don't want to have to go back to the rabak face before.

As my skin improved a lot, my therapist from Indulgence Beauty asked if I could share my experience on Beauty Undercover. If you're not yet bored out by me yet, read on for what my usual experience is like at the salon. 

Step 1: Consultation and Diagnosis

The first consultation at the salon was pretty long as the therapist asked a lot of questions about my facial routine and tried to ascertain the cause of my acne. To confirm my skin type however, she brought me to a separate room where she actually has a special machine to scan the face. 

Men's Skin Consultation at Indulgence Beauty

This machine is pretty interesting as it will take photos successively using normal light and UV light to check for my skin condition. 

I look pretty cui but that's probably the only downside of doing the scan. 

Men's Skin Consultation at Indulgence Beauty

She then used another machine to test for my skin's moisture level. 

Men's Skin Consultation at Indulgence Beauty

Compared to my first scan, the level of bacteria within my acne and level of acne has dropped dramatically. My moisture level has also increased although there is still much room for improvement. 

With the diagnosis done, my therapist Anna will then explain to me the results and then customize the facial to suit the needs of my face at that point in time. For this specific facial, she mentioned that my moisture level was pretty low so she will apply a moisturizing serum to replenish and give my skin the moisture it needs. 

Last time, I used to think that daily moisturizing was more for girls to get their radiant skin. It was only later on that Anna explained that it is also necessary in acne prevention. Moisture in the skin is necessary to help it repair itself. It needs sufficient water and lipids to protect the body, prevent from overdrying (hence over production of oil), prevents bacteria growth and also regeneration. It is therefore an important strategy for acne prevention. 

Step 2: Cleansing

With that all done, Anna escorted me into a treatment room where the actual facial begins. 

Facial Cleansing at Indulgence Beauty

As usual, the first step is to clean the face with a cleanser from MD Dermatics. In fact, Indulgence Beauty uses MD Dermatics products throughout the facial as it is range of dermatologist-tested products that combines the best of dermatological science and natural ingredients for a more effective result... even for sensitive skin.

I don't put any makeup on of course but Anna mentioned that the daily grind causes dirt and other grime to be stuck onto the skin, making the cleansing process an important one for subsequent steps.

Facial Cleansing at Indulgence Beauty

Step 3: Extractions

With the cleansing done, the next step is extractions.

Men's Facial Extraction at Indulgence Beauty

To protect my eyes from the bright light, Anna covered my eyes and started extracting the whiteheads and blackheads from my skin.

Men's Facial Extraction at Indulgence Beauty

She always uses tissue to prevent any infection and does it as gentle as possible to minimize pain. There is some pain of course but its not that much that I cannot take it. 

Men's Facial Extraction at Indulgence Beauty

For deeper, harder to reach pimples, she uses needles.

Men's Facial Extraction at Indulgence Beauty

Although its painful, it is not as painful as what some girls describe, I think.

Either that or Anna is really good. 

Step 4: Calming down the skin

Once the extractions were done, she applied a moisturizing serum. Anna says that the skin absorbs the serum really fast after extraction so this is a good time to apply it. 

Application of Moisturizing Serum at Indulgence Beauty

To protect my eyes from the discomfort of the next step, she applied moist cotton pads on my eyes.

Application of Moisturizing Serum at Indulgence Beauty

Then, she used a steamer to blow steam into the face to encourage the pores to open and absorb the serum better. 

Application of Moisturizing Serum at Indulgence Beauty

After that, she uses jade to massage my face to further increase penetration of the serum. 

Jade Massage During Facial at Indulgence Beauty

Step 5: Application of mask

With the facial massage complete, it was time for the final step: application of mask.

Application of Mask During Men's Facial at Indulgence Beauty

This mask will replenish the Vitamins and antioxidants my skin needs to repair itself.

Application of Mask During Men's Facial at Indulgence Beauty

She applied all over my face, avoiding the mouth and nose area.

Application of Mask During Men's Facial at Indulgence Beauty

I dozed off as I waited for it to harden.

Application of Mask During Men's Facial at Indulgence Beauty

Once the mask was dried, it was carefully removed.

Application of Mask During Men's Facial at Indulgence Beauty

My skin felt hydrated and refreshed after that. 

Relaxing Shoulder Massage During Men's Facial at Indulgence Beauty

The facial was not yet done though. Anna gave me a relaxing shoulder massage at the end. 

Improved Hormonal Acne After Acne Treatment at Indulgence Beauty

This is how I looked like AFTER the facial. 

Improved Hormonal Acne After Acne Treatment at Indulgence Beauty

Honestly not much different compared to the beginning of the facial, which is a good thing since it means that my face is not as red as a monkey's backside afterwards. 

Improved Hormonal Acne After Acne Treatment at Indulgence Beauty

What's important is that my skin continues to look better and better afterwards. 

And that concludes my facial in my 3rd month with Indulgence Beauty. 

Update: 6th Month with Indulgence Beauty

It's been 6 months since my first visit to Indulgence Beauty and I'm glad to say that my skin has continued its progress. 

Improved Hormonal Acne After Acne Treatment at Indulgence Beauty
Improved Hormonal Acne After Acne Treatment at Indulgence Beauty

I can no longer see the pustules that used to plague my skin and *cough cough* I managed to score a few dates recently as well. 

Would not hesitate to recommend my facial therapist Anna for the great job done. 

Keen to try Indulgence Beauty?

They are having the following promotion:

45% off Signature Extraction for New Customers NOW $93 (UP: $169)

  • Valid only for New Customers
  • Valid if you quote Beauty Undercover

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