SkinReading: The skin care blog < Back to Blog

Acne at 40: Adult acne remedies for women with acne


Acne at 40

Acne at 40 can be more than frustrating. But the fact is adult acne is on the rise. A study examining the prevalence of acne in adults over age 20 found that acne affects more than 50 percent of women between the ages of 20-29 and more than 25 percent of women between the ages of 40-49. And there is a disproportionate number of women with acne than men.*

If you’re dealing with acne at 40, or 30, or 50… these facts are likely of little comfort. You just want adult acne remedies that will clear your acne, and keep your skin smooth, spotless and healthy-looking month after month – right?

Well – you’re in luck! We’ve spent years working with adult acne clients of every age, and we’ve spent just as many years developing scientifically smart, professional products for acne that are depended on by pros in spa treatment rooms from coast to coast.

Here are the adult acne remedies we’ve learned that you can use today:

1. Use effective at-home products for acne prone skin

When you have acne at 40 – or acne at any age – you need to treat it daily with over-the-counter (OTC) medicines that include the most effective FDA-approved active ingredients that are intended for use in the treatment and prevention of acne. This includes Spotless Cleanser, Acne Toner, Amino Mask, and Breakout Control.

Acne at 40

2. Know your ingredients

If you still suffer from acne in your 40’s, you need to look at the labels before you use any acne skin care product. Make sure it has a Drug Facts box (that’s how you’ll know it’s an OTC), and includes Active Ingredients such as salicylic acid, sulfur or benzoyl peroxide. Avoid any Inactive Ingredients listed that include artificial dyes like red, blue or yellow. And avoid acne products with “fragrance” or “parfum.”

3. Get a professional acne facial

Here’s why:

  • The combination of at-home products you use coupled with professional services is a ‘one-two punch’ on acne and will clear your skin even faster.
  • Your professional knows how to properly prep your skin for extractions without causing irritation, damage or further breakouts.
  • They’ll monitor your skin’s progress and make necessary adjustments to your at-home care.

Find a Bioelements spa near you here to book an acne facial.

4. Downward dog or Housewife brawl?

Acne loves stress. Any time the body is exposed to a stressor, external or internal, the brain triggers hormonal, immune and nervous system reactions. These hormonal changes can disrupt the skin’s natural cycle, and cause breakouts. So whether it’s practicing yoga or the watching the Real Housewives of Orange County scream at each other – do something that de-stresses you. It’s one of the easiest adult acne remedies.

5. Watch the calendar

Women with acne can feel like time is standing still when there’s a pimple on their chin. But since adult acne is tied so closely to changes in hormones, you can use those hormones in your favor. Pay attention to your cycle each month – and try to pre-empt your breakouts with the right products and ingredients. For example, if you breakout on your chin each month, use a sulfur and lactic acid acne mask for a few nights in a row on the area before you predict a breakout will appear – right when it’s still “brewing” under the surface.

Do you have acne at 40? Are you one of the many adult women with acne? Ask us your questions below!

 *Source: American Academy of Dermatology

Love this? You might be interested in these:

Comments (39)

J Mark de Haan says:
Jun 10, 2013

Well researched article. I agree with your advise to avoid chemical ingredients artificial dyes fragrance. The less potentially harmful chemicals we subject ourselves to, the better.

I’ve been reading about the immune system playing a part in helping to control acne outbreaks.

Damaris says:
Dec 15, 2013

Im 40 had 6 kids acne getting real bad , big bumps, dont want to get smaller no matter what i use, & when I use the pimple medicine it dries my face, use acne facial scrub, mask, dont know what else to use

teresa says:
Dec 16, 2013

Hi Damaris, Have you always had issues with acne, or is this a more recent problem? Hormones can definately exacerbate an acne problem. Are these ‘big bumps’ you describe deep within your skin and are they flesh toned, or raised, red with a white center? Can you please email me your direct phone number so that I can call you to discuss this further? With more information from you, your healthy history and what you’ve tried, I can offer some professional advice on the best way for you to proceed for some results.

    Rachel R Hernandez says:
    May 21, 2017

    Hi Teresa my name is Rachelle and I’m 40 years old.. I have the same problem and it seemed to have gotten bad after I had my daughter and had an IUD put in… I do wash my face everytime i shower with my body wash and noticed it does dry out my face.. I also have rosacea pretty bad and just want my face to look better and not all full of nasty acne

      Bioelements says:
      May 23, 2017

      Are you on any medication for your rosacea and have you seen a dermatologist to rule out any side effects from the IUD that may need attention? Let me know and we can go from there.

    Jessica says:
    Sep 15, 2018

    Hi Teresa! I am 39 and am ready to try anything that will improve the appearance and texture of my skin. I have had small blackhead like pimples for awhile but seen to be breaking out more now than ever and the problem is that I’m almost 40 so not only do I need a product that will clear my skin but I also need an anti-aging product. Do you have a product like that?

susan krueger says:
Dec 18, 2013

Iam 39 an still getting pimples iam so tired of them on my face they make you look terriable exspeacialy when ur older i have two younger kids an a older daughter help my face is getting worse looks aweful lil ones big deep one swallon i need help pleaae

    Teresa says:
    Feb 7, 2017

    Hi Susan, I’d love to chat with you to get more information about your skin history, what you’ve been using, etc. so we can see what Bioelements can do to help you. Please email me your contact information at Thank you for reaching out. We are here to help!

teresa says:
Dec 19, 2013

Hi Susan, I’d love to talk with you to learn more about you and your skin. If you’d like to consult with me directly, please email me your phone number and I’ll give you a call.

Warm regards,

Teresa Stenzel

Lisa says:
Dec 31, 2013

Are your products non comedogenic?

teresa says:
Jan 1, 2014

Hi Lisa, you can safely use these products without worry, as we stay away from ingredients that are notorious due to their potential for skin irritation: Bioelements products do not contain artificial dyes, parabens, synthetic fragrance, pthalates, sulfates, mineral oil or petrolatum.

Leslie Norman says:
Feb 9, 2014

I AM 48 for last 5 years the hard deep cyst like hurt red. Verypainful . They come in clusters. Also..I’ve used high end products such as obaji. Nothing works.. They hurt badly.

Annamaria says:
Mar 3, 2014

Hi Teresa, i am 43 years old and i have never had pimples in my life, even when i was a teenager…. until now! I am experiencing a strange breakout, red pimples with white head, sometimes just red and swollen, under the skin in the temples, neck, cheeks, chin, inside my ears and behind it, under my hair. I know it must be an hormonal problem, ( i had my worst breakout as soon as i turned 40, my entire face and upper arms were covered with pimples) so my question is: Is there any medicine or vitamins i can take to help solve this problem?
Thank you for your advice.

Teresa Stenzel
Teresa Stenzel says:
Mar 3, 2014

Hi Annamaria – Due to the severity of your breakouts and the fact that it seems to be even underneath your hairline, I would see a physician. It might, in fact be hormonal, but this does not sound like typical hormonal breakouts – it might be an indication of another skin disorder or internal imbalance. Being an esthetician, it’s my job to recognize what might be beyond our esthetics realm. My hunch tells me to professionally recommend that you get it checked out by a physician, just to be safe.

Warm regards,


Ally says:
Jul 24, 2014

I refuse to buy any more cow’s milk until the dairy industry completely rids of its hormone additives in cow feed. When I was too ill and nauseated from a flu bug, I quit milk and all dairy. Within a day I had flawless skin. It was unbelievable. Sorry guys, get your act together and I’ll buy cow’s milk again.

Shana says:
Aug 7, 2014

I’m turning 35 and have recently been suffering from serious breakouts on my chin line and forehead. I have have always had smooth, pimple free skin. The bumps are big and deep and cause lots of pain. They leave behind scars.

I’m sure its hormonal because I’m also suffering from extreme dry scalp- my hair has always been very oily- now its dry and brittle.
My thyroids have been tested and the results were normal. What should I do?

    Barbara Salomone says:
    Aug 7, 2014

    Hi Shana – I have a few questions: I see that you’ve had your thyroid tested, but have you visited a dermatologist to ensure you don’t have a skin disorder that might be causing or contributing to your breakouts? Have you been diagnosed with acne, eczema, psoriasis etc.? Some people can have more than one of these at the same time, such as rosacea and acne together. Since you say that your breakouts are deep and cause scars, I professionally recommend that you see a dermatologist for diagnosis/treatment if you have not already done so.

Pam says:
Oct 10, 2014

I am 49 and had a hysterectomy about 8 years ago. It seems like since i turned 49 in june my face has declared war. They are painful, red and HUHES. ive never had this type sitiations before
Please help

mandy says:
Oct 20, 2014

I’m almost 40 & I have acne, I wash my face every night to remove my makeup & every morning I use rubbing alcohol to remove oil/dirt from sleeping & it has not helped I’m still getting break outs worse than I ever did as a teen. Is there something else I can do or should I just call my Dr?

Teresa Stenzel
Teresa Stenzel says:
Oct 21, 2014

Hi Mandy,
First, let me say that we are here to help you. I’d like to communicate with you directly to find out more about your acne history, what you are currently using on your skin (besides rubbing alcohol), and what your doctor has told you about the type of acne that you have. Can you email me your information so that I can contact you directly? I look forward to speaking with you.

abbie says:
Jan 15, 2015

i’m 40 and since October i have getting numerious bump/pimples. one which got so bad i ended up in hospital bc it spread to half of my face..tested positive for mrsa. so they gave me antibiotics..but every now and than i get one..and while its healing i get the another and another..another. need it to stop. im also diabetics and allergic to sulfur and pencilin. can u recommend anything? emergency room doctors are really no help and no one seem to take this seriously…

Erin says:
Dec 17, 2015

Hi! I’m 35 and have been dealing with odd breakouts along the underside of my jawline for a few months now. I’ve always had a pretty clear, fair skinned complexion and have kept up on facial cleansing and toning pretty well my entire life since becoming a teenager. This particular breakout just won’t go away no matter what I do. I’m at wits end now and don’t know what else to try. Please help?

Teresa Stenzel
Teresa Stenzel says:
Dec 23, 2015

Hi Erin,
When persistent breakouts occur along the jaw line, it’s often an indication that they are being influenced by hormonal fluctuations. This can sometimes occur with the onset of pregnancy, menopause or even your menstrual cycle, especially as we age. Have you checked into this?
Since we cannot change your hormones from the outside, we can help you with the symptoms so they heal faster. Check out our Bioelements Acne Clearing System products, which you can use on this area. What is your skin type otherwise?
You can email me directly at if you would like to chat directly with me about your skin.

Kathy Ann says:
Jan 21, 2016

Hi Teresa, my name is kathy. I just turned 40. I hardly ever had a pimple when I was younger. Now at 40 I have acne but only around my temple leading to my cheeks. They are hard and tender to the touch. They’re not terrible but I need to do something about this problem. Help!

teresa Stenzel
teresa Stenzel says:
Jan 25, 2016

Hi Kathy,
Hormones can cause a great deal of changes to your skin once you hit your 40’s! I am not sure if you’ve noticed any other hormonal changes, or whether there is a cycle to these painful breakouts. In addition to these breakouts, have you noticed any other changes to your skin? An increase of sensitivity? What is your oil production level? Since these breakouts are hard and tender to the touch, a visit to the dermatologist may be in order. If they are very deep, you may need medical intervention to get them under control first before they are treated topically with professional skin care. If you would like to communicate with me directly and privately, you can email me at Thanks for contacting us.

Brooke says:
Feb 15, 2016

I’m 43 and really the only time my skin has ever been perfectly clear was when I was on accutane in my early 20’s. It was very severe. Then it was crystal clear for about 10 yrs. year after year it would be fairly clear and minimal breakouts and slowly it’s gotten worse over the years. Now I have been breaking out worse every month. It is a mix of under the skin and a few small tender red pimples, some with white heads some with not. It’s not extremely noticeable but it feels awful to touch and some of them hurt. It will clear up for a week or two and then another one will pop up. Is there any option to try the facial line for 30 days? Any return policy if it doesn’t work? I’m open to trying it if you think it will help me. Tks.

Teresa Stenzel
Teresa Stenzel says:
Feb 19, 2016

HI Brooke, Since your acne was severe when you were younger, and you seem to have deep and painful breakouts, you may want to re-visit a dermatologist, since hormones especially once you hit your 40’s can stimulate a re-occurrence. I do think that the Acne Clearing System would be the way to go. The return policy for consumers who purchase is to return within 30 days if not satisfied with a receipt. However, with acne sometimes it takes 4-6 weeks to see results, especially if the breakouts are more severe. Due to the painful nature of these, my gut tells me you may need check with a derm, just due to your history. Please feel free to email me directly at if you would like to chat privately. Regards, Teresa

Mandy says:
Apr 2, 2016

My acne is most definitely hormonal, I know this. What I have a problem with in skincare at age 40 is the acne products dry out my face. I’m also needing to worry about firming skin, wrinkles, and when I search for products there is not one that caters to this type of combination.

    Teresa says:
    Apr 4, 2016

    Hi Mandy, the good news is that our acne line is designed for adults, and we also have anti-aging products in the line that you can use along with the acne line that will address your aging issues. Our Oxygenation moisturizer is fantastic for adult acne due to the hydrogen peroxide in the formula. We also have Oil Control Sleepwear which is our Overnight Age Activist product for a Combination to Oily skin type. Our Plump Start can be used on all skin types. Probiotic Anti-Aging Serum contains probiotics that studies show also are great for keeping acne under control. If you’d like to speak with me directly, I can help advise you further. You may contact me at

Nikki Richardson says:
Jun 6, 2016

Hi Teresa I am a 42 year old African American woman who is dealing with these very painful red bumbs that take at least 2 weeks to go away. They are all on my cheek area and sometimes under my chin. I have tried everything under the sun and nothing works bentonite masks, lemon facial homemade scrubs. Nothing works. Last month I had 4 bumbs going don my right cheek at the same time and they get smaller but not go away. Please help me I’m starting not to like my 40’s because of my bumbs

Teresa Stenzel
Teresa Stenzel says:
Jun 7, 2016

Hi Nikki, Our Bioelements Acne Clearing System is a medicated OTC approved line to help target the triggers that lead to acne- excess oil, dead skin cells, acne bacteria and inflammation. However, have you been to a physician to ensure there are no hormonal reasons – fluctuations, medication or other reasons for your painful bumps? Sometimes these things can crop up, especially once we hit the 40’s. Did you have acne in your past? Does it run in your family? If you’d like to chat with me, you can confer with me directly at

Jessica says:
Sep 21, 2016

Hi good day I live in the Caribbean Tropical Country I am 40 years old n never had any marks, acne of such on my face however I bleach my face once every 2-3 months I have done this routine over 20 years never had a problem however 2 months ago I decided to use a hair removal cream since that my face got acne and its painful I don’t know what to do can you advise me please

Abby says:
Feb 1, 2017

I am 39 years old and have had acne problems since I was in the 5th grade. I have tried everything under the sun except a dermatologist bc I can’t afford it. I am so tired of the way my face looks…. in too old for this crap anymore and I think 25+ years of acne is enough tourture. I really don’t know what to do bc NOTHING WORKS!!!

Trish says:
Apr 2, 2017

I’m 39, I have oily skin and acne tends to be worse before my period. However, this winter and currently I’m having more trouble with it, particularly because if untreated, and sometimes even when it is, my skin no longer heals properly and my scars don’t go away as they have in the past. I assume it’s because my skin is older now. I’ve been using proactive solution regularly again, and even the 10 percent benzoyl peroxide, but these aren’t helping as much as in years past. Why, and help?!

    Teresa Stenzel
    Teresa Stenzel says:
    Apr 3, 2017

    Hi Trish,

    We recommend using multiple different FDA approved acne fighting ingredients (salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and sulfur) along with skin soothing and strengthening ingredients found in Bioelements Acne Clearing System. It is more effective than simply trying to dry out blemishes with one OTC ingredient and will help heal your skin while targeting acne. Learn more here:

    If your acne persists, you may want to follow up with your doctor to get your hormone levels checked.

Jennifer Maillet says:
Apr 10, 2017

I’m am 41 yrs old and very oily skin and acne. I never had a problem with acne until the age of 26. When it first started it was bad, I have been on accutane but stopped it after 2 mths, I have been on antibiotics but I stopped because I lost my insurance. I have been to multiple dermatologist and regular physicians and there isn’t really anything they can do. I am fixing to complete my accounting degree but who is going to hire a 41 yr old with constant acne. It’s embarrassing. I was looking at your products, was hoping they wld be better than OTC products because nothing is working.

Lyte42 says:
Jan 22, 2018

Hello, am 45 I noticed when I turned 44 been breaking out badly! On my cheeks especially big huge bumps they hurt sometimes an little black bumps on forehead between the huge ones on my cheeks too! I wash my face with charcoal soap I use a scrub made with kiwi seeds an sugar. I’ve tried so many things I need help so tired of seeing my face looking like a bumpy road. Any advice??

    Bioelements says:
    Jan 24, 2018

    We would like to connect you with our Director of Education, Teresa Stenzel. Can you please email her at to discuss your skin concerns? Thanks

Leave a Reply