We uncover the reasons why adult acne is so prevalent and how swimsuit model Care Budreski broke the cycle.
It is easy enough to write off acne as normal for teens, but the same can’t be said for adults. Swimsuit model Care Budreski (@imcareskincare) struggled to keep it all together.
Care breezed through her teenage years without so much as a blemish. But nine years ago at age 28, persistent acne started to crop up on her cheeks.
She spent years trying diets, herbal and natural remedies: no dairy, keto, apple cider vinegar washes and kombucha scoby masks .... but the breakouts kept getting worse.
Then she turned to the professionals: Prescription antibiotics and acne creams. dermablading, peels at medi spas and even laser treatment but the bouts of breakouts got progressively worse. Her skin continued to weaken with each treatment.
As I tried all of these products, my skin became more sensitive and the acne flare ups became worse. As my skin got worse, I used more makeup. It was a vicious cycle … my foundation was causing more clogs but I didn’t want to meet anyone without covering it all up.
Care, 37, had enjoyed clear skin throughout her teenage years but started to get adult-onset acne through her 20’s. She tried every cosmetic, diet, and lifestyle change imaginable but could not find a solution that's lasting.
To understand how Care started getting acne at 28 and how it eventually evolved into cystic and fungal acne, we turn to the experts.
Why Is Adult Acne More Prevalent Than Ever?
Figuring out the causes of acne’s apparent surge is tricky.
However, Dr Friedman believes that certain acne treatments may be to blame as they unbalance the skin’s microbiome2.
“It’s only during the last 50 years that people started using all these acne products” — salicylic acid washes, prescription antibiotics and benzoyl peroxide creams to name a few — “and now we’re seeing massive numbers of adults with acne,” Friedman says.
The DIY revolution has led many to use products that are too harsh for their skin or layer multiple products which were never designed to work together.
This can disrupt the skin's microbiome making their skin more prone to breakouts.
“What we put on our skin can improve or disrupt the survival of these microorganisms. This is something we didn’t know before, but we’re paying attention to now” says Dr. Friedman.
The issue aren’t just the ingredients per se, but also the high concentrations in which these ingredients are sold.
For example, in the 80’s the standard concentration for benzoyl peroxide was 1% but now in the drug stores, it is difficult to find product that contains less than 5% benzoyl peroxide.
The “more must be better” mentality can lead to disaster when it comes to skincare.
…But It’s Always About Diet, Isn’t It?
“Drink more water,” people say – even though Care is probably the most hydrated person on the planet.
“Avoid carbs and dairy,” say friends – even though she had cut out those foods entirely and still the breakouts would come back.
While there is emerging evidence that specific dietary changes may help reduce the risk of acne, the truth is that there is still NO SOLID link between acne and diet3 – We still see hundreds of thousands of vegans battling acne every year!
“Diet myths resulted in many people cutting out foods from their diet, and in resultant disordered eating patterns4. I have seen patients refuse to eat cake on their birthday, decline dinner with friends, and develop health anxiety around food, for fear of triggering acne. There are inherently no ‘good’ or ‘bad’ foods. Diet is more about eating in a sustained, healthy manner across the course of one’s lifetime. Moderation is key.” – Dr Anjali Mahto
What Should I Do Then?
As Care's skin weakened, her acne got progressively worse. Over the past two years, she developed both cystic and fungal acne.
Excluding the factors which are largely out of our control: hormonal-shifts, relocating for work, pollution and stress.
Here are some practical tips on how to stop persistent acne:
Less is more when it comes to skincare. Resist the urge to layer on multiple products unless you know they were designed to work together.
Also, higher concentrations of active ingredients lead to increased side effects. Well formulated lotions often contain multiple active ingredients in lower concentrations because the ingredients work together to drive better results without the need for high concentrations (hence less side effects).
Focus on quality. Opt for ingredients which are US Pharmacopeia or British Pharmacopeia certified. The certifications ensure the purity and potency of the ingredients (less unwanted side effects).
Don't get suckered into fad products. When it comes to acne, look for products which have an established track record of success. Has there been comprehensive medical research on the products?
Also, look at the Google Reviews on the acne product. I would be suspicious if the brand disabled their Google Reviews and opted for a third party review site where they pay to censor their reviews.
Play the long game. There is too much focus on products that treat a breakout after it has already surfaced when the focus should be on PREVENTING pimples from surfacing in the first place.
This means purging out the clogs trapped inside your pores that eventually surface as pimples.
Dermatologist's Algorithm on Treating Acne
At the root of all acne is a clogged pore.
Therefore our primary focus should be on the most effective ways to prevent clogs from being trapped inside our pores before it becomes a recipe for pimples.
To know what's effective, we look at the algorithm below:
Looking at the playbook which dermatologists use to treat acne, retinoids5 are the dermatologist's first choice for treatment followed by AZA.
Retinol - The Gold Standard
Maybe you’ve heard of topical vitamin A (retinoids)? They are the primary tool dermatologists use to treat breakouts6.
And for a good reason!
It is very effective in stopping acne by flushing out dead skin and clogs trapped inside your pores.
If there are no clogs, pimples do not form.
Note: Depending on what is trapped inside your pores at the time you start using retinol, pimples may surface as retinol draws out the clogs.
It is necessary to clear these clogs in order to get clear skin. Had you left these clogs trapped in your pores, they would only fester and grow larger in size.
AZA - The Unsung Hero?
In the derm's acne treatment listed above, AZA is often used together to fight acne.
AZA works well with retinol as it flattens the pimples.
It is also very effective in diminishing the appearance of acne marks and hyperpigmentation7.
It takes the edge off retinol as AZA calms the skin and reduces skin sensitivity8.
Meet Clear Out – Effective, Gentle Solution for Clear Skin
Most acne products only have a SINGLE active ingredient. However, to maximize effectiveness and minimize irritation*, Clearly Basics spent years formulating Clear Out so that it contains BOTH retinol + AZA.
*We've combined the top two ingredients which derms use to fight acne (in the right percentages) to drive synergy. This means Clear Out is very effective in flushing out clogs while being gentle on sensitive skin.
This unique formulation is a deadly combination that flattens active pimples and reduces future breakouts.
Since retinol is used in low percentages, Clear Out is gentle on the skin and DOES NOT disrupt the skin's biome. Over 50% of our users have sensitive or combination skin and they have no issues using Clear Out.
It took us years of intensive research to create this formulation that can’t be found anywhere else on the market!
98% of people who use Clear Out see significant improvements. If you don't see a noticeable improvement after using your first bottle of Clear Out, you can get a full refund through Clearly's moneyback guarantee.
Care's Skin Journey
Each formulation served its own purpose:
Clear Out helped to unclog her pores. It is a gentle formulation that repaired her skin and improved her overall skin health.
Lighten Up did the clean up work to reduce the appearance of post-acne red marks.
Protective Moisturizer helped to restore her skin's strength. Working together with Neutrogena's T/Gel shampoo, the Protective Moisturizer was able to stop fungal acne and keep it away for good.
Clarifying Toner provided hydration to restore her lipid barrier.
Once she switched to Clearly Basics, Care saw a dramatic improvement. Gentle, well balanced products was all she needed to restore her skin's health:
Within five months of using Clearly Basics, Care went from cystic and fungal acne to clear skin.
Care Budreski is a mother, swimsuit model and figure skater. she lives in Calgary, Alberta.
Care went most of her life without acne until the age of 28. Over the past nine years, her acne got progressively worse. Her acne became cystic two years ago after contracting lyme disease and getting her Mirena IUD contraceptive removed.
Please use code IMCARESKINCARE to get 10% off your order.
Real People with REAL, Lasting Results
Clearly Basics has helped many adults with acne ranging from mild to severe; people with sensitive skin to people with extremely oily skin. For a personalized assessment, please click "Send Message" on the Clearly Basics Facebook page.
Here are some of our user's stories below. These are users who have documented their entire acne journey on Instagram, including products they have used before they started Clearly Basics:
Toni (@xx.tonilumsden), a stylist from Hertfordshire spent over $6500 in acne products and treatments that did nothing for her acne…
Then she discovered the Power Duo and it changed her life…
@xx.tonilumsden Individual results may vary
“Never in my life did I imagine my skin would be this clear! Clearly Basics has completely transformed my skin!”
@skinwithak Individual results may vary
All I can say is ‘Clear Out’ by @clearlybasics is a Godsend ❤️ It doesn’t leave me overly dry or flaky which most retinol creams did.” "I wish I came across Clearly Basics before starting oral medication as I would have purchased these and wouldn't have had to put my body through so much!"
Although Deanna (@deannaskin) saw minor progress by going vegan and using natural products, she saw the most improvement using Clear Out. Occasionally, she may get a flare up, but with Clear Out, it goes away quickly.
@deannaskin Individual results may vary
“At the moment, my skin looks a lot clearer and fresher than usual and I've gained so much more confidence after using Clear Out."
"Clear Out is my favorite and most recommended product to any of my followers who suffer with mild-acne as well as post-acne suffers. The combination of ingredients are unique and work THE BEST in keeping spots at bay as well as improving acne marks & scars."
And many more reviews….
How is Clear Out any different from other retinol or AZA products?
Most products in the market contain only a SINGLE active ingredient so it does not use multiple pathways to address your skin concern.
Using multiple ingredients simultaneously is more EFFECTIVE, but getting the percentages correct in order to maximize synergy is difficult without precision machinery.
Every ingredient in Clear Out took years to balance in order to maximize synergy: ingredients work together to address your skin concerns with better results and less side effects.
I have sensitive skin. Can I use Clear Out?
Clear Out can work on its own for 95% of the population. The formulation is gentle yet powerful enough to tackle many cases that would otherwise require prescription medication.
For the 5% with very sensitive skin, add the Protective Moisturizer. Using Clear Out with the Protective Moisturizer will ensure that it works for even the most sensitive of skin. The Protective Moisturizer contains a wealth of antioxidants and botanicals that nourish your skin and peptides that simulate your lipid barrier to regrow.
This moisturizer reduces your skin's sensitivity and reduces general redness/blushing. It doesn't clog your pores even on the most sensitive skin!
I Have Oily Skin, What's Best for Me?
Acne and larger pores are often attributed to oily skin.
As pores are clogged, oil may not reach its intended target leading to a vicious cycle of overproduction (clogged pores -> more oil production -> more clogged pores).
Thus we designed the Matte Hydrator, to break the oil production cycle. It keeps your skin matte and supple so that your skin does not need to overproduce as much oil during the day!
Most skincare brands have one, perhaps two formulations that are really effective.
However, Clearly carries FIVE formulations that are UNIQUE and the BEST in its class: Clear Out, Lighten Up, Protective Moisturizer, Matte Hydrator and Dark Mark Defense.
What if it doesn't work on my skin?
Clear Out is so EFFECTIVE that you will get a full 90-day money back guarantee if you do not see a noticeable improvement after your first bottle. T&Cs apply.
This moneyback guarantee has been on every bottle of Clear Out and we have seen over +98% success rate.
How long will it take to see results?
In the first month, this formulation will trigger a purge of dead skin trapped in your pores which can appear as flakes or low level breakouts.
This purge will peak at week 5 and subside after week 8 of use. At week 10, you will turn over a clearer layer of skin that is less clog prone. See below:
Directions for use?
Clear Out is only used in the evening as part of your night-time routine:
- Wash your face with a cleanser
- Apply toner (if applicable)
- Apply Clear Out (leave-in lotion)
- Apply moisturizer or other skincare that you normally use in the evening
Try Clear Out, Risk FREE!
If you finish an entire bottle and don’t see any results…
You’re entitled to a full refund within 90 days! T&Cs apply.
Try it with CONFIDENCE!
1. Joshua A. Zeichner et al, 2017 : Emerging Issues in Adult Female Acne
2. Adam Friedman, 2019 : Why Is Acne More Prevalent Than Ever?
3. Apostolos Pappas, 2009 : The Relationship of Diet and Acne
4. Anjali Mahto : Can You Cure Acne With Diet?
5. James Leyden et al, 2017 : Why Topical Retinoids Are Mainstay of Therapy for Acne
6. Expert Rev Clin Pharmacol, 2010 : Acne Algorithm from the Global Alliance algorithm to improve outcomes in acne
7. Nazzaro-Porro, et al : AZA in the treatment of acne
8. Paula Begoun : Everything You Need to Know About AZA for Skin
Nothing on this article should be interpreted as personal medical advice. For medical related matters, please consult with your dermatologist.