Skin Care

Natural Skin Care for Adult Acne

Adults with acne?

Some of us with more mature years feel that the least we can expect in return for the steady crumpling of our smooth young skin and the creeping invasion of hair no longer their original bright colour is the banishing of teenage breakouts. 

We smugly think that we have long left the days of pustules and pimples of youth. Unfortunately this is not always the case…

Factors causing adult acne

Adult acne is distressingly common nowadays for a variety of reasons – some of these are listed below. 


  •  Stress causes the production of inflammatory chemicals in the body, which make the skin more likely to flare up 
  •  Stress also impedes immune function, making it more likely that you’ll fall prey to one of the bacteria that are implicated in acne
  •  Additionally, stress weakens circulation, making the skin pale and ill served by the blood vessels that should be transporting nutrients and carrying away waste 
  •  Eating too much refined sugar (not just plain sugars but also refined carbohydrates such as white bread, pasta and pastries) has a negative effect on the skin
  •  Dairy products affect some people’s skin, making them more prone to outbreaks
  •  Slow bowel function means more toxins circulate in the bloodstream and these are ‘pushed out’ through the skin.  

So what can you do if you are looking for natural skin care for adult acne?

Dietary and Lifestyle changes

Firstly, focus your diet on wholefoods and complex carbohydrates instead of the refined versions. This means plenty of dried fruit instead of sweeties, and brown bread instead of white. 

Also remember your fruit and vegetables – the 5-a-day campaign does not impose a limit of 5 pieces of fruit or veg. The more you have, the better it will be for your skin.  

Ensure that your bowel is moving well and if the dietary alterations don’t effect this happy ending then take one of the laxative herbal remedies to ensure daily movement. 

If you smoke, there is one more important lifestyle change you should make and you know what it is. Naturopaths believe that skin conditions are mainly manifestations of what is going on deeper in the body. Smoking introduces a host of ‘toxins’ into the body – and these are cleared from the body in various ways, including through the skin.

Use Echinacea

The herb Echinacea can be part of your planning to ban blemishes. 

Echinacea is best known as a herb used to strengthen the immune system and today, there are many products available licensed for the relief of symptoms of colds and flu. However, Echinacea has historically been used to treat acne vulgaris, the teenage version of the problem. 

Today, research provides us with an explanation for this. Apart from its immune function which encourages white blood cells to rid the body of infections and toxins, studies show that Echinacea has a direct action in inhibiting the growth of Propionibacterium acnes [1]. This is the bacteria which invades the sebaceous glands of the skin giving rise to acne. 

Hence, the antibacterial actions of Echinacea reduce the likelihood of infection, whilst its anti-inflammatory action speeds up the healing process. 

This is only one example of how herbal remedies can help you maintain your health without resorting to chemical drugs!

[1] Sharma M et al. Phytother Res 2011; 25 (4): 517-21.

Alison Cullen is an education manager for the leading herbal remedy company A.Vogel. She has worked in the health industry since 1987.  Alison lectures & trains on health issues, and is often to be found quoted in health magazines.