Help, How do I get rid of acne at 30? My skin was so clear before. Now I have pimples everywhere. I need to desperately do something as it’s impacting my confidence and almost every aspect of my life. I get it. I’m a scientist who’s had acne. Follow these 5 steps to clear skin.

Acne In 30s, Help – Why Do I Have Acne?

In Acne by Cheryl Woodman MChemLeave a Comment

Help! Why do I have acne in my 30s? My skin was so clear before. Now I have pimples everywhere. I need to desperately do something as it’s impacting my confidence and almost every aspect of my life. To be frank, I’m not myself at the moment.

Are you feeling this way my beautiful friend?

Please know I’m right by your side. I understand first-hand what struggling with adult acne feels like. How it can dent your confidence,  your self-esteem, your happiness.

And I hear some version of this cry for help in all of my wonderful Acne Warriors.

I know right now you’re probably feeling hopeless. So before we go any further. Before we get to the 5 big reasons why you have acne in your 30s – I want you to see this.

acne progress before and after

Kelly’s amazing acne transformation – she came to me as she had been struggling with adult acne for over 22 years. It took four months to start seeing these amazing, ‘yes, I’m finally clear’ results. Isn’t she amazing.

Now you know exactly what’s possible when you follow the right science proven acne solutions, let’s get going to why you have acne in your 30s and exactly what you can do to get your clear skin confidence back… 😀

Help, How do I get rid of acne at 30? My skin was so clear before. Now I have pimples everywhere. I need to desperately do something as it’s impacting my confidence and almost every aspect of my life. I get it. I’m a scientist who’s had acne. Follow these 5 steps to clear skin.

Acne In 30s – Why Do I Have Acne?

Spoiler alert – yes it is hormones – but not in the way you think.

Most women think they get acne in their 30s because of shifting hormone levels.

Actually, it’s most likely your hormone levels are exactly the same – it’s just right now your body’s had enough. It’s done. And that’s actually an extremely good thing. Bear with me a minute while I explain 🙂

Do you have a favourite pair of jeans?

Once upon a time 😉 I had this perfect fit, dark blue-grey, skinny legs pair. I loved them. If it was a jeans day – they were on me. It saved me so much time staring into the wardrobe with what shall I wear eyes?

They were with me on birthdays, at Christmases, at work, at home, at the cinema. They had the best life 😉

Until one day when all of a sudden I’m wearing my perfect fit denim beauties when oooo… that chair feels a bit cold on my bum.

Dear friend…. it took me till 6pm that evening to realise – my perfect fit jeans were so ‘vintage’ my butt had made a chilly, threadbare hole the whole entire way up the backside seam.

I was mortified.

I didn’t even have nice underwear on 🙈😂

This is also the exact same reason why you can have clear skin in your 20s and then BOOM…

Acne in 30s

Acne in 30s can happen when you’ve been ‘feeding’ your acne triggers for so long, that your body’s had enough. It can resist no more.

Just like my favourite skinny jeans hugged my curvy butt for years – then gave up.

Your human biology works in the same way.

You prod, prod, prod, poke, poke, poke and one day your skin goes BOOM – here have adult acne.

I know right now it doesn’t feel this way but your skin acting up with pimples and breakouts is actually an extremely good thing. It’s good because science proven triggers of acne in your 30s are also linked with several other negative health outcomes. Diseases and conditions like heart disease, diabetes, cancer… even dementia.

Trouble is – usually you can’t see biology changes which will one day cause you to walk into your doctor’s office with diagnosable, life-altering conditions.

But your skin can. Your skin can ‘scream’ with acne. Now’s time to find out exactly what could be causing you to get acne in your 30s. These 5 reasons for acne in your 30s are huge triggers you’ve likely been pressing for entire decades.

1. Bad Oil Balance In Your Diet

Crazy fact – some of the oils you eat end up directly on your skin. Not because you slipped and swiped salad dressing all over your chin and cheeks, but because your body takes oils directly from foods you eat and then uses those to moisturise your skin.

As scientists, we know this because of what’s called ‘radio labelled’ food studies.

They work by adding a chemical tag to molecules which make up your food. This chemical tag is trackable and so after a participant eats, scientists track where those molecules end up in your body. Kind of incredible eh.

Our western diets are usually incredibly high in easily oxidizable (aka easily go-offable) vegetable oils.

When gone off oils end up on your skin they can encourage biology changes which lead to acne.

They can;

  1. Easily turn to a comedogenic oil on your skin aka pore blocking
  2. Cause different bacteria to breed rapidly on your skin (aka acne-causing bacteria)
  3. Irritate skin and encourage ‘hyperkeratosis’ – this is when skin thickens inside your pores, making it easier for your pores to clog – it’s a key symptom of acne

The acne in 30s bottom line: It’s likely your diet is high in easily oxidisable, ‘bad oils’ – they can cause acne as they’re triggering your skin cells to plunge into a state of hyperkeratosis aka skin thickening inside your pores. Grab your free copy of my acne diet, yes, no sometimes cheatsheet here to get a head start on a science-proven acne diet – one with the right oils for clear skin.

2. Diet’s Causing Your Sebum Glands to Grow

Like Jack’s beanstalk. Seriously. The science is crazy to see. Before I show you a photo to prove this, there’s a puzzle piece you must know first.

Having oily skin makes your skin prone to acne in your 30s because unbalanced skin oil aka sebum, causes acne bacteria to overgrow.

It’s why ‘drying’ skincare can temporarily help you get rid of acne… psst – don’t use it, drying skincare wrecks your skin health and always leads to a vicious cycle of rebound acne. There are healthier ways to heal 🙏🙂.

Right so – photo time. What I’m about to show you is a microscopic image of sebum making cells (reference). In this photo they’re stained red;

Acne in 30s - caused by over active sebum cells.

Do you see how in one photo those cells are bulging? Exploding? Growing?

Which skin do you reckon will be more acne-prone? A or B?

You guessed it my friend  – the answer is B.

The one difference between these photos is that cells in photo B have been hyperstimulated by a hormone you have called insulin.

Certain foods cause your body to release mass amounts of insulin.

And that causes your skin to get oily and unbalanced… it’s why you can suddenly get acne in your 30s.

The acne in 30s bottom line: your diet’s likely making you release massive amounts of insulin. Insulin is a hormone which triggers your sebum cells to grow like Jack’s beanstalk. Excess and unbalanced sebum makes you prone to acne. Grab your free copy of my acne diet, yes, no sometimes cheatsheet here to get a head start on a science-proven acne diet.

3. You’re Over Washing Your Face

Which is causing something called your skin’s acid mantle to vanish.

Shall we rewind a few steps?

You my friend have this awesome protective shield on your face. And it’s invisible.

This shield works because it’s slightly acidic. It helps to keep good bacteria growing on your skin and helps stop bad bacteria from overgrowing.

When healthy your skin should have a pH level of about 4.2-5.

But water can be well over pH 8.5 and face wash products can even go up to pH 12. Crazy right.

Peek at this science quote (don’t worry if it’s gooky, I’m explaining everything after);

Epidermal barrier functions, like… antimicrobial response, are related to the acidic nature of the skin surface pH (ss-pH). However, the epidermal acidification is known to be fragile and it is commonly accepted that cosmetic products, especially soaps and skin cleansing products, can induce significant changes in ss-pH. As a consequence, epidermal barrier function and skin microflora are affected negatively. ss-pH even increases after a single washing procedure or after rinsing the skin with water alone. The skin pH recovery needs time up to several hours before it can reach the physiological level.Curr Probl Dermatol. Basel, Karger, 2018, vol 54, pp 132-142

Let me quickly de-gook this for you. Scientists eh 😉

  1. Your skin needs to be acidic to prevent overgrowth of bad acne-causing bacteria
  2. Your skin acidity is easily damaged
  3. Cosmetics can easily damage it – cleansers are a big culprit
  4. Cleansers can instantly change your skin’s pH level making it less acidic
  5. It only takes one wash (!)
  6. Your skin pH can take hours to recover after just one wash

The acne in 30s bottom line: over-cleansing damages your skin’s ability to prevent acne bacteria from overgrowing. So stop washing your face so much and be sure you’re using a gentle cleansing product. In my scientific opinion, you should be washing your face just once a day in PM.

4. Your Skin’s Natural Exfoliating Rate is Slowing

At the heart of every acne breakout you have is a clogged cauldron full of sebum and dead skin cells – a feast for acne bacteria. As we get ‘more experienced 🙂 our skin’s natural exfoliating rate – what us scientists call your skin’s turnover rate – well it slows down.

Dead skin cells hang around for longer. They fester. They fill your skin cauldrons aka your pores.

It takes an average of 28 days for skin cells to go through their lifecycle but once you hit your 30s and beyond, this 28-day cycle slows significantly. Your pore cauldrons start to bubble with stagnant dead skin cells.

The acne in 30s bottom line: your skin cells aren’t exfoliating away from your skin quickly enough and this is leading to pore clogging and acne bacteria overbreeding. It’s best to use a liquid exfoliant in your skincare routine to help speed up your skin’s natural exfoliating rate. I’m here if you need my help with that.

5. You’re Deficient in the Sunshine Vitamin (Vitamin D)

Vitamin D statistics are shocking. Peek at these two;

Vitamin D deficiency is the most common medical condition worldwide. An estimated one billion people in the world have vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency.J Health Popul Nutr. 2011;29(2):149-155
Recent large observational data have suggested that ~40% of Europeans are vitamin D deficient, and 13% are severely deficient.Eur J Clin Nutr 74, 1498–1513 (2020)

Vitamin D levels are uber important for your skin health because vitamin D helps regulate sebum production.

Remember how too much sebum and unbalanced sebum levels can feed acne bacteria?

Well, you being deficient in vitamin D could be a key cause of getting acne in your 30s.

Peek at this science quote and don’t worry, I’m step by step de-gooking for you after;

VitD regulates the proliferation and differentiation of keratinocytes and suppresses sebum secretion.J Cosmet Dermatol. 2019 Aug;18(4):1113-1120

I know eh – that’s a lot of science gook Don’t worry, this is actually super simple. What this study tells us is;

  1. Vitamin D is like a teacher to your skin cells
  2. Vitamin D tells your skin cells how to grow and how quickly they can grow – aka vitamin D helps stop skin thickening/hyperkeratosis from blocking up your pores
  3. Vitamin D also helps prevent your skin from making too much sebum 😀

The acne in 30s bottom line: your skin needs vitamin D to be healthy and happy – when levels are low your skin can get oily and prone to clogging. Both changes can cause your skin to get worse in your 30s, leading to cystic acne.

Psst – you can get vitamin D from food too – be sure to get your free copy of my acne diet cheatsheet here to get a head start on a science-proven acne diet.

I can’t wait to see how your skin health changes from today and for you to be seeing your own clear skin transformation. I know you’re ready to heal your acne for good. Your next step is to click here and choose the option which best describes your acne. I can’t wait for you to be telling me, ‘Cheryl, I’ve had my first month with no new breakouts’ 😀.