You’re all grown up, but suddenly you’re getting sore, painful adult acne.

But why?

An acne breakout occurs when a pore becomes blocked with oil and dead skin cells. This traps bacteria and causes the body to respond with inflammation and as a result, a pimple appears.

There are many reasons as to why your body is responding like this to inflammation and developing blocked pores.

Here are some of the reasons why and simple tips to prevent those painful zits from returning.


Did you know that people who have dairy every day have a higher rate of acne?

This is because milk products make your skin produce more sebum. Insulin growth factor is the guy responsible for this. He sends signals to your sebaceous glands, making them produce more sebum than normal which can leads to more red lumps and bumps. 

Having too much dairy can also disrupt our hormones and lead to acne. Insulin growth factors make our bodies produce the hormones dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate (DHEAS) which make us break out more.

Limiting the amount of dairy you are having everyday helps to clear up your skin to limit those breakouts.

Zinc deficiency

Are you eating super healthy with lots of fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds… but you’re still getting acne? Maybe it’s due to a zinc deficiency!

Zinc is an essential trace mineral. It is involved in over 300 functions in your body, including keeping your androgen hormones balanced. Keeping those hormones balanced helps keep our sebum production balanced. When zinc levels get too low in your body, it causes a surge in androgens, sebum production and skin inflammation.

Zinc also helps move Vitamin A around the body, which supports the skin’s immune system, keeping out any nasty bugs or bacteria. It also helps speed up healing time and keeps the skin moisturised.

Zinc supplementation is always recommended to my clients for acne. That is because many plant-based foods, legumes, nuts and seeds block the absorption of zinc in our gut and cause us to become deficient more easily.

High glycaemic index diets

High glycaemic index (GI) foods such as sugar, soft drinks, white breads, potatoes and short-grain white rice make our body produce insulin. Too much insulin can cause a hormonal imbalance of androgens and leads to excess sebum production.

Swapping high GI carbs with low GI carbs such as wholegrain bread, green vegetables, wholegrain oats, berries, legumes, brown and basmati rice may help to keep your skin clear!


Chronic stress can come in two forms: emotional and physical stress.

Both of these play a major role in why we get acne.

Stress effects your digestion of foods which can lead to nutritional deficiencies of zinc, omega-3 and B vitamins which are all required for healthy skin.

Stress can also cause hormonal imbalances which may lead to more sebum production and inflammation on your skin.

There are many things we can start with to help reduce stress levels for skin health. Some examples of this include mindfulness and meditation, walking in nature and avoiding caffeine or other stimulants. This will help to keep your skin clear and healthy!

What next?

Finding out what is driving your acne and resolving it is key to keeping your skin clear of acne. If you’d like to have a chat about your acne or to book an appointment, get in touch.