5 tips for treating Adult Acne

Adult acne is on the increase and depending on which piece of research you read, anything up to 51% of us are suffering. How rude that it can often commence when you are upping the ante on treatment products to help you age more youthfully. The treatments exacerbate the spots and aggressive spot treatments damage the skin causing it to age. 

I was a sufferer from age 13 to about 47 when I started using the early samples of what was to become MERUMAYA® Integrative Skincare.

Right up until then, I was using topical antibiotic Zineryt. I am pretty experienced in the misery that spots, craters, scars etc. cause and as a result I created a brand that focuses on youthful ageing without exacerbating problem skins.

Below are some tips that I have found to be helpful in controlling and minimising acne. It must be noted here that there are many different types of acne of varying severity and I am not a doctor, so factor that in please.

best tips adult acne

Anti inflammatory ingredients in your skin care are pretty effective. They help to calm and soothe the skin and some help to repair it. I am a huge fan of Echium Oil which is a plant source of Omega 3, 6 & 9 (we all know how good that is for us).
I have used it extensively in the skincare products and supplements because it has been shown in trials (RevitElix is the trade name) to be more effective than industry benchmarks such as fish oil, borage and blackcurrant oils. Inflammation is at the root of acne and skin aging which makes Echium Oil the perfect ingredient. It is clinically tested to address lines, elasticity and if you have them, spots. It is used in clinically tested, robust concentrations in; Iconic Youth Serum; Youth Preservation Moisturiser SPF20; Intensely Youthful Eye Cream;. It can also be found in lower levels in Melting Cleansing Balm.  

Cleansing – I believe that thorough, gentle cleansing is the cornerstone for vibrant, healthy looking skin. Gentle! No stripping of the skin or disturbing the natural moisture barrier. If you wear face make up I suggest a double cleanse at night. The first cleanse removes make up and the second ensures you get a facial quality cleanse by cleaning the skin. Melting Cleansing Balm is brilliant for all skin types and Luxury Facial Wash should be the second cleanse if you have a problematic skin. I know that some bloggers are against foaming washes but I have to say: they are not all equal. Luxury Facial Wash has the gentlest of surfactants and does not strip the skin. It also includes pomegranate enzymes to slough away the dead skin cells that cause blockages and spots as well as a mild anti-spot treatment.

Electric Cleansing BrushesI am not a big fan of Electric Brushes and I think that there will be some fall out in years to come. I think electric cleansing brushes are a bit too aggressive and because the heads are so large, you often don’t go to the hairline, in the nooks around the nose etc. I think they end up compromising the natural moisture barrier in the skin, which is there to protect your skin. I prefer to stick with a Manual Cleansing Brush which is super gentle yet effective and portable for holidays. Since it is a manual cleansing brush, it needs no batteries, chargers or adaptors and the brush is about a tenth of the price and weight.
Daily Cleansing Cloths™ must be washed after every single use please.To get a facial quality ‘steam clean’ I have used a very light ‘flannel’ fabric because they are heavier than a muslin and hold the heat of the water better. The fabric is lighter than a flannel so they do not take too long to wash and dry. Daily Cleansing Cloths™  give a little exfoliation which helps to keep the skin clog free.  

Are we what we eat? There is so much conflicting information in this area. The best thing you can do is to see if you pick up any patterns between what you eat and breaking out. If you see there are certain correlations, you can then avoid those foods. Plenty of water and vegetable and fruit juices that are made and drunk immediately are good in all sorts of ways. In the Readers Digest Food Cures, they cite the following foods as helpful to acne sufferers;

  • Brazil Nuts for Selenium
  • Oysters, beans, poultry, fish for Zinc
  • Salmon, flaxseed, walnuts for Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Sweet Potato, carrots, bell peppers for beta carotene
  • Fruit & Veg
  • Tomatoes, oranges and melons for Vitamin C
  • Almond, eggs, leafy green veg for Vitamin E
And they cite the following as contributory to acne;
  • Iodised Salt and other strong sources of iodine. Use sea salt instead. Avoid processed and refined (‘white’) foods

Scrubs  I would avoid scrubs because they can break open spots. They can be scratchy and it is largely agreed that peels or enzymes give more even exfoliation for problem and ageing skins.

In the Skin Brightening Exfoliating Peel we have creatively used both glycolic acid and pomegranate enzymes to give a superior exfoliation that feels gentle at the same time.

All skins look brighter and clearer with the Skin Brightening Exfoliating Peel and spots are controlled while pores are minimised and blockages prevented. Importantly for drier skins: it minimises lines and allows your treatment products to absorb more readily, making them more effective.

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Exercising often made my spots worse - or that is what I thought I experienced. Best practice here is to not wear any make up when exercising. Clean your skin before and immediately after exercising to help prevent spots and try not to touch your face with your hands during exercise, as you are transferring all manner of microbes from gym equipment to your face. Use an exfoliating product regularly to keep skin clog-free and be sure to keep well-hydrated.

Quick wins.
1.Change your pillowcases and face towels regularly.
2.Don’t strip the skin with harsh products.
3.Mix a little Concentrated Spot Treatment with your concealer before blending over spots.
4.Cleanse as soon as you get home for the evening, rather than waiting until you are going to bed.
5.Drink lots of water.  

Recommended Skincare Routine from MERUMAYA in priority order;

  • Melting Cleansing Balm (1st cleanse at night) & Daily Cleansing Cloths with Luxury Facial Wash (2nd cleanse at night) & Manual Cleansing Brush. In the morning decide how your skin is behaving. If problematic use LFW, if calm and dehydrated, use MCB.
  • Iconic Youth Serum – morning and night. To hydrate and calm the skin
  • Skin Brightening Exfoliating Peel – 2-3 times per week. If using in the morning, it replaces your cleanse so, not an extra step. Do other chores while it is activating on the skin and that way you have not taken ‘extra’ time from your busy schedule to look after your skin and are more likely to keep it up
  • Concentrated Spot Treatment – Dab it on the pesky spots at least morning and night (bigger blob at night) and during the day if you need. It will address the redness, inflammation without creating a horrible crusty mess that becomes impossible to conceal.
  • Intensely Youthful Eye Cream to care for the area that generally shows the first signs of ageing.
  • Day and night moisturisers – as your skin needs it with Youth Preservation Moisturiser SPF20 and/or Overnight Recharge Night Cream (ONR contains spot treating Sytenol A too)


  • I very much enjoyed this article. I wondered what your thoughts were on acid toners? I use one as have read its a vital step. Is this not the case?

    Hannah Green
  • Hello Helen. Thank you for your comment and encouragement. I am sorry you are suffering and that it is getting you down. As I said, I am not a doctor (and your acne does sound severe) but I do believe that good skincare goes hand in hand with any medication that a dermatologist recommends. And the Doctor’s recommendation really has to be above what I have found worked for me. I do understand your reluctance regarding Roaccutane’ I myself decided not to use it after it was recommended, due to what it can do to unborn babies. Since then I’ve also read reports that link it to depression as well. Have you thought about laser treatments? Professor Anthony Chu is a dermatologist that I have previously seen and he does have a private clinic in Chiswick. It’s worth getting a second opinion(in my opinion!) if you haven’t already.
    You can buy MERUMAYA at merumaya.com or John Lewis (we have 21 stores with them). If you email me your postal address, I will put some samples in the post for you to try. I have not got all products but you will be able to try Melting Cleansing Balm, Iconic Youth Serum and Overnight Recharge Night Cream.
    PS – sign up to my emails via my website too.

  • Hi,

    I loved this article. I have been reading lots of information on the importance of maintaining the moisture barrier (acid mantle). It is so interesting and I am learning how important it is to enable my skin to heal.

    I am 37 and have chronic widespread cystic acne and deep scarring. It makes me very depressed. I have now been referred to dermatology for Roaccutane, which I am so reluctant to take but I feel I have no other option. :-(

    When, where and how can I buy your amazing sounding products??

    I will definitely petition space nk for you.

  • This was a great article. And I agree about cleansing, that takes care of half of your problem if you do it well.

  • I think there is value is using an acid (exfoliating) toner though caveat that with simultaneously making sure skin is not stripped and is kept hydrated. I think over-use can be detrimental. I have just finished the customer trial for my Gentle Exfoliating Toner. I included high and effective levels of acids with Hyularonic Acid, Brown and Micro Algaes and natural betaine so that it feels super gentle, ‘buffers’ the skin, softens and hydrates it all at the same time. Many of the testers who use other acid toners loved that it does not sting them and that skin is not left parched and that it only requires the use of one toner. Now that the customers have approved my formula (Caroline Hirons has also been testing it for me), it is in further tests and I hope to launch it around May/June. Sign up to my emails on the website and you will be notified. I hope that helps. regards Maleka

  • Hello Bridget. I am not much good at restricting my intake of foods I love. I have found that Iconic Youth Serum is great and coupled with Skin Brilliance Supplements, is even better. Try the Serum first. Email me your mailing address and I will post some samples for you to try. regards

  • Bless you Zaynub. I really appreciate you taking the time to comment and for your encouragement. I hope all goes well at the doctor tomorrow. regards Maleka

  • Hi Maleka! Thank you for this brilliant article, I’m 23 and I’ve been suffering from acne for many years and only now I have plucked up the courage to go and visit my doctor, tomorrow in fact. I’ve been using merumaya for a while now, and I must say, from ALL the balms and exfoliating peels I have used, merumaya melting balm and the exfoliating peel is the best one and I haven’t stopped recommending them since! So thank you and keep up the excellent work!

  • Thank you Maleka that is very generous of you. I have been reading all about your products via Caroline Hirons.

    I have previously had Danne treatments combined with fractional laser. It was very successful but I just can’t afford to have it done anymore.

    Thank you for your reply.

  • Hi Maleka
    Thanks for a really informative article!
    I’ve been suffering with acne on and off since a teenager (am now 35) It was always the big painful spots that got me down, the ones you can’t really cover up. These have now calmed down a bit now with topical creams. However I do still get the weekly smaller spots on my chin, and also some acne rosacea, which runs in the family.
    I tend get overheated cheeks, and this brings with it redness and flare ups. I’ve found I’m better for not eating sugar, dairy and gluten – but it’s a strict diet to follow.
    Did you find your diet affected your skin?
    I’d love to try your iconic youth serum, do you think this might be suitable?

  • Dear Maleka.
    I’m very enjoying your cleansing balm and toner,
    But I wish the size of the botle’s could be much bigger.
    And I already thought about Space NK that it would be fantastic if they will have Merymaya products. I’m going there today.

  • Hello Helen
    I am so delighted to get your comment and your encouragement is so well appreciated. Thank you. I am very pleased the Iconic Youth Serum is working as intended and hope you will try more products in the range. If you get a minute, a product review on the website, helps other customers too. regards Maleka

  • This is a sensible article. I’m 35 and have acne prone skin. My skin improved massively when I started taking more care over cleansing. I have used SPF40 in my primer since I was 21 but only realised last year I should double cleanse. I also tried your Iconic serum and that had a significant impact on reducing old scarring and it made my skin ‘juicy’ and glowing. It is an awesome product that I will invest in again. I filled in a questionnaire for M and S recently regarding their beauty dept and suggested your brand. Good luck Maleka.

    Helen B
  • In rare circumstances it can be possible to get laser on NHS. Might be worth checking with your GP. M

  • Dear Parul. Thank you for taking the trouble to comment; it is very encouraging for me to hear from you. Regards

  • Thank you. Let us know how you get on with Melting cleansing Balm please.

  • Really good post, I use EH cleansing balm but will try yours when it runs out, also your toner when its available. When i had acne years ago i went to a herbalist, he took a pinprick of blood & when he got the results gave me liquid herbs, that cleared it. It also worked for others i recommended him to. In the last few yrs I was getting quite a few spots they stopped when i improved my diet, cut out refined sugar & reduced milk ie instead if having cows milk on my musli every day i now have oat or almond.

  • Hi Sabrina. Thank you so much. When we are a little bigger, I will introduce larger sizes. As most people to the brand are still new to us, the entry price point is important, to encourage people to have a try, with a relatively low investment. Also, I have worked really hard to achieve the price points with the amazingly high number and concentration of actives, so to be efficient, I have to do the manufacturing of all sizes at one time or the costs would increase and therefore the retail price. Just want to give you a little background on the rationale and to let you know your suggestion is very much valued and on the radar for future. In the meantime, please help us to grow, by telling everyone you know about our products and leaving your comments on the website product pages if you have a minute. Thanks Maleka

  • Helen

    My acne was like yours sounds. Last year I took the plunge and tried roaccutane. Best thing I ever did. Yes it’s a strong drug but since stopping the treatment in May last year after 3 months taking it, I’ve not had a single spot and my skin looks better and better.

    Best thing I ever did for my skin. Talk to your consultant and the nurse practitioners. They are brilliant and will support and guide you.

    Little Brown Bird

    little brown bird

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