We may never want to grow old, but for those that battled with acne as a teen, getting older was the solution to winning that battle. But, much to our dismay, the zit-popping days may not be behind us all. While our t-zones might not be as shiny as they were in high school, many women still are forced to deal with acne in to their 30’s and beyond. Below are 7 solutions that can help reduce the breakouts, if not eliminate them altogether.

Cut the Carbs: It’s common knowledge that what you put in your body affects your outward appearance when it comes to weight, but sometimes we forget that our diets can affect our skin as well. “Eating chocolate or a lot of junk food doesn’t by itself seem to cause acne, but not having a balanced diet and eating too many refined carbs can cause problems,” says Albert Lefkovits, MD, director of the Park Avenue Center for Advanced Medical and Cosmetic Dermatology in New York City. When eating carbs, your insulin levels increase, and this may be a cause of oil production (via Prevention).

>> Read more: Delicious Low Carb Meals

Salt reduction: It is a suspicion that the iodine you’ll find in the table salt you pick up so often could fire up acne breakouts. Find ways to flavor your food without overdoing it on the sodium (via Prevention).

>> Read more: 9 Ways to Lower Your Salt Intake

Stress management: “Stress doesn’t create skin disease on its own, but it can make any existing issues worse,” says Beth McLellan, MD, a dermatologist at NYU Langone’s Joan H. While stress isn’t solely the cause of your acne, it is said that stress raises inflammation levels and causes oil producing glands to ignite. Cut back on the stress and the appearance of acne, by making sure you give yourself some quiet “me-time” at least a few times a week (via Prevention).

>> Read more: 7 Healthy Ways to Relieve Stress

brooke griffin in yoga meditation pose

Double Whammy: When it comes to acne, a two step treatment will give you the best results. The two most effective products together are salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide. The salicylic acid unclogs the pores, allowing the peroxide, which cleans the pores out, to get the job done. Fitness Magazine suggests these two products: Neutrogena Rapid Clear Foaming Scrub, and La-Roche Posay Effaclar Duo Dual Action Acne Treatment.

One drug, two uses: Normally used for high blood pressure, prescription Aldactone (spironolactone) is now getting a second life as a treatment for hormonal acne. The drug (a tablet taken orally) blocks receptors of the hormone androgen, helping to limit the testosterone surges that can prompt pimples (via Prevention).

Natural Tea Tree Oil: Less irritating than its chemical cousin benzoyl peroxide, tea tree oil has a long history of fighting mild to moderate acne outbreaks. The oil, which comes from the leaves of a tree native to Australia, has antiseptic properties that help reduce acne-causing bacteria on the skin and quell inflammation in skin cells. Multiple studies, including a review last year in the International Journal of Dermatology, back the plant’s power (via Prevention).


Wash your face every night: According to a study in the American Journal of Epidemiology, there’s also a link between air pollution and skin bumps. With pollution in our cities only increasing, your skin is constantly exposed to it, not helping your acne issue. To diminish any damage done, wash your face – every night – whether you wear makeup or not! You may be tired in the evenings, but your face will thank you later (via Fitness Magazine).

Try to incorporate some of these healthy ideas into your day-to-day routine–some will not only improve your skin, but your physique as well.