Why do I have acne in my 30's or beyond?

Updated: Sep 21

Acne in your 30's, 40's or 50's? This shouldn't be an issue anymore. I shouldn't have to deal with this! If you are struggling with acne at a later age, let me tell you, you are not alone.

This can be a huge hit to your self esteem and mental health as well as be embarrassing. So, let's get to the root cause of your acne so you can live confidentally and joyfully!


Maybe you have dealt with acne your whole life and even though it is bothersome to you, you have come to accept this as part of your life or maybe this is something that has gotten worse for you recently....

There's acne vulgaris, which is primarily in the "T-zone" area of the face (forehead, nose, and around the mouth and chin) and there's cystic acne which is red, hard and painful. Cystic acne lies in the deeper layers of your skin and typically shows up around the jaw, back, neck and shoulders.


For many women acne is caused by an imbalance in hormones. Were you ever put on birth control to alleviate your acne just to have it return once you were taken off the pill to become pregnant or because of side effects? That because the root cause was never addressed. Birth control was a band aid for your symptom. Birth control will suppress your androgen and estrogen production which helps to control acne. But why are these hormones imbalanced in the first place? Poor diet, stress, environmental toxins, and even poor gut health are some main contributors that I see with my patients.


Your gut health and acne are incredibly interconnected. When your gut isn’t happy, many times your skin is the thing that tells you. Signs of poor gut health show up as acne, redness, rashes, itchiness, rosecea, or even cysts- ouch!

Often dysbiosis, or an imbalance of bacteria, pathogenic bacteria or fungal overgrowth are the culprits.

What causes gut dysfunction in the first place?

  • Poor diet

  • Stress

  • Overuse of antibiotics

  • Overuse of NSAIDS

  • Parasites

  • Toxins

It's not as simple as it seems, to get to the root cause, cause most of the time the causes are interconnected. But focusing on living a healthy lifestyle can definitely improve gut function and acne.

This does NOT mean you have to be perfect all the time. Even I indulge in eating out and libations from time to time.


Food sensitivities and allergies can also be a cause of acne in our 30's. Allergens in our foods cause inflammation in our gut and damage to our gut lining. This can lead to acne breakouts. Finding food sensitivities is a great way to address acne in adulthood. Sometimes, eliminating common food allergens like gluten and dairy can make a dramatic reduction in breakouts. If this does not work for you, running functional lab testing looking for hidden sensitivities can be done with our office.


If your looking to clear your acne once and for all, without the band aid approach you can use natural remedies and improve your overall health at the same time!


The best diet to follow is one that limits inflammatory foods and processed foods, and focuses on a whole foods, organic (when possible), and detoxification foods such as cruciferous vegetables. Getting in adequate nutrition is key! So yes, you have to eat!

If you make some of the changes discussed in this article and still struggle with acne it may be time to see your functional medicine practitioner who can help you get to the root cause! At Wave on Wave Health, we do a comprehensive visit and run targeted lab work to help you find the cause for your symptom.


We also offer microneedling treatments to address acne. Microneedling has been around for decades and while it should not be used on active acne, any scarring that may be a result of the acne can be effectively treated with microneedling. Microneedling also helps with acne prone skin, oil production, and minimizes pores. At our office we offer microneedling with PRP for the most effective healing!

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