Many of my patients over 35 years of age complain about new outbreaks of acne and are both amazed and frustrated by this phenomena. The facts are that acne has many causes ranging from genetic predisposition to dairy and junk foods. Most etiologies fall somewhere between these two dichotomies.
Most people have an over production of oil, not under production. This sebum production can then clog pores and create a perfect environment for growth of bacteria. Stress can set this phenomena in motion as well.
The most common cause of adult acne is the overuse of heavy makeup without the appropriate post use cleansing. Exercising while wearing makeup can also enhance the condition for acne flare ups.
Cleansing is the most important treatment and maintenance program for acne prone skin. The best cleanser (and most economical) is plain soap. Not soap with moisturizers, but just good old soap that has the opsonic activity to break up the build up of sebum and open up pores for normal function which is to help moisturize skin.
Admittedly this is a brief and simplified summary of the problem, but holds true to the basic principle that “exfoliation” is cleansing your skin of old, dead cells and the build up of oils and cosmetics. Few products work better then soap no matter what your mother may say about sensitive feminine facial skin.