Recent statistics appear to show that around half of all adult women will suffer from the skin condition active acne at some stage in their adult lives. There also seems to be an increasing number of women who develop acne later on in life, from their twenties, thirties and even forties. This is surprising, as acne is traditionally associated with the troubled teenage years, when hormone levels are changing and fluctuating.
This trend is perhaps less surprising when you consider the causes of acne: it is generally triggered by an increase in the levels of male hormones, which result in increased sebum production and pore enlargement. The sebum mixes with dead skin cells as it moves towards the skin’s surface, and when there is too much it forms a plug.
Hormone levels are thought to be influenced by various factors: stress can result in increased androgens which can in turn result in acne, while there are some schools of thought that suspect a link between our diets of highly processed foods and acne.
Our busy and stressful lives, combined with sensitivity to male hormones, can mean spots start appearing when you would least expect them, and more and more women are suffering from acne later in life.