When we said goodbye to puberty, we thought we said goodbye to a number of things: awkward interactions with our 13-year-old crushes, arguments with our parents about sleepover privileges, and the frequent, unexpected appearance of pimples. In reality, our adolescent problems have just evolved. Dating continues to be awkward, and our parents still just don't get it. But when we take a look at the acne we’re still dealing with, there’s something particularly archaic about the whole situation. After all, acne is supposed to be a right of passage: We dealt with the huge pimple on our nose (preserved forever on school picture day), and in return, we should be rewarded with blemish-free adult skin, right? Yet, here we are — well past our pre-teen years and still breaking out.
We asked dermatologists Sejal Shah, MD and Joshua Zeichner, MD why we just can’t seem to get away from these pesky blemishes, and they gave us seven reasons you're still breaking out. They range from biological to habitual. The good news is, knowledge is power. From simple over-the-counter solutions — like the once-prescription-only Differin Gel Acne Treatment — to making healthier food choices, we’re breaking down everything you need to know about treating your adult acne. Read through to finally say goodbye for good.