Acne in 30s: Over 2 in 5 Americans in their 30s Have Acne

Adult acne, also known as “adult-onset acne,” is surprisingly prevalent, affecting millions of people in their 30s and beyond. Acne is a skin condition that causes breakouts, such as pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads. It occurs when hair follicles under the skin become clogged.

Contrary to popular belief, acne isn’t limited to teenagers, and can manifest differently than during your younger years. If you’re dealing with persistent breakouts and frustrated by a lack of answers, you’re not alone.

Table of Contents

  1. Why Do I Have Acne in My 30s?
  2. Causes for Adult Acne
  3. How Do I Treat Adult Acne?

Our recent survey of more than 1,000 Americans found 41% of Americans in their 30s are currently experiencing acne and 50% are surprised to be dealing with acne at their age. Additionally, before turning 30-years-old, 17% didn’t realize adults can have acne in their 30s and older.

Statistics on the number of Americans experiencing acne in their 30s infographic from

Why Do I Have Acne in My 30s?

While we don’t experience the same hormonal surges as teenagers, several factors can contribute to getting acne in your 30s including hormones, stress, and medications. Many adults experience frustrating breakouts, even if they didn’t deal with acne during their teenage years.

In fact, 1 in 3 Americans say their acne severity has gotten worse as they’ve aged. Acne can impact many areas of life and 1 in 2 Americans say their acne impacts their emotional well-being.

The most common places adults report experiencing acne include on their chins, cheeks, and foreheads. When asked which lifestyle factors Americans believe contribute to their acne, stress topped the list followed by diet and hormones.

Causes for Adult Acne

There are several reasons why someone may develop acne in their 30s or adult acne at any point throughout the later years of life. These factors often work together, and a dermatologist can help identify the specific reasons behind your adult acne. Reasons for adult acne can include:

Fluctuating hormones: Hormones, particularly in women, can play a key role in developing acne. Periods, pregnancy, and menopause can all disrupt hormonal balance, leading to increased oil production and breakouts.

Stress: Stress can also be a cause of adult acne, with the release of cortisol triggering inflammation and oil production in the body.

Family history: If you have close relatives who struggled with acne, especially severe forms, you’re more likely to experience it yourself. Family history can influence the age of acne onset and its severity, with individuals having a higher risk of developing acne earlier and experiencing more severe forms like cystic or nodular acne.

Medication side effects: Certain medications and harsh skincare products can also clog pores and trap bacteria, creating the perfect environment for blemishes.

Diet: Sugary and processed foods with a high glycemic index can spike blood sugar, potentially triggering oil production and inflammation, both of which worsen acne.

How Many Americans Are Dealing With Acne as Adults?

Acne statistics among adults aged 30-45 infographic from

Acne isn’t just limited to your 30s, 52% of Americans who are in their 40s are currently dealing with acne. Additionally, 82% of people experienced acne in their 20s, and 61% in their 30s. Among all Americans surveyed (ages 30-45) 39% are currently experiencing acne.

How Do I Treat Adult Acne?

Several ways to help treat adult acne include developing a gentle skincare routine. It’s recommended to wash your face twice daily with a cleanser and lukewarm water and moisturize your skin daily. More than 3 in 5 (62%) adults currently have a skincare routine, and 53% believe their skincare routine helps manage their acne.

If you’re looking for additional products to help manage acne, we suggest looking for products with salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, or adapalene. These ingredients help unclog pores, exfoliate the skin, and reduce inflammation.

A dermatologist can also help create a personalized treatment plan that is right for you and your skin. They’ll be able to diagnose the specific type of acne you have and identify any underlying causes. Dermatologists may also suggest other treatment options including light therapy.

How Americans are addressing adult acne infographic from

1 in 10 adults ages 30-45 are currently seeing a dermatologist for their acne and nearly half (41%) say their acne has impacted their social life. When it comes to covering up acne, 38% use makeup to cover their skin, 1 in 4 edit their photos to hide their acne, and 1 in 2 avoid posting pictures online that show their acne.

If you’re dealing with adult acne, you’re not alone, and we at Advanced Dermatology can help develop a personalized treatment plan to help you achieve clearer, healthier skin.

In March 2024, we surveyed 1,007 people from around the U.S. Among respondents, 50% identified as male, 48% as female, and 2% as non-binary or transgender with an average age of 36.

For media inquiries, contact

Fair Use
When using this data and research, please attribute by linking to this study and citing