5 Reasons You Have Adult Acne

by Corie McInnis | Nov 14, 2023 | Acne, Functional Health, Lifestyle

Have you been struggling with adult acne for a while?

If so, you’ve probably tried dozens of remedies to try and clear your skin.

I know I have!

I tried food eliminations, topical creams, pharmaceuticals, skincare products- you name it. Nothing completely helped. I felt desperate for a solution.

There are so many products and diet programs and skincare lines claiming to get rid of acne.

Sometimes these things seem to work!

And sometimes they’re an absolute flop and a waste of money.

It can feel exhausting to ride the hope rollercoaster.

The highs of “this is going to be the answer to clear my skin!” to quickly plummet into the trenches of “another product to add to the garbage can.”

The reason you keep riding that rollercoaster time after time is not because you haven’t yet found the right serum.

It’s because all of these interventions are only aimed towards treating the symptom. Not uncovering and supporting the root cause of why you have acne in the first place.

Acne doesn’t just happen for no reason. It’s always an indicator that there is something deeper within you that’s out of balance.

Acne is a message from your body telling you to look deeper for the root issue. Beyond skin deep!

Here are 5 different root cause issues I often see in individuals struggling with adult acne:

1. Not eating a whole foods based diet

To decrease skin inflammation and acne, avoid processed foods as much as possible and instead eat a whole foods diet.

Whole foods or “real food” are foods that Mother Nature provides us. We eat these foods in their whole form or close to it.

Examples: pasture-raised meat, wild-caught seafood, eggs, full-fat dairy (if tolerated), fruits, vegetables, properly prepared grains, nuts, legumes, and nutrient-dense, minimally processed fats/oils.

2. Digestion/gut imbalances

“All disease begins in the gut.” -Hippocrates

This includes acne!

In order to investigate the root cause of acne, you must look at your gut health.

Imbalances in your gut flora and intestinal inflammation can perpetuate acne.

Functional lab testing can shine a light on any imbalances in your gut that need to be addressed to see clearer skin.

3. Blood sugar regulation issues

Have you ever heard acne be called “diabetes of the skin?”

It’s gotten this nickname due to the fact that blood sugar imbalance is strongly correlated with acne.

Simple carbohydrates and sugary foods spike our blood sugar and thus our insulin levels.

Spiked insulin levels can eventually lead to an increase in sebum and excess skin cell turnover which can cause congestion of the skin.

To reduce acne, it’s imperative to balance carbs with protein and healthy fats to better regulate blood sugar balance.

4. Food sensitivities

Acne can be triggered by food sensitivities.

Food sensitivities can increase systemic inflammation which can unfortunately manifest on your skin.

Dairy is a major culprit for many people.

Gluten can be highly inflammatory for many folks as well AND can cause a leaky gut.

It’s important to figure out which foods may be contributing to your breakouts.

I offer my clients a food sensitivity test which tells us which foods are highly reactive for your immune system.

We then work to eliminate those foods for a few months before we incorporate them back into the diet.

5. Hormone imbalances

Hormones are a sensitive orchestra within the body!

If they get out of whack, you may experience symptoms like acne, irregular/painful periods, fatigue, low libido, mood swings, etc.

If you have these symptoms, working with a functional health practitioner to get your hormones into balance is an option.

Improving your gut health can be helpful to those struggling with hormone imbalance symptoms as well.

That’s because of the incredible relationship between your gut and the hormone estrogen.

When I was struggling with adult acne, it wasn’t just one of these root causes that needed to be addressed for me to start clearing my skin.

It was all of them.

Often healing is a multi-faceted approach. As much as we want there to be just one answer to healing- that’s rarely the case!

The whole body is connected. Every organ, tissue and cell. That’s why I help people clear up their skin with a foundational approach to health. 

Are you wondering which of these is your specific root cause for your adult acne?

Send me a message and let me know what you’re dealing with! I can help!

Corie at Revel + Thrive

Corie McInnis Revel and thrive
Corie McInnis

Corie is a nutritional therapy practitioner. She specializes in helping her 1:1 clients clear up adult acne and ditch digestive discomfort. She believes that a nourishing diet can support the body's innate ability to heal. She's a big fan of grass-fed butter and will not shut up about the gut microbiome.


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Asheville, NC

nutritional therapy association 2022 member in good standing
restorative wellness practitioner level one

Disclaimer: The information presented on this website is intended for educational purposes only, and it hasn’t been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information isn’t intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any condition or disease, nor is it medical advice. One should always consult a qualified medical professional before engaging in any dietary and/or lifestyle change.