Acne and anti-ageing - Can I reduce blemishes and wrinkles at the same time?

What to do about acne and wrinkles?
Acne and anti-ageing: skincare products and routine recommendations

Our skin is as individual as we are but for most of us the first noticeable signs of ageing − fine lines and wrinkles − start to appear from around the age of 25.

By then, many people who had acne during their puberty years will have grown out of it. But, for up to 40% of us, symptoms continue well into adulthood *1. And, of these, 75%- 85% are women *2. You can find out more about the causes of adult acne in Acne Tarda.

So how do you deal with both at once? Is it possible to reduce and prevent both blemishes and wrinkles at the same time? This article gives advice on how to give ageing, acne-prone skin the care it needs. It also recommends a few different routines (depending on whether or not you are taking acne medication) that will help you to delay and reduce the visible signs of ageing and keep blemishes under control.

How do blemish-prone skin and acne change in our 30s?

Acne-prone skin is normally oily skin typified by excess sebum production. The good news for people with oily skin is that this sebum tends to keep skin smooth and supple for longer, so fine lines and wrinkles are less visible early on. That said, all skin types dry out as skin ages and oily skin is no exception.

Acne Tarda (or `late acne`) is different from the classic acne of puberty: there tends to be fewer blackheads but more pimples and inflammatory lesions primarily on the chin.

Acne at 30 plus normally appears on the chin
Skincare advice

There are anti-ageing skincare products that are suitable for skin with acne although we don’t recommend that you use them while you are undergoing medical acne treatment (either topical or oral). If you are using medical products, try the Eucerin DermoPURIFYER products that have been specially formulated for skin undergoing treatment and introduce the anti-ageing products when your medical treatment is completed.

 When choosing suitable products for your skin look out for the following :

  • Avoid products that dry out skin: Drying out the skin actually stimulates the sebum production that can trigger acne and when skin dries out, it is more susceptible to showing signs of ageing sooner. Harsh cleansers, chemical peels and some acne medications can dry out skin. 
  • Avoid oily moisturising and anti-wrinkle creams: Oily products can block pores and exacerbate acne. You can find out how in the causes and triggers of acne. Look instead for products that are ‘non-comedogenic’ − this means that they have been specially formulated not to block pores and cause blemishes.

When it comes to your skincare routine, the following advice may be helpful:

Gentle but thorough cleansing

Effective cleansing is a key step in reducing and preventing blemishes and wrinkles. It also helps your skin to absorb the active ingredients in your care products more effectively.

We recommend that you cleanse twice a day. In the morning to remove the excess sebum and dead skin cells that have built up overnight and in the evening to ensure the day’s dirt, as well as all traces of make-up and concealer, are fully removed before you go to bed. This will enable your skin to renew and repair overnight. 
As your skin ages, it can become more sensitive and so gentle cleansing is particularly important. Try to use lukewarm water (water that is too hot can stress skin) and choose cleansers that are soap, preservative and fragrance-free.

Even oily skin dries out as it ages and wrinkles develop

Light but effective care

As skin ages, it needs intense hydration. Moisturisation helps strengthen skin’s natural protective barrier, but you’ll want to use a product that is non-greasy so your skin doesn’t get weighed down. Look out for light moisturisers and/or serums that offer anti-ageing benefits and are proven to be compatible with acne-prone skin.

People often ask about the order in which care products should be applied. The general rule is to apply the one whose effect should be the greatest first, so the special care product (serum, concentrate, eye cream) before the general moisturising cream or fluid.

Take sun protection seriously

Sun protection is an important step in your morning routine. Over-exposure to UVA and UVB rays can dry skin out and blemishes can cause pigmentation issues if over-exposed to the sun. It’s also important to remember that acne medication can make acne-prone skin even more sensitive to UV rays. Find out more in Acne and sun protection.

Cover-up and make-up

Use only products that have been specially formulated for acne-prone skin and are proven to be non-comedogenic. And don’t forget to remove all traces of make-up before you go to bed. Find out more in make-up for blemish-prone skin.


If you are in any doubt, consult your doctor. He or she will be able to advise on the best products and treatments to care for your skin. 

Skincare routine recommendation

The ideal skincare routine for your ageing, acne-prone skin

The ideal skincare routine for your skin will differ depending on whether or not you are undergoing medical acne treatment. For this reason, we have outlined three different possible routines:

          Routine 1: For skin that is not undergoing medical acne treatment
          
Routine 2: To be used alongside topical acne medication
          Routine 3: To be used alongside oral acne medication  

Skincare routine to be used alongside topical acne medication

In the morning and evening: Apply Eucerin DermoPURIFYER Adjunctive Soothing Care.

Cleanse skin with Eucerin DermoPURIFYER Cleansing Gel. If you’re looking for a quick and convenient solution, or an additional make-up remover, try Eucerin DermoPURIFYER Micellar Water.

For targeted reduction of lines around the eyes we recommend Eucerin Hyaluron-Filler Eye SPF15.

In the morning and/or evening: Apply your topical acne medication according to the instructions provided by your doctor. Wait five minutes to allow the product to absorb.

Research shows that skin cleansed with Eucerin DermoPURIFYER Cleansing Gel is able to absorb 9% more of certain active ingredients (L-Carnitine and Decanediol) providing significant additional benefits.*1


*1  Appropriate skin cleansing enhances the epidermal bioavailability of dermocosmetic anti-acne actives Decanediol and Licochalcone A, poster presentation, EADV 2013

Skincare routine to be used alongside oral acne medication

In the morning and/or evening: Apply Eucerin DermoPURIFYER Adjunctive Soothing Care

Cleanse skin with Eucerin DermoPURIFYER Cleansing Gel. If you’re looking for a quick and convenient solution, or an additional make-up remover, try Eucerin DermoPURIFYER Micellar Water.

For targeted reduction of lines around the eyes we recommend Eucerin Hyaluron-Filler Eye SPF15


Skincare routine for people not undergoing medical acne treatment

In the morning and evening: Apply a soothing and mattifying moisturizer such as Eucerin DermoPURIFYER Mattifying Fluid

For clearer and smoother-looking skin over time, you may also like to incorporate a skin peel such as Eucerin DermoPURIFYER Skin Renewal Treatment into you evening routine. Apply the peel before the Mattifying Fluid of Hyaluron-filler.

In the morning and evening: Cleanse skin with Eucerin DermoPURIFYER Cleansing Gel. If you’re looking for a quick and convenient solution, or an additional make-up remover, try Eucerin DermoPURIFYER Micellar Water.

You may also benefit from using a scrub once a week to unclog pores and refine skin texture. Try Eucerin DermoPURIFYER Scrub

For targeted reduction of lines around the eyes we recommend Eucerin Hyaluron-Filler Eye SPF15

In the morning and evening: Purify skin with Eucerin DermoPURIFYER Facial Toner.

You can find out more about the various forms of acne medication in Acne medication and side effects

For additional tips of how to care for acne-prone skin as it ages take a look at the ideal skincare products and routine for blemish-prone skin, what changes can I make to my diet to help my acne-prone skin?.

1 Zouboulis, Hautarzt 2014 · 65:733–750.
2 Zeichner et al., J Clin Aesthet Dermatolog., 2017; 10 (1): 37-46 and Holzmann, Sharkery, Skin Pharmacol Physiol 2014; 27: 3-8