The Simplest Skincare Routine We’ve Ever Used Is Taking On Acne

The Simplest Skincare Routine We’ve Ever Used Is Taking On Acne
60 million Americans have acne... are you one of them?
Men Best Affordable Skincare Tiege Hanley offers high-end skincare products for men at Target-level prices. Thanks to Tiege Hanley for partnering with us on this post and offering Primer readers an exclusive discount.

What is this?

Do you have acne?

If you’re like me, the answer is “no.” I haven’t had acne since senior year of high school, when something happened (hormones stabilized?) and it just…went away.

But that’s not really true.

Everything depends on what it means to “have acne.” Do I have major breakouts, like I did as a teenager? No. But I definitely have minor breakouts, zits, blackheads, and a half dozen other annoying conflagrations on my face.

In that case, the answer is actually “yes.” And I’m not alone.

Acne Is Affecting More Guys, Later In Life

Acne is the most common skin condition in the United States, with more than 60 million affected each year. Surprisingly, a recent study put the average age of acne sufferers at 26.5, up from 20.5 a decade ago.

The rise of adult acne is such an issue that you’re likely to see sensational headlines calling it an epidemic.

There is a silver lining in all these grim numbers: a growing acknowledgment amongst scientists, doctors, and skincare brands that acne doesn’t just mean a face-wide conflagration. A lot of guys deal with redness, bumps, and breakouts well past college… and need a solution.

How Is Your T-Zone?

Teenage acne is generally not the same as adult acne, and knowing the difference is key to treating the issue.

As a teen, the combination of hormonal changes and newly activated sebacious glands lead to excess sebum clogging hair follicles (aka pores), trapping bacteria, dead skin cells, and causing a pimple. Teenage acne is characterized by ferocity and reach – it can affect the cheeks, forehead, chin, back, shoulders and chest.

In contrast, adult acne is often caused by hormonal changes that are less drastic, though still with frustrating results. When understanding adult acne, it’s helpful to think about your T-Zone.

The aptly named T-Zone includes the forehead, nose, chin and area circling the mouth. In adults this is usually the oiliest part of the face due to a higher number of oil glands. As a result, these are the parts of the face most likely to break out. Unlike teenage acne, adults don’t see as much acne on the cheeks and other areas.

Comparing your T-Zone to your cheeks – or seeking the advice of a dermatologist – can give an an idea of how much oil production your skin continues to cope with in adulthood.

t-zone diagram men skincare forehead nose mouth

The good news about your T-Zone? As an adult with minor breakouts you likely won’t have to engage in any serious pharmaceutical warfare, like antibiotics, to tame your acne. Adding just one component to your skincare routine can be enough.

Conventional Acne Treatments Are Missing Something

Many, if not most over-the-counter acne treatments utilize something called salicylic acid. It’s a sensible, scientifically sound thing to do. Here’s why:

Salicylic acid works by loosening some of the structural bonds between skin cells, which leads to softening and helps shed the top layer of skin cells. Why is this important? By upping skin cell turnover, it helps unclog pores to heal and prevent lesions due to acne.

Here’s where things go sideways with salicylic acid, however.

Usually, salicylic acid is part of a face wash product – meaning you apply it (good) and then rinse it right off again (not as helpful).

Tiege Hanley has innovated the use of salicylic acid by including it in a post-wash moisturizer. The logic is so simple I’m frankly surprised this isn’t widespread: to get the most benefit out of salicylic acid treatments, you need to use it consistently and let it go to work.

The solution: apply a salicylic acid treatment at the moisturizer step as part of your stupid-proof Tiege Hanley skincare system.

tiege hanley acne system review

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Acne Treatment Is Now Part Of The Simplest Skincare Regime Ever

I was pretty excited to learn Tiege Hanley has added an acne cream to their lineup. I’ve been a fan of this company for a while now, and personally use the Tiege system for my own skincare.

Before Tiege, I was a soap and water guy. Learning about how harsh bar soap can be on facial skin convinced me to give it a try. Simplicity was key – each Tiege box includes just what you need for a month of skincare and a postcard-sized card to show you how much to use.

Like I said: stupid proof.

The no-frills quality of Tiege Hanley products is what kept me coming back. They’re very lightly scented, which was an eye-opener for me. My issue with many guys’ skincare products is that the smell punches you in the nose – Tiege is low-key on the olfactory sense, while still imparting the feeling that you’re putting something on your skin that was meant to be there.

Since using Tiege Hanley’s system I’ve noticed a drop in breakouts, most of which I attribute to higher quality, more regular skin care. Having the Tiege acne cream in my kit gives me added confidence that breakouts will be fewer and farther between.

Acne Treatment For The Rest of Us

I feel like marketers assume anyone shopping for acne products is trying to contain an all-out war on their face. By adding an acne cream to their system – and making it part of a low-key moisturizer – I feel like Tiege is meeting a need many guys have, including me.

You want to minimize breakouts and minor issues, but you don’t really want to think about it.

Primer readers save 20% on their first box with code primerpimples!

What is your experience with adult acne? Share it in the comments below!

Stillman Brown is a writer and TV producer who has created prime time content for National Geographic, Discovery, Travel Channel and many others. His interests span science & the natural world, personal growth, and food. He lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma.