Young woman squeezes her acne.You may have had your acne-fighting routine down pat back when you were 16, but it’s time to switch your strategies now that you’re an adult. There’s no worse feeling than needing to hide pimples and breakouts in your 30s; it can be downright embarrassing, and trying to cope can lead to several skincare mistakes.

Why is adult acne so difficult to get rid of?

Teenage and adult acne are both brought on by hormonal factors. In adults, acne is often caused by external factors (like stress), and internal factors (like insulin and cortisol levels) that are much different than the childhood causes of acne. And unlike childhood or teen acne, adult acne is not something you grow out of, meaning there is no clear-picture end or resolution.

The good news is that no matter what your age, an excellent skincare regimen with carefully formulated acne-fighting products (like Doctor D. Schwab’s Adios Pimples line) can help clear your skin and put an end to adult-onset acne. Here are 5 common acne mistakes to avoid, along with recommended products to use:

Mistake #1: Popping and picking at pimples

This rule was true back when you were a teenager, and it’s still true now. When you pop or pick at a pimple or blackhead, you not only prolong its healing time, but also raise the risk of scarring, irritating the skin around the blemish, and spreading bacteria that can lead to more breakouts down the line.

As hard as it is, keep your hands at bay and instead, clean the area with a natural astringent or a natural anti-bacterial product. Doctor D. Schwab’s Controlling Balm with Tea Tree Oil uses natural ingredients like lactic acid to clear acne blemishes, plus Alpha Copper Tripeptide and tea tree oil to reduce the appearance of inflammation and redness and normalize oiliness. That means that once the balm goes to work, you’ll be fighting and reducing the visibility of the blemish. So while the urge to pick may still be there, you’ll have a smaller, less visible target to resist.

Mistake #2: Over-cleansing

Surprise! Cleaning your face too much may lead to more acne. While it’s important to remove excess oil and get rid of dead skin cells, over-cleansing can strip your skin of all its oil, sending your brain a red alert to produce even more.

To find a happy medium, start with a gentle cleanser like the Soft Foam Deep Cleanse and only wash your face twice a day – in the morning and at night. The foam produces the right combination of liquid and oxygen so it won’t dry out your skin. It’s also light enough to keep your hair from getting greasy (because you should focus on cleansing your hairline every time you do wash).

Mistake #3: Over-exfoliating

Along the same vein as over-cleansing, over-exfoliating can often do more harm than good. If you find that your blemishes and blackheads aren’t healing or disappearing, you may be rubbing too much, which is the equivalent of torture to your skin. The thing is, skin has the ability to naturally correct itself, so going from one extreme (over-exfoliating) to another (over-moisturizing) can be just as harmful. You can give it a little nudge in the right direction by nourishing your skin in baby steps.

The Alphasomes® C-8 Blemished Skin Control Serum is formulated to acknowledge the irritated and congested skin by hydrating and balancing blemished skin conditions. The lightweight serum goes beyond reducing the appearance of blemishes by nourishing the skin to reduce the look of redness and irritation that stems from over-exfoliation.

Mistake #4: Skipping sunscreen

It might seem like forgoing extra product on your skin is the best bet to keeping your skin clear, but sunscreen is incredibly necessary, especially in the midst of a breakout. Instead of grabbing any bottle off the shelf, though, the sunscreen you apply to breakout-prone skin should be lightweight and water-based. A natural product like Sea Enzyme Ultra Umbrella Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 30, offers protection and hydration (essential for days in the sun) without oiliness or any sticky residue. Men, you will be happy to hear that it won’t get stuck in your beards.

Mistake #5: Expecting a quick fix

Just like it takes time to damage skin, it also takes time to reverse the damage. Breakout prevention, reversal, and maintenance are a process, and staying consistent with your skincare regimen (and avoiding these mistakes) is critical. Even as adults, we can still become desperate for a quick fix, especially with big meetings and date nights on our calendars.

You shouldn’t expect pimples to disappear overnight, but products like masks, which sit on the skin for an extended period, can offer immediate effects to alleviate blemishes. Doctor D. Schwab’s Controlling Mask with Tea Tree Oil uses natural ingredients like tea tree oil, rosemary, and sage to keep pores clean, rejuvenate skin,  and reduce oiliness. Since you leave it on your skin (as a mask or to spot-treat) for 20-30 minutes, it has time to go to work for more radiant skin short-term, while offering clearer, healthier skin in the long-term.