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How to Treat Acne & Wrinkles at the Same Time

R+F PAIRED Regimen for Wrinkles + Occasional Acne

Are acne and wrinkles getting you down? Let Rodan + Fields help treat your complexion with our targeted selection of premium skincare products.

Handle acne and aging together with our expert tips

Acne breakouts and wrinkles can make you feel less confident about your appearance, especially when you experience them at the same time. Fortunately, careful treatment of these conditions can help clarify and revitalize your skin so that it looks brighter and more youthful. At Rodan + Fields, our targeted PAIRED skincare regimens can help you fight blemishes and signs of aging in one go. Read on to discover how the right treatments and lifestyle changes can improve your skin and keep you looking radiant.

How are acne and wrinkles related?

Recent scientific studies, including an article published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, suggest that the onset of wrinkles and other signs of aging may be delayed in people who are likely to get acne.

Lines and creases naturally form in the skin as it ages, partly due to increased dryness and loss of elasticity. They are usually attributable to genetics, but they can appear more quickly on skin that’s exposed to negative environmental factors, like pollution, inhaled smoke, diet, and the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. People predisposed to acne may have skin that is naturally thicker, oilier, and less susceptible to these signs of aging.

Does acne slow skin aging?

For several years, doctors have observed that people who suffer from acne breakouts seem to age more slowly than people who have always had clear skin. It was once believed that people who had acne would continue to produce skin oils later in life than people who did not have breakouts and that this condition would slow or postpone the thinning, wrinkling, and dryness common to aging skin.

As research into skin aging continued, scientists discovered a correlation between acne and the length of telomeres that protect the ends of chromosomes in white blood cells. As people age, their telomeres gradually break down, but people who have longer telomeres age more slowly and tend to live longer. The studies showed that the cells of people with acne who had longer telomeres were more youthful than the cells of people with non-acne-prone skin.

How do you care for acne and wrinkles at the same time?

If you are experiencing acne and wrinkles at the same time, using the right skincare can help you mitigate these conditions. Incorporating acne-fighting products that soothe skin and help it retain moisture in combination with non-comedogenic anti-aging products can play a big part in keeping your skin clear and youthful-looking.

One way to treat wrinkles and breakouts is to exfoliate your skin regularly with a gentle salicylic acid treatment. This beta-hydroxy acid removes dead cells and penetrates your pores without causing irritation. It can reduce inflammation and encourage cellular regeneration, which will minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Applying a benzoyl peroxide-based treatment to stubborn blemishes after exfoliation will kill bacteria on your skin and further reduce inflammation.

Ingredients that target wrinkles and acne effectively

When it comes to anti-aging skincare, there are a few superstar ingredients that can address both acne and wrinkles at once, including:


Retinol and similar vitamin A derivatives have anti-aging benefits. They can reduce the appearance of both acne and wrinkles because they:

  • Support skin renewal
  • Support surface cell turnover
  • Regulate cell shedding in your skin’s oil ducts
  • Strengthen your skin barrier

These characteristics can help prevent your pores from getting clogged as they help your skin retain its resilience and elasticity.

Salicylic acid

Salicylic acid is an oil-soluble beta-hydroxy acid that is well-suited to most skin types. Although it is fairly gentle, it can penetrate deep into pores and be highly effective at improving your skin. Salicylic acid can:

  • Decongest and clear out pores
  • Calm inflammation
  • Exfoliate away dead cells
  • Soften the appearance of fine lines

Glycolic acid

Glycolic acid is an exfoliating alpha-hydroxy acid with a small molecular structure that helps it penetrate deeply into skin and loosen the bonds that hold skin cells together to help them shed faster. This property enables the acid to:

  • Reduce the buildup of dead skin cells
  • Soften the appearance of fine lines
  • Refine your skin’s texture
  • keep your pores clear


The sun can cause up to 90% of visible skin aging and contribute to inflammation and oil production, which can worsen acne. Using a lightweight, non-comedogenic sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays can block these harmful effects and help keep your skin looking clear and youthful.

Diet and its impact on skin health

They say “you are what you eat,” and a well-balanced diet that is rich in vitamins and minerals can help reduce inflammation, promote healthy skin, and prevent early aging. It’s also important to stay hydrated and drink plenty of water, which can help regulate oil production and keep your skin balanced. Some foods and ingredients are also known to increase oxidative stress, which can trigger skin problems.

These foods can help promote healthy skin:

  • Whole grains and organic and non-processed meats contain vitamins, minerals, amino acids, proteins, and carbohydrates
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables, including grapes, berries, kiwi, tomatoes, broccoli, kale, spinach, sweet potatoes, oranges, bell peppers, and carrots
  • Avocados, omega-3-rich fish like salmon and herring, walnuts, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, eggs, olive oil, and yogurt that contain healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals

People’s sensitivities and responses to food differ, but some ingredients are more likely to have a negative effect on your health and the condition of your skin.

Foods that may contribute to acne and signs of skin aging, like wrinkles, include:

  • Highly processed junk foods and packaged snacks that contain saturated fats, sodium, and chemical additives without providing nutrition can contribute to inflammation
  • Refined carbohydrate and sugar-rich foods like white bread, white rice, cakes, pastries, and soft drinks that are high on the glycemic index can cause spikes in cortisol
  • Dairy products made from cow’s milk can increase oil production and cause inflammation, which can contribute to acne
  • Alcohol can dehydrate and stress your skin, contributing to premature lines and wrinkles

How long will it take to see results?

When you adjust your skincare routine to treat acne and wrinkles, it may take some time to see results. Treating acne involves support surface cell turnover, eliminating acne-causing bacteria, clearing out your pores, regulating oil production, reducing inflammation, and allowing your skin to heal while preventing new breakouts. Depending on the severity of your condition and the treatments you are using, it can take weeks or months for your skin to clear up significantly. Experts often suggest that skin can show great improvement after using topical treatments for four to eight weeks. Non-inflammatory or individual, isolated pimples may clear in a few days with treatment.

When it comes to treating wrinkles, it’s important to support surface cell turnover and exfoliate away damaged skin. It can take topical skincare treatments about six to twelve weeks to produce a visible change in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. The best way to address wrinkles is to maintain the health of your skin to prevent new creases from forming.

When should I see a dermatologist for acne and wrinkles?

If your acne and wrinkles fail to show improvement after eight to ten weeks of treatment or show signs of worsening, you may want to consult your dermatologist and discuss a custom treatment plan. Consider reaching out to a professional if:

  • Your skincare routine hasn’t improved the appearance of your acne or wrinkles.
  • You develop scars as a result of moderate-to-severe inflammatory acne.
  • Your acne and wrinkles are affecting your emotional well-being.
  • You developed acne unexpectedly or after taking a new medication.

Browse the best products for acne and wrinkles at Rodan + Fields!

When you want to treat wrinkles and adult acne at once, it’s important to employ a simple, gentle skincare regimen that will effectively address your concerns. Our R+F PAIRED Regimen for Wrinkles + Occasional Acne is precisely configured to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while targeting oiliness and acne breakouts. We design each product to help fight signs of aging and promote skin renewal using potent botanical extracts, peptides, retinal, and benzoyl peroxide. The REFINE Daily Clay Cleanser, UNBLEMISH Clarifying Toner, UNBLEMISH Dual Intensive Acne Treatment, REDEFINE Overnight Reparative Lotion, and REDEFINE Triple Defense Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 30 work together to provide you with rejuvenated and radiant skin over time.

Frequently asked questions about acne and wrinkles

Can I use the same products for treating acne and wrinkles?

Treatments that contain retinoids or salicylic acid can help clear adult acne and visibly address wrinkles at the same time. These ingredients support surface cell turnover and simultaneously clear out pores, reduce breakouts, and smooth the appearance of wrinkles.

Can treating acne worsen wrinkles, or vice versa?

Treating acne with a product that is too harsh can irritate and dry out aging skin, which can worsen the appearance of wrinkles. Using heavy moisturizing or anti-aging creams to treat wrinkles may clog your pores, exacerbate inflammation, and worsen your acne.

Are there any lifestyle changes that can help improve both acne and wrinkles?

Drinking plenty of water, eating a whole-food diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids, reducing your intake of refined sugars and alcohol, and reducing stress can help improve the visibility of acne and wrinkles and the overall health of your skin.

How long does it take to see results when treating both acne and wrinkles?

When using topical skincare, it can take about six weeks to see significant improvement in acne and three months to see improvement in the appearance of wrinkles.

Can acne cause wrinkles?

Although acne is associated with slower skin aging and having fewer wrinkles, acne scarring may make wrinkles look worse by creating “crumple zones” when acne-causing bacteria eat away at the dermis. After many years, the skin will thin and the dermis will deteriorate in acne-scarred areas.

Prevent acne and wrinkles with premium skincare from Rodan + Fields

If you’re looking to fight signs of aging and reduce acne to get a visibly revitalized, clear, and youthful complexion, Rodan + Fields is here for you. Our PAIRED skincare regimen and targeted selection of anti-aging treatments can brighten your skin and help you feel great about your appearance.

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