Celeb Style
Keke Palmer, who has adult acne, at the UK Premiere Of "NOPE" on July 28, 2022 with glowing skin.

Sorry, Keke Palmer, But Adult Acne Cannot Be Cured Using Butt Skin

I have never been more disappointed in my life.

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Adult acne is an absolute pain that also happens to be incredibly common. Keke Palmer struggles with it, as has Justin Bieber, Elite Daily editors deal with it, and I know I hate it. Adult acne can be caused by a number of things, is hard to treat, and is so much worse than my puberty skin struggles were. It can make you feel like drastic measures are called for, something Palmer recently opened up about on Instagram Reels. With her trademark sense of humor, the Nope star wondered why plastic surgeons can’t simply transfer her “beautiful” butt skin to her face. I’m enthralled by and invested in this new development. Is Palmer about to finally crack the adult acne case? I tapped an expert to explain whether or not Palmer’s viral plastic surgery adult acne solution holds muster.

Palmer is a certified icon, and she knows it. “I’m the youngest talk show host ever. The first Black woman to star in her own show on Nickelodeon, & the youngest & first Black Cinderella o broadway. I’m an incomparable talent,” Palmer tweeted on July 24. Frankly, she couldn’t be more correct. Proving that adult acne is one of life’s great equalizers, Palmer, one of the coolest, funniest, most talented people out there, has always been open and honest and her struggle with adult acne.

Palmer makes me feel a little bit better about my adult breakouts. In a day and age where money can seemingly buy you a brand new body with as many (or as few) curves as your heart desires, acne remains frustratingly difficult to treat as Palmer made clear on Instagram Reels on Wednesday, Aug. 10th.

In her video, Palmer went in on treatments for adult acne or, rather, the lack thereof. “[Plastic surgeons] can give you a [breast] job — above the muscle, under the muscle— liposuction, tummy tucks, BBLs...the list goes on, but they cannot figure out how to clear up somebody’s skin? Are you kidding me?” Palmer vented. She’s right! A 2018 study from the National Library of Medicine found that adult acne affects up to 22% of women between the ages of 25 and 44, and it’s still so difficult to solve. Palmer, for one, is sick of it.

“You can’t figure out how to take the beautiful skin from my ass and put it on my face? I’m tired of it,” she said. While this isn’t quite the solution I’ve been dreaming of for my own adult acne, I immediately became curious. Is butt skin the face skin of the future? I asked Dr. Aelxis Parcells, a board-certified plastic surgeon and the founder of SUNNIE Skincare, to break it down for me.

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What makes adult acne so complicated?

One of the biggest bummers about adult acne is that it’s not easy to treat. You can’t just wash your face and expect it to go away on its own. In fact, when it comes to adult acne, it can be hard to even know where to begin.

“In our adult years, it is common to see hormone levels change with menstrual cycles, pregnancy and breastfeeding, peri-menopause, and going on and off birth control,” says Parcells. If you’re already prone to acne, there are a ton of stressors, many of them related to plain old adulting, that can cause flare-ups. Parcells explains that lack of sleep and even seemingly small changes in your diet and lifestyle can make adult acne worse.

Can a skin graft cure adult acne?

The short answer is no. As great as Palmer’s idea is, this kind of skin graft isn’t ideal. First and foremost, Parcells highlights that skin varies a lot over the body. The skin on your buttocks is some of the thickest whereas your face skin is much, much thinner, and that’s just the beginning of the incompatibilities.

“When skin grafts are used, there can be contour irregularities and skin color mismatches, creating a patchy appearance,” Dr. Parcells says. So, while Palmer’s butt skin may be beautiful, it probably wouldn’t look quite as stunning on her face.

What can you do to treat adult acne?

Don’t give up hope. Just because there’s no plastic surgery quick fix for adult acne doesn’t mean you have to live with it. “Wash your face with a gentle cleanser. Make sure your moisturizer and makeup are non-comedogenic [and] try to keep products off your face as frequently as possible,” Parcells suggests. She also advises staying away from fragrances since they can irritate your skin and getting plenty of sleep. Parcells also formulated the products in SUNNIE’s Complete Acne Defense Kit to stop acne at the first signs of a breakout.

If you’re looking for products you grab at your local CVS or Target, there’s no shortage of acne treatments out there. Elite Daily editors swear up and down by some drugstore finds. You can also visit a dermatologist to explore options including lasers, facials, and even oral medications, although there are some side effects you should be aware of. At the end of the day, adult acne is a pain, but there are ways to deal with it. Unfortunately, grafting skin from your butt onto your face isn’t one of them.