Adult Acne vs. Teen Acne: Do they call for different skincare routines?

different skincare routines

Many adults are surprised when acne, an occurrence we all had during one’s teenage years occurs even when you are an adult. In truth, acne is not only a young adult’s problem, rather it is a skin condition that can affect you as an individual at any given age and may even become a chronic problem. While their primary causative agents are the same or are either closely linked. Adult acne and teen acne do have differences in cause and outcomes. Does this mean teenagers need a dedicated different skincare routines or product made just for them? Let’s find out.

What is acne? different skincare routines-

Your skin constantly secretes a waxy and oily substance known as sebum that keeps skin moist preventing a dry cracked skin surface. When the oily sebum mixes with dead skin cells, it may build up in your pores blocking and clogging them. This attracts bacteria. The growth of pimples, whiteheads, blackheads, and bumps near the skin’s surface or deeper within the skin follows this. This inflammation is known as acne.

Acne is also closely affected by hormones. During the teenage years, when acne-triggering hormones are surging through the body, acne is common on the T zone of the face and other body parts. As you grow older, acne breakouts become less frequent and less intense, as teenage skin is different from adult skin; this, in turn, affects the acne treatment for teens.

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The differences between teen and adult acne

The root cause for acne in teenagers and adults is the same – one’s pores become clogged with excess sebum and dead skin cells. Adult acne more commonly occurs around the chin and mouth and on the lower face. This is along the jawline and upper neck, while teenage acne usually appears on the face, forehead, nose, and chin, with rare occurrence on the upper back and chest.

Adult acne can be triggered by rare hormonal spikes that lead to excess oil production i.e., use of hormonal birth control pills and menstrual cycles in women. Chronic stress and external factors such as diet, polluted environment, and lifestyle typically trigger acne at an older age 

The treatment of Acne

Acne treatment for teens and adults should be handled drastically differently. Teenage skin is fundamentally different from adult skin. Teenagers’ skin produces more oil, due to active subcutaneous glands. Teenage sweat pores are also more active than their adult counterparts. This results in teenage skin being more moisture than adult skin. Dry skin is more sensitive. This affects the acne treatment for teens using skincare products that are especially applied right on this skin’s surface. As the skin ages, it gets drier and more sensitive. The treatment used by adults may be too light for the more resilient teenage skin.

A teenager’s skin can replace its dead skin cells at a faster rate than adults. This is especially paramount for adult acne treatment and skin care product use since in adults skin regenerates at a slower rate and is less resilient than teen skin. These are some of the factors that cause acne treatment for teens to be different from acne treatment for adults.


Acne treatment for teens including skincare products should not be used by adults and vice-versa. Teenagers need their line of skincare products and different skincare routines  because their skin is moist tender and still developing.


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