Adult Acne vs. Teen Acne: What’s the Difference?

The brands mentioned in this article are sold by The Proactiv Company LLC.

Acne can strike at any age, and it’s frustrating for both teens and adults. According to Dr. Sonia Batra, the underlying cause of acne in these groups is the same: hormones. As teens go through puberty, hormone levels ramp-up and can cause excess oil production. If a wayward skin cell blocks the pore, a pimple is likely to form. This clogged pore also becomes a potential breeding ground for bacteria, and an infection can further inflame the skin. Teens often suffer from acne in the T-zone area that encompasses the forehead and nose. If there’s any silver lining, it’s that teen skin can handle more aggressive topical treatments to exfoliate and treat pores.

Adult acne is also caused by hormones, and can fluctuate over time. However, the treatment needs to take into account the needs of older skin. Adult skin tends to be more dry and delicate, so some topical ingredients can further irritate the surface. As Dr. Batra explains, Proactiv+ is gentle enough for adult skin because it doesn’t linger on the surface. Ingredients like salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide go to work within the pore, clearing obstructions and killing bacteria.