How Adult Acne Differs From Teen Acne

Acne facial care teenager woman squeezing pimple

No matter what your age, you’re never quite in the clear when it comes to acne. Though it’s most often associated with teens, recent studies reveal that acne affects almost fifty percent of women ages 21 to 30. But even though it can strike whether you’re thirteen or thirty, it has different causes, forms and locations depending on your age. Here, we highlight the differences between teen and adult acne.

The Differences:
Teen acne is caused by an overproduction of sebum, which is often triggered by the natural hormonal spikes that occur during puberty. It’s most focused on the central face and T-zone. Adult acne causes vary from environmental factors to bodily changes due to pregnancy or medications. While hormonal shifts are a large cause of adult acne, your changing skin structure could also be the culprit. As you age, pores become larger, making it easier for them to become clogged with dirt and dead skin cells. Adult acne is often more inflammatory, reddish nodules on the lower face around the mouth and jawline instead of the blackheads and whiteheads scattered over the face in teen acne. Also, whereas teen acne is more common in boys, adult acne in more common in women.

How To Treat Adult Acne 
Since acne is typically associated with teens, adult acne treatment can be tough. Many treatment formulas on the market are geared for a teenager’s skin, which is generally more thick, resilient and oily. As we age, skin thins out and becomes more dry.  Acne medications can be very dehydrating, and adult skin is much more likely to become irritated and excessively dry than teen’s oilier complexions. Further, the skin on lower part of your face, where adult acne typically resides, tends to be more sensitive than elsewhere on your face. Though many over-the-counter acne products contain 10% benzoyl peroxide or 2% salicylic acid, if you’re an adult, it’s recommended to stick to benzoyl peroxide products in the 3% range and salicylic acid gels, pads and cleansers in the 0.5% range. Opt for acne treatment products that fight blemishes while also hydrating the skin with soothing ingredients, such as aloe, cucumber or calendula. Make sure you continue to hydrate your skin, from the inside and out, and use an effective exfoliator to whisk away dry skin cells clogging pores.