adult breakouts

3 mins read

The Difference Between Adult and Teen Breakouts

The Difference Between Adult and Teen Breakouts

The Difference Between Adult and Teen Breakouts

adult breakouts

3 mins read

Do you suffer from breakouts? Are you confused as to why your skin is behaving like a teens? Breakouts are no fun at any age but knowing how they behave in your adult years vs. your teenage years can help you stay in the clear. Read on to find out the differences between adult and teen breakouts and what you need to do to achieve a clearer skin.

Adult Breakouts Explained

In today’s world, chronic stress, hormonal changes, a busy lifestyle, and an increasingly polluted environment can lead to more adult breakouts, congestion, and uneven skin tone. In general, skin cell turnover rate slows with age, so adults are slower to heal from breakouts than when they were teenagers. This helps explain why post-breakout marks stay around a lot longer than they used to. Click here to learn more about post breakout marks and what they look like.

Adult breakouts are also linked to hormonal fluctuations and chronic stress, which are more common among women. Breakouts tend to be inflammatory (red, sensitive) and predominantly located around the mouth, chin, and jaw line. Treating adult breakouts can be challenging because adults also tend to have sensitivity, dehydration, and pigmentation issues that lead to signs of premature ageing.

4 Top tips on How to Achieve clearer skin:

  1. Use a spot treatment to reduce the appearance of active breakouts and post breakout marks.
  1. Avoid “picking” or “squeezing” breakouts at home, which can result in more breakouts, scarring or redness. Instead, see a professional skin therapist for safe extractions.
  1. Adult skin can lose its ability to retain moisture with age. Avoid over-drying the skin and choose products that contain ingredients such as Salicylic Acid or Glycolic Acid to help remove dead skin cells, excess oil, and dirt, as well as Thymol and Terpineol to control bacteria.
  1. If you’re combatting signs of skin ageing, look for ingredients such as Niacinamide and Hexylresorcinol to help balance uneven skin tone. Retinol – a wrinkle-smoothing ingredient – can also help reduce the appearance of premature ageing and regulate breakouts.

Dermalogica Active Clearing

Dermalogica’s Active Clearing products harness the best of nature and science to control breakouts and reduce the appearance of related skin ageing. Having products that address breakouts, ageing and repair the skin's barrier simultaneously help streamline treatment.


Teen breakouts

Teen breakouts is part-genetic, part-hormonal and greatly related to puberty. Teens typically break out on the face, chest and back, and have more blackheads and whiteheads than adults do. Such breakouts often arise because androgens, the “male” hormones that both male and females have, surge during adolescence, causing excess production of sebum.

Teens have faster cell turnover and more resilient skin than adults, which means they recover quickly from breakouts. After the teen years, breakouts tend to improve because teen hormonal changes have balanced and no longer fuel breakouts.

  1. Focus on learning and maintaining good skin care habits because you will be more prone to breakouts in the future.
  1. Avoid products that contain pore-clogging ingredients like Lanolin and Mineral Oils. Stripping ingredients such as Alcohol – commonly found in astringent toners – can cause skin to produce more oil, fuelling even more breakouts. Artificial fragrances and colours can also further irritate breakout-prone skin. Click to find out more about breakout-causing ingredients.
  1. Look for ingredients like Salicylic Acid to keep dead skin cells and bacteria from accumulating.
  1. Moisturise and wear SPF daily. Dehydration and environmental stress can trigger more sebum production and make existing breakouts look worse. Even if your skin seems oily, use an oil-free SPF moisturiser to help protect and balance your skin.

Dermalogica Clear Start

Dermalogica Clear Start products are designed especially for younger, breakout-prone skin. Clear Start combines potent, breakout-fighting ingredients with gentle, soothing botanicals to leave skin clear and comfortable – not inflamed or irritated.

Watch our IGTV where our Expert Maddy is showing some of our favourite Dermalogica Clear Start products in action and sharing some top tips on how to bust those breakouts.


Take our digital clear start skin quiz for a personalised routine on how to treat your skin with our Clear Start products aimed for teenage and young adult breakout-prone skin.

If you need more advice, you can chat to one of our skin therapists or book for a 1:1 virtual consultation with Face Mapping where you’ll receive personalised product recommendations for your specific skin concerns. 

Back to blog