What Age Is Acne The Worst?

What Age Is Acne The Worst?

Acne is a common skin condition that affects individuals of all ages, but it often peaks in severity during specific periods of life, particularly in adolescence and early adulthood. If you are concerned about acne and trying to understand what age is acne the worst and how you can manage it during peak breakout years, Charette Cosmetics is here to help you. 

At Charette Cosmetics, we are dedicated to helping our clients get the fresh, glowing skin they desire and acne is no exception. We help clients of all ages from around the world (with every skin type!) ease and manage their acne-prone skin with stunning results.

Peak Years For Breakouts

During adolescence, which typically spans from ages 12 to 18, hormonal changes play a significant role in the development of acne. This happens because increased levels of androgen hormones stimulate the sebaceous glands to produce more oil (sebum), leading to oily skin and clogged pores. 

This excess oil, combined with dead skin cells and bacteria, results in pimples, blackheads, whiteheads and acne lesions.

During early adulthood, generally ranging from ages 18 to 25, acne may peak in severity. While hormonal fluctuations continue to influence acne during this time, other factors like stress, diet, lifestyle habits and environmental factors can also contribute to breakouts. 

Additionally, individuals may experience hormonal imbalances due to factors like menstrual cycles, pregnancy or starting/stopping birth control pills, which can exacerbate acne.

Influencing Factors 

Acne severity can vary greatly among individuals and may be influenced by a combination of factors like genetics, skincare habits, diet and hormonal fluctuations. These factors can interact differently at different ages, contributing to variations in acne severity.


Genetic predisposition plays a significant role in determining an individual's susceptibility to acne. Those with a family history of acne are more likely to experience severe or persistent breakouts throughout their lives. Genetic factors can influence skin type, oil production levels, and sensitivity to certain triggers.

Skincare Habits

Skincare habits can affect acne severity at any age. Using harsh or comedogenic skincare products, excessive scrubbing  and inadequate cleansing can disrupt the skin's natural balance, leading to clogged pores and increased inflammation. 


While the link between diet and acne is still being studied, certain dietary factors may exacerbate acne in some individuals. High-glycemic foods, dairy products and foods rich in saturated fats have been associated with increased acne severity in some studies.

Hormonal Fluctuations

Hormonal changes play a significant role in acne development and severity at various ages. During the years of puberty, increased androgen hormone levels stimulate the sebaceous glands to produce more oil, leading to acne breakouts. Hormonal fluctuations associated with menstrual cycles, pregnancy, menopause, or hormonal disorders can also trigger or exacerbate acne in women. 

Inflammatory Acne

The reason “hormonal acne” is harder to manage is because it tends to be more inflammatory and resistant to traditional acne treatments. This inflammation can manifest as redness, swelling, pain and tenderness. Inflammatory acne is often more severe and can lead to deeper, more painful breakouts compared to non-inflammatory acne. 

Environmental Factors

Environmental factors like pollution, humidity, and exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation can influence acne severity by exacerbating inflammation and clogging pores. Lifestyle factors at certain ages like stress, lack of sleep, and smoking can compromise the skin's barrier function and contribute to acne development.

Age-Appropriate Tips for Managing Acne

Establishing a regular skincare routine tailored to your skin type is essential for managing acne at any age: 

Adolescence: Teens

  • Teens experiencing acne should focus on establishing a basic skincare routine that includes gentle cleansing, moisturizing and sunscreen protection.
  • Avoid picking or popping pimples, as this can lead to scarring and further inflammation.
  • Encourage open communication with parents or guardians and seek professional advice if acne becomes severe or persistent.

Early Adulthood: 20s and 30s

  • Young adults may continue to experience acne due to hormonal fluctuations, stress or lifestyle factors (lack of sleep or too much alcohol consumption). 
  • A consistent skincare routine with gentle, yet effective ingredients that can be used morning and night to keep skin protected from environmental factors and harmful UV rays.
  • Prioritize stress management techniques, like exercise, meditation, or hobbies, to reduce cortisol levels and minimize acne flare-ups. 

Adulthood: 40s and Beyond

  • Acne in adulthood may be influenced by hormonal changes, menopause or underlying medical conditions. 
  • Focus on gentle anti-aging skincare products that address acne concerns while promoting skin hydration and elasticity. 
  • Look for products containing ingredients like salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, retinoids or niacinamide to target acne and signs of aging simultaneously.

Effective Ingredients 

When choosing an acne treatment for clear, healthy skin at any age, it is important to look for specific ingredients that can help address your particular acne concerns. Here are some key ingredients to look for:

Salicylic Acid

Salicylic acid is a BHA that is oil-soluble and can penetrate deeply into the pores to unclog them. It helps to exfoliate the skin and remove dead skin cells. Plus, salicylic acid has anti-inflammatory properties to help reduce redness and swelling.

Glycolic Acid

Glycolic acid is an AHA that works by exfoliating the skin and removing dead skin cells. This can help unclog pores and prevent acne formation. Glycolic acid also has antibacterial properties that protect your skin from harmful bacteria.

Lactic Acid

Lactic acid is another type of AHA that helps to exfoliate the skin and remove dead skin cells. This can help prevent clogged pores. Lactic acid also has hydrating properties, which can help moisturize the skin and prevent dryness, giving skin a clear, glowing complexion.


Retinoids are a class of compounds derived from vitamin A that are used in skincare products because they increase cell turnover and stimulate the production of collagen to improve the texture and appearance of skin and also ease acne.

Retinoids are effective, but since they can cause irritation, dryness, and sensitivity to the sun, Charette Cosmetics uses encapsulated retinol and Retinyl Palmitate, both are more mild forms of retinol. 

Charette Cosmetics Skincare Products

For individuals dealing with acne at any age, Charette Cosmetics recommends its Acne Prone Pack because this convenient bundle includes four of our best, top-rated acne treatments suited for every skin type.

Acne-Prone Pack | Sale Price $149.99

Restart + Refresh | Gentle Cleanser | $32.00

  • Restart + Refresh Gentle Cleanser contains citrus extracts to cleanse the skin while reducing irritation and lactic acid to improve skin tone and reduce the appearance of pores 
  • Removes make-up, dirt and impurities to retain your skin’s natural moisture barrier
  • Ideal cream cleanser for acne prone and oily skin

Diminish + Clear | Complexion Pads | $32

  • Diminish + Clear Complexion Pads contain ingredients that can regulate sebum production (oil), unclog pores and reduce inflammation
  • Salicylic, Glycolic and Lactic acids help exfoliate the skin
  • Retinyl Palmitate helps promote a clear complexion and evens out skin tone. 
  • Ideal for oily, combination and acne-prone skin

Activate + Tone Antioxidant Mist | $32.00

  • With natural extracts like cucumber, rosemary and melon, Activate + Tone Antioxidant Mist helps to improve your skin’s complexion, reduce puffiness and swelling
  • Calms the skin with its anti-inflammatory properties. 
  • Cooling mist can be sprayed on your face in the morning and at night after your cleansing routine

Rejuvenate + Reverse | Retinol Serum | $95.50

  • Rejuvenate + Reverse Retinol Serum is formulated with an advanced encapsulated retinol that replenishes your skin, improves discoloration and protects against moisture loss
  • Retinol helps ease the look of fine lines and wrinkles over time
  • Contains Allantoin to further soften and soothe the skin
  • Ideal for acne-prone skin because of its exfoliating properties


What Age Group is Most Susceptible to Severe Acne Outbreaks?

Adolescents and young adults are most susceptible to severe acne outbreaks due to hormonal changes during puberty.

Can Adults Experience Worsening Acne Even After Their Teenage Years?

Yes, adults can experience worsening acne even after their teenage years due to hormonal fluctuations, stress and other factors.

How Do Homes Impact Acne At Different Stages of Life?

Hormonal fluctuations can impact acne severity differently at various life stages, with puberty, menstruation, pregnancy and menopause being key periods where hormonal changes can exacerbate acne.

Why Charette Cosmetics Products Work At Every Age

Charette Cosmetics brings a whole new approach to the world of cosmetic treatments, including products designed to keep your skin healthy and fight the signs of aging and acne. Founded by Paul Charette, a medical aesthetician and cosmetic practitioner, Paul's extensive aesthetic education, unparalleled techniques, and attention to detail are evident in every aspect of Charette Cosmetics. 

Our medical-grade skincare products work to protect and treat your skin, revealing the most beautiful version of yourself. For your convenience, we offer Shop Pay and Google Pay. Shop our lineup of natural products online or connect with us on socials to see amazing skin transformations from real customers. 

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