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Why Teens Get Acne

Ah, adolescence – that magical time when hormones run wild, emotions are as unpredictable as the weather, and the mirror seems to be playing a cruel joke on your face. Yes, we're talking about acne, the unwelcome guest that crashes the teenage party without an invitation. But fear not, fellow teens and exasperated parents, because we're about to embark on a journey to unravel the mystery of why teens get acne. 

Hormones Gone Wild: The Puberty Rollercoaster

Imagine your body is a busy city, and hormones are traffic cops on a caffeine binge. During puberty, these hormones, especially androgens, go into overdrive. Androgens are awesome because they're responsible for things like facial hair, a deeper voice, and those muscles you might notice popping up. On the flip side, Androgens stimulate the sebaceous (oil) glands in your skin to produce more oil than a deep-fried festival. This excess oil can clog hair follicles, creating a breeding ground for acne. Regularly using face wash and gentle oil-controlling face pads can help mitigate the excess oil. Remember: gentle matters! You don’t want to “strip” your skin with harsh products - it’ll just lead to more acne.

Skin as a Playground: Bacteria Invaders

Think of your skin as a complex action movie, complete with its own cast of heroes and villains. In this particular flick, Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes) is one of the “bad guys”, and during puberty, it multiplies like crazy. This bacteria loves to feast on the excess oil your skin is producing, leading to inflammation and the formation of those annoying pimples. Simple solutions like wiping your face with a bacteria-fighting face pad after sweating can help keep this particular puberty villain under control. 

Genetics: Blame it on Mom and Dad

Before you start pointing fingers, remember that genetics is a bit of a sneaky accomplice in this acne saga. If your parents had acne, there's a good chance you'll be sharing the spotlight with it too. Thanks, Mom and Dad! 

Cosmic Conspiracy: Stress and Acne Alliance

If your teenage skin is an action movie, stress would be the dramatic soundtrack. The pressure of exams, social drama, and that text left on “read” can send stress levels skyrocketing. To make things worse, stress triggers the release of more hormones, fueling the acne fire.

It's like a cosmic conspiracy against clear skin! Take some deep breaths, get outside, meditate or find something that you enjoy to reduce your stress. 

Diet Dilemmas: The Junk Food Connection

While the link between diet and acne can be murky, some studies suggest that a diet rich in high-glycemic foods (hello, chocolate and fries) might exacerbate acne. It's not a direct cause, but it's a reminder that you are what you eat – and so is your skin. 

Overzealous Skincare: When Too Much is Not a Good Thing

The desperation for clear skin can lead to a skincare arsenal that rivals a superhero's utility belt. But sometimes, less is more. Overusing harsh cleansers or scrubbing your face like you're in a sandstorm can strip away essential oils and worsen the acne situation. Keep your routine simple and easy to maintain. 


If you are struggling with the changes to your skin, try to be patient. While acne is, an annoying side quest on the journey to adulthood, it is not a permanent problem. There are potions, lotions, and wise skincare choices to help you put your best face forward. Most importantly, take control of the things you CAN change by adopting a simple and  regular skincare routine to keep bacteria and oil at bay. PS - Should you start developing painful cystic acne (that’s the kind that sits beneath the skin and makes painful, unpoppable lumps) we recommend seeing a dermatologist.