Skin Science

What Age Is Acne the Worst? An Essential-Only Guide to Acne

What Age Is Acne the Worst? An Essential-Only Guide to Acne - MOX Skincare
Table of Contents
What age is acne the worst? A man washing his face.

What age is acne the worst? Just thinking about the pimples and blemishes I’d get as a teen sends shivers down my spine, making it easy to admit that acne sucks. But is it true that acne flourishes during our teenage years and gradually fades away as we age?

And yes, it’s manly to call an acne spot a blemish. Keep reading because MOX experts are going to weigh in and answer, “What age is acne the worst?”:

What Age Is Acne the Worst?

We know why you’re here; you want us to provide a thorough, yet insanely short answer to your question, which is “What age is acne the worst?” Lucky for you, MOX has one of the best professionals in the field, Pharmacist and Cosmetic Chemist Ben Fuchs. Here’s what he says:

“Most acne breakouts occur in patients between the onset of puberty and around the age of 21.”

What age is acne the worst? Some quick facts about acne.


Here is another expert in the skincare field further solidifying Pharmacist Ben’s answer to “What age is acne the worst?”:

What Is Acne? What Are the Types of Acne?

What age is acne the worst? The six types of acne lesions.

After Pharmacist Ben answered "What age is acne the worst?" he delved into the details of acne and its causes:

“There are lots of skin lesions that are referred to as ‘acne.’ True acne is a cutaneous disease appearing as comedones that result from the excessive division of skin cells and subsequent keratin deposition, in combination with hypersecretion of sebum and bacterial proliferation.”

Pharmacist Ben means that acne isn't just any skin problem; it involves pimples that form due to a combination of too many skin cells, too much keratin, excess oil production, and bacterial growth. But did you know that experts have narrowed it down to six specific types of acne lesions?


  • Whiteheads: Closed, clogged pores with a white or flesh-colored bump
  • Blackheads: Open, clogged pores with a dark look due to oxidized sebum
  • Papules: Small, red, and tender bumps without a visible center
  • Pustules: Similar to papules but with a visible white or yellow center of pus
  • Nodules: Large, painful lumps beneath your skin's surface
  • Cysts: Deep, painful, pus-filled lesions that often cause scarring

It’s also important to know that acne can either be inflammatory or noninflammatory. Blackheads and whiteheads fall under noninflammatory because they don’t cause swelling. The other four – papules, pustules, nodules, and cysts – are inflammatory as they can appear red or inflamed. 

What age is acne the worst? The difference between inflammatory and noninflammatory acne.

MOX PRO TIP: It’s possible to have multiple types of acne simultaneously — some cases may even be severe enough to warrant a visit to your local dermatologist. If you’re concerned about your acne and don’t already have a trusted derm near you, have a chat with your normal doctor.
What age is acne the worst? Use the MOX Starter Set, a 2-step system for acne.

What Causes Acne?

What age is acne the worst? Three men of different ages with acne on their T-zones.

As you may have realized, acne is a super complex skin condition. It can be influenced by an abundance of things, like genetics, hormones, lifestyle, and environmental factors. Now that we’ve answered, “What age is acne the worst?” let’s explore what causes acne:

  • Excess Sebum Production: Sebum, a natural substance produced by your body, helps lubricate your skin. But, too much sebum can lead to clogged pores, oil, and acne.
  • Clogged Pores: When dead skin cells and excess sebum accumulate in your hair follicles, they can form plugs that block your pores, resulting in different forms of acne.
  • Bacteria: Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes) is a bacteria that’s naturally on your skin. When your pores get clogged, it can multiply, causing acne.
  • Hormonal Changes: Fluctuations in hormones, especially during puberty, can lead to more sebum and acne. Androgens, like testosterone, can also boost sebum production.
  • Genetics: Acne often runs in families, suggesting a genetic predisposition to the condition. If your parents or siblings have acne, you may be more likely to develop it.
  • Diet: Studies suggest that certain foods high in refined carbohydrates and sugars, as well as dairy, may worsen acne.
  • Stress: Stress can trigger hormonal changes that stimulate sebum production and inflammation, potentially worsening your acne symptoms (more on this below). 
  • Environmental Factors: Exposure to environmental pollutants and humidity can worsen acne by increasing pore blockages and bacterial growth.
What age is acne the worst? What causes acne?

What Age Is Acne the Worst? Is Acne More Common in Males or Females?

What age is acne the worst? Reasons why men get acne more often than men.

Pharmacist Ben also tells us that acne is more common in men than women: “Due to the involvement of the androgenic hormone testosterone in the appearance of acne comedones, the condition (acne) affects males more than females,” he explains in a science-forward way.

In simpler terms, Pharmacist Ben is saying that because testosterone stimulates your skin’s oil production and men tend to have more of it, guys are more likely to experience signs and symptoms of acne in comparison to women. It’s worth noting that men’s skin is thicker, too.

What Age Is Acne the Worst? About Adult Acne

What age is acne the worst? About adult acne and how many people experience it.

Another hot topic, adult acne, refers to – well – acne occurring when you’re an adult. There are a ton of reasons you could be seeing a pimple or two well beyond your teenage years, like hormone fluctuations, stress, diet, genetics, the environment, and even skincare products.

Experts agree it’s best to treat adult acne the same as teenage acne, meaning use proven ingredients like salicylic acid (more on this below), which is in the MOX Invigorating Peppermint Cleanser. Watch this video to learn more about adult acne and ingredients like salicylic acid:

Tips for Acne-Prone Skin At Any Age

What age is acne the worst? Tips for men with acne-prone skin.

What age is acne the worst? Truth is, it doesn’t matter; you should be taking care of your skin 24/7 to maintain its strength and vitality, blemish or not (if you need some skincare – choose MOX – sorry for the name drop). Here are some expert tips to try for acne-prone skin:

  • Cleanse Gently: Use a gentle, non-comedogenic cleanser (meaning it doesn’t clog pores) to wash your face twice daily, preferably in the morning and at night. Try not to use harsh scrubbing or overwashing, as this can irritate your skin and make acne worse.
  • Skip the Moisturizer: MOX recommends skipping the moisturizer and opting for the Multi Nutrient Serum; it’s lightweight and packed with vitamins to hydrate your skin and leave you feeling stronger on a cellular level (biohackers can’t get enough of the stuff). 
  • Take Advantage of Salicylic Acid: Have you ever tried an acne treatment that had salicylic acid in it? It unclogs pores, reduces inflammation, and kills acne-causing bacteria, which is why it's a key component of our Invigorating Peppermint Cleanser
  • Don’t Touch Your Face: You’ve probably been told before to not touch or pick your face or you’ll get acne, and while you may not want to take the advice – it’s 100% true.  
  • Sun Protection: Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher daily, no matter the weather or season. SPF protects your skin from UV damage and prevents post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, which is why we created the Invisible Armor.
  • Hydrate and Eat a Balanced Diet: Make sure to drink plenty of water (15.4 cups) to keep your skin hydrated from the inside out. Eating a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins can also support overall skin and gut health
  • Manage Stress: Stress can worsen acne, so practice some stress-reducing techniques like meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises (they’re backed by science). Getting good-quality sleep and regular physical activity can also help manage stress levels.
What age is acne the worst? Grab MOX Skincare's nutritious formulations for acne.

What Age Is Acne the Worst? Meet the MOX Starter Set That Tackles Blemishes at All Ages

What age is acne the worst? MOX, a skincare brand co-founded by Simon Rex, has formulations for acne.


What age is acne the worst? MOX Skincare has been featured in huge outlets.

If you haven’t jumped on the face care bandwagon yet – you’re missing out; even Simon Rex, our co-founder, wants you to do it because it keeps your skin fresh and clear. Plus, ladies love it when you take care of yourself as it makes you appear more attractive and cool (like Simon). 

Do you have acne or out-of-the-blue blemishes? Take 2 steps towards clearer skin with the MOX Super Set:

Step 1. Cleanse: The MOX Invigorating Peppermint Cleanser will have you ready to hit the ground running with vigor because of the cold, ice-bath-for-your-face freshness it imparts. Our formulator – Pharmacist Ben Fuchs, Cosmetic Chemistemphasizes the importance of cleansing for skin health: “Cleansing is the harshest thing to do to your skin because dirt and natural skin oils are in the same place.”

“To get rid of dirt, you have to get rid of natural skin oils. The challenge with a cleanser is to create a formulation that cleans the skin without disturbing these oils.” The reason why MOX is superior for giving men’s skin a strengthening energy boost is because it’s formulated with skin-quenching ingredients like Peppermint Oil and Lipids. Plus, it makes a killer shaving cream.

What age is acne the worst? The Peppermint Cleanser from MOX worked great for acne in clinical trials.

What age is acne the worst? The Peppermint Cleanser from MOX worked great for acne in clinical trials.

Step 2. Serum: With MOX, all it takes is two to three steps to have a full face care routine with real benefits. The second step – the MOX Vitamin Serum – is jam-packed with Squalane and five essential skincare vitamins: A, E, C, D, and K. Not to mention the fact that the Multi Nutrient Serum is filled with 20 to 40 times more nutrients than a traditional serum.

One of the things pharmacists understand is the power of nutrients as medicinal and therapeutic compounds. Pharmacist Ben mentions, “We see things like vitamin C as medicine. Since the skin is turning over at a faster rate than any other tissue in the body, it’s very receptive to nutrition.” So basically – the serum is only formulated with strong stuff that’s good for men.

What age is acne the worst? The MOX Multi Nutrient Serum is an acne superhero.

So – what age is acne the worst? It doesn’t matter; grab the MOX Starter Set to strengthen your skin and fight back against acne at any age. If you want to master face care and learn why it's important to adopt a routine, join our email list.

Reading next

H20 SOS: Is It Good to Wash Your Face With Cold Water? - MOX Skincare
Can You Get Vitamin D on a Cloudy Day? An Outdoors Guide - MOX Skincare

Leave a comment

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.