Dandruff and acne both have different causes, but many people find that they experience them both at the same stage – usually during puberty.
That’s because they both occur as hormonal changes cause your body to produce more oil.
In the case of dandruff, this oil – known as sebum – is broken down by a naturally occurring microbe, Malassezia Globosa. In around 50% of people, this results in dandruff because they’re sensitive to the oleic acid produced by this process.
Acne on the other hand is caused when an increase in oil production combined with surface debris causes pores on the skin to become blocked. This can lead to bacteria that normally live on the skin infecting the plugged pores, leading to the symptoms we know as acne.
So while dandruff and acne both have different causes, they are both triggered by oil production. This is why many people first notice acne and dandruff at the same time - because both can be linked to hormonal changes that increase oil production, like those that happen during puberty.