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Acne isn’t one size fits all. Depending on the cause of your acne, this can manifest as a strange pimple or a more chronic, lifelong condition. The truth is that up to 80% of us will get acne at some point in our lives. One of the best ways to kick acne to the roadside? Go to the source. Here are five causes of acne and our tips on getting rid of breakouts for good.
Causes of acne
These are some of the factors that can contribute to breakouts, blemishes, and chronic acne.
Every pimple starts the same way: with a clogged pore. Each of our pores is made up of a hair follicle that contains a sebum (oil) that plays a key role in skin health. Sebum glands release sebum, a waxy, oily secretion that helps lubricate and soften the surface of the skin. When sebum travels along the follicle to the surface of the skin, it can become trapped in dead skin cells that block its path. Acne occurs when oil, dirt, and bacteria combine to cause the infection and inflammation that we call an outbreak.
Excess oil production
Is your skin particularly oily? Oily skin is genetically linked to overproducing the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which causes the skin’s sebum to produce more sebum. When the skin produces too much oil, its pores enlarge and stretch to contain the excess. If excess oil becomes trapped, it can bond with the dead skin and bacteria that have settled in the pore, causing breakouts. The severity of your acne breakouts can depend on your body’s response to excessive oil production. According to WebMD: “Levels of sebum, which can cause a pimple or two in one person, can lead to widespread breakouts – or even acute cystic acne – in another.”
Everyone has acne bacteria on their skin, however Not all acne bacteria cause pimples. According to Medical News Today, “Research suggests that the severity and frequency of acne depends on the strain of bacteria.” The strain of bacteria that contributes to acne is called Propionibacterium acnes or P. acnes. This bacterium is generally harmless, but under certain conditions (e.g., in a clogged pore, surrounded by oil and without air), it can trigger an immune response that causes inflammation of surrounding tissue.
Fluctuations in the body’s androgen levels, especially during puberty and pregnancy, can also trigger acne. Indeed that Journal of Women’s Health claims that up to 26% of women in their 30s have fighting breakouts. Whitney Bowe, MD tells health: “If a woman’s androgen receptors are particularly sensitive, these hormones can trigger excessive oil production and cause skin cells to become sticky, leading to clogged pores and breakouts.” Typically, hormonal acne occurs on the lower half of the face, along the jawline and occurs during your monthly cycle.
Unfortunately, your own inevitable genetic makeup often comes into play. Mona Gohara, MD tells Marie Claire: “Some people are genetically more prone to having their sebum glands become inflamed from hormones, oils and bacteria.” Chances are that one of your parents is likely to have moderate to severe acne symptoms too.
One of the best ways to combat the root causes of acne is through Your skin care routine. To keep your skin clear and flawless, we recommend using our 3-step acne treatment system and getting in touch with your preferred Eminence Organics spa partner for a virtual consultation or an acne facial.
Acne Advanced 3-Step Treatment System
The products in this innovative collection are designed to treat acne and prevent future breakouts. Results range from just 28 days. Here’s why Senior skin care trainer Natalie Pergar recommends using this organic solution to cleanse your complexion:
Do you suffer from acne? How has it affected you and what helped you find relief? We’d love to hear your story. Share your comments with us and join the conversation on social media.
This post was originally published in October 2018 and has been updated for accuracy and completeness.