Acne: What causes it and how to get rid of it for good!

Jun. 28, 2020
Did you know that acne affects three out of every four people aged between 11 and 30 years old? Although acne is not dangerous, it can still be incredibly painful and stressful for those it affects. 
As you can imagine, being one of the most common skin conditions in the world, there is a seemingly endless supply of treatments. However, the sheer amount of lotions and potions that all claim they can rid you of acne for good can sometimes cause you so much stress it brings on another breakout! 
In this article we will explain what is likely to be causing your acne, help you identify what type of acne you are suffering from and then finally recommend some remedies that actually will work to combat your sore pores!
What causes acne?
Your skin is made up of tiny holes, known as hair follicles. Unfortunately, it takes just one hole out of all the billions to be clogged up by oil, dirt, dead skin cells or bacteria to cause a pimple. Everyone gets pimples every once in a while, – even those with the most stringent facial cleansing routine. But if you notice the number of pimples on your skin increasing it might be a sign you are suffering from acne.
Having acne is not an indicator that you haven’t been looking after your personal hygiene enough. It is often caused by triggers that, unluckily, you have little control over. 
Firstly, as your body goes through puberty in teenage years there will be an increase in the levels of the hormone testosterone. This testosterone is not all bad news: it is needed for the development of the male reproductive organs and the maintenance of female muscles. However, unfortunately testosterone also activates the release of excess oil on the skin. Which, you guessed it, leads to your follicles being blocked and pimples rearing their ugly heads. 
All our female readers out there, the risk of acne doesn’t stop at puberty. Women’s hormones regularly change due to their menstrual cycle and if they are pregnant. Again, these hormones are essential for maintaining fertility, but a by-product is more oil secreted on the skin that can lead to break outs.
But acne is not just caused by hormones. In some cases acne can be attributed to cosmetics and medicines. Which is good news, because if you can work out what is causing your skin to break out you can cut out or modify the use of that product. In particular, you are at risk of developing acne when using gone off cosmetics (always check the use by date!) or steroid medication. 
What are the different types of acne?
Acne will present itself on your skin in two ways: noninflammatory and inflammatory. 
Noninflammatory acne appears on the skin as blackheads and whiteheads. Both blackheads and whiteheads are caused when the skin pore is clogged by oil and dead skin cells. However, while the blackhead’s pores stay open, the whitehead’s pores close up. Luckily, they do not cause swelling or pain and can usually be treated quickly without leaving scarring. And by treating we mean applying a remedy – never popping them!
Inflammatory acne is more complex. The inflammation is caused by bacteria clogging up the pore alongside oil and dead skin cells. Our face is covered by bacteria, which is usually completely harmless. However, when it gets into the pores of the skin it can in extreme cases cause an infection beneath the skin’s surface that leads to painful spots that are trickier to eradicate. 
How can I cure acne?
Every person’s skin is completely unique which means we would be lying to you if we told you there was a one size fits all solution for acne. Just like your skin, your treatment will be unique for you.
Some products will work better on your skin compared to other skin types, and vice versa. It is all about identifying the product that is right for you. And there are plenty of reliable products out there to choose from!
🌺Salicylic Acid
Those who have sensitive skin and acne sometimes fret about the drying damage of most acne treatments. But do not worry, because salicylic acid is an effective and powerful exfoliant which can be tolerated by even the most sensitive skin. The acid is not hard to come by: it is present in most spot treatments. However, if you want to expose your skin to salicylic acid for a longer period of time you can use it as a toner or moisturizer. 
The acid helps prevents pores from getting plugged by exfoliating the hair follicles and removing the dead skin cells that can lead to whiteheads and blackheads. Therefore, it is best used on non-inflammatory acne. 
🌺Benzoyl Peroxide
Benzoyl peroxide has earned itself a reputation as a fighter against bacteria. And rightly so - it is a perfect fix for inflammatory acne as it kills off the bacteria that is causing the inflammation while removing any excess oil and exfoliating dead skin cells. 
The peroxide is included in most spot treatments and works best when applied to a spot and left overnight. However, unlike salicylic acid it is not suitable for all skin types: it can dry out sensitive skin so always make sure you use it alongside plenty of moisturizer! 
🌺Kaolin Clay
Clays can be a gamechanger for acne prone skin. They can extract the bad stuff on the skin’s surface while exfoliating it. 
When you apply kaolin clay all of the particles which usually cause acne, such as dead skin cells, traces of make-up and bacteria, are attracted to the clay and stick to it. When the clay dries and you wash it off you will simultaneously be washing off all these items from your face. 
🌺Argan Oil
Oil - yes, you read that correctly. You might be actively avoiding oily products during a breakout, but sometimes oils are key. Argan oil will not increase the amount of oil your skin produces, but it will work wonders hydrating your skin (especially as drying products such as benzoyl peroxide and kaolin clay are being applied to it). 
Your skin will be able to absorb the vitamin E and fatty acids in the oil quickly and efficiently so you won’t be left with any oily residue. This hydration will improve the health of the top layer of your skin so it is in a stronger position to keep bacteria, dirt and pollution out – protecting you against any future break outs! 
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