So Just What Is Acne And What Causes Acne
Zits, acne, pimples... call them what you may, acne affects most teens and a good chunk of the adult population too. This much-maligned condition causes different types of acne to appear on the face, back or chest, but just what causes acne and how does it all work?
Acne is a skin problem with a variety of causes.
Several factors contribute to the appearance of acne. But, it is mainly due to hormonal disorders (puberty, premenstrual syndrome, pregnancy, etc.) that lead to an increase in the Androgen hormone that causes the body to produce more sebum (oil produced in the skin’s oil glands).
However, there are also other factors like stress and fatigue, which can lead to an overproduction of sebum and bacterial proliferation. When sebum can no longer flow normally, pores can become clogged.
In a nutshell, Acne is formed when Sebum can no longer flow normally; pores become clogged and form either whiteheads or blackheads. Clogged pores are a conducive environment for Bacteria to grow and this can lead to the clogged pore becoming inflamed, forming those red angry acne spots that we all dread.
The six stages of Acne
Stage 1: A normal follicle
Stage 2: Follicle With SebumExcess sebum causes follicle to be clogged with Sebum, dead skin cells & bacteria.
Stage 3 : A WhiteheadSebum, Cells and bacteria accumulate in the follicle.
Stage 4: A BlackheadSebum in the clogged follicle oxidizes and mixes with melanin to form the blackhead.
Stage 5: Inflamed Pimple/AcneTrapped Sebum is ideal for a bacteria (P.Acnes) to live and multiple. Body’s immune System fights the bacteria and causes inflammation.
Stage 6: Post-Inflammation Acne MarksIn the process of repairing skin damage caused by the inflammation, red acnemarks might appear at previously inflamed areas.
The five golden rules for treating Acne
Get Expert Tips On Acne Prevention
How to prevent and treat Acne Marks/Scars
How blackheads form and what you can do to banish them!
What does the term non-comedogenic mean and why is it important?
Non-comedogenic is a term that is increasingly appearing on skincare labels, usually listed alongside assurances that a product is paraben free and allergy tested. So what exactly does non-comedogenic mean, and why is it important for those with acne-prone skin?
What it means?
The word comedo, or plural comedones, refers to a type of imperfection/blemish that forms on the skin. These blemishes are a result of clogged pores and are considered one of the milder forms of acne that can evolve into a pimple.
What are pores?
Pores are simply small openings in the skin. When excess sebum (a natural skin oil) is produced it mixes with dead skin cells and can clog a pore causing a comedo.
So what does non-comedogenic mean?
Non-comedogenic indicates that a product has been formulated and tested to avoid clogging pores. However, it is important to note however that while these products do not claim to cure or treat acne-prone skin, they make sure the formulations won’t block your pores which can be one of the main causes of acne, making it an ideal formulation in the quest to prevent acne from occurring in the first place or aggravating it.
Comedogenic products and acne-prone skin
While ingredients used in cosmetics are safe, everyone’s skin is different and those with acne-prone skin sometimes need to be stricter with what they use.
Adult Acne 101: Why and how to treat
Acne in the city: why sun, stress & pollution are your new beauty enemies?
Overstretched, sleep-deprived and multi-tasking to the max, urbanites are used to seeing tired features and a dull complexion in the mirror. But did you know that a city environment can also aggravate your acne? Here's how sun, smog and stress form a "tag-team" that's no friend to your complexion, plus some tips on how to fight back and stop city acne!
Urban pollution particles can penetrate skin
One of skin's major city stresses is pollution. Tiny dust particles known as PM 2.5 can squeeze through the skin's protective barrier and wreak havoc. They trigger a chain reaction that starts with oxidation of sebum at skin's surface, followed by increased oil production and hyperkeratinisation - more dead cells at the surface.
The bottom line? Blackheads look worse and new acne can crop up.
Everyone seems to be talking about the dangers of pollution, but what type of daily care helps skin defend itself? Anti-adhesion textures which work to stop pollution particles from sticking to skin and doing their worst are a good place to start.
Sun exposure can worsen acne - even if you've always thought the opposite!
UV light is another beauty enemy (yes, a sunny day can have its downside!). In fact, one myth about acne that just won't die is that sunlight is acne-prone skin's saviour. Wrong! In the very short term, a tan can make your complexion look more even, but the sun's drying effect causes skin to rebound into "oil overdrive" after your holiday. The oil combined with a thickening of skin's top layer clogs pores and prevents sebum from escaping properly.
The bottom line? Sun modifies skin's behaviour, making it more acne-prone.
Skin is in need of specific protection to shield it from UV rays. The first step? Broad-spectrum UV protection covering both UVA and UVB. Opt for fluid, oil-free and non-comedogenic textures.
Stress aggravates blemish-prone complexions
Long hours, exams or deadlines, a crazily competitive landscape... Ever noticed your complexion tends to suffer when the going gets tough? You're not alone: scientific research has proven a link between high stress levels and acne severity. (1) The truth is that doctors still haven't worked out the exact nuts and bolts of the stress effect, but it's thought to involve stress hormones which trigger the sebaceous gland to manufacture extra oil, turning skin into a breeding ground for blemishes.
The bottom line? It's not your imagination: stress is a genuine acne trigger. When it comes to stress in the city, each person needs to find their own way of staying zen: going out with friends, hitting the gym or simply stepping away from the screen - make sure you set aside some me-time... your skin might just thank you for it!
(1) Acta Derm Venereol. 2007;87(2):135-9. Study of psychological stress, sebum production and acne vulgaris in adolescents. Yosipovitch G, Tang M, Dawn AG, Chen M, Goh CL, Huak Y, Seng LF.
Fact or Fiction: Can Food Cause or Cure Your Acne?
Dairy can cause acne
Different studies report different results, but there is some evidence that increased dairy intake can be an acne trigger. Docs don't know exactly why, but the working hypothesis is that hormones in milk may be the culprit. Try cutting down on dairy (without taking things to the extreme) and see how your skin fares. And remember, whey protein shakes are like mega-concentrated milk! Steer clear if breakouts are an issue.
Chocolate causes acne
Everyone is different, so if you find chocolate causes you to break out, avoid it if you can. But there's no solid evidence that chocolate has any effect on acne. Plus dark chocolate is packed with skin-loving anti-oxidants!
Sweets and cakes can trigger breakout
Recent studies have shown that high Glycemic Index foods - the ones that cause blood sugar to spike - can make acne worse. We know it's easier said than done, but to keep your skin happy, stick to high-fiber foods like wholegrains and pulses instead of simple sugars and white flour.
Drinking lots of water will flush out acne
Proper hydration is essential for good overall health and your skin is no exception, but extra trips to the water cooler are not going to clean out your pores any time soon (if only it was that simple!).
Fish oils are a friend to your complexion
Oily fish are rich in omega 3 fatty acids which help to fight inflammation in all of the body's systems, including our largest organ, the skin. Try to slot in a serving of salmon or tuna a couple of times a week. If you can't face fish, walnuts are a great source too.
Vitamin and mineral supplements help most cases of acne
The main causes of acne are essentially hormonal and not related to vitamin or mineral deficiencies. However, a balanced diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables will help provide skin with the essential nutrients it needs to heal pimples. A "rainbow on your plate" is a good rule of thumb, as colored fruit and vegetables are packed with natural anti-oxidants that help skin keep inflammation in check.
Greasy foods like pizza and fries feed acne
A common acne myth is that grease on your plate translates to more oil in your pores, but there is no direct link between the two. However, a diet rich in saturated fat can fuel micro-inflammation in all of the body's organs, including the skin. In short, pizza and chips won't cause acne, but moderation is the best policy for overall health.
Alcohol can bring on breakouts
There is no convincing evidence that alcohol has any bearing on acne. However, it is known to make facial redness worse by causing blood vessels to dilate in the skin and it's also dehydrating, so always drink in moderation.
FOR OILY ACNE-PRONE SKIN
Treat Acne In 3 Simple Steps
Source: Blind Use Test 2 weeks – France – 246 usersLEARN MORE
* Tested on 41 caucasian subjects (including 4 men), aged between 19 and 40, with oily acne-prone and inflammation-prone skin, during 4 weeks.LEARN MORE
* Efficacy analysis on 15 subjects after 2 months of applications **Cosmetoclinical study – 38 subjectsLEARN MORE
EFFACLAR Foaming Purifying Gel gently purifies the skin thanks to cleansing agents selected to respect sensitive skin. It eliminates impurities and excess sebum while leaving the skin clean and fresh.
Foam in the hand with a little water and apply to the face, massaging gently. Rinse thoroughly.
Used As A Toner Mist To Help Prevent Acne By Controlling Sebum Production And Tightening Pores. Also Helps To Soothe Inflamed Acne.
Mist generously across face.
Suitable to mist over makeup too.
Effaclar Duo (+) treatment is clinically proven to fight acne and clear even stubborn blemishes, blackheads and whiteheads. Reduces all signs of acne, lightens acne marks by 42%* and effective from 24hours**
*Efficacy analysis on 15 subjects after 2 months of application
**Cosmetoclinical study - 38 subjects
Apply a thin layer on affected areas or over the whole face. Use in the morning or/and in the evening after toner.