A Guide to Acne, Breakouts & Imperfections!
Acne is one of the leading skin concerns & it can be a debilitating skin condition that can be very difficult to manage on your own.
So what is acne? What causes it? Is there different types, if so how do I recognise the difference? And, what is the difference between acne & typical breakouts? All of these questions will be answered in today’s blog post, so grab a warm beauty tea and let’s talk! :)
So, What Is Acne?
Acne is defined as “a disorder of the skin caused by inflammation of the skin glands and hair follicles” Our face consists of hundreds of thousands of pores and in those pores are hair follicles & oil glands. The oil glands within our pores create an oily substance called ‘sebum’. Sebum is responsible for keeping our skin hydrated and supple. As we come into contact with so many different external factors on a day to day basis such as pollution, dirt, oils, bacteria & makeup – our pores can be the perfect breeding ground for our unwanted friend.
What Are The Causes?
Unfortunately, there is no single ‘cure’ for acne. There are many different types, they require different treatments and they can be caused by many different things.
Hormones are unfortunately one of the most common causes for acne. Hormonal changes can occur before we begin our period, when we begin/stop taking hormonal contraception, as we begin the menopause and of course when we are teenagers. Fluctuations in certain hormones causes oil to be over produced and the rate at which we shed our dead skin cells to slow down which begins to create the perfect cocktail for acne.
The presence of ‘Propionibacterium Acnes’ is the bacteria which gives acne its name! This bacteria simply needs the right environment and it will spread.
Inflammation whether that be external or internal can be caused by many things such as food allergies/sensitivities, illness and stress. Once we experience any of these things, our body becomes inflamed, angry &irritated! Our systems work hard to reduce this inflammation but often times it shows itself in redness on our skin and breakouts.
The Types of Acne
Acne can rear its ugly head in many different forms, so it is important to understand what breakouts you are experiencing and how to effectively treat them!
Inflammatory acne takes a longer amount of time to heal and it is very important to allow your skin the time to heal these breakouts. Interfering with strong ingredients or attempting to pop/pick will only spread the bacteria, causing more breakouts to appear around the face.
Papules occur when the walls around the pores become inflamed. This results in hard, clogged pores that are tender to touch. The skin around papules is a pink/light red.
Pustules, as the name suggests, are filled with pus – unlike papules. These bumps come out of the skin and are red in colour. They have yellow or white heads on the top.
Nodules occur when the pore becomes clogged. The pore experiences swelling and irritation, causing it to grow larger. Unlike pustules& papules, nodules are deeper underneath the skin. Nodules are typically unable to treat at home, prescription medication is usually needed in order to treat them. Please do not pick or pop, this can cause bacteria to spread and cause long term, unwanted scarring.
Cysts will occur when the pores are clogged by a combination of bacteria, sebum and dead skin cells. This will occur deep within the skin and are much further below the skin than nodules. Cysts are often visible in large white or red bumps and are often painful to touch. Cysts are the largest form of acne and their formation can be a result of an infection. Please do not pick or pop, this can cause bacteria to spread and cause long term, unwanted scarring.
Papules & pustules can be treated with ingredients such as salicylic acid, this will slowly dissolve the build-up causing the imperfections.
Non inflammatory acne is typically low maintenance and can be easily treated with salicylic acid. This dissolves the build-up within the pores and will over time reduce the appearance of breakouts.
A blackhead occurs when the pore is clogged with a combination of sebum and dead skin cells. The top of the pore is not covered which is why a visible black colour is seen on the surface.
Whiteheads will form when the pore is clogged by a combination of sebum and dead skin cells. The top of the pore closes up which causes the small red bumps which come out from the skin.
Our Top Acne/Blemish Fighting Products (For All Ages!)
Purifying Face Washes
"Cleansing your skin is an essential step in any routine. This will remove the dirt, oils and build up on the skin that have accumulated which could cause further irritation and breakouts. Lightweight, gel based cleansers will effectively clean the skin, without stripping it!"
ByMukk – Algae Face Wash
Evolve – Daily Detox Facial Wash
Anti-Acne Toners & Serums
"This is the step where you can play around and use active ingredients to treat your current skin state! These are our top three picks for acne prone skin."
Evolve – AHA/BHA Exfoliating Toner
Evolve – Rainforest Rescue Blemish Serum
MERME – Niacinamide
Anti-Acne Face Creams
"Just because your skin is oily or prone to breakouts, it doesn’t mean you should be hydrating it! Giving our skin the right amount of hydration will not only make our skin feel better but it can also help existing breakouts heal faster and play a part in preventing further ones."
You & Oil – CBDefence 5% Face Cream
Evolve – True Balance Lotion
Ministerstwo – H20 Hydro Mineral Cream
D’Alchemy – All Over Blemish Solution
D’Alchemy – Age Cancellation Booster
Purifying Face Masks
"Every once in a while, our skin deserves a treat. A good face mask can do wonders for the skin and help to extract excess oils. These masks are some of our favourites and definitely staples in our acne fighting routine."
ByMukk – White Clay Mask
NUORI – Clarity Mask
Flow Cosmetics – Detox Mask
"Beauty starts from within - that is why we created an organic herbal blend to take care of your acne holistically! Teas are great for skin, because they hydrate it from inside out - but did you know that some herbs can also help to balance sebum production, reduce inflammation and detoxify the skin? "
This new series of blog posts is here to help you understand your breakouts and your skin. Acne is a difficult & disheartening skin condition that can be challenging to manage but your skin doesn’t define you. Your are and always will be beautiful.
It is important to note, I am not a dermatologist or medical professional. If you are concerned about your skin please seek the help of a medical professional.