Is there anything worse than acne? When those ugly red pimples start invading your face, they take away all your confidence and self-esteem. There are days when you just want to lock yourself up in your room… At least until your face has gone back to normal. I know, sometimes, it seems like there's no hope of that ever happening. But it will happen. Acne isn't permanent. You can get rid of it. The first step? Getting to know the enemy. When you know why acne loves hanging out on your face, you'll be able to acne-proof your skin. But first…What's Acne? A common skin condition that affects almost everyone. Yep, everyone. Did you know that acne is the medical term for any type of spot? That means blackheads and whiteheads are forms of acne, too. The mildest and easiest to treat. They happen when your skin produces so much oil, it can't flow freely from your pores anymore. It's stuck inside, where it mixes with dead skin cells, clogging your pores. If air oxidizes this gunk, turning it black, you've got a blackhead. If not, you've got a whitehead. But it's when this gunk becomes infected with bacteria that the real pain starts. That's when inflammation develops. Inflammation makes your pores becomes huge and fills them up with pus. All around them, skin is as red as a tomato. That's what we all commonly refer to us as acne. So, What Causes Acne? Too many things, if you ask us:
When it comes to acne, your genes are the n.1 culprit. They determine how much sebum your skin produces, how your immune system reacts to bacteria, how easily your pores become plugged, how red your skin gets and even how long the pinkness a cured pimple leaves behind takes to heal. That's why one person barely deals with one blackhead every now and then while another is plagued with inflamed cysts all over her face. Or why pink spots where pimples used to be hang around for months on darker skin tones, while they leave no tell-tale signs behind on paler complexions. So unfair!
There's a reason why you're more prone to pimples during puberty, that time of the month and menopause: your crazy hormones. Well, not all of them. Androgens are the ones to blame. They cause your skin to produce way more oil than it needs. And you already know what happens to the excess. Yep, it clogs your pores, triggering another bout of acne. And because women's hormonal balance keeps changing all the time, they're the ones that are prone to adult acne. Typical, isn't it?
You know what stress does to you (apart from driving you crazy)? It makes your body release more androgen hormones. You know where I'm going with this, right? Oil production galore! It gets worse. Stress doesn't just trigger the production of a crazy amount of oil. It makes your breakouts last longer, too. And that stresses you out even more. What a vicious acne circle!
Comedogenic Beauty Products
Yep, the products you use to look pretty can have the opposite effect. Lurking in them may be comedogenic ingredients that are totally harmless on normal and dry skin. But on oily skin? They just help clog those pores faster. But, often, it's not the products themselves that cause acne. It's how you remove them. Or, better, don't remove them. If your cleanser is too weak to remove every last trace of foundation or, worse, you go to sleep without taking off your makeup, acne will catch you soon.
Food is rarely the main cause of acne. But, it often aggravates it. Too much sugar, alcohol and caffeine are usually the main culprits. Dairy, meat and soy can be just as bad when they're loaded with hormones (that's why you should only eat organic meat, for example). Cutting out, even partially, these foods from your diet often solves the problem. That can't be a coincidence, can it? We hope this helps you figure out what causes your acne. Remember, you need to know your enemy to defeat it once and for all! Ready to get started on treatment? Have you read this article yet? Learn how to treat your acne and get rid of it for good!