What causes Acne?

Acne breakouts are caused by a confluence of FOUR factors - each of which might be 'weighted' differently, depending on your skin condition, genetics, age, lifestyle and surrounding humidity levels (e.g. if you work in a swimming pool, a kitchen, or a greenhouse, where the humidity issue may rate higher). These key factors are:

  • OIL being over-secreted by your sebaceous glands

  • KERATINIZED CELLS getting stuck on the surface - and in the pore linings - of the skin

  • ANAEROBIC BACTERIA proliferating inside your pores, because of a lack of exposure to oxygen, and...

  • HORMONES, which can affect the quality of the sebaceous secretions, making them stickier

Now the first three, we can deal with mechanically. The last one, we have to deal with strategically.

1. OIL, by itself, isn't bad for your skin. In fact, naturally produced skin lipids help feed your barrier layer, which keeps moisture locked in and gives your face a healthy, beautiful, naturally-hydrated glow. For well-balanced skin, you don't want to strip too much of it away, but you do want to ensure you keep any 'excess' oil out and off your face, so pores don't get congested or blocked. An oil-emulsifying cleanser can help, as will any oil-absorbing cleanser or mask like our Upcircle favourites.


2. KERATINIZED CELLS are a result of your skin’s natural renewal process and have the benefit of helping trap moisture as part of your barrier layer. But too many, and your complexion will appear dull, the oxygen-path down into your pores can block, and anaerobic bacteria can build up. Any non-drying exfoliators may help prevent too much retention, like our amazing coffee face scrub, coconut skin drink or stunning 


3. BACTERIA – which can cause breakouts - you might be surprised to learn it exists on your skin all the time. But acne-causing bacteria is anaerobic - meaning it can't survive when exposed to air - so keeping the oils moving and the dead cells clear (as above) helps keep bacteria in check. Anything oxygenating can also help (which is why exercise - which stimulates blood flow - can help with problematic complexions, and using a simple mask or drink regularly, can help control acne-causing bacteria. can make a big difference to acne-prone skin). A gentle antibacterial can also be one of the most effective ways to prevent and get rid of acne. And lastly, but the most challenging of them all...


4. HORMONES. While there are all kinds of remedies for fluctuating hormones, which can make the oil coming out of your sebaceous glands a bit sticky, we don't have anything to offer you for that.

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