A is for Acne - 5 things you need to know

Bad skin day feels like.. :(

We’ve all suffered breakouts at least once in our life and possibly progressed to acne in our teenage years and adulthood. We’ve all tried different treatment options (I know I have!) from topical to medicinal but why does it keep coming back? Well here is the low down – acne in short is considered a chronic inflammatory skin disorder and to be frank it’s one of the most common skin problems worldwide with a whole lot of factors that play a part in the formation and development.

So, what do they look like? Well they aren’t pretty that’s for sure! The most common onset of a pimple forming are whiteheads and blackheads and the names speaks for themselves. Whiteheads are what we described as ‘closed comedones’, they are non-inflamed lesions that contain sebum (skin’s natural oils) and our shedding skin creating a plug. On the other hand, blackheads are ‘open comedones’ filled with oxidised skin oil and dead skin cells giving its black appearance. Other names you may know of are pimples, breakouts and zits.

Now, here is what you need to know about these little buggers:

  1. The sebaceous glands becomes quite active which means they are responsible for increasing our oil production that eventually accumulates and gets trapped within the hair follicle

  2. Bacteria P. acnes likes to hang around here in the oil glands and they start to make themselves home and multiply

  3. When there is bacteria, inflammation tends to follow because our body will naturally try fight off any bacteria. The inflammatory cells get released into the skin blocking our pores forming comedones that can develop further into pustules or papules.

  4. Hormones affect both women and men. Androgen hormones are responsible for stimulating sebum production so you can blame this hormone when you see whiteheads and blackheads on your skin! For the women, those breakouts that appear here and there and mainly around the jaw – well that’s all thanks to your increased hormonal activity!

  5. Stress – when you feel stressed, your body likes to release another hormone to compensate but as a result you may experience acne and sometimes the condition can escalate and not well controlled.

The aftermath of acne can sometimes be undesirable. Why? Because sometimes we have the urge to pop pimples when they're either not ready or so much that it becomes a scar. It's important to understand how your own skin works because acne can be a lifetime problem and recur often.

We hope you enjoyed this short lesson on acne! You can read more about acne on our 'Skin Concern' page. If you're unsure which product to use, please contact us and we would love to assist you in picking the right product for you!

Bye for now!




Gollnick, H. (2015). From new findings in acne pathogenesis to new approaches in treatment. Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, 29, 1-7. doi: 10.1111/jdv.13186

Li, X., He, C., Chen, Z., Zhou, C., Gan, Y., & Jia, Y. (2017). A review of the role of sebum in the mechanism of acne pathogenesis. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, 16(2), 168-173. doi: 10.1111/jocd.12345

Shaheen, B., & Gonzalez, M. (2012). Acne sans P. acnes. Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, 27(1), 1-10. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-3083.2012.04516.x

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