Monday, December 2, 2013

What Causes Acne?

If you suffer from acne one of the questions that is probably always on your mind is WHAT CAUSES ACNE? As an acne sufferer myself for many years, I found this to be the most persistent question that I thought about every day.  I would look around and see all the people with clear skin and find myself wondering what I was doing (or not doing) to cause my acne! It drove me crazy!

After years of research and trial and error I have come up with the primary causing factors behind acne...here's the low down-

Hormonal Causes of Acne

  • Hormones Androgens and Testosterone – make the sebaceous glands in follicle enlarge and secrete more facial oil (sebum). The sebum accumulates in the hair follicle and eventually reaches the surface of your skin where it mixes with bacteria. The bacteria multiply and feed of the accumulated sebum and eventually result in acne.
  • Puberty and Maturation – imbalance of hormones results in acne
  • Stress – alters the balance of hormones leading to acne
  • Period – hormones go haywire and cause acne

Nutritional Causes of Acne

  • Unhealthy eating habits
  • Lack of essential vitamins and minerals (Get your 5 a Day!) - responsible for optimal bodily function and skin health. If you don’t get the proper nutrition this puts your body out of balance and therefore your hormones as well.

Hygiene related Causes of Acne

  • Lack of daily facial cleansing and skin care.
  • Overuse of facial cleansers leading to dry and weak spot prone skin.
  • Repetitive touching of the face with hands - Hands are full of bacteria and must be washed.
  • Not Changing your bed linen and pillows often – We are estimated to sweat one pint of sweat a day and especially during the night. Bacteria multiply rapidly on sweat and on your bed linen and pillows.
  • Use of Dirty/Musty Towels – Any towel that has a musty smell contains bacteria.

Other Causes of Acne

  • Shaving - Shaving against the hair follicle causes ingrown hairs and spots.
  • Pore blocking (Comedogenic) Moisturizers - Usually contain a lot of oil that can block your pores.
  • Lack of exfoliation with a good exfoliator - leads to oil and blackhead build up, thus leading to spots.
  • Over use of exfoliators – damages and weakens skin making it more prone to spots.
  • Oil Based Makeup - clogs pores like comedogenic moisturizers.


So, now that we've gone over the basics about what causes acne, you should be better equipped to fight acne and prevent breakouts from occurring. However, if you don't use the knowledge that you gain about what causes acne, the chances are you won't see any improvement.  Sometimes you need to look at your own routines or habits to determine what you can change or improve upon to help alleviate your acne.