What is Acne?

Acne is a skin condition that occurs when your skin pores/follicles become blocked with oil and infected by bacteria, dirt and debris. This often affects teenagers and young adults, although it can occur at any age.

The different types of spots include blackheads, whiteheads, papules, pustules and nodules. These spots can be painful and sore. Acne, if not treated properly can leave scars like dents, raised marks and uneven skin tone.

Causes of Acne

Cause 1: Stress

Stress can increase cortisol levels in the body. This leads to over stimulation of oil glands which produces more sebum that can clog pores.

The Fix: Combat Stress with Exercise.

Your body releases chemicals called endorphins when you exercise. Endorphins triggers a feel good and positive feeling to combat stress!

Do simple exercises like brisk walk, jogging, leisure swim or simply do some rope skipping in the house! However, if the spot stubbornly appears first, treat it early. The sooner you treat them, the faster it will disappear. Use a fast-acting spot treatment the moment you feel a pimple forming.

Cause 2: Products that contain pore-clogging ingredients

Using products that contain pore-clogging ingredients like Mineral Oil & Silicone can clog your pores, causing a break-out.  Ensure that all your skincare products are labelled “Non-Comedogenic” – which means they have been scientifically formulated not to clog your pores.

The Fix: Choose Non-Comedogenic Skincare Products

Non-Comedogenic skincare products contains ingredients that won’t clog your pores. They aim to break down the excess sebum on your skin without stripping its natural moisture. This also helps to reduce the occurrence of acne and pimples. Non-Comedogenic products are specially designed for people with acne-prone or blemish prone skin.

Cause 3: Hormonal Changes

An increase in the production of testosterone stimulate sebaceous glands to produce more sebum. Sebum, combined with dead skin cells, starts to clog pores. This initiates acne formation. Puberty can also cause the oil glands to become overactive leading to increased sebum production that clog pores and form acne.

The Fix: Nutrition is key!

Eat a well-balanced diet and consume plenty of fruit and vegetables.

Low levels of Vitamin C and E, Zinc, Selenium, and Carotenoids might contribute to acne. These nutrients help fight free radicals that break down skin elastin, produce collagen, and repair skin damage. Some great source are carrots, sweet potato, apricots, broccoli, tomatoes, salmon and kale.

Cause 4: Scrubbing Skin Too Frequently

Contrary to popular belief, many people with acne believe that the more you scrub your skin, the smoother it becomes. This is not true and may make things worse. During scrubbing, we are aggravating the acne, making it more active and allowing bacteria to spread across the skin, worsening the condition.

The Fix: Be Gentle to your skin

It is not advisable to use hard scrubs on an active acne breakout. Instead, choose an effective cleanser with exfoliating and anti-inflammatory benefits to gently cleanse and remove the oil that’s clogging the pores. Complete the skincare regime with a good toner and moisturizer that contains pore-clearing ingredients to improve and maintain clear skin.The GOLDEN RULE to exfoliation, BE GENTLE. You want to remove all the outer dead cells, without damaging the underlying healthy skin cells.

Cause 5: Do note touch your face

Touching your face or resting the chin on your hand can transfer bacteria from your hand to your face. This often-neglected sub-conscious movement can encourage bacteria to multiply and cause acne.

The Fix: Incapacitate the hand!

If you have a constant lingering urge of touching your face, try sitting on your hand, hold on to something or simply roll your hand into a fist so that your hand is incapacitated.

Another creative way is to try imagine and visualize the motion of touching the face without actually touching it. This sounds odd but active practice might help to suppress your urge as it gives you a desired satisfaction without actually touching your skin and doing further damage to it.

Cause 6: Picking & Squeezing Pimple

Picking and squeezing pimples is a big NO-NO. This forces the debris and bacteria to seep deeper into your skin. New kinds of bacteria may also be introduced onto the zit, causing it to become redder, inflamed, swollen and infected. This may lead to permanent scarring. You’ll also run into the risk of affecting the skin underneath and multiplying the pimples.

The Fix: Be determined and learn the new habit

Identify your triggers – Do you start picking only when you are in deep thoughts, stressed or feeling anxious? Whatever the trigger, be aware of them so that you can keep a conscious effort to subdue them when the trigger comes.

Try not to stare at your pimple all the time! – Avoid looking into mirrors to help you from being conscious with that spot. Keep telling yourself that it’s all right to have them from time to time, especially if you are a teenager going through puberty. The pimple will go away in no time with proper care!

Keep Your Nails Short – You’ll find it difficult to pick or squeeze your pimples if you have short nails.

Practice makes perfect!