How does acne form?


Acne affects up to 50 million Americans annually, making it the most common skin condition in the United States (AAD). Acne can start as young as 12 years old and last up until one's 40s. However, acne can affect anyone at any age.

So how does this stubborn, detrimental condition come about? Acne is formed by three different sources: oil, bacteria and dead skin cells. 


Natural oils are needed to keep the skin healthy, but any excess oil is adding fuel to the fire when it comes to acne. If you have oily skin, it's important to keep the oil under control with ingredients like salicylic acid, sulfur or mandelic acid to name a few. Contrary to popular belief, oily skin types still need to moisturize. If you haven't heard by now, if you do not moisturize oily skin, your skin will try to compensate for not getting any moisture, and the end result is more breakouts. Reaching for a lightweight moisturizer will be your best bet.


Bacteria can be people more than others, depending on your lifestyle habits (cleanliness and hygiene), hormones and even genetics.  Reducing how much bacteria comes in contact with your skin is just as important as the products you use on your face. A few lifestyle tips: sanitizing your phone often, washing your pillow cases weekly, minimize touching your face and using a fresh, clean towel after every cleanse. I personally love using the Clean Skin Club's biodegradable towels. Using ingredients like benzoyl peroxide or sulfur are helpful to provide oxygen to our cells. Bacteria cannot survive in the skin if there is oxygen present.

Dead Skin Cells

Dead skin that is not exfoliated properly leads to clogged pores which leads to breakouts. Using chemical or physical exfoliants (depending on what type of acne you have) will help prevent clogging. 

Bottom Line

Consulting with a professional to help you determine which of these are causing you to breakout may be your best bet. It will make it help you determine what products and ingredients you should be using so you don't waste time and money on trial and error. 


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