What’s really causing your acne?

Acne prone skin can be caused by a variety of reasons, it’s not just our oily skinned babes who can have breakout after breakout – it could be anything from sensitivity to hormones to stress. It’s really important that just because you have a breakout you don’t straight up reach for the super harsh, oil banishing skincare products because if it’s not oil you could just be adding another layer of problems to your skin.

Check your skin type..

I talk to a lot of clients who tell me their skin is one type, when in reality it’s another. One common one is sensitive skin, a lot of the time I’ll be told they have combination skin however after probing a bit deeper it could actually be down to sensitivity.

Sensitive Skin

Sensitive skin is pretty self explanatory, with your skin being quite reactive to products and the weather. Some top signs to look out for are –

  1. Your skin is quite red (when you have acne too it can be quite hard to tell but you’re looking for inflammation around your active acne rather than just on the spots themselves)
  2. Your acne gets worse when you use harsh products. Think retinoids, acids and other acne treatments, if you skin reacts and your acne gets worse it’s probably a sign to step away from them
  3. As well as having breakouts you also have dry patches and large pores aren’t something you have an issue with.

If this sounds like you then I would really recommend you take a step back from your skin care and review what you’re using. You can check out my sensitive skin routine here or message me for a chat about what would suit you best.

Oily Skin

Oily skin is a pretty common cause of acne, where your sebaceous glands produce more sebum (or oil) than they should. Your acne is probably down to having an oily skin type if –

  1. Your pores are noticeable and quite large
  2. You have a tendency towards blackheads as well as possibly whiteheads and cyst type spots
  3. Your skin is shiny and you don’t tend to have any dry skin, or at least not where your acne is present

For oily skin then this is where the products designed for acne come into play, using the correct cleanser, moisturiser (yes you still need moisture!), mask and additional treatments like Glycolic or Salicylic Acid can work wonders for your skin. Find my oily skin routine here or message me if you’d like a free skin consultation.

Other Acne Causes

Unfortunately your skin type isn’t the only cause of acne, the most common factors no matter whether you’re sensitive, dry or oily include –

  • Hormones – My hormones are my Achilles heel. It took me a long time to get my skin under control, but every month it’s still unbalanced by my pesky hormones! The main sign of your acne being hormonal is in where it appears – normally on your chin and jawline – and also when. In the luteal phase of your menstrual cycle (after you’ve ovulated so normally around 2 week before your period begins), our progesterone levels start rising which means so do our sebum levels which means your pores are more prone to getting clogged – and therefore acne!
  • Diet – Now this one I’m still a bit unsure on. There’s been no definitive results from studies to link diet to acne, however if you have an allergy or an intolerance to a food or a food group it would make sense that this could increase the chance of your skin being more irritated and sensitive, and then potentially more prone to acne. Until we have more research done in controlled studies I would be wary about cutting out entire food groups if the only symptoms you have is acne, although if you have other symptoms of a dietary intolerance it’s definitely worth seeing your GP or a dietician and it may just help with your acne too!

Finally, some tops tips on managing acne regardless of your skin type…

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