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What causes acne?

Acne is wrongly yet commonly associated with our teenage years. This is when we’re experiencing puberty, our hormones are fluctuating constantly, and we may not be as aware of skincare as we should be. Acne is commonly represented in the media by spotty teenagers, which can make adult acne sufferers understandably very self-conscious. When you don’t feel comfortable talking a professional about your skincare needs, you often turn to high-street products that aren’t nearly as effective. Let’s explore the causes of acne beyond the teenage years, because they don’t limit themselves to certain age groups!

Acne, unfortunately, is for everyone. When our pores and tiny follicles in the skin become blocked with dead skin cells and excess oil, a spot forms, and it really is as simple as that. There are more extreme forms of acne, of course, and some lighter or more circumstantial than others. For example, topical makeup products not removed correctly can be absorbed by our skin and cause a breakout.

The causes of acne

The sebaceous glands in our skin are attached to hair follicles, and their job is to lubricate the hair and skin to stop it drying out. They do this by naturally producing an oily substance called sebum which, in unaffected skin, is regulated and entirely harmless. In acne-prone skin, the glands produce too much sebum that mix with dead skin cells to plug up this hair follicle.

It’s these swollen and plugged follicles that become spots. When the built-up sebum is exposed to the air it reacts with oxygen to create a blackhead, and when it manifests beneath the skin it forms a whitehead. Breakouts are extremely common in oily skin and problematic skin, so you don’t have to be medically diagnosed or medicated for acne to experience a lighter form of it.

A common misconception in acne is that it results from sufferers being dirty or not washing their face, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Often those with acne are the people that have tried every available skincare product under the sun to no avail. It’s caused by your hormone levels, genetic predisposition, and how your skin functions and produces oil. Most of the biological reactions that trigger acne occur beneath the skin, not on the surface, so the cleanliness of your skin has no effect on your acne.

In fact, washing your face too much could just aggravate your skin more. Some high-street products on the shelves today (naming no names) contain high levels of alcohol used to dry to the skin out to supposedly regulate oil production. This aggressive drying, however, can actually kick-start your skin into over-producing more oil to replace what was unceremoniously removed. Using these kinds of products regularly, as well as things like blackhead strips, aggressively removes natural components that the skin works twice as hard to replace.

How to manage acne

This is why we offer professional skincare options and chemical peels. Our acne treatments in Mayfair work to remodel the skin from the inside, changing its functions and regulating its processes. Rather than just stripping away surface-level impurities that will re-emerge possibly stronger, our treatments encourage the skin to actively change its ways. This kind of deeper remodelling acts to build your skin into long-term health rather than just tackling the immediate and short-term surface blemishes.

Active acne and oily skin can be regulated and controlled with a course of chemical peels. While these products do dry your skin out, they’re vastly different from the high-street alcohol concentrations. They work at deeper levels within the skin and stimulate the production of fresh skin cells and fibres rather than oil, relevelling the skin and introducing it to a new skin rhythm. Also, our professional skincare ranges are available from our Marylebone aesthetics clinic and are medically formulated to produce long-term results.

Acne is caused by the components in your skin and this can make it particularly frustrating to tackle. Professional treatments individually tailored to you, however, can change your skin’s ways. Enquire online or call 0207 637 3208 to book your skin consultation today.

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