Acné : quelles sont les causes ?

Acne: what are the causes?

Often a source of complexes, acne is a skin disease that affects 80% of adolescents and young adults. In approximately 15 to 20% of cases, it is said to be severe. To best treat your acne, it is important to understand its mechanism and identify the factors that cause it. Indeed , acne has multiple causes which we will reveal to you in this article.

What is acne?

Acne refers, by definition , to inflammatory lesions of the skin, linked to excessive production of sebum (an oily film naturally secreted by our skin in order to maintain its hydration). The scientific name for this skin disease is acne vulgaris . It is most often characterized by pimples (sometimes red, sometimes white), redness, oily skin and blackheads.

How does acne form?

Sebum covers the skin of the face and forms a protective and moisturizing film. The problem is that it clogs the pores of the skin when it is secreted in too large quantities. Rich in fat, it is the ideal playground for bacteria naturally present on the skin. When the quantity of sebum is excessive, this bacteria develops and multiplies abnormally, thus leading to the appearance of acne. But bacteria is not the only factor causing these lesions.

An acne pimple appears following the combination of 3 factors:

  • Excessive secretion of sebum (hyper-seborrhea)
  • Blocked pores
  • The development of bacteria

This skin disease most often develops around puberty, a period during which hormonal production increases considerably. Acne can also appear in adults over 25 years old, this is called late-onset acne . The causes of acne in adults are often hormonal and are accompanied by other symptoms such as excessive hair growth or even menstrual problems.

The different stages of acne

5 faces that present in order: a person without acne, one with minor then mild then medium then severe then very severe acne

Minor/mild acne:

We find the presence of a few pimples (rather small) on the central part of the face such as the nose, forehead, chin and cheeks, often associated with excess sebum.

Average acne:

Blackheads form on the skin, as well as pimples and microcysts on the face, back and shoulders.

Severe acne (also called cystic acne):

Alongside existing acne lesions and scars, more or less large cysts and bumps appear on the face, back, shoulders and sometimes the torso.

In cases of minor to medium acne, we most often speak of superficial inflammatory lesions (red acne spots without pus or white-headed spots containing pus).

In cases of severe acne, we often see the presence of red, painful and deep bumps.

What are the different causes of acne?

The origins of acne are diverse. These can be internal (hormones, diet, stress) or external (pollution, comedogenic cosmetics).

1. Hormones

Acne can be due to a hormonal cause . Hormones are one of the leading causes of acne in adolescents and young adults. During puberty, the hormonal surge (especially androgens and testosterone) causes excessive production of sebum which clogs the pores of the skin.

In women, both adolescents and adults, hormonal fluctuations in their menstrual cycle can lead to periodic acne breakouts. This is why some women's acne gets worse around the time of ovulation or menstruation. Other women only have acne before and/or during their periods. The rest of the time, their skin shows no lesions.

2. Comedogenic cosmetics

Certain beauty or skincare products can cause blackheads on the face. These products promote the formation of blackheads (open comedones) and microcysts or papules (closed comedones). The reason ? It is the texture of these products that clogs the pores of the skin, preventing it from breathing.

If you suffer from acne, it is essential to turn to natural, healthy and non-comedogenic cosmetics like our The Cosmetist serum for example. Ideal for combination, oily and sensitive skin, the unique formula of our serum composed of kiwi, hyaluronic acid and Sophora exfoliates and cleanses your skin while removing spots and scars caused by acne.

3. Food

We are now certain, acne has a dietary cause . It was long thought that chocolate, candy and cold meats were the only foods to cause acne. Certainly, a diet that is too fatty and too sweet promotes the development of acne, but not only that!

Dairy and grain products also promote the appearance of acne. This is what Professor Loren Cordain demonstrated during a study he himself conducted in 2002. According to him, everything is linked to insulin, a hormone essential for the assimilation of carbohydrates. Refined grain products are quickly digested by the body, thus leading to significant secretion of insulin. Result: this hormone increases the release of androgens, causing excessive sebum production.

If you are affected by acne, you must adopt a diet free of all processed products and favor intake of whole grains, rich in fiber and not very refined.

4. Stress

Ah the stress! He is accused of all evils and he sometimes has a good back. But when it comes to acne, it is indeed true that it can be the source. How ? Because stress has a direct influence on hormones. Many nerve cells are present near the greater sebaceum. In case of intense stress, these cells produce a substance which, once released, stimulates the production of sebum. So, zen attitude!

5. Pollution

No, pollution does not only affect our lungs. It also promotes inflammatory acne. Under the effect of pollutants and fine particles (lead, nitrogen oxides or even carbon monoxide), squalene (a lipid naturally present in sebum) oxidizes, causing acidification of the skin as well as the appearance of blackheads and cysts. The pores become clogged and bacteria grow at high speed.

As you will have understood, acne has multiple causes , which is why there are various acne treatments and not a single solution. To overcome this multifactorial skin disease, it is best to combine several solutions.

At The Cosmetist, we have developed a natural In & Out routine. In with our food supplements to treat the internal causes of acne; Out with our serum that cleanses and pampers your skin!

Source of Professor Cordain’s Study:

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