Often a source of complexes, acne is a skin disease that affects 80% of adolescents and young adults. In about 15 to 20% of cases, it is said to be severe. To be able to best treat your acne, it is important to understand its mechanism and identify the factors that cause it. Indeed , acne has multiple causes that we will reveal to you in this article.
What is Acne?
Acne means, by definition , 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 condition is acne vulgaris . It is most often characterized by pimples (sometimes red, sometimes white), redness, oily skin and blackheads.
How does acne form?
Sebum coats the skin of the face and forms a protective and moisturizing film. The problem is that it clogs the pores of the skin when 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 bacterium develops and multiplies abnormally, thus causing the appearance of acne. But the bacteria is not the only factor causing these lesions.
An acne pimple appears as a result of the combination of 3 factors:
- Excessive sebum secretion (hyper-seborrhoea)
- Pore clogging
- The development of bacteria
This skin disease most often develops during puberty, a period during which hormonal production increases considerably. Acne can also appear in adults over the age of 25, this is called late acne . The causes of acne in adults are often hormonal and are accompanied by other symptoms such as excessive hairiness or menstrual disorders.
The different stages of 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.
Blackheads form on the skin, as well as pimples and microcysts on the face, back and shoulders.
Severe acne (also called cystic acne):
In parallel with 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 pimples without pus or whitehead pimples containing pus).
In cases of severe acne, we often observe 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).
Acne can be due to a hormonal cause . Hormones are one of the primary causes of acne in teenagers and young adults. During puberty, the hormonal surge (particularly of androgens and testosterone) causes excessive production of sebum which clogs the pores of the skin.
In women, teenagers 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 have acne only before and/or during their period. The rest of the time, their skin shows no lesions.
2. Comedogenic cosmetics
Some beauty or care products can cause comedones 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, our serum's unique formula of kiwi, hyaluronic acid and Sophora exfoliates and cleanses your skin while removing spots and scars caused by acne.
We are now certain, acne has a food cause . It was long thought that chocolate, sweets and cold meats were the only foods that caused acne. Admittedly, 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 was demonstrated by Professor Loren Cordain in a study he himself conducted in 2002. According to him, everything is linked to insulin, a hormone essential for the assimilation of carbohydrates. Refined cereal products are quickly digested by the body, thus causing a significant secretion of insulin. Result: this hormone increases the release of androgens, causing excessive sebum production.
If you are concerned (e) by acne, you must adopt a diet free of any processed product and favor the intake of whole grains, rich in fiber and unrefined.
Oh stress! He is accused of all evils and he sometimes has a good back. But as far as acne is concerned, it is quite true that it can be the source. How ? Because stress has a direct influence on hormones. Many nerve cells are present near the greater sebaceous. In the event of intense stress, these cells produce a substance which, when released, stimulates the production of sebum. So, zen attitude!
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. Pores clog and bacteria grow at breakneck 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 dietary supplements to treat the internal causes of acne; Out with our serum that cleanses and pampers your skin!
Source of Professor Cordain's Study: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12472346/