Acne: Our Guide To The Different Types
Like many skin concerns, including rosacea, acne can impact our self-confidence. We have created a speedy guide to help you understand what type of acne you might be dealing with and how to treat it. Let’s break down the causes of acne and talk through what the best skincare for acne is.
What is Acne?
Acne is most commonly caused by an overproduction of sebum (oil) in the skin, mixing with hair follicles, which leads to breakouts. We all have a bacteria called p.acnes, where high levels of sebum created an environment that makes the skin prone to breaking out. That being said, acne can also be caused by internal factors like diets, hormones, stress and it can be more or less severe and painful.
What are the different types of acne?
There are two main types of acne: inflammatory and non-inflammatory.
• Non-inflammatory acne includes whiteheads and blackheads, and are usually easy to get rid of with skincare, using AHAs and BHAs like glycolic acid or salicylic acid. This type of acne is most common among those with oily skin as these breakouts are usually caused by blocked pores. Non-inflammatory acne can also be caused by other external factors like pollution, which can create more bacteria on the skin.
• Inflammatory acne is usually caused by internal factors such as a hormonal imbalance, high levels or stress. On the skin, these breakouts will appear as pustules and papules, which can be quite painful was they are deep under the skin.
What are the Causes of Acne?
1. Having Acne-Prone Skin
Your skin type might be the main reason why you’re dealing with acne. If your skin is on the oily side, you are naturally more prone to breakouts. The best way to deal with acne-prone skin is to make sure you’re using the right beauty products. From skincare to makeup and even haircare, work with non-comedogenic formulas that won’t clog your pores to help minimise breakouts.
2. Hormonal Acne
Hormonal acne can be due to hormone fluctuations during the menstrual cycle. It’s not uncommon to see a few whiteheads appear when approaching your period. It can also be due to a hormone imbalance; in that case you would get cystic acne on the chin and around the mouth. These can be quite painful and are the most difficult to tackle with skincare. If this sounds familiar, speak to your GP who will help you find the best treatment for your acne.
3. Stress can cause acne
If you’ve been feeling stressed and are starting to see some breakouts appear, you might have an imbalance with your cortisol levels. “Stress affects your oil chemistry – more sebum is secreted when you are stressed, which can plug up your oil glands,” says Dr. Dennis Gross, NYC-based dermatologist and brand founder. With that in mind, switch to an oil-free moisturiser such as Dr. Dennis Gross Hyaluronic Marine Oil-Free Moisture Cushion, $83.00, and look for spot treatments with sulphur, which will “control the oil that feeds the bacteria,” adds Dr. Gross.
4. Diet can affect your acne
What you put in your body can have a huge impact on your skin, so try and eat a balanced diet with nutrients that feed your body and your skin properly. We’re not saying that you can’t treat yourself but make sure you’re getting your greens and nutrient-dense foods too. Foods that are highly processed can cause inflammation to the gut, which is then reflected on your skin. Dr. Gross, who recommends LED light-therapy: “it kills acne-causing bacteria and reduces inflammation to improve skin clarity. Results are often seen after just one treatment.”
What is the best skincare for acne?
When it comes to using skincare for acne, opt for products with exfoliating ingredients that help to kill bacteria and reduce the appearance of breakouts. Look to ingredients like salicylic acid and azelaic acid that will help loosen blocked pores and gently exfoliate. Lately, people have been skin cycling to boost the skin’s turnover, using exfoliants and retinol.
Our Final Word On Acne
Just like other skin concerns or conditions, acne won’t disappear overnight, even if you do everything right. Give your products some time to work and your skin the time to recover, it’s all about being consistent with your routine and maintaining a healthy skin barrier. It’s also important to get to the root of your acne to understand what the best way to treat it is, as it will look for everyone.
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