Why Do I Still Have Acne?

Acne can be one of the most frustrating and persistent skin concerns, and from my experience as a Skin Therapist, I can tell you: patience is key here.

Acne is a result of a blockage or infection of the pilosebaceous unit (composed of a hair follicle, an arrector pili muscle, and sebaceous gland).

The blockage in the follicle creates an anaerobic environment, which means there isn't any oxygen within the pilosebaceous unit. This is where what we call "C-acne" appears and proliferates. The skin then responds to the infection by creating inflammation, which appears on the surface as red, sore, swollen pimples or pumps.

Although the process of how acne forms on your skin is the same from your teen years through to adulthood, certain contributing factors may alter the reasons why you get acne.

If you are still suffering from acne after years of trying pretty much everything, now is when you need to start digging deeper into what your body is telling you.

You will need to eliminate the root cause of the acne to correct it. The majority of the time, the root cause of acne is an internal concern from which the results are seen on the surface of your skin in the form of acne.

Woman with pimples on jawline, cheeks and chin

Here are some of the internal concerns you might be experiencing:

  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Poor gut health
  • Food intolerances
  • Genetic factors

All these inner health concerns are influenced by:

  • Diet
  • Lifestyle
  • Medications
  • Deficiencies in vitamins and minerals
  • Stress

One of the first thing I always advise my clients to do if they are dealing with persistent acne, is seeking a naturopath or integrative practitioner to help guide them through these internal concerns and correct the root cause of their acne.

Other contributing factors that can cause persistent acne are:

  • Dehydration
  • Wrongly prescribed products
  • Using products that are too harsh for your skin when trying to get rid of acne
  • Products that are stripping the skin moisture barrier function
  • Wrongly prescribed professional skin treatments
  • Lack of sleep
  • Cosmetics
  • Environment
  • Picking/squeezing your breakouts and pimples

Working with your Skin Therapist to tailor a personalised skincare program for your skin (using both at-home and in-clinic treatments) is also a major step towards getting rid of your acne. As I mentioned above, wrongful product usage can be a factor leading to the worsen of your acne, so to have the CORRECT products prescribed to your skin by a professional is key here.

When I treat my clients with acne, I look at my client's skin and assess three inflammatory responses to be able to correct and regulate the cause of their acne:

1 - Quality of sebum (oil) - Sebum should be of watery consistency, but in acne prone skins, you will find the sebum is more of a pastey consistency, like custard or cottage cheese. This is what leads to blockages of the pilosebaceous unit (hair follicle) mentioned before.

2 - Retention Keratosis - Acne prone skins tend to not shed dead skin cells normally. That means your skin cells layer over each other causing no opening for oxygen to get into the pilosebaceous unit, leading to further blockage of your hair follicle. Dirt, grime, and products are then also blocked.

3 - Skin PH - If you are not cleansing your skin efficiently or if you don't have the correct PH balanced cleanser, you might be allowing the C-acne to thrive on the skin. Effective cleansing is essential to ensure the daily removal of sweat, excess sebum, and dirt.

My #4 favourite skincare ingredients for acne skin:

#1 Salicylic Acid

This oil acid regulates and absorbs the excessive sebum that entered the hair follicle, and offers a very deep clean, with very high anti-bacterial and anti inflammatory properties.

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This fresh, foaming cleanser lathers away excess oil and sebum without stripping moisture from the skin. It gently exfoliates pore-clogging surface skin with salicylic acid and contains purifying botanicals that help to keep pores clear.

#2 Niacinamide (Vitamin B3)

Vitamin B3 (Niacinamide) brings the skin's ph back into balance for oily and acne skins. It bans any opportunity for C-acne to appear and proliferate. Vitamin B3 also regulates sebum production and helps treat post imflammatory hyperpigmentation, which is a common occurrence after breakouts.

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Lack of sleep, poor diet, alcohol, stress, hormones... the list goes on and on. Everything and anything can affect your skin, leaving it blemish-prone and dull. That’s where Clarity Peptides comes in as a skin-perfecting peptide complex to help enhance your skin’s natural luminosity. Containing three potent actives: 10% niacinamide which calms the skin and the blemishes, and helps heal acne marks. Crystalide peptide adds light reflection for a translucent skin effect, and zinc PCA reduces unbalanced sebum production to balance skin bacteria to tackle blemishes.

#3 Vitamin A

Vitamin A helps to treat acne by rebalancing the stratum vorenum. It also speeds up the healing process by stimulating stem cells, prevents and treats scarring by stimulating the fibroblast, and increases cell turnover to help natural desquamation.

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Containing 8% AGP Complex, this powerful concentration of retinol refines skin to the next level for enhanced results by combining its proprietary retinol complex with amino acids and high-performance hydrators.

#4 Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid helps to retain moisture to the skin, which is essential for acne prone skins.

Acne skins experience an excessive sebum (oil) production. If the skin gets dehydrated because it is not receiving or maintaining its moisture (water) levels, it will try to compensate by increasing sebum (oil) production - which, needless to say, has the worst outcome for oily and acne skins.

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Medik8 Hydr8 B5 Intense is the original hyaluronic acid serum, but supercharged. Harnessing all of the hydration power of best-seller Hydr8 B5, with added Natural Moisturising Factors alongside a potent triple-action hydration booster, it is the ultimate antidote for parched, dehydrated skin.

+ This is my recommendation of a supplement for acne skins:

Introducing Essential Fatty Acids into your diet, with the two main sources of DHA and KPA (Omega 3), will improve the quality of your skin's sebum, by bringing it to the watery consistency it is meant to have - instead of the thick consistency acne-prone skins experience. Your sebum will then flow through our hair follicles and strengthen our Langerhans cells for optimal cell immunity function.

In other words, this supplement will enable us to correct the acne cause internally.

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The reasons Bestow Beauty Oil is able to do this is, it contains high levels Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs), a blend of cold-pressed organic flax seed and safflower oil, formulated to deliver thebest balance of healthy fats for clear, glowing skin.

About The Author

My name is Sari Pols,
I have been in the skincare industry for over 15 years. My passion lies in ‘Health’. Health for the skin and body. My philosophy is if we have good well-being on the inside, then it shows our vitality on the outside.
I have furthered my knowledge of Skin Anatomy, Skin Concerns, and Fitness. I am a true believer in how to make my clients feel their best both inside and out. My emphasis is on guiding my clients through their journey of skin concerns and conditions. I do not like to band-aid a concern or condition but want to get down to the root of the cause. I aim to give personalised consultations with treatment and correct prescribed skin products.

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