Are you having breakouts again? You’re not alone. Acne is one of the most common skin problems throughout the world. Though it is more common among adolescents, some may continue to suffer from acne well into adulthood.
Acne is inflamed sebaceous glands in the skin. This condition occurs when oil or dead skin cells plug up the pores, causing inflammation. There are different types of acne, such as blackheads, whiteheads, pimples (pustules), papules, nodules, and cystic lesions. They may appear not only on the face but also on the back, shoulders, and chest.
The Causes Of Acne
The real culprit that causes acne is blocked hair follicles that swell up and become infected. Most people blame greasy food and poor hygiene as the major causes of acne, but the true causes of acne are the following:
1 – Excessive Oil Production
Excessive oil produced by sebaceous glands combines with dead skin cells to plug up the hair follicles or pores. Clogged pores eventually swell up and become inflamed, resulting in a pimple. Excessive oil production can cause multiple pimples or different types of acne all at once.
2 – Hormonal Imbalance
The reason teenagers typically suffer from acne is that they produce high levels of androgens during puberty. Androgen is a hormone that is primarily for the development of the male reproductive system. In contrast, androgen is the precursor to the production of estrogen in women. The activity of sebaceous glands is only one among the many things androgen handles. Thus, too much androgen causes the excessive activity of sebaceous glands. The oil produced by the sebaceous glands, in turn, clogs pores and causes acne.
3 – Acne-Causing Bacteria
There is a type of bacteria that lives on our face, and it is the one that triggers inflammation. Propionibacterium acnes is a type of bacteria that lives in the skin. One strain of this bacterium aggravates the skin’s response to clogged pores. It contributes to further redness and swelling.
4 – Genetics
Some people are more prone to developing acne. We have our parents’ genetics to blame here. If your parents had or have acne, it is highly likely that you will develop the condition, too.
Other factors that contribute to acne are:
- Friction on the skin
- Greasy or oily substances (e.g. cosmetics)
Any one of these factors can trigger or aggravate your acne.
Tips To Treat Acne
As mentioned earlier, there are different types of acne. Each of them requires different treatment. Before you try anything to alleviate your skin condition, it’s important to first determine what type of acne you have. For instance, cystic acne is best treated with medication. It is, however, possible to treat acne through natural ways.
Here are the best natural ways to treat acne:
1 – Spot Treatment With Tea Tree Essential Oil
Tea tree oil is known for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It penetrates deep inside the skin and targets bacteria that cause acne. Its anti-inflammatory properties help soothe the skin and minimize redness, so it helps dry out different forms of acne. Continuous use of anti-acne products with tea tree oil can help prevent the growth of bacteria, thus preventing future breakouts.
Tea tree essential oil is a potent substance that cannot be used directly on the skin. It will only further irritate your skin, so it should be diluted for spot treatment purposes. Also, be sure to only apply tea tree oil on affected areas to avoid irritation.
2 – Moisturize With Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is another natural remedy for acne. This plant has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Like tea tree oil, it can help treat existing acne and prevent future breakouts. Aloe vera also helps reduce scar formation and lighten scars due to acne.
Aloe vera is a popular ingredient in the beauty industry, so you will often find it listed as an ingredient in moisturizers. Moisturizers with aloe vera can help manage acne and acne scars alike. However, you can also use aloe vera gel—be it store-bought or directly from the plant—for this purpose.
3 – Exfoliate Regularly
Exfoliation is the process of removing dead skin cells that stay on the top layer of the skin. While this process cannot treat acne directly, it can help prevent acne breakouts. Exfoliation minimizes the tendency of dead skin cells to clog pores. Aside from that, exfoliation softens the skin and brightens the complexion.
Despite these benefits, exfoliation is a tricky process. Excessive exfoliation and overly abrasive exfoliants can aggravate the inflammation of your acne. People with sensitive skin and acne-prone skin should be careful when it comes to choosing the products they use. An anti-acne face scrub would work best as it is not too abrasive and contains anti-acne ingredients.
4 – Exercise Regularly
Regular exercise has endless benefits. Aside from being good for your physical health, regular exercise also helps with hormone regulation and blood circulation. Better hormone regulation will help control your sebaceous glands’ oil production. Healthy oil production will help clear up your acne.
One more benefit of regular exercise is its ability to reduce stress, which also aggravates acne breakouts. Just make sure that you wash your face with a pore-cleansing facial wash after every exercise to prevent sweat and oil buildup.
5 – Use Noncomedogenic Skincare Products And Cosmetics
You may have heard or seen the term “noncomedogenic” a lot lately. Here’s what it means: noncomedogenic products do not have ingredients that are likely to clog up pores. If you have acne-prone skin, you may want to check the label before you buy a product for your face. However, keep in mind that even if the label says noncomedogenic, that does not mean that it will not clog up your pores. You still need to test how your skin will react to the new product.
The Bottom Line
Different factors may cause or contribute to your acne, so treatment of this skin condition should not be limited to addressing only one or two issues. Try some natural ways to prevent and treat acne and see what works for you. However, if none of these methods help, consider consulting a dermatologist.