Acne is caused by the overproduction of oil which then becomes trapped in your pores alongside dead skin cells. Inflammation occurs when bacteria also becomes contained within the lining of your pores. If you are acne-prone then you may notice that your pores are more visible as the blocked sebum and dead skin cells can widen your pores over time making them larger and more visible.


What is Acne?

There are quite a few different types of acne but there are some key differences between them and therefore slightly different ways to treat them.

Whiteheads/blackheads: when oil and dead skin becomes trapped in the pore it results in either whiteheads which are closed, small white spots or blackheads which are open meaning the trapped material becomes oxidised and turns black.

Pimples: when bacteria, along with oil and dead skin, is trapped inside the pore inflammation is caused creating a larger, and more sensitive spot with a white head.

Cystic Acne: when bacteria has penetrated more deeply into the skin it creates painful and hard bumps. This type of acne has the greatest chance of leaving scarring.

What is Hormonal Acne?

Hormones are one of the most common causes, other than having an oily skin type, of oil overproduction. For people who experience periods, pregnancy and menopause in particular there is no normal state that your skin is permanently in as your hormones change depending on your menstrual cycle and as you age. This means that regardless of skin type you may notice yourself breaking out at unexpected moments.

What is Acne-Prone, Dehydrated Skin?

If you have dehydrated skin then regardless of your skin type you may notice that you are producing more oil than normal and subsequently experiencing breakouts. Dehydrated skin usually results from climate changes and using overly stripping skincare as these dry your skin out causing it to compensate by producing more sebum than it needs. It’s important to find a hydrating skincare routine that will compensate for this but still suit your skin type. Refer to our oily, dry, and combination skin guides for more information.

How to Prevent Acne?

There are some simple things you can be doing to try and prevent breakouts before they happen. Firstly, review your current skincare routine and remove any products with irritating ingredients like denatured alcohols, mint extracts, or eucalyptus. Likewise, if you have sensitive skin anything with fragrance can stress your skin out causing it to breakout. If you do breakout, avoid following myths like using toothpaste as this will irritate the skin more and even slow down the healing process. If you wear make-up then remove it properly at night by double cleansing which will help to prevent clogged pores. If you start breaking out more than normal and there is no clear reason why then please consult a dermatologist.

Best Ingredients to Help Prevent Acne

If you suffer from acne and breakouts then look for products which include the following ingredients as these will all help to reduce breakouts.


these are chemical exfoliants which dissolve the bonds between dead skin cells. This means they remove dead skin cells before they can block your pores.
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these are also chemical exfoliants and help to remove dead skin cells however, these also penetrate into the pores and help to unclog any sebum build-up.
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this increases the turnover rate of skin cells and so helps to remove the top layer of dead skin cells before they can clog your pores.
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this helps to reduce the appearance of large pores and by reducing their size it also makes it more difficult for them to become clogged.
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