Five causes of breakouts (and what to look for in acne skincare)

Are you plagued by spots? Love to know how you might be able to prevent them? Read on for Five causes of acne breakouts.

Acne is a skin condition that plagues millions of people across the globe, transcending age, gender, and ethnicity. In fact, 8.6% of women and 5.8% of men in Britain suffer from acne. Even those with the best skincare routines of serums and moisturisers can suffer. 

While it may be seen as a mere cosmetic concern, the biology behind breakouts is far more intricate than meets the eye. Understanding the complex interplay of factors that contribute to acne development can provide valuable insights into its prevention and treatment. 

Here are five possible causes of your acne breakout.

1) Hormonal havoc 

One of the primary drivers behind acne is the hormonal fluctuations that occur within the body. Androgens, the male hormones present in both men and women, play a pivotal role in stimulating the sebaceous glands to produce more oil (sebum). This excess sebum can clog hair follicles, creating an ideal environment for the growth of acne-causing bacteria. 

During puberty, hormonal changes often lead to the onset of acne, which is why teenagers are particularly susceptible. However, hormonal imbalances can persist into adulthood, especially in women, contributing to ongoing acne breakouts. Fluctuations can occur during pregnancy, menopause, due to stress, or other changes in your life.  

2) Genetics: it’s just the hand you’re dealt 

Genetics also plays a significant role in the development of acne. If your parents or grandparents had a history of acne, you’re more likely to inherit a predisposition to the condition. Certain genetic variations can make your skin more sensitive to hormonal fluctuations or inflammation, making breakouts more likely. 

While you can’t change your genetic makeup, understanding your family history can help you take proactive steps to manage acne effectively. 

3) Diet 

What you eat can significantly impact your skin. High-glycemic foods, dairy products, and sugary snacks can trigger acne flare-ups in some individuals. Consuming a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains while reducing processed foods can help maintain clearer skin. 

4) Hygiene 

Maintaining proper skincare and hygiene practices is essential. Regularly cleansing your face, using non-comedogenic products, and avoiding excessive scrubbing can help prevent breakouts. However, overwashing or using harsh products can disrupt the skin barrier, exacerbating the problem. 

5) Stress 

Chronic stress can wreak havoc on your skin. When you’re stressed or anxious, your body releases cortisol, a hormone that can increase oil production and inflammation in the skin. Finding healthy ways to manage stress, such as through exercise, meditation, or relaxation techniques, can be beneficial for acne-prone individuals. 

To shed more light on combating acne and its relationship with anxiety-induced flare-ups, we turn to the insights of Marc Elrick, CEO & Founder of BYOMA, a skincare brand dedicated to promoting healthy skin. 

What ingredients should you look for in acne skincare?

According to Marc Elrick, there are several ingredients you can look for in your skincare to help with the effects of both internal and external aggressors. These can work to fight signs of breakouts and calm inflammation at the source.  

Ingredients like PHA and zinc will target breakouts and help unclog pores without disrupting the skin barrier. A balancing toner that contains probiotics will help to restore the microbiome while calming signs of inflammation and redness.” 

Incorporating skincare products formulated with such ingredients into your daily routine can be an effective complement to managing acne, especially when coupled with a holistic approach that addresses hormonal balance, genetics, diet, stress, and hygiene. 

Understanding the biology behind breakouts goes beyond surface-level analysis. Acne is a multifaceted condition influenced by hormonal fluctuations, genetics, and various lifestyle factors. By recognising these factors and taking a comprehensive approach to skincare and self-care, individuals can better manage acne and improve their overall skin health.