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9 Facts About Acne You Need to Know

Acne is an emotional and physical burden for those it affects. It leads many to seek out the truth in a sea of misconceptions. This article peels back the layers and gets to the core of what acne is.

Learn 9 facts about acne that you need to know. From understanding how acne develops to debunking the myths surrounding it, this article aims to be your go-to resource.

Also read: How to choose the best acne treatment

Biggest Take-Aways:

  • Acne is a complex skin condition that comes in various forms and affects people of all ages.
  • Hormones, diet, and stress play significant roles in how acne manifests and should be considered in a comprehensive treatment approach.
  • Non-comedogenic products are essential in any acne treatment regimen to prevent clogged pores and additional breakouts.
  • Exposed Skin Care offers a holistic approach to managing acne, with products formulated to be effective yet gentle on the skin.

Close up of chin with large acne

Fact 1: Acne Is More Than Just Pimples

When most people think of acne, they envision a face dotted with red pimples. However, acne is a broader term encompassing several types of skin abnormalities.

Not only do pimples fall under this category, but so do whiteheads, blackheads, cysts, and nodules. Understanding the different types of acne can help you better manage this skin condition.

Types of Acne:

  • Blackheads and Whiteheads: These are non-inflammatory acne that forms when dead skin cells and oil clog hair follicles.
  • Papules and Pustules: These are small, raised bumps that contain pus. Pustules are what most people commonly refer to as pimples.
  • Cysts and Nodules: Large, painful lumps beneath the skin surface. They are often filled with pus and are considered severe acne.

Fact 2: Acne Can Affect Anyone at Any Age

While acne is most frequently associated with teenagers going through puberty, the fact is that individuals of all ages get acne. Boys and girls, teenagers and adults, and even adult women going through hormonal changes can suffer from acne. Acne is a common skin condition that does not select its targets based on age.

Common Age Groups:

  • Teens: Due to hormonal changes, teenagers are often affected by acne.
  • Adults: Many adults, especially women, experience acne breakouts due to hormonal fluctuations.
  • Elderly: Although less common, older individuals are not immune to acne.

White haired woman with acne

Fact 3: Acne Is Hormonally Driven

One of the key facts about acne is that hormones, specifically androgens, heavily influence it. These hormones cause sebaceous glands to produce more sebum, an oily substance that can clog pores when mixed with dead skin cells. Hormonal changes during puberty, menstruation, and stress can contribute to acne.

Hormonal Changes:

  • Puberty: Increases in androgen levels can lead to the formation of acne.
  • Menstruation: Many women experience acne breakouts during their menstrual cycle.
  • Stress: Elevated stress levels can also cause acne by affecting hormone levels.

Fact 4: Acne Develops Deep Under the Skin

Acne develops from hair follicles under the skin, which become clogged with an accumulation of sebum and dead skin cells. This blockage can result in the growth of acne-causing bacteria, leading to an outbreak or acne breakout. Understanding that acne develops beneath the skin's surface helps you choose the right treatment options.

Contributing Factors:

  • Sebum: Overproduction of sebum can clog pores.
  • Dead Skin Cells: Accumulation of dead skin cells can contribute to the formation of acne.
  • Bacteria: Bacteria that normally reside on the skin can multiply and cause pimples when pores become clogged.

Fact 5: Not All Foods Cause Acne, but Some Might

The role of diet in acne has been a subject of debate for years. While no specific foods have been conclusively proven to cause acne, certain foods may exacerbate the condition.

For instance, foods with a high glycemic index can make acne worse by triggering hormonal fluctuations and increasing oil production.

Image of table with fast food fries

Foods to Consider:

  • High-Glycemic Foods: Such as white bread and sugary drinks.
  • Dairy: Some studies suggest that dairy can contribute to acne.
  • Fatty Foods: Excessive consumption of fatty foods may lead to inflammation, exacerbating acne.

Fact 6: Over-The-Counter Treatments Can Help but Are Not a Cure-All

Over-the-counter medications can help reduce acne symptoms and are a popular choice for mild to moderate cases. However, they are not a one-size-fits-all solution.

Treatment options like benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid can help reduce acne, but they may not be effective for more severe forms such as cystic acne.

Common OTC Ingredients:

  • Benzoyl Peroxide: Effective in killing acne-causing bacteria.
  • Salicylic Acid: Helps break down dead skin cells that can clog pores.
  • Non-Comedogenic Products: These do not clog pores and are recommended for acne-prone skin.

Fact 7: Acne Scarring Is a Real Concern

One of the more distressing facts about acne is that it can leave scars. Acne scars usually result from inflamed blemishes filled with pus, which can ultimately cause the follicle wall to burst. If not treated promptly, these scars can be a permanent reminder of past acne breakouts.

Types of Acne Scars:

  • Ice Pick Scars: Deep, narrow scars.
  • Boxcar Scars: Broad, rectangular-shaped scars.
  • Rolling Scars: Scars with a rolling or wavy appearance.

Side view image of face with many acne scars

Fact 8: Sunscreen Is Your Friend, Not Your Foe

One of the myths about acne is that sunscreen can make it worse. While it is true that some sunscreen products can clog pores, many “non-comedogenic” options are formulated to prevent this. Not using sunscreen can lead to other skin problems like sunburn and skin cancer.

Sunscreen Tips:

  • Choose Non-Comedogenic: These sunscreens are designed not to clog pores.
  • Broad Spectrum: Protects against both UVA and UVB rays.
  • SPF 30 or Higher: Offers better protection against harmful UV rays.

Fact 9: Stress Can Worsen Acne but Is Not the Sole Cause

There's a common belief that stress is directly responsible for acne. While stress can make acne worse by affecting hormone levels and oil production, it is not the sole cause. It can, however, exacerbate existing acne conditions. Managing stress levels is therefore important in a comprehensive approach to treating acne.

Stress-Related Factors:

  • Hormone Fluctuation: Stress can lead to spikes in certain hormones that worsen acne.
  • Oil Production: Stress can increase sebum production, which can clog pores.
  • Inflammation: Elevated stress levels can cause inflammation, which may exacerbate acne symptoms.

The Benefits of Using Exposed Skin Care for Acne Management

When managing acne, it's essential to be armed with the right facts and treatment options. Exposed Skin Care offers a holistic approach to treating acne.

Exposed Skin Care Ultimate Kit

The benefits of Exposed Skin Care are:

  • Non-Comedogenic: Our products are formulated to be “non-comedogenic,” meaning they won't clog your pores, a leading factor that can lead to acne.
  • Comprehensive Treatment: Exposed Skin Care addresses not just the skin surface but also the plugged hair follicles where acne most frequently originates.
  • Gentle Yet Effective: Many acne treatments can irritate the skin. Our products are designed to be gentle, making them suitable for moderate to severe acne conditions without causing additional irritation.
  • Long-Term Results: Users have seen significant improvements in their acne within weeks or months of consistent use.
  • Safe for All Skin Types: Whether you wash your face multiple times a day or use makeup products, you don't have to worry about our products exacerbating your condition. Our line even includes options to counteract the acne that makeup can cause.
  • No Harmful Ingredients: We avoid using corticosteroids and oral contraceptives, which can have other side effects and complicate your acne treatment.

By addressing the root causes and symptoms of acne, Exposed Skin Care provides a comprehensive solution for this common skin condition. Trust in a treatment that has helped many manage their acne effectively.


Acne is a skin condition that goes beyond the surface, affecting the appearance and emotional well-being of individuals. Understanding the complexities of acne—such as how it develops and what exacerbates it—is crucial for effective management and treatment.

The role of non-comedogenic products in acne treatment cannot be overstated. These products, which do not clog pores, are essential to any skincare regimen, especially for those prone to acne. They offer a safeguard against additional breakouts and complications, providing a crucial line of defense.

Moreover, lifestyle factors like stress and diet can also contribute to acne. It's not just the apparent triggers like hormonal changes; even makeup can cause acne if one is not careful about the products they use.

It's reassuring to know that most people will deal with acne at some point in their lives, making it a universally shared experience, albeit unwelcome. Therefore, choosing the right products, like those from Exposed Skin Care, can make a significant difference in how acne affects you. 

Acne management is a long-term commitment that requires a multi-pronged approach. From understanding its root causes to choosing the right skincare products, every step counts in achieving clearer, healthier skin.


What are the different types of acne?

Acne comes in several forms including blackheads, whiteheads, papules, pustules, cysts, and nodules.

Is acne only a teenage problem?

No, acne affects people of all ages, from teenagers to adults.

How do hormones affect acne?

Hormonal fluctuations can increase sebum production, which can clog pores and contribute to acne.

Do foods cause acne?

While no specific foods have been conclusively proven to cause acne, some foods with a high glycemic index may exacerbate the condition.

Are over-the-counter treatments effective?

OTC treatments can be effective for mild to moderate acne but may not be sufficient for severe forms like cystic acne.

Can makeup cause acne?

Yes, some makeup products can clog pores and lead to acne, so it's advisable to use non-comedogenic products.

How does stress relate to acne?

Stress can exacerbate acne by affecting hormone levels and oil production.

What is Exposed Skin Care?

Exposed Skin Care offers a comprehensive range of non-comedogenic products that effectively target the root causes and symptoms of acne.