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What Causes Acne, and How do you Treat it?

Let's get one thing straight: acne is not your fault. But that doesn't mean that it can't be treated, and even prevented in the first place.

All acne is caused by the same three factors. So, what are the three main causes of acne?

  1. Overactive oil glands

  2. An excess of dead skin cells

  3. A build-up of a certain bacteria

These main factors are most commonly linked to geneticshormone levels, stress, and excess sweating.

That means that acne has less to do with actions like touching your face, certain haircuts, or specific foods (which is why we stress that acne isn't your fault).

Let's dive deeper into the causes of acne, so that we can better learn how to prevent it and treat it.

A woman touches acne on her face

Overactive Oil Glands

In your skin, in each pore, you have oil-producing glands called sebaceous glands. The sebaceous gland's job is to produce an oily substance called sebumthat keeps your skin healthy, moisturized, and protected.

But in people with acne, the sebaceous glands become overactive, and there is an increase in sebum production.

That excess oil then fills your pore and creates a blockage. This blocked pore is not just surface level, but instead, the sebaceous gland creates enough sebum that it fills the gland itself, the hair follicle, and up to the top of the clogged opening.

That blockage makes the perfect home for acne-causing bacteria.

How to Treat Overactive Oil Glands

Washing your face isn't enough to halt overactive sebum production, and typical facewash won't get into the pore to clear out the excess oil. That means that most facewashes and products simply clean, dry out, or irritate the top of your pimples, without really getting in to cure them and treat your skin.

Fortunately, with a combination of science and natural acne remedies, there are ingredients that can get to the root of the issue when used in conjunction with other treatments.

Some ingredients to look out for to treat overactive oil glands:

Both the Exposed Skincare Facial Cleanser and the Clear Pore Serum use salicylic acid to unclog and shrink pores, so that other treatment against bacteria (like benzyol peroxide) can enter into the skin instead of just washing over it. Pro-Vitamin B5 also regulates oil production to prevent more acne from forming later on.

Green tea extract, present in the Exposed Skincare Clearing Tonic and the Acne Treatment Serum, also works to regulate sebum production without drying out your skin or causing further irritation.

Excess Dead Skin Cells

The top layer of your skin, the epidermis, is constantly exfoliating and refreshing itself by creating new skin cells underneath, and shedding the dead skin cells on top. You are always shedding dead skin cells as they are replaced by new, young skin cells underneath.

But people with acne produce more skin cells than the average person.

A man cleanses his face with a cloth.

Beyond that, the dead skin cells of people with acne often do not shed properly. This creates a build-up of dead skin cells in the epidermis, which get stuck inside your hair follicles, blocking the pore opening on the top, and contributing further to blocking your pores.

How to Treat Excess Dead Skin Cells

Treating acne, especially severe acne, means clearing away excess skin cells and slowing down the production of new skin cells.

Ingredients that treat abnormal shedding of skin cells:

Azelaic acid is essential in treating acne because it helps open up the follicle, which prevents it from getting clogged. It also helps your skin shed more dead skin cells.

Glycolic acid has a dual effect on the skin, helping your body shed more dead skin cells on the upper layer while also stimulating the production of new skin cells below. That is why glycolic acid is also often used as an anti-aging ingredient, as it gives your skin a youthful and supple glow.

Bacteria Build-Up

So, due to overactive oil glands and an excess of dead skin cells, you have blocked hair follicles filled with sebum. This is the perfect storm for the next step.

Inside a blocked pore, oxygen can't get in. The bacteria Propionibacteria acnes or P. acnes thrives in this oxygen-free environment, so these bacteria start to reproduce and grow within the pore.

P. acnes eats the oil inside the pore, digests it, and produces a fatty acid waste that irritates the lining of the pore and causes inflammation and redness. At this point, you may already be noticing the blemish.

Then, the inflammation and waste from P. acnes trigger your immune system, which sends white blood cells, or pus, to help you out. But because the pore is clogged, the pus builds up, and now you've got a zit that just ruined your morning.

Acne on a woman's cheek

How to Treat Bacteria Build-Up

There are some acne products known to kill the P. acnes bacteria, but they need to be able to get into the pore. Some acne products simply add more and more of these bacteria-killing elements, but, similar to many face washes, they sit on top of the acne without ever getting inside.

That's why these ingredients work best in conjunction with the other ingredients listed above in a holistic approach.

With that being said, here are the best ingredients for treating bacteria in the skin:

Benzoyl peroxide is one of the most popular acne treatments, but its effectiveness depends less on the amount of benzoyl peroxide, and more on a comprehensive treatment that allows the benzoyl peroxide to get inside your pore where the bacteria lives.

For example, some famous acne treatment options include 5% benzoyl peroxide, which is far too high and can actually worsen your skin condition.

Tea tree extract is a natural, gentle antibacterial that is also extremely effective in treating bacteria in the skin.

Conclusion: What Causes Acne, and How do you Treat It?

Acne is a multi-faceted problem, and, as such, it requires a multi-faceted approach.

While no one of these ingredients may work on their own to treat the three main causes of acne vulgaris, when used in conjunction, they can make an enormous difference in your skin's health.

The Exposed Skincare Kits include all these ingredients and more to really get to the cause of your acne to treat it and prevent it. More importantly, Exposed Skincare products contribute to skin health in general, using both natural and scientific ingredients.

The Exposed Ultimate kit
The Exposed Skincare Ultimate Kit.

Because we understand acne and we know that these ingredients work, we offer the best guarantee in the industry: if you do not see a reduction in acne or smoother skin you can get a full refund within ONE YEAR of your purchase.

Acne goes beyond skin deep. It can affect your confidence, your personality, your self-image, and more. That's why we don't mess around with empty promises and dishonest marketing teams. We tell you that our product works because we know that it works.

Experience the high quality of Exposed Skincare, and leave your acne in the past.