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Acne breakouts are caused by a confluence of FOUR factors - each of which might be 'weighted' differently, depending on your skin condition, genetics, age, lifestyle and surrounding humidity levels (e.g. if you work in a swimming pool, a kitchen, or a greenhouse, where the humidity issue may rate higher). These key factors are:
Oil being over-secreted by your sebaceous glands
Keratinized Cells getting stuck on the surface - and in the pore linings - of the skin
Anaerobic Bacteria proliferating inside your pores, because of a lack of exposure to oxygen, and...
Hormones, which can affect the quality of the sebaceous secretions, making them stickier
Now the first three, we can deal with mechanically. The last one, we have to deal with strategically.
OIL, by itself, isn't bad for your skin. In fact, naturally produced skin lipids help feed your barrier layer, which keeps moisture locked in and gives your face a healthy, beautiful, naturally-hydrated glow. For well-balanced skin, you don't want to strip too much of it away, but you do want to ensure you keep any 'excess' oil out and off your face, so pores don't get congested or blocked. An oil-emulsifying cleanser, like JAPANFUSION Cleanser, Jeju Daily Cleansing Milk, PLANTASTIC Apricot Cleansing Balm or our amazing Double Phase Cleanser can help, as will any oil-absorbing cleanser or mask like SUPER HEALTHY SKIN Deep Purifying Cleanser.
Keratinized Cells are a result of your skin’s natural renewal process and have the benefit of helping trap moisture as part of your barrier layer. But too many, and your complexion will appear dull, the oxygen-path down into your pores can block, and anaerobic bacteria can build up. Any non-drying exfoliators may help prevent too much retention, like our PLANTASTIC Micropeeling SuperDrops, FRUITIZYME Five Minute Facial, Super Pore-Detox Black Clay Mask or our DR GLYCOLIC Pore-Purifying Glow Toner.
Bacteria – which can cause breakouts - you might be surprised to learn exists on your skin all the time. But acne-causing bacteria is anaerobic - meaning it can't survive when exposed to air - so keeping the oils moving and the dead cells clear (as above) helps keep bacteria in check. Anything oxygenating can also help (which is why exercise - which stimulates blood flow - can help with problematic complexions, and using an Oxygen Mask regularly, can help control acne-causing bacteria., repeated regularly, can make a big difference to acne-prone skin). A gentle antibacterial - like the plant-based ferment in our PLANTASTIC Micropeeling SuperDrops can also be one of the most effective ways to prevent and get rid of acne. And lastly, but the most challenging of them all...
Hormones. While there are all kinds of remedies for fluctuating hormones, which can make the oil coming out of your sebaceous glands a bit sticky, we don't have anything to offer you for that... yet!
Ask any dermatologist, any experienced skincare guru (we have Marcia) or any leading cosmetic chemist and they'll say the same thing: good cleansing is a non-negotiable ‘step 1’ in your skincare routine. Most oily complexions thrive on a twice daily clogged-pore, emulsifying, oil-absorbing (but non-drying) takedown and drier types on a single, more thorough evening ablution (so barrier ceramides can refill in between). Frantically busy types opt for a quick cleanse (which is better than nothing), while skincare junkies probably opt for the double-cleanse, the triple-cleanse - or soon, any cleanser addict worth their salt will be extolling the virtues of the quadruple cleanse.