What is Acne?

What is Acne?

Put your hand up if you have been personally victimised by adult acne? Somewhere along the way we all collectively accepted that acne would torment us between the ages of twelve to eighteen and then magically disappear, never to be seen again. So, what happened? Well, it turns out acne isn’t teen-exclusive and can rear its ugly head at various points in our lives. To blast your breakouts into the past, you need to understand what causes acne and then how best to manage it for your skin.

What Causes Acne?

Here are a few of the many different factors that can contribute to acne. But if you’re still not sure it’s a good idea to get in touch with a trained beauty therapist for a professional assessment of your skin. 

Clogged Pores

Picture this: each pore is made up of a hair follicle which contains a sebaceous gland. These sebaceous glands release sebum, a waxy, oily secretion (I know it’s gross but stick with me) to help to lubricate and soften the skin’s surface. As the sebum travels up the follicle, it can get trapped by dead skin cells. Acne occurs when the oil, debris, and bacteria combine to cause the infection and inflammation that we lovingly (not) know as a breakout. 

Excess Oil Production

If you’ve done the skin type test and come up oily, you’ll know what I’m talking about. Oily skin is a genetic predisposition to produce the hormone dihydrotestosterone (try saying that three times) to cause the skin’s sebaceous glands to produce more sebum. When there is too much oil, the pores can stretch to try and contain the excess. If the extra oil becomes trapped, it combines with the dead skin and bacteria to cause a breakout. 


I hate to break this to you, but everyone has acne bacteria living on their skin. Yep, even you in the back with the fancy hat. However, not all acne bacteria cause breakouts. Under certain conditions (say a clogged pore) the bacteria can trigger an immune response that causes inflammation. 


Fluctuations with your hormones (specifically your androgen levels) can trigger a breakout. This is particularly true during puberty, pregnancy, or menopause. When the androgen receptors are sensitive, these hormones can trigger excess oil production and cause clogged pores and acne. You’ll find hormonal acne typically shows on the lower half of the face and especially on the jawline. 


Another thing to blame your parents for! Your genetic makeup is unavoidable and unfortunately some of us are just more prone to inflamed sebaceous glands. While you can’t permanently alter this, you can manage it with proper treatment.

Treating Acne

The first step to treating your acne at home is stop popping! Put down the bobby pins, tweezers, or whatever else you’ve fashioned into a medieval device to torture your poor skin with! Although momentarily satisfying, you’re running the risk of making your breakouts significantly worse by pushing the bacteria deeper into the skin or spreading it to other areas. Plus you’re causing inflammation which can lead to scarring.

So don’t do it, okay! 

Professional Treatments

An acne facial can provide a deeper level of cleansing that you can’t quite achieve at home. Our Pro Salicylic Acid Peel can do all kinds of wonderful things without causing irritation! Some examples of these wonderful things include targeting congestion within pores, rapidly removing blockages, and helping to improve the appearance of problem skin overtime.  

To design the right treatment for your skin, we recommend heading down to your local spa or salon and having a chat with a trained beauty therapist. To find the closest Eminence spa to you, click here.

Home Care Routine

The Acne Advanced Treatment System is designed to take the guesswork out your routine with three simple steps to help you manage your breakouts. The Acne Advanced Cleansing Foam is a gentle cleanser to remove impurities and replenish the skin. Follow this with the Acne Advanced Clarifying Masque, which can be used for full face or as a spot treatment. This powerful masque is infused with three types of purifying clay to draw out impurities and absorb excess oil without stripping the skin. The final step is to hydrate! The key to keeping acne-prone skin balanced is to stay moisturised. Although it may feel counter-productive if your skin is oily, if you let your skin dry out it will retaliate by producing excess oil and then cause more breakouts. Basically, it’s a vicious circle and best to just stay moisturised! Choose a weightless formula to stay hydrated and avoid bogging the skin down. The Acne Advanced Hydrator is infused with lotus extract, encapsulated salicylic acid, and zinc hyaluronate to help fight off breakouts and reduce inflammation and shine. 

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