ACNE 101

Acne is a skin problem that can be painful and uncomfortable, whether it first appears in your teenage years or later in life. It can feel like a never-ending battle against breakouts, from pus-filled pimples to their lingering scars. Understanding what causes these breakouts and learning about key ingredients that can help reduce the appearance, severity, and spread of these breakouts are the first steps toward clearer skin. 


Through hair follicles, our pores connect to oil glands (technically known as sebaceous glands) beneath the skin, which excrete sebum to the surface to keep it soft and prevent dryness.

When too much sebum is produced, it can clog and block follicles with dead skin and dirt, causing blackheads and whiteheads to appear. When pores become inflamed or infected as a result of this congestion, angry pimples appear in the form of papules and pustules, or in more severe cases, nodules and cysts. Acne does not just affect the face; it can also affect other parts of the body, such as the back and chest. 


Acne can be caused by a variety of factors, and there's a lot of speculation about specific triggers, such as certain foods or behaviours. Hormonal changes (hence why it's so common in teenagers), genetics, and certain medications are the most commonly identified causes of acne. Other lifestyle factors can contribute to clogged pore such as environment, products used or not drinking enough water. We recommend consulting a doctor or dermatologist and making adjustments to different areas before monitoring the impact on your skin to investigate potential causes, especially in severe and long-term cases. 


Acne can manifest as a number of variants which are typically classified as non-inflammatory/comedonal acne (blackheads and whiteheads) which are closer to the skin’s surface and inflammatory which is caused when the normally harmless bacteria living on the skin finds its way into a congested follicle and causes infection. These tend to be more painful and severe outbreaks which require treatment, attention and a little bit of patience. 

Blackheads (Open Comedones) 
Pores are open but blocked and often look dark where the clogged sebum reacts with oxygen from air exposure. 


Whiteheads (Closed Comedones) 
Pores are closed and contain pus at the surface level of the skin. Generally smaller and not inflammed/red

Papules / Pustules
Sitting on the skin’s surface Papules (small red bumps) and Pustules (Small red bumps filled with pus on the skin surface) seem inflamed around the pores and more painful. 

Nodules / Cysts
At the more severe end of the spectrum and deeper beneath the surface we encounter Nodules (Large, solid lumps) or Cysts (Painful pus filled lumps) which can be more aggressive, red and painful.



So, what can you do? Whilst the key is attacking the fundamental reason (which may be examined with a dermatologist or doctor) there are some excellent components to help reduce and treat breakouts when they arise. Here are top acne treatments;


Salicylic Acid can work really well for acne. It’s oil soluble and can get deep inside the pores, helping to minimise breakouts. With anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial characteristics, it can also help spots disappear quicker when they do arrive.


This hero ingredient may be found in Cosrx Salicylic Acid Cleanser. Cosrx Salicylic Acid Cleanser may be used AM and PM as the first stage of your routine to minimise breakouts and blackheads.


Other products that contain Salicylic Acid:
  • Cerave SA Smoothing Cleanser
  • Some By Mi AHA BHA PHA 30 Days Miracle Foam
  • Cerave Renewing SA Cleanser

A naturally occurring vitamin (B3), Niacinamide tackles the various side effects of spot prone skin such as redness and excess oil.
Niacinamide serum is a hero when it comes to oil control, and it's especially good for oily or combination skin. It contains 10% niacinamide, which aids in the control of excess oil, the treatment of blemishes, and the reduction of redness and inflammation. 


 Other products that contain Niacinamide:

  • Beauty Of Joseon Glow Serum
  • Axis-Y Dark Spot Correcting Glow Serum
  • Iunik Tea Tree Relief Serum

As we've explored, acne can be caused by a variety of factors, and severe acne may require specialised and prescribed treatments. We always suggest seeing a doctor or dermatologist about your acne to rule out any external factors that may be affecting your skin and to determine the best treatment option for your specific needs.

We hope this breakdown was helpful! View all products for Acne prone treatments.

1 comment

This blog is very helpful to me. THANKYOU SO MUCH MUJ!

Nurul Zaidatul Syakila August 30, 2021

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