With more than 600 million people worldwide affected by it, acne is the eighth most common global disease.
An estimated 80% of people in the UK between the ages of 11 and 30 will have suffered acne at some point, according to the NHS. And reported cases of adult breakouts have risen by 200%.
Half of all adults will experience acne – and more than 80% of sufferers will be women.
But once we get beyond the stage of teenage hormones, why do some of us still get plagued by spots, pimples, blackheads, whiteheads – and possible acne scarring?
Even those who escaped pre-pubescent spots can find they develop acne for the first time as a grown-up.
So let’s take a look at what happens…
Acne is primarily caused by excess sebum (skin oils), mixing with the hairs or dirt on skin to clog up the pores. Bacteria trapped inside those pores multiply, leading to swelling and inflammation — which gives the red, irritated appearance of acne.
Excess sebum production is caused by a number of different factors, but essentially increased levels of the hormone testosterone stimulates the pores to increase activity.
A range of factors also lead to clogged pores and breakouts – like pollution, cosmetics, smoking, some medications, and even regularly wearing things that rub against the skin (such as a headband at the gym).
But a lot of it still comes down to good old hormones.
In women, hormones fluctuate during menstruation, while pregnant or if they suffer conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome.
Acne can also be genetic, so the likelihood of getting it if your parents were sufferers is high.
There is growing evidence that dietary factors do play a role in acne and many people find links between acne and their gut health, particularly when they consume dairy or excess simple sugars in their diet.
Apart from looking at lifestyle changes which could lead to improvements, there are active ingredients in skincare which can help. These include:
This rejuvenates the skin by promoting collagen and elastin production, essential proteins needed to generate new skin. So this ingredient is especially useful in preventing/treating acne scars. Good Morning! is an advanced Vitamin C serum which harnesses its strong antioxidant power directly onto the skin’s surface. Good levels of vitamin C and E in the diet have also been shown to reduce the inflammation associated with acne.
Alpha-hydroxy acids slough off dead skin cells which cause clogged pores, leaving you with smoother, softer skin. They can be applied all over the face. Types of AHAs include Glycolic Acid (found in Good Night!) and Lactic Acid (found in All Day Long!)
A potent antioxidant that helps fight free radicals, Vitamin A’s ability to reduce sebum production makes it particularly beneficial for people who have both acne and oily skin. Additionally, Vitamin A promotes the growth of healthy new skin cells and strengthens skin tissue. Good Night! is a Vitamin A based cream, developed to repair and renew skin while you sleep.
One molecule of hyaluronic acid can hold up to a thousand times its own weight in water. Which makes it an excellent moisturiser.
And a very important ingredient in skincare products.
Sleep is vital to our wellbeing, yet few of us actually make those hours of rest a priority.
Like good diet and exercise, the hours you spend in slumber is a critical component to overall health.