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The Leading Causes of Acne: Guest Blogger

We spend inordinate amounts of time obsessing over our skin. But we’re always in need of some more expert help. This week, we’re lucky enough to have Dermalogica’s director of global education, Annet King, on hand to explain all things skin to usand to relay her great tips to you.


To prevent and treat any acne grade, you have to first identify the leading causes of acne. The four main contributing factors are: overactive sebaceous glands, cell proliferation, bacteria, and inflammation.

  1. We can eliminate the food source for the bacteria that causes breakouts by inhibiting overactive sebaceous glands, which can also help reduce oily shine. These ingredients are known sebum-regulating agents: nordihydroguaiaretic acid, niacinamide, yeast extract, horse chestnut extract, sarcosine and zinc gluconate.
  2. Adult acne sufferers produce four times more cells each day than the average adult. Control cell accumulation by exfoliating; this can also help eliminate the blocking or impaction of follicles, which triggers the early stages of comedone formation. Salicylic Acid, Lactic Acid, Sulfur and Papain are all great exfoliating agents.

  3. When the follicle is impacted and oxygen can no longer control bacteria activity, the bacteria begin to multiply causing pus formation and inflammation. You can help control bacteria by using Benzoyl Peroxide and Salicylic Acid as they are two key anti-bacterial ingredients.

  4. Scientists have identified specific ingredients that help inhibit bacteria from breaking down sebum into free fatty acids (this causes irritation and inflammation associated with acne lesions). You can minimize inflammation by controlling the breakdown of triglycerides. Topical anti-inflammatory repair agents, botanicals, and humectants like Green Tea, Panthenol, Licorice and Zinc are all examples of ingredients that help the healing process and soothe inflamed skin.

Looking for more help tackling pesky skin problems? Our skincare matchmaker has answers for everything from rosacea to hyperpigmentation to sun damage.

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