The Causes of Acne


You know I have struggled with acne for many years. It was not an easy battle but eventually you can overcome it.  One thing I learnt from those years is that to win you need to know the underlying causes. Because once you know the causes, you can better find more easily a way to eradicate the problem. Of course, acne is a little bit more complicated than you think but knowing the real causes behind it gives you a few paths to explore.

There are things you think cause acne that actually don’t. There are also things you think are safe that aren’t. Ok so what the actual causes?


Hormones are the main cause of acne, which is why it’s almost inevitable that you will suffer them as a teenager. When you hit puberty your body produces androgens. These hormones cause sebaceous glands to enlarge.

This is all well and good, and a natural part of growing up, but if your glands are overstimulated you get acne. The damage can last for decades, which is why adults can still suffer from acne. Androgens are also responsible for acne flaring up in pregnant and menopausal women.


Sebum is another byproduct of the sebaceous gland that can cause acne. As sebum travels it combines with the bacteria and dead skin cells it passes along the way. This is also another perfectly natural process. However all this extra sebum causes clogging. And with clogging comes acne.

A good way to regulate the sebum production is the use of a witch hazel toner. thanks again my awesome sophie for the great post you wrote about the uses of witch hazel on face. love it love it !!!


There is a bacteria that lives on the skin called Propionibacterium Acnes, also known as P. Acnes.

It all comes back to sebum as this bacteria is responsible for maintaining normal levels of sebum. Unfortunately P. acnes tends to multiply too much when follicles get plugged. This causes inflammation, which is another major culprit.


Inflammation is caused by more than just P. acnes. It’s most commonly caused by white blood cells attacking bacteria and other negative intruders in your body. Inflammation is what causes the pimples to become so red and swollen.

Different people are inflamed at different levels, but adult women suffer from pretty bad inflammation. This is the reason that adult women can continue to suffer from acne. Though men can too, so don’t feel too bad.


Stress is bad for you in every aspect. Stress can cause acne to flare up and make it worse. Which seems almost cruel given how stressful having acne is. Try not to worry about it so much and stay calm. Your body will thank you later.


There are some medications that can cause acne, or just make it worse. The main culprits are medicines that contain corticosteroids, lithium or androgens, which have already been established as a major cause of acne.

Read the label of the medicine you take to find out what’s in it, and do some research to find out what it can do to you.

All in all there are a number of perfectly natural reasons that acne happens. The downside is that because these are all natural they are difficult, if not impossible, to stop. The good news is that acne isn’t related to food. The chocolate you ate isn’t going to give you acne.

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