How to get rid of
acne AND blemishes
Did you know that more than 90% of the world’s population will experience acne at some point during the lives? While a staggering 85% of people aged 12-24  suffer with spots, whether mild, moderate or severe?
Yup, acne affects a lot of us and is one of the most common complexion concerns.
Unfortunately, it can have significant negative effects on an individual’s mental health, knock their confidence and leave them frustrated as they try product after product that doesn’t make a difference.
Without proper knowledge, it can feel like the search for a resolution is always just out of reach.
However, taking the time to understand the science behind acne can help equip you with the tools and knowledge for how to treat it.
So, we’re going to help you sift fact from fiction, zero in on the ingredients that are right for blemish-prone skin and recommend the products that’ll take you one step closer to a clear complexion.
To understand acne, we need to explore what’s known as the pilosebaceous unit. This is a hair follicle which contains a sebaceous (oil) gland, the opening of which is known as a pore.
There are four steps in the formation of acne, each of which we’ll reakdown to make it clear how blemishes and spots form – and subsequently, what you can do to stop them before they take hold.
First, something (we’ll discuss this more thoroughly later) causes the follicles to become enlarged. Then cells within the follicle become sticky, inflamed and cannot shed properly.
Next, hormones within your body bind to receptors in the oil gland and cause excess oil to be produced. The excess oil and sticky cells clump together.
This causes a blockage of the pore.
Bacteria then thrive in this environment by feeding off the oil, as well living in a reduced oxygen environment, which then causes inflammation which leads to redness and pus forming. If this continues for a prolonged period of time, the bacteria penetrate lower into the dermis and cause further issues within the skin which can lead to scarring.
There are several factors that can cause acne – and it’s not just the reserve of teenagers. Our age, lifestyle and hormonal state can all lead to spots.
During puberty, there’s an increase in androgen hormones throughout he body, which cause an enlargement of sebaceous gland. This leads to an increase in oil production and subsequently more blockages.
An increase in the stress hormone Cortisol also increases amount of testosterone in the body which causes an enlargement of sebaceous gland. This leads to an increase in oil production and subsequently more blockages.
The menstrual cycle sees the increase of a hormone called Lutenising after you ovulate. which cause an enlargement of sebaceous gland. This leads to an increase in oil production and subsequently more blockages.
PCOS leads to higher levels of testosterone being released which cause an enlargement of sebaceous gland. This leads to an increase in oil production and subsequently more blockages.
As you can see, all of these factors alter the hormone levels in the body which has a direct impact on skin. From increasing oil production to enlarging the sebaceous glad, all of these blockages that occur within the pilosebaceousleads to increased breakouts.
A comedone is a skin coloured acne papule (bump) commonly found on the forehead and along the jaw and can be broken down into different types:
So, let’s think about this logically.
There are three different factors that combine to cause acne: blockages caused by excess oil, sticky sells that haven’t shed properly and then bacteria – if you work to control those factors, you’ll start to see an improvement in your skin.
If there are three factors that cause acne, there are three opportunities to try and treat it:
Okay, lets break this down even further:
Just think if the bacteria can’t grow and multiply, there is less chance of inflammation.
Korean skincare has a number of ingredients and products than can help with acne.
Snail mucin – antibacterial properties which helps keep the bacteria at bay. It also helps your skin barrier which means less inflammation and faster healing.
Knowing exactly what products to pick to help treat your acne can be tricky, so we’ve put together a blemish-busting bundle teeming with the spot-fighting ingredients we’ve covered in this blog. From an oil-balancing cleanser to a sulfur gel, each is designed to help you achieve a clearer complexion.
 Bhate K, Williams HC. Epidemiology of acne vulgaris. The British journal of dermatology 2013;168:474-85.  . (Connolly D, Vu HL, Mariwalla K, Saedi N. Acne Scarring-Pathogenesis, Evaluation, and Treatment Options. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2017;10(9):12-23.)
Dr Ayah is an aesthetic doctor and dentist with a passion for all things skin. Having spent more than a decade studying biomedicine, biochemistry, anatomy, dentistry and physiology at University, she’s skilled in many a complexion concern.
While studying, Dr Ayah worked as a makeup and skincare consultant for numerous brands at Harvey Nichols and Selfridges. After graduating,
Over the years, Ayah has developed a personal passion for K-beauty and how it amalgamates the worlds of beauty and science. When she’s not discussing aesthetic treatments with friends and family, you’ll find her either playing with mounds of makeup to create bright and colourful looks or helping people through life coaching. She, like all of us at TONIC15, is a big believer in the power of self-care, education and kindness.
With her science-based skill set and knowledge of all things skin, Dr Ayah will be working with us through #SkincareSchool decoding ingredients, products and formulas.