What causes breakouts and acne blemishes on your face and body?
It’s likely that there is a combination of factors working together to cause your acne breakouts. The best acne treatment programs include topical acne treatment products to clear your acne and give you healthy skin from the outside, as well as lifestyle modifications to treat your acne from the inside out. That means using an Inclusive Health® approach of topical care, internal care and emotional self-care to make your skin and your whole body healthier. In order to understand the best way to treat your acne, it’s important to determine the cause of your acne. Keep reading for a complete summary of the various causes of acne. While nobody knows for sure what causes pores and follicles to overproduce skin cells and become clogged, all of the following are linked to increased acne breakouts.
Hormones Can Cause Acne Breakouts
It doesn’t matter if you’re male or female, 16 years old or 35 years old, fluctuations in hormone production can lead to acne breakouts. In fact, acne is considered a hormonal skin disorder. It’s ultimately hormones that control the glands in the skin that produce oil, and when those glands overproduce oil, it creates a breeding ground for acne-causing bacteria. Additionally, an overproduction of certain hormones has also been linked to the overproduction of skin cells that clog pores. In particular, androgen, which is a male hormone that is found in both men and women, commonly causes acne breakouts when overproduced.
Hormonal acne can happen at any time in your life. For males, it most commonly, but not exclusively, occurs during puberty. Women may experience hormonal acne during puberty, menopause and pregnancy. Women may also experience hormonally related breakouts during their menstrual cycle.
On the Murad Skin Deep Blog: Learn more about the impact of hormones on your skin.
Diet Choices Can Cause Acne Breakouts
If you’re researching the causes of acne, you may encounter a great deal of conflicting information about whether diet plays a role in acne breakouts. The reality of the matter is that diet absolutely matters when it comes to having clear skin. Clear skin is healthy skin and the health of your skin is dependent on the health of your body overall. After all, the skin is the body’s largest organ. In fact, Dr. Murad’s revolutionary philosophy of Inclusive Health™ includes Internal Care such as diet and hydration as one of its three pillars.
You may have heard that the idea that diet impacts acne breakouts is a myth. The myth is that diet doesn’t matter! It’s true that many of the hard and fast rules that you’ve heard about diet and acne aren’t true. For example, eating chocolate or French fries will not cause an acne breakout. However, eating lots of fast food and processed food will cause your skin, and your body, to be less healthy. Ideally, a diet rich in antioxidant-rich fresh fruits and vegetables and other healthy foods will cause your body, and your skin, to be healthy.
Eating a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables has an additional benefit that may help to get rid of acne. Fruits and vegetables are very hydrating, and healthy skin is hydrated skin. Though drinking plenty of water (and we do mean water—not soda or sugary juice) will help keep your skin hydrated, the cellular structure of water in fruits and vegetables keeps you hydrated for longer and has a greater impact on your skin. You can learn more about The Science of Cellular Water™ in Dr. Murad’s best-selling book The Water Secret.
Is it a myth that eating one bad, greasy meal will cause you to break out? Absolutely! But can you improve your skin’s health and clarity through diet? That, in fact, is true!
On the Murad Skin Deep Blog: Learn about three drinks that are the enemy of healthy, clear skin.
Cultural Stress Can Cause Acne Breakouts
We live in increasingly stressful times, and most of us don’t do a good enough job of controlling the stress in our lives. What many people don’t realize, however, is that stress can have a very real impact on the skin. Stress can cause the follicle walls to weaken and burst, which is what ultimately causes inflammatory acne. Stress can also cause the adrenal gland to overproduce androgens, which are the root cause of hormonal acne.
Emotional self-care is as important a part of your acne treatment program as the acne treatment products you use. Stress can take a visible toll on your skin. Plus, the benefits of reducing stress in your life will make you a happier person overall!
On the Murad Skin Deep Blog: Learn how to create a relaxing home spa experience to help reduce stress in your life.
Toxins and Pollutants Can Cause Acne Breakouts
Environmental factors, such as toxins in the air or in the products that you use, can also have an impact on your skin’s overall health, which can lead to acne and blemishes. From the air pollution that we’re inevitably exposed to every day to toxins in things like chemicals and cigarette smoke, your skin is exposed to unnatural substances that can cause breakouts daily.
On the Murad Skin Deep Blog: Smoking can put more toxins into your system than anything else. Learn the facts about the impact of cigarette smoke on your skin.
Makeup Can Cause Acne Breakouts
Acne cosmetica is the medical name for acne breakouts that are caused by cosmetics. Makeup, as well as other skin care products, can cause breakouts in two different ways. The first is by causing a reaction that irritates the skin, breaking down the follicles and triggering inflammatory acne. The second occurs when makeup that isn’t properly removed ultimately causes clogged pores and creates a breeding ground for acne-causing bacteria.
On the Murad Skin Deep Blog: What’s the best way to use makeup to conceal a blemish? Get tips and tricks.
Harsh Skin Care Products Can Cause Acne Breakouts
Finally, even skin care products and practices that are designed to dry out excess oil and control acne can cause breakouts. Harsh ingredients may irritate or even over-dry the skin. When the skin becomes too dry, it produces more sebum, or skin oil, to compensate. If you already have oily skin that’s prone to acne breakouts, this can cause even more breakouts. Additionally, harsh skin care practices like scrubbing your face can also aggravate skin irritations and worsen breakouts.
On the Murad Skin Deep Blog: Learn about Murad products to soothe red and irritated skin from harsh product reactions.
What Did You Just Learn About Acne?
In this section of the Murad Acne Resource Guide, you should have learned the following key points:
- Hormonal factors are the most common cause of acne and are typically related to the production of androgens. Hormonal acne happens in all genders and age ranges.
- Diet choices can also cause acne breakouts. Avoiding processed food and junk food while eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables can improve the health of your skin and your body.
- Cultural Stress can trigger acne breakouts by weakening the follicle walls, causing breakage and inflammatory acne, as well as by causing the adrenal glands to overproduce hormones.
- Daily exposure to toxins and pollutants can affect the health of the skin and, ultimately, cause acne breakouts.
- Makeup and skin care products can over-dry and irritate skin and cause more acne breakouts.
Product Resources for Acne Treatment
While your acne treatment solution will depend on the cause of your acne and should be part of an overall skin care program for optimal skin health, the following Murad Acne products can help improve your skin and reduce acne breakouts, regardless of your skin type or the cause of your acne.
Murad Pure Skin&Reg; Clarifying Dietary Supplement
This daily vitamin supplement helps reduce breakouts and encourages consistently clear, healthy skin.
Murad Time Release Acne Cleanser
If you’re prone to skin irritation from makeup or skin care products, try this extra-gentle, low-foaming cleanser. It continues to treat acne even after rinsing and optimizes hydration, so it won’t over-dry your skin.
Murad Acne Complex® Kit
Murad’s proven and popular complete acne treatment solution. 92% of users saw a reduction in breakouts in just three days.* Address all your acne treatment needs, from reducing clogged pores to fighting acne-causing bacteria.