The Most Common Causes of Acne

Acne is one of the most common skin conditions, affecting millions of people worldwide. It can present itself in a variety of different ways with differing levels of severity and can cause a range of symptoms, from mild blemishes to severe cysts and nodules that can leave behind permanent scarring. While acne has many known causes, there are certain factors that make it more likely to occur in some individuals than others. In this blog, we’ll explore some of the most common causes of acne to help you better understand why you may be experiencing breakouts or flare-ups. So read on to learn more about the various factors that contribute to acne breakouts and what you can do about them.

Touching Your Face Too Much

It may be surprising to learn that touching your face throughout the day can transform it into one of the most contaminated areas of your body. Although it is crucial to wash your face every night to eliminate impurities, it is equally critical to refrain from contributing to the grime on your skin during the day. By not touching your face constantly throughout the day, you can prevent the introduction of bacteria (as well as other undesirable elements such as dead skin, grime, and oil) that may trigger acne breakouts.

Certain Diets

Have you been developing acne on your chin, jawline, or neck? It’s likely a sign you’re consuming more dairy than your body can handle. Your skin acts as a filter to eliminate substances your body can’t tolerate. Excessive dairy consumption makes digestion more difficult, increasing the likelihood of acne in the lower face region.

It’s not just dairy products that can lead to worsened acne. Studies have shown that consuming high-glycemic diets lead to an increase in inflammatory breakouts. High-glycemic foods, such as sugar-rich pastries and processed carbohydrates like white bread, pasta, and starchy foods, should be exchanged for low-glycemic foods, such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Take note of these dietary changes to improve your skin health.

Added Stress

Research from Stanford University School of Medicine confirms a correlation between acne outbreaks and times of heightened stress. Specifically, their study found that exam stress had a significant impact on exacerbating acne among students. The researchers noted a clear link between increased stress levels and more severe acne symptoms.

The negative effects of stress on the skin extend beyond just breakouts. Stress triggers the overproduction of cortisol in the adrenal glands, leading to an increase in oil production from sebaceous glands. This excess oil causes the skin to appear more oily and prone to inflamed, pus-filled papules instead of just whiteheads or blackheads. Awareness of the impact of stress on the skin is crucial for effective skincare.

Skipping Your Skincare Routine

It is a well-known fact that leaving makeup on while sleeping is detrimental to our skin. Nonetheless, it is equally important to consider the accumulation of oil, dirt, and other impurities that our skin is exposed to on a daily basis. This combination can potentially lead to the development of adult acne. Therefore, if your aim is to achieve a blemish-free and vibrant complexion, it is imperative that you wash your face nightly and don’t skip your routine.

Out of Whack Hormones

Hormones act as chemical messengers in our body, controlling essential functions such as metabolism, cell growth, reproductive cycles, and mood. When these hormones become imbalanced, they can cause undesired symptoms such as depression, weight gain, insomnia, fatigue, and even acne in adults. One typical indicator of hormonal imbalances is an irregular, infrequent, or missing monthly cycle.

Fluctuating Temperatures

Fluctuating temperatures can wreak havoc on your skin, especially during seasonal transitions. Sudden changes in weather can leave skin unbalanced, leading to unwanted blemishes.

Poor hygiene and dietary choices, increased stress, hormonal imbalances, and seasonal changes can all contribute to the development of acne. Fortunately, there are ways to prevent and treat breakouts, such as avoiding touching your face too much, eating low-glycemic foods, managing your stress levels, and maintaining a consistent skincare routine. By taking preventive measures and understanding the causes of acne, you can treat existing blemishes and prevent new ones from forming. To take that extra step when it comes to managing your acne, Summers Laboratories‘ selection of acne lotions is here to help. Take a look at the options we offer to help provide some relief from breakouts.


  • Michael Reed

    Michael Reed is a medical writer at Sumlab, focusing on dermatological studies and treatments. His articles help demystify complex clinical results for a broad audience.

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