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Acne is a skin disease that's marked by the appearance of pimples and lesions on the skin. These symptoms are caused by an overproduction of sebum in the pilosebaceous follicles (the cavity where your hair grows). Blocked by excess sebum, the hair follicles dilate and facilitate the entry of bacteria. The accumulation of sebum becomes visible and takes on the appearance of white spots.
When sebum is oxidised by the air, it turns into a blackhead. It's the inflammation of these clogged pores that forms the red, painful, raised pimples.
When the lesions are deeper, they're called nodules or cysts. This skin condition mainly affects the facial area and can appear on the back, neck, chest, thorax, torso, shoulders, arms or scalp.
Acne affects 80% of teenagers during puberty. During this time, sex hormones increase in both women and men. This hormonal change is responsible for the excessive production of sebum in people with acne.
Adults can also be affected by late-onset acne. It's the same skin concern that creates visible blemishes on the skin which are usually less severe and more localised on the lower face.
In women, the progesterone produced each month by the ovaries before the onset of menstruation also act on the sebaceous glands. Women taking birth control may have an increase or decrease in acne, depending on its composition.
Acne is also a question of heredity.
Some people whose parents or grandparents suffered from acne are more likely to have reactive skin that's also sensitive to hormonal changes.
Stress is also a factor related to acne because the presence of certain nerve cells near the sebaceous glands affects sebum production.
Finally, certain cosmetic products known as "comedogenic" contribute to clogging the pores of the skin, which can cause the appearance of pimples.
To prevent or limit the appearance of skin irregularities due to acne, we'd advise you not to use stripping or irritating products, but to remove makeup with gentle products and to moisturise your skin daily. Excessive skin hygiene can cause irritation and damage, so be sensible and use gentle skincare. As a complement to this routine, we recommend adopting a balanced diet and to exercise regularly.
Once or twice a week, you can perform your skincare routine with a steam bath, a gentle exfoliating scrub, and a purifying mask. This routine will help remove impurities from your face.
We recommend avoiding prolonged sun exposure. The sun's rays dry out your skin and make it sweat, which overstimulates the sebaceous glands, causing them to produce more sebum and form more pimples. If your skin is often exposed to the sun, we recommend using a sunscreen that's adapted to your skin type and has a high SPF.
Salicylic acid is an antiseptic and exfoliating active ingredient that helps the skin to purify itself.
Zinc has an anti-inflammatory and healing action that acts on lesions.
Tea tree, lavender, rose geranium, and peppermint essential oils are also used against blemishes. (See our precautions of use for essential oils.)
"Mechanical" grainy scrubs should also be avoided as they're too aggressive for the skin.
We advise avoiding sulphate-based cosmetic products, which destroy the skin's hydrolipidic film barrier. To avoid these harmful ingredients as much as possible, we recommend choosing natural cosmetics and carefully checking the list of ingredients. Discover our Blacklist here