oily - congested - dull - breakouts - redness & inflammation

Although acne is often associated with teens, it actively affects people of all ages. Around 80 %
of adolescents develop acne to some degree. Though it usually develops earlier in girls than in boys, boys are affected more frequently and severely. Scarring affects approximately 95 percent
of acne sufferers to some degree. 


What causes acne?

Acne vulgaris, the medical term for common acne,  Characterised by pimples on the face, chest and back, it occurs when the pores of the skin become clogged with oil, dead skin cells or bacteria.

Noninflammatory acne lesions are not painful; they are merely collections of dead cells and oil that clog the follicles. The comedone is either open (blackhead) or closed (whitehead), but is not inflamed or sore.

On the other hand, inflammatory acne can be very painful. Inflammatory acne is caused by an imbalance of androgen and estrogen hormones, specifically related to the pilosebaceous unit.

Recommended Treatments

Grade 1


Having occasional breakouts of noninflammatory acne, usually open or closed comedones and papules

Grade 2


Skin consistently broken
out in different areas with comedones, papules, pustules

Grade 3


Skin constantly broken out everywhere with comedones, papules, pustules and some cysts.

Grade 4


Dermatologist care.

The science behind acne:

A normal pilosebaceous unit is composed of a sebaceous gland, a rudimentary hair, and a wide follicular canal lined with stratified squamous epithelium (flattened, scale-like skin cells).


During the skin’s normal turnover process, desquamated (shedding) cells from the follicle are carried up the follicular canal by sebum secreted from the sebaceous glands. In an imbalanced environment, such as an overabundance of male hormones (androgens) or a reduction in female
hormones (estrogens), the aggressive androgens cause a surge in the production of sebum, which is then deposited into the follicle.


These hormones also stimulate dead cells and decrease desquamation along the walls of the follicles causing retention of keratinized dead skin cells.  Increased sebum and retained dead skin cells provide the perfect environment for ropionibacterium acne (P. acnes) to grow in the  papillary area of the follicle. The mass of all of this production in the follicle results in inflammation, which causes pressure on the follicle wall and will soon erupt its debris into the dermis.


When this happens, white blood cells move in and surround the mass in an attempt to push it out of the follicular opening, which eventually becomes a sore pustule. The whitish or yellowish matter (pus) in the inflamed lesions is classified according to its placement in, above or surrounding the follicle.

There are four types of inflamed lesions:

A red, sore bump caused by the beginning of a lesion in the mid or lower follicular channel. Though no pus has developed yet, the follicle is tender to the touch due to the surge of sebum and the collection of debris.

A raised, inflammatory acne lesion with pus in the higher portion of the follicle, including above the surface, with a “head” filled with pus. A mature papule has a developed infection through the entire
length of the follicle.

Similar to a papule, but much deeper, very solid and very sore. If the inflammation stops due to cessation of the sebum surge, this sore bump beneath the skin will disappear. 

A closed sac with a deep, encapsulated infection and a massive invasion of white blood cells, possibly spanning the length of the follicle. It exhibits a shiny, slick covering on the surface of the skin and is hard to the touch. The beginning of a cyst is a nodule that has burst out of the wall of the follicle, spilling infection into the surrounding area. When the body’s defences encapsulate the infection, it becomes a cyst. Cysts destroy the surrounding dermal tissue, leaving pockmarks and scarring when they heal.

How to care for oily and acne skin?

Products that contain rich emollients are likely to clog pores, therefore bar soaps, stick foundations and heavy creams and lotions should be avoided in favour of liquids, serums and gels. Ingredients that minimise oil and help to unblock clogged pores are essential.  Frequent exfoliation helps to remove dead skin cells and clear excess sebum.  

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