What Causes Acne?

This plays a role in how severe the condition may be. Your family history plays a part too. If a member of your family had adult acne it is more likely that you will have similar symptoms yourself.

People who have oilier skin are more likely to have acne. As a general rule, people who have less pigment in their skin (fair skin and blue eyes) are less likely to have acne than those with a darker complexion and dark eyes. That doesn't mean that all people with light skin will be spared from having to deal with acne, any more than it means that having darker skin guarantees getting it.

Another factor that may cause acne. A study conducted by the British Journal of Dermatology in 2007 found that women who smoked were more likely to have non-inflammatory acne than non-smokers. It also found that women who had acne during their teen years who smoked were more likely to have adult acne than those who remained smoke-free. Do yourself and your skin a favour and Give up!

Adults are no strangers to stress in their lives and it has been linked to adult acne. Read our take on What does Stress do to the Skin

When a person is under a lot of stress the hormone levels in the body change. As a result, oil production in the skin increases, which leads to pores becoming blocked. Blocked pores turn into pimples and blackheads. Having enlarged pores doesn't make an adult immune from getting acne outbreaks.

Acne can also be caused by an infection in the hair follicles of the body. It is normal for a human to have a bacterium called “Propionibacterium acnes” on the surface of the skin. When there is an excessive amount of the “Propionibacterium acnes”, the body produces extra white blood cells that produce irritation in the hair follicles. This inflammation in the follicle causes acne outbreaks.

Cosmetics and beauty products
These can also cause acne. This condition, known as 'acne cosmetica' It can take several weeks or months to develop.  If you see  small, pink bumps on the skin after using makeup you should stop using that product. Some dyes used to make soaps and shampoos have been linked to acne outbreaks too.
There is not hard and fast advice on what to avoid here. Sorry!

In a situation where you believe that cosmetics or other beauty products may be responsible for causing the acne, you should stop using the products for a time to see if your complexion improves. Oil-free products may not necessarily be the answer, since they may contain other ingredients that can cause acne to break out.