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Acne & Breakouts

We all strive to achieve clear, smooth and flawless skin but most people have at some point had a pimple or two, especially during their adolescence. However, when it persists and lingers after our teen years it can be frustrating and interfere with self-esteem and social confidence. So what causes acne and breakouts to happen? And what can you do to get your skin looking clear and flawless again? Read on to find out!

Over-production of sebum

Our sebaceous glands are microscopic glands found in hair follicles, which are essential for keeping the skin moist. The sebaceous glands secrete sebum (an oily substance that protects your skin from drying out) and are responsible for how much and the type of oil you produce. When these glands are healthy your skin will look healthy and moist, but when these glands over-produce sebum, which can be caused by a change in hormones or stress, then it can can clog your pores, resulting in breakouts or even acne.

Keep your sebaceous glands healthy by following a skincare routine that includes cleansing and moisturising. The secret is to cleanse the skin without stripping it, and use topical and oral Vitamin A products to normalise the oil production.

Imbalance of hormones

Acne is caused by an increased level of testosterone and is typically associated with puberty, but can affect adults of any age. The imbalance of hormones leads to an over-production of thicker, stickier sebum which clogs your pores and results in blackheads, whiteheads or even painful cysts. It can be so tempting to squeeze but here’s why you should not. Once the pore has been clogged it will contain a host of bacteria, oil and debris, and when you pop that spot all that is contained within will be released and enter the pores of the surrounding skin, resulting in more spots and creating a breakout.

So as annoying as they are, the best thing you can do to tackle breakouts is follow a strict skincare regime. Cleanse and tone to wash away dirt, excess surface oils and dead skin cells, then moisturise with a Vitamin A based moisturiser to nourish, repair and normalise the skin. We also recommend taking an inside-out approach with supplements such as ANP’s Skin Accumax which includes vitamins A, C and E and phytonutrients to support healthy skin. For best results, consider having an Environ Deep Cleansing Cool Peel or a Blemish Control Cool Peel to manage blemishes and congestion.

Hyperkeratinisation – build-up of dead skin cells

Excess keratinisation happens when the skin isn’t exfoliating itself correctly. The pore ducts ultimately get blocked, trapping oil or bacteria and causing spots. This will also make the skin look thickened and dull.

To manage the build-up of dead skin cells, exfoliate, but don’t be tempted to reach for a granular scrub as this will only aggravate the situation. Instead, go for a product containing Beta Hydroxy Acid which will dissolve the build-up in the pore rather than just on the surface.


Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes) is a skin bacteria that populates skin pores and hair follicles and feeds on sebaceous matter. It was long thought that P. acnes caused spots but recent research has shown that P. acnes actually helps in the fight against spots by stopping harmful bacteria getting into the pores.

Despite it being a harmless bacteria on the surface of the skin, when it finds itself trapped in airless, oily conditions like those found in hair follicles, P. acnes bacteria causes an infection in the pore which results in a pustule (a small inflamed bump containing fluid or pus).

In this situation, the solution is to sterilise the skin, so having a professional peel and using ingredients like lactic acid, tea tree and colostrum will help to kill the trapped bacteria and reduce the inflammation.

Factors you can control: Diet, Stress and Products

Internal factors may be slightly more difficult to control when it comes to acne and breakouts, but you have all the control over external factors such as diet, stress and the products you use, which also play a big role in this skin condition.

Your diet can influence the skin and how it behaves. Alcohol, sugar, dairy and wheat can contribute to inflammation and bacteria in the skin, so try and limit or even cut these out of your diet. Do make sure you’re replacing these with an abundance of good fats from oily fish, nuts and seeds and of course, plenty of water.

Stress has an inflammatory response on the skin affecting the sebaceous glands, often causing a breakout. Make sure you are taking the right vitamins to counteract the results of stress, manage your gut health and nourish your brain. In addition, consider alternative approaches such as massage, spending time outdoors and decreasing screen time.

And finally, use the right products with the appropriate ingredients for your skin. For example, some products may say they are great for breakouts but strip all the good bacteria and natural oils that are needed for your skin to be normal and healthy, making the situation even worse. To ensure you are using the correct products for your specific skin concerns, have a consultation with one of our skin specialists.

Recommended solutions

We have seen great results with our acne and breakout clients in the clinic. We carry out a full consultation and create a homecare and in-clinic treatment plan to achieve the best, long-term results for each of our clients.

Take a look at the products and treatments that can really help to clear acne.

Environ Focus Care Clarity+ Range

The Environ Focus Care Clarity+ range is specially formulated to assist in improving the appearance of blemish-prone skin, this range of Environ skin care contains a combination of scientifically advanced ingredients leaving skin looking and feeling smoother and more radiant.


Skin Accumax Starter Set

Your clear skin solution! Discover ANP’s clinically supplement for problem skin and clarify your complexion with their worldwide bestseller Skin Accumax plus Skin Vitality.


Cool Peel Treatments

Environ’s unique Cool Peel Technology is a non-invasive, intelligent skin renewal system developed to safely and effectively help refine, revive and brighten skin. Experience a real lasting difference to skin through beautiful science. We suggested the Deep Cleansing or the Blemish Control Cool Peel.


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