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What is Acne?

For most people, acne is an “inherited condition of the pores”. What this means, is that the way the pores perform or behave is inherited. This is different from what may trigger acne as the trigger may be different for you than what triggered acne for mom or dad. Common triggers include imbalanced hormones, stress, gut bacteria imbalances, foods high in iodine, pore clogging ingredients and medications. This also explains why your best friend may eat the same foods as you and share many other things is common with you but does not have acne…i.e. they did not inherit the specific behaviors that cause acne to develop at the level of the skin.

So what are these specific behaviors of the pore that cause acne?

1. Retention Hyperkeratosis- a healthy pore will shed approximately one layer of dead skin per day inside the pore. An acne-prone pore will shed up to 5 layers per day! The skin cannot keep up by expelling all these dead skin cells so they start to build up in the pore.

2. As the skin cells start to build-up inside the pore, they start to become sticky. At this point a microcomedone has started to form. A microcomedone cannot be seen just by looking at your skin. These can form underneath the skin for up to 90 days before it ever is seen (or felt) at the surface of the skin!

3. Hormonal fluctuations (in males and females) trigger MORE oil production inside the pore. This is not a problem, if there were not dead skin cells trapped in the pore. This oil is a nutrient, aka fuel, for bacterial growth. So now, you have P. acne bacteria developing inside the pore along with the dead skin cells and the oil. In other words, oil production and bacteria are not the problem, rather, it is the effect of all the dead skin cells. This is a very important distinction. Whether or not the acne becomes inflamed at this point or not, is also an inherited trait. If the dead skin cells and the oil do not become inflamed, a whitehead is formed, also known as a closed comedone or non-inflamed acne.

4. As the oil and dead skin cells continue to build-up, they start to put pressure on the surrounding cells of the pore. With enough pressure, the P. acne bacteria will start to spill out and rupture causing an infection and red bump, commonly known as the “pimple”. This is an inflamed acne lesion.

Please read more about our Acne-Clearing program by clicking here