If you’ve landed on this blog post searching for potential reasons why your acne could be flaring up, you’re in the right place. Acne is a common condition that causes pimples and other skin issues. It's most common in teens but can also occur at any age. For some people, acne isn't just a teenage thing — it continues into adulthood. In fact, some adults may have never had acne as a teenager but find themselves dealing with it as an adult.

Acne is the result of changes in the oil glands (sebaceous glands) on your skin, which can affect men and women of all ages. When these sebaceous glands become clogged, they can cause breakouts or worse: cysts and blackheads that can lead to scarring if they're not treated properly. 

If you're wondering how to get rid of acne naturally or how estheticians treat acne without antibiotics (or whether you even should), read on!


Bacteria is the most common cause of acne. Bacteria are naturally present on the face, but they can grow out of control when a person has oily skin or breaks out in pimples after eating greasy foods. The bacteria that cause acne are called Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes). These bacteria live deep within hair follicles and sebaceous glands, which make up the first stage of the skin's outermost layer: the epidermis. When these areas get clogged up with dead cells and oil, P. acnes thrive inside them and cause inflammation—in other words, pimples!

Hormone imbalance

Hormone imbalance is a common cause of acne. Hormones, which are chemical messengers that affect your body’s cells and organs, can throw your body’s systems out of whack. When that happens, it can lead to breakouts.

The good news? If you think you might have a hormone imbalance, there are some things you can do to treat it! Hormonal imbalances are an issue you’d likely want to consult with your doctor on first. The next step could then be to work with an esthetician to help you come up with a skincare regimen and nutritional advice to help you get your skin back on track.

Improper skin care

Improper skin care can also cause acne. For example, if you use harsh products on your skin, like an exfoliant or a scrub that is too rough, it can irritate the skin and cause breakouts (don’t even get us started on St. Ives Apricot Scrub).  Also, if you don't use a gentle cleanser and moisturizer regularly, this can lead to breakouts as well.

Another possible reason for acne could be improper washing techniques. When you wash your face with soap or any other cleanser, it may not remove all of the dirt from your pores since there are many different types of dirt found in our environment today (think pollution). This is why it's important to use different types of cleansers for different purposes so that each type removes all residue from our bodies properly! When you work with an esthetician, they can point you in the right direction to establish a morning & nightime skincare routine that works for your unique needs.

Inflammation in the body or gut

Inflammation is a normal part of the immune system's response to infection or injury, but it can cause acne when it occurs in the skin. Inflammation may be triggered by anything from poor diet to stress, but when it's chronic (meaning that it continues over a long period of time), this can lead to increased oil production and blocked pores in your face.

The good news is that inflammation can be treated with the right products. Look for a cleanser that contains ingredients like salicylic acid, glycolic acid, or tea tree oil to help reduce redness and swelling in your skin. In addition, try to incorporate some anti-inflammatory foods into your diet like salmon and omega-3 fatty acids!


Genetics are a factor in acne, but it's not the only thing that causes it. Genetics is when you inherit a trait or disease from your parents—it's inherited through DNA, which is found in all cells of your body. If one or both of your parents have acne, there’s a chance you might too. But if neither of your parents had acne as teens or young adults, you won't necessarily get it yourself—though there is still some risk that you could develop it later on. 

Acne is also more common in people with a family history of psoriasis, rosacea and seborrheic dermatitis. These are all inflammatory conditions that cause redness and irritation in the skin.


Stress is a major factor in acne. When you're stressed out, your body produces a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol causes inflammation in the body and increases oil production on the skin's surface. This can lead to breakouts if it goes unchecked.

Stress-induced acne can also be caused by diet, sleep deprivation, and social media use. Diet-associated acne occurs when you eat foods containing high levels of processed sugar, dairy products, or trans fats (like fried foods). This type of acne tends to occur on the face instead of other parts of the body like back or chest acne does because these foods tend to affect blood sugar levels more than other areas do!

Dairy consumption

Dairy consumption is a well-known trigger of acne and deserves its own spot in this article. While we love cheese and ice cream as much as the next person, the truth is that dairy products can cause inflammation in the body, which can lead to a variety of issues, including acne. Down for an experiment? If you're experiencing breakouts and want to see if it's due to your dairy intake, try cutting it out for 30 days. Then slowly reintroduce it and see if there's any difference in your skin's appearance or tone.

By reducing our dairy intake, we can help reduce inflammation throughout our bodies and prevent the onset of an inflammatory condition like acne or rosacea (chronic redness).


If you are experiencing acne, the good news is that there are many treatments available. The not-so-great news is that there typically is never a quick fix for treating acne. You’ll need to be willing to dig deep to find the root causes, receive support in your journey, and truly commit to the process of finding what works best for you. 

Now that you’ve read through the possible causes of acne above, share your story in the comments below — what do you think is your most common trigger of acne?

Post a Comment