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What Causes Acne?

Updated: Apr 30, 2021

Carla posing to show acne covered skin
What causes acne?

Hi beauties! Let's dive into the age-old question: What causes acne?

So first of all, this is a very loaded question. There is not a single factor that goes into the cause of acne. In fact, there are a number of causes of acne. Hormones, allergies, genetics, lifestyle, skincare practices (or lack of), diet, and so on. In this blog, I will cover a few different topics of causes of acne.

Before I get into this my friends, just know that this took a lot of research and I am writing the information that I know as an esthetician. I am purposefully only covering a small portion of the information behind what causes acne. Now that I've mentioned this, let's jump into it!

Some of the causes of acne:


Beauties, I am jumping right into this part. So your lifestyle has a lot to do with how your skin acts. If you smoke, sweat, eat poorly, etc. Your skin will be affected. Your lifestyle plays a huge role in causing acne. So let's break it down a little bit more.

Smoking: smoking affects your skin a lot. The ashy smoke at the end of your cigarettes not only age you, but it dries out your skin. Drier skin will hold in more of the bacteria and other factors that form acne in the deepest layers of your skin.

Sleeping in your makeup: just don't do it!! Like I said in another acne blog, your skin is like a sponge. So when you are sleeping, your skin will absorb whatever products you leave on it, including your makeup. When you sleep in your makeup, your skin absorbs all of the ingredients. And guess where those ingredients are going: deep into your pores! So now, your skin has soaked in all of those silicones and whatever else your makeup is made of. Those ingredients will sit in your pores and congeal inside them and eventually result in bacteria. That bacteria will eventually result in acne.

Your Skincare Routine

Beauties, your skincare routine absolutely can cause acne. Especially if you don't have one! Like I just mentioned, your skin is a sponge that soaks up everything. Well my friends, if you aren't trying to clean out your pores, guess what the result is! Your skin is more likely to be acneic if you do nothing. When you don't have a skincare routine, you aren't doing anything to clear out the yucky stuff sitting in your pores.

Even having a simple skincare routine is better than no skincare routine. You'll be able to slowly clear out all the nasty stuff sitting in your pores.


Beauties, your diet can directly cause acne. If you are eating a lot of greasy foods, high-sugar foods, etc., your skin is directly affected. Sugar directly triggers the hormones that control sebum (oil) production. So on top of filling your pores with yucky stuff, eating a lot of sugar will trigger your body to produce more oil. So if you aren't taking care of your skin, not cleansing, sleeping in your makeup, and eating lots of sugary or greasy foods, say hello to an acne-filled face!


Beauties, there is a lot to discuss when it comes to hormonal acne. So before I say anything, here is the truth about hormonal acne: because it comes from the inside, the only way to combat this type of acne is with medicine. And even that may not work. Be mentally prepared for that fact.

Now that I mentioned that, let's talk about hormonal acne. It comes in many different variations, but is always very deeply rooted within the skin. For those of you who have hormonal acne, you may notice that it comes as large, painful pimples that never form a "head." This means that the pimple may never come to the surface.

You may also notice that you break out during your time of the month or during stressful periods of time.

**As far as why this happens is beyond my scope of education. I recommend asking your dermatologist for the answer!**

Speaking of stress...


Yes beauties, stress absolutely causes acne! When you are stressed, your cortisol levels increase. When these levels increase, your body will start producing more oil, which will result in acne.

So basically, the higher your stress level, the more likely you are to get acne.


Now beauties, I am no scientist, and my research was a little unclear, so I don't have much to say here. However, I can say this: if people in your bloodline are acne-prone, there is a good chance you may be, too!

This runs in my bloodline, my father, his brother, and one of my aunts all were acne-prone in their teen years and in their 20s. For me this resulted in acne-filled teen years and 20s as well!


Beauties, with some allergies, you will not get an immediate reaction. Instead you may see acne breakouts 1+ days later. The more I ask people about it, the more common I've found it to be! This is totally normal. My research says that you have to eat the thing you are allergic to in order to have this delayed reaction. But from an esthetician's standpoint, I think it may be due to the fact that your skin may have absorbed some of the product. Absolutely normal, beauties!

Carla applying blush
I'm always here for you!

If you are curious and want to know more information about acne, I recommend researching credible sources and purchasing consultations from practicing estheticians and dermatologists. Please only consult with professionals regarding this information. While it may be fun to watch influencers apply skincare, they are not experts.

So that's it beauties, I hope you enjoyed my tidbits of information around what causes acne!

And of course if you have any questions, or need help finding experts in your area, please schedule your FREE 15-minute phone consultation today!

<3 Carla



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