Acne and breakouts are two common skin conditions that can affect anyone at any age. However, many people use the terms interchangeably, even though they have different causes, symptoms, and treatment options. In this blog post, we’ll explore the difference between acne and breakouts, their grades, causes, and skincare ingredients to combat them.
Breakouts/pimples are clogged pores caused by the build-up of dead skin cells and excess sebum that are infected with bacteria that ends up plugging the follicles.
And acne is a condition where we get recurring and persistent pimples.
I am quite familiar with how imperfections on our faces can be very frustrating so it’s important to understand what you are dealing with when these breakouts appear and what ingredients will help clear them up quickly.
Anyone can get a breakout (and most of us do). The cause can range from a greasy finger touching your face to a hormonal flux. Although oily skin is more prone to breakouts, dry skin can also can experience a pimple.
4 “Grades” of Acne
Grade 1 (mild): mostly whiteheads and blackheads, with a few papules and pustules.
Grade 2 (moderate, or pustular acne): multiple papules and pustules, mostly on your face.
Grade 3 (moderately severe, or nodulocystic acne): numerous papules and pustules, along with occasionally inflamed nodules. Your back and chest may also be affected.
Grade 4 (severe nodulocystic acne): numerous large, painful, and inflamed pustules and nodules.
What Causes Acne?
Several factors can cause acne, including:
- Hormonal imbalances – Androgens (male hormones) stimulate the production of sebum, leading to acne.
- Genetics – Acne can run in families.
- Diet – High-glycemic-index foods, dairy products, and sugar can trigger acne.
- Stress – Increases the production of cortisol, leading to acne.
- Environmental factors – Exposure to pollutants, humidity, and other environmental factors can cause acne.
Skincare Ingredients to Combat Acne and Breakouts
- Salicylic Acid – Exfoliates the skin, unclogs pores, and reduces inflammation.
- Benzoyl Peroxide – Kills acne-causing bacteria, reduces inflammation, and clears pores.
- Retinoids – Speed up cell turnover, unclog pores, and reduce inflammation.
- Niacinamide – Regulates sebum production, reduces inflammation, and improves skin texture.
- Tea Tree Oil – Has antimicrobial properties, reduces inflammation, and unclogs pores.
Acne and breakouts are two different skin conditions with distinct causes, symptoms, and treatment options. While acne is a chronic condition, breakouts are sporadic and often caused by external factors. To treat acne and breakouts, it’s essential to understand their causes and use the right skincare ingredients to combat them. I know acne and breakouts can be very frustrating but please avoid picking. Continue with your daily skincare routine and treat with a blemish product. You may also add a pimple patch to your arsenal for future breakouts – that way it alleviates the picking. Check out this link for my favorite spot treatment products for mild breakouts as well as that stubborn cystic acne. Consult with a dermatologist if your acne is severe or persistent, and they can recommend a tailored treatment plan for your skin.