Acne occurs when the skin pores become clogged, trapping skin cells and bacteria inside them which causes the pores to become inflamed, forming blackheads, whiteheads, pimples and cysts. The more sebum (oil), the greater the degree of acne.

What are the most common causes of Acne?

There are many factors, both internal and external which can result in the manifestation of acne. We have seen a rise in the numbers of adult onset acne.

Internal factors include hormone fluctuations. Around seventy per cent of women notice an aggravation of acne just before or in the first few days of their menstrual cycle. Fluctuations in hormone levels increase sebum production, clog the pores and cause skin inflammation. Hormonal contraceptives may help improve these breakouts, but they are not for everyone, so a good skincare regime is key to maintaining skin health.

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Diet can also play a role – avoiding refined sugars and white carbohydrates, as well as increasing your consumption of whole grains, fruit, vegetables and fish could help. Although there are no definitive clinical studies to link specific foods to acne breakouts, the evidence does strongly suggest a link between poor diet and poor skin health.


There is also some evidence that stress makes acne worse, however, the widely accepted view is that stress may result in poor self-care, poor sleep, poor diet and a fluctuation in hormone levels, thereby causing acne flares.

As such, the picture surrounding adult acne is complex, and following the right skincare regime is key to managing existing acne and preventing future outbreaks. The aim is to cleanse pores, reduce oil, address bacteria on the skin and alleviate the inflammation.

The ZO Skincare products reduce sebum production and exfoliate the skin cells to unclog and reduce the size of pores. Many high street skincare brands claim to have fantastic ingredients, however, the concentrations are so low that they will not have a measurable effect on the skin – so it’s worth seeing a healthcare professional with experience in managing acne who will take a detailed history and provide medical skincare solutions for you.

Sadly acne can not be cured. Our aim is to treat the manifestations and keep skin in as pristine condition as possible. There are varying severities of acne. For the more severe cases we refer on to our Dermatology colleagues who may discuss the possibility of starting roaccutane.

The Dr Zein Obagi Acne System starts at £460 for a 3-4month course with a ZO radiance peel included.