One of the biggest culprits of acne is fluctuations in your hormones.
Across a variety of ages, hormones and hormonal imbalances can lead to detrimental effects on our skin. Read more about how your acne can vary as you age here.
For women, acne usually appears in the later stages of the menstrual cycle, so a week before or even during your period.
It can also appear after starting a new form of birth control, hormone replacement therapy through menopause, or as a result of fluctuating hormones and conditions such as Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).
Androgens (male sex hormones) can fluctuate in level when compounded with stress, fatigue and lack of skin care.
Androgens are the worst perpetrators for causing bad skin because they stimulate the growth of the sebaceous glands and increase sebum levels, making skin oily and causing severe congestion (known as hyperkeratinization).
This condition means dead skin cells don’t slough off naturally and instead clog the skin’s pores.
Cue the entry of bacteria and acne appears as the star of the show.
Some of you might have been prescribed antibiotics to kill the acne-creating bacteria, but this also kills the good bacteria, leaving the acne sufferer with no defense against the next bacterial attack.
On top of this, the use of alcohol-based astringents open the pores, clear the blockage but leave the skin dry and inflame pores.
This can take you frustratingly back to step one of the acne cycle.