Everyone has had a run in with acne at some point in their life, whether it be a pesky pimple every now and then, hormonal breakouts, or that strip of blackheads that just never seems to go away. Acne development can be easily blamed on a specific circumstance, and yes, that may be a contributing factor, but the acne development pathway is significantly more complex than it seems.
Types of acne
Acne vulgaris is an umbrella term that includes blackheads, whiteheads, papules, and pustules. A blackhead is also known as an open comedo where a clogged pore remains open to the air, leading to oxidation of its contents, giving it the distinct colour. A whitehead is also known as a closed comedo, having a similar structure as blackhead with the only difference being that the clogged pore is sealed with a thin layer of skin, preventing air exposure. This is how the sebum and other debris builds up and presents as the distinctive white spot.
Papules are slightly different to blackheads and whiteheads due to their small, solid and elevated appearance. They primarily manifest when a clogged pore becomes inflamed and can vary in colour, often being pink, red, brown or flesh coloured. Pustules are similar to papules due to their elevated appearance, but their point of difference is that they are filled with pus giving them a white or yellowish centre.
“Acne vulgaris is an umbrella term that includes blackheads, whiteheads, papules, and pustules. A blackhead is also known as an open comedo where a clogged pore remains open to the air, leading to oxidation of its contents, giving it the distinct colour.”
A ‘pimple’ development pathway (clogged pore and C. acnes)
The centre of what most people think of when they hear the word ‘pimple’ involves two key factors: a clogged pore and C. acnes. The most common ways a pore can become clogged is directly associated with what is happening on the skin. Excess sebum (oil) or accumulated debris such as dirt or dead skin cells can block the pore and make it unable to successfully excrete newly created sebum. This can create a perfect environment for the sebum loving pathogen C. acnes to flourish and push the acne development pathway to presentation.
Emma Lewisham’s live probiotic, the Supernatural Blemish Serum, directly targets a key factor of the blemish development pathway using M. luteus. With a key focus on diminishing and controlling the opportunistic pathogen, C. acnes, M. luteus is able to disrupt the development pathway and decrease the chance of pathway progression, meaning that acne and blemish presentation will be minimal. Upon testing, the serum showed a 79% reduction in individuals experiencing acne, 61% decrease in the number of individuals experiencing blackheads, and a 58% reduction in the number of individuals experiencing oiliness. Unlike many other products on the market, the serum focuses more on working with the skin’s microbiome to combat pathogens and less drying or exfoliating the skin, giving it a world-first edge as well as unlocking and utilising natural processes in the skin.
It is widely acknowledged that many different lifestyle and environmental factors influence acne and blemish formation. This is correct but it is important to understand that these factors do not directly cause acne and blemishes, they can however exacerbate them. Common exacerbators can come from hormonal changes where specific hormones are more prevalent at different times. These fluctuations and imbalances can influence your skin’s sebum production, sometimes increasing sebum which can subsequently block pores and create a perfect environment for C. acnes to thrive, therefore resulting in the formation of blemishes. Exacerbators that work in a similar way, in terms of influence on the skin’s sebum production, can include diet, exercise (sweat) and over exfoliation where the skin becomes inflamed and stripped of its sebum and in turn, overcompensates. Other acne and blemish exacerbators include skin exposure to surfaces that may be rich in pathogenic bacteria, oils, or other debris, such as hands, towels, pillows, and phones as well as the use of makeup. It may seem like an impossible task to manoeuvre around acne and blemish exacerbation but, along with a balanced approach to cleansing and moisturising, Emma Lewisham’s live probiotic serum, the Supernatural Blemish Serum, is able to provide you with a more advanced strategy to overcome exacerbation by inhibiting a key factor of the acne and blemish development pathway.
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