Acne is the most common skin condition in America — so why is there still such a stigma surrounding our struggles with it?
Time for some straight talk: there’s no such thing as perfect skin. For the vast majority of people, pimples are a part of life — so it’s high time we started normalizing our breakouts.
Acne is human
Our increasingly virtual, social-media-driven world — with its skin-smoothing, body-altering apps — has made it seem as though “real” faces (and bodies) are few and far between.
Though it’s not clear exactly why we get acne — it’s a condition unique to our species — the reason may be evolutionary: scientists theorize that our prehistoric ancestors may have lost their fur faster than their sebaceous glands could adapt, leading to an over abundance of oil.
When we look at acne this way, it seems less like a disorder, and more a natural characteristic of our evolution as a species.
Acne is normal
The most prevalent skin condition in the United States, it’s estimated that more than 85% of people experience some form of acne in their lifetime. That’s around 50 million Americans yearly.
Though it’s more common in teens due to a surge in hormones, anyone can get acne — from babies to senior citizens. It’s caused by fluctuating hormone levels, genetics, environment and lifestyle — factors that affect us all.
Acne forms when pores become clogged with excess oil, dead skin cells, and sometimes, bacteria called P. acnes. The resulting inflammation is the typical response of a healthy immune system: a swollen, red pimple is a sign of the body trying to heal itself.
Essentially, acne is simply the body’s normal reaction to a disruption of optimal skin function.
Acne is manageable
When breakouts seem to spiral out of control, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. The good news: while there’s no cure for acne, it is treatable. Understanding the root causes of acne — as well as its inner workings — will help you make the best lifestyle and skincare choices.
When it comes to treating acne, there are a few all-star ingredients that can help clear skin when used consistently:
Benzoyl peroxide: kills acne-causing bacteria and reduces inflammation
Sulfur: a natural antimicrobial that also regulates oil production, ideal for sensitive skin
Salicylic acid: a potent exfoliant that clears dirt, debris and oil from pores
Retinol: speeds cell turnover to help keep pores clear Sticking to an anti-acne skincare routine can help skin stay clear.
SLMD Skincare Acne System is a simple but complete routine packed with acne-fighting ingredients to treat and prevent every type of breakout.
Dr. Lee’s last word
Acne is an incredibly common condition — but that doesn’t mean it’s easy for people to deal with. It may not be life threatening, but acne can definitely have an impact on a patient’s self-esteem and quality of life. But here’s the good news: there are ways to manage acne. I formulated SLMD Skincare with proven, effective ingredients that really work to clear skin and keep acne under control.
—Dr. Sandra Lee