Expert Topic by Joanne Rendell


Acne is most commonly linked to changes in our hormone levels. This is why, as we get older and are faced with more challenging lifestyles, many people continue to experience acne well into their adult lives.

Each year more than one million people in the UK are affected by acne

When we are stressed certain hormones, such as cortisol, go into overdrive and tell our skin glands to produce more oil. It’s all part of how the body cleverly moves into survival mode, and prepares for potential danger. When breakouts do occur, it’s really important not to keep touching our skin and to not pop pustules. That’s because underneath the skin, the white blood cells think “trauma” and rush along like little ambulances, collecting oil production to retain the moisture it’s anticipating losing. This results in further breakouts – and sore skin.

Keeping skin clean and hydrated is vital to maintain skin health. Cleansing is the most important step in any skincare routine. If we don’t get this element right, it doesn’t matter what we layer on top. So every morning, cleanse your face, and use a flannel or face cloth to remove all product. This also helps to exfoliate the skin, and remove any flakiness. In the evening, repeat this process, and include a double cleanse if you’ve been wearing make-up and SPF. Do not use wipes. Use Micellar Water only for the first cleanse, on the lips and eyes.

Did you know that if you pick/squeeze spots and don’t remove blackheads correctly you can cause a secondary infection? That’s because bacteria can invade through breaks in the skin.

Let’s talk hydration

If you have acne it’s important to keep your pores as clear as possible. This is because oil needs to be able to pass through them to get to the surface layer of the skin, without being help up or slowed down by anything. When our skin is dehydrated, our pores are not well lubricated. Acne develops when bacteria present in our hair follicles break down sebum and fatty acids are released. These then begin to irritate the wall of the follicle. As the epidermal (outer layer) thickens, it causes the upper end opening of the follicle to narrow. As a result, sebum begins to build up further down in the skin’s layers. When a follicle becomes completely enclosed with hardened skin cells, this results in a whitehead. When a pore becomes blocked with sebum a blackhead is formed.

Interesting fact!
Many people think that because acne occurs with oily skin that they should use something strong to dry their skin out. This is incorrect. Products that have a degreasing effect tend to irritate the skin, and cause it to harden and thicken over the hair follicle. This then forms a whitehead or blackhead, because the skin blocked.

Which clinic treatments are good for acne?

Skin peels



IPL (Intense Pulsed Light technology)

Laser skin rejuvenation



For more information please visit

Top Tips

Is it important to moisturise oily skin?

If oily skin produces more sebum than is needed to provide a normal amount of lubrication, why use moisturisers? As sebum builds up our hair follicles stretch the pores, which is why they start to look enlarged. How well you care for your skin will determine whether your pores are open or shut. If pores remain open, they provide a route for bacteria, which causes spots and further infections. Blocked pores can also lead to comedones (blackheads).


Applying moisturiser to oily skin helps to build a protective layer. The key is to make sure skin is well moisturised – without adding extra oil. Oily skin still needs moisture and hydration, especially if you are using acids such as Salicylic Acid and/or Vitamin A. Without moisture, even oily skin can become dry, flaky and generally compromised, which again can lead to infections. When the correct moisturiser is applied to the skin, sebum levels begin to decrease and the skin becomes less oily. Choosing lightweight, water-based moisturisers will help to minimise breakouts and sensitivity.


SkinCeuticals Phyto Corrective Serum is a lightweight, multitasking formulation that features cooling extracts of cucumber and thyme to soothe and calm all types of irritation, and counter redness, blemishes and sensitivity. Olive Leaf Extract provides important moisturisation, while Hyaluronic Acid boosts hydration. It’s ideal for oily skin, and can be used on both the face and the body.

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Written by Skin Therapist Joanne Rendell