7 things you should know about acne 1. Acne is caused by a combination of too much sebum and bacteria Spots are the result of overproduction of sebum by the sebaceous gland caused by hormones. The bacterium 'Propionibacterium acnes' thrives in sebum so an excess of it means that bacteria can multiply deep in the pores. This causes a accumulation of dead skin cells on the skin’s surface and inside the pore preventing sebum from being secreted freely from the skin. Combine this with irritation caused by skincare products or sunlight and you have the conditions for acne. Want to know more about what acne is and how it develops? 2. There's 2 ingredients you need to beat acne Some people have the occasional hormonal breakout, others have continuous, reocurring flare ups in the same area. Fortunately, there are two ingredients that have been scientifically proven to be effective in treating acne-prone skin: salicylic acid (BHA) and benzoyl peroxide. They help reduce spots, redness and clogged pores. Read on for more tips on treating acne-prone skin. 3. How to shrink enlarged pores When excess sebum mixes with the dead skin cells in your pores, your pores can become blocked. The sebum cannot discharge freely from the pores, resulting in your pores becoming wider and more visible. This can also cause blackheads. What to do? Firstly avoid rich, oily creams and soap bars which can block pores and unbalance the skin’s protective barrier. In addition, use an exfoliant with salicylic acid (BHA) to remove excess skin cells from the skin's surface and inside the pores. You can also absorb excess sebum with a clay mask. Discover more tips on shrinking enlarged pores here. 4. Appropriate skincare is a must Whether you have acne-prone skin or not, always use products suitable for your skin type. For example, if you have oily skin, avoid creams with a thick texture and opt for gels or light lotion. If don't use one already, a gentle, leave-on exfoliant is a must have for every skincare routine. Remove dead skin cells and unclog pores with the help of salicylic acid. More tips for smooth, even skin. 5. You can't scrub away blackheads Scrubbing is ineffective because a scrub can only reach your skin's surface and a blackhead develops much deeper in the pore. Scrubbing can also irritate the skin resulting in more sebum production and further clogging pores. Learn how to remove blackheads effectively in this article: 6 ways to get rid of blackheads. 6. Teenage acne can be treated ... with the right skincare. Unfortunately, most products for teenagers contain unnecessary irritants that lead to oily skin and more breakouts. We have 4 simple steps for treating teenage acne: 1. Use a mild cleanser 2. Exfoliate with a BHA 3.Protect skin from sun-damage and further irritation by wearing an SPF30 minimum, everyday 4. Use products containing benzyol peroxide. It's the most effective over-the-counter treatment for spots and can be bought at a pharmacy or chemist. Read more in more detail here. 7. Deep, indented scars cannot be treated with a skincare product. Acne outbreaks can sometimes leave scars (dents and pits) behind. Unfortunately, there is no skincare product to get rid of such scars. However, you can use dermal fillers to plump the skin, making them less visible. For best results, combine these with AHA or BHA peels or a series of fractional laser treatments. The important thing is to never pick your spots to reduce the risk of permanent scars. Ask a dermatologist for advice. Find out more.