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What is Acne Prone Skin & What Causes Acne

We’ve all felt that dread as we glance in the mirror and then look again, finding a pimple that holds the power to ruin your day and definitely your mood. Stuck canceling plans or frantically picking at the problem is something everyone has had the displeasure of dealing with.

Even Selma Blair fought the battle: “…And when I got a pimple, I’d cover it up with eyeliner to turn it into a beauty mark.”

We can all take comfort in knowing we’re not alone; the American Academy of Dermatology reports that about 85% of all people have acne at one point in their life, so it’s no surprise that there are a surplus of cosmetics to help it, but even more questions about it. So, here at b-glowing, we’ve set out to answer all your questions about acne, and, more importantly, the best ways to treat acne and cover it up!

What is acne prone skin? Simply put, it’s skin that gets acne easily, and about 40 to 50 million Americans have it, according to the AAD. There’s comfort in numbers!

Acne is an inflamed or infected sebaceous gland in the skin that causes any of the following: blackheads, whiteheads, papules, pustules (pimples), cysts or nodules. It is caused when a pore becomes clogged, either with bacteria or dead skin cells.

Medically, it’s a skin disease that is affected by the oil glands at the base of hair follicles, which commonly occurs during puberty when these glands are active for the first time.

More technically, the three causes of acne, according to the AAD, are:

  1. Overproduction of oil by enlarged oil glands in the skin.
  2. Blockage of the hair follicles that release oil.
  3. Growth of bacteria, called P. acnes, within the hair follicles

What is causing my acne? There’s no one thing to blame! Many factors can contribute to clogging of pores and acne such as:

  • Oily skin
  • Hormones, especially during a change in hormones due to puberty or pregnancy
  • Genetics
  • Certain cosmetics—those that are not oil-free or water-based
  • Certain medications and drugs, especially ones containing lithium and androgen
  • Diet, specifically dairy products and high-glycemic foods
  • Skincare routines, or lack thereof

How can I cure my acne? While acne is not “curable,” it is, thankfully, treatable. From cleansers that help fight oil to exfoliators that remove dead skin cells (to keep them from clogging pores), there are many ways to treat acne. 


While you’re treating, you also may want to cover, so find the best makeup products to use over acne here.

Have more questions? Ask our beauty concierge.