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Why This Derm Says Understanding Your Skin Is the First Step to Preventing Breakouts

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Acne, shmacne. Whether you're dealing with red and angry bumps or barely there blemishes, if you're bothered by some form of pimples on your face, you're certainly not alone. Although acne occurs for a great number of reasons — some of those being diet (thanks, greasy yet delicious arepa), hormones, or genetics — it's important to understand your skin and learn what may be causing it to break out. Los Angeles-based dermatologist Dr. James Wang of Metropolis Derm shares the most common reason is excessive oil and sebum that leads to clogged pores. "Clogged pores are great environments for bacteria that can then overgrow and cause inflammation," he says.

"Although the exact initial scientific trigger for acne is still a mystery, we do know that certain activities can help create that pesky blemish," he adds. The use of heavy creams, ointments, and makeup are common culprits for clogged pores. "This usually leads to an eruption of many pimples all at once. Another common cause is exercise, where sweat and dirt cause swelling and irritation. The third leading cause is excessive exfoliation with masks, peels, AHA/BHA, and retinols," he explains.

Overexfoliating can also be a cause for breakouts due to the removal of the skin's natural protective barrier. "The resulting irritation induces the oil glands to create even more oil, fast. This will do the opposite of what is intended and cause clogging of the pore and create that annoying, inflamed pimple."

Ahead, see some of the products meant to help treat acne and prevent pesky breakouts from even happening — because who doesn't want to feel bella y radiante?

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