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In the past, I have rather boldly claimed that there is a product for every skin type and condition – and I still stand by that, but it’s not always so cut and dried. And this is particularly true of probably one of the most requested topics and one of the most distressing skin conditions of all – acne. Unfortunately, this skin condition is constantly on the rise and as I’m sure many women can testify, no longer exclusive to those under the age of 18.

If you believe you are suffering from acne, before you start any new regimen, remember that it’s important to be diagnosed by a real-life professional. It’s important to see a medical advisor rather than self-prescribing. Google is a great resource for many things, but misdiagnosis through Google or Web MD is a common issue and can often cause more harm than good. Not all redness or bumps on the skin are necessarily acne. Not even all acne is the same!

So, exactly what causes acne? Importantly, I must stress that it’s NOT caused by dirt and lack of washing. True, a certain element of hygiene will always play a crucial part in any skin problem or condition, but it is certainly not the sole culprit. Acne is an unfortunately common condition that is caused by the over-production of oil. To be clear, oil is not an evil thing; we are supposed to have oil both inside and on the surface of the skin – it forms part of the natural protective layer and provides a healthy bounce and appearance to the skin.

Many acne sufferers unwittingly over-exfoliate their skin, trying to strip the excess oil away – this is the opposite of what you should do. Your skin should always be treated gently to avoid further irritation. If you strip too much oil away from the surface, the skin panics and that causes an overproduction of oil, which is the exact opposite of what you need. Your skin knows it’s supposed to have oil, and by removing it, you knock the system out of sync. So to protect itself, the skin produces more and more oil (and it’s the gloopy nasty sort), and so the problem continues in a harsh cycle.

If you suffer from acne, you may be thinking ‘why me?’ Well, there are four basic root causes of acne that you may be affected by:

Hormonal: generic skincare cannot help this. Supplements, medical testing and GP recommendations are needed.

Over-production of oil: Vitamin A can help to regulate and stabilise the amount of oil the body produces. Remember, the oil in your skin is designed to flow out onto the surface of the skin to protect and moisturise it.

Lack of exfoliation: The skin does not exfoliate naturally; this is due to a lack of water, excess UV exposure and/or a fish oil deficiency. The skin cannot shed its layers at the proper rate, which means the oil is trapped in the skin and cannot get out to the surface, where it belongs. We can help this by exfoliating the surface with AHA and BHA acids (glycolic, lactic, malic, salicylic acid), rather than using physical exfoliating products, such as facial scrubs.

Bacteria: the bacteria designed to sit on the surface of your skin can creep into the follicle (pore). If anything enters into the body that doesn’t belong, the body recognises it as an enemy and fights it, causing pus/infection. The solution is products that contain antibacterial ingredients.

In many cases, skincare alone can’t solve acne-prone skin, but what can skincare do? Topically, skincare can give you some of the “tools”, also known as ingredients, that your skin needs to keep itself healthy. What you need are:

  • Vitamin A to regulate oil production
  • AHA and BHA acids such as salicylic acid to exfoliate the skin
  • Antibacterial ingredients to help keep the surface of your skin free from harmful bacteria

Finally, my top tips to deal with acne:

  • Be careful not to introduce too much too soon to the skin. Give your skin time to adjust and react to new products.
  • Do not let the skin dry out by using harsh scrubs, as this will stimulate an overproduction of oil and continue the dreaded cycle.
  • Deal with the acne to prevent scarring.
  • Don’t squeeze spots. It spreads bacteria and causes further damage.
  • Wash makeup brushes/change pillow slips regularly, as they do gather and build up excessive amounts of bacteria and oils.



Jennifer Rock

About Jennifer Rock


  • Maebh says:

    Hi, what supplements would you recommend for tennage boy with acne?

    Thank you x

    (Website is fab ❤)

    • Hailey Rock says:

      Hi Maebh,

      Thanks so much for your comment. I myself am suffering with a teen boy in my house at the moment, so I can relate! It’s tough with children as most supplement brands don’t test on minors and few are targeted towards them. For that reason, I would recommend seeking the advice of a medical professional. What I can tell you from experience in my own family, that an increased dosage of EFA and vitamin C can be of help.

      J x

  • stephanie says:

    any tips on acne roscea…

    • Hailey Rock says:

      Hi Stephanie,

      This article here might help answer a few of your questions: theskinnerd.ie/rosacea/. You can also try suggesting any new topics in our Skinformation section!

      J x

  • Eimear says:

    What would you recommend for acne scars?

    • Jennifer Rock says:

      Hi Eimear,

      Meet your sister! I suffer from scarring as well. This one is tough, because it really depends on the severity, the depth, the location, the pigment, and if the issue is still active! Due to so many variables, I would recommend scheduling a consult in your local clinic. However, for homecare, my favourite options are vitamin A, Iluma Serum, and SPF. With a possible lactic acid peel in a clinic, alongside and LED treatment or indeed an I.P.L.

      Hope that helps!

  • Clare says:

    Hi Jennifer,

    What SPF could you recommend that wont cause break outs- I have finally got my acne under control- thanks to your advise!! However I don’t have an SPF in my routine yet for fear of the spots kicking in again!

    Thanks a mill for all your wisdom so far!

    Clare x

    • Jennifer Rock says:

      Hi Clare,

      I would recommend trying IMAGE SPF 32 Mattifying Primer. It should suit your skin just fine and it’s a good place to start.. as SPF is very important!

  • Emma says:

    Hi Jennifer

    I love your new web page and your snaps are just gas… I have recently started to get large spots on the jawline they just won’t seem to go away can you give me any advise. I would have been prone to acne or hormonal spot when I was younger. But I’ve never had them on by jawline

    • Jennifer Rock says:

      Hi Emma,

      Thanks so much! I would always recommend booking a consult with someone first, as acne is a tough one, and especially if it’s a new issue cropping up. That way you can try to find out why there’s been a change in your skin. Product wise, I would suggest researching Accumax. I think it may help.

  • Nicola Convry says:

    I have acne (diagnosed, have done roaccutane twice) and have horrendously congested pores/skin. Any advice or product tips for this?

    • Jennifer Rock says:

      Hi Nicola,

      That’s a tough one. I might suggest booking to get a second opinion with a dermatologist if your skin hasn’t improved at all. Maybe there’s something in your skin regime at home that could do with a change? Always helps to have multiple view points, especially on a really stubborn issue. For homecare, I’d suggest researching Accumax, as I’ve found it to be really effective. Hope this helps!

  • Lisa Mullally says:

    Hi Jennifer what range of products would you suggest for a twelve years old girl with acne. I’m so conscious of her age I don’t want to use products that may harm her skin. I myself (her mammy) in my thirties have just gotten my acne under control. If fear she is going down the same path.

    • Jennifer Rock says:

      Hi Lisa,

      First of all, I’d start by looking at the internal side of it. It may be best to contact a nutritionist due to her age to see if there could be any gentle solutions from that side. Personally, probiotics and Omegas benefit my 13 year old. Acne Out and Biofresh are brands that I often recommend for people of such a young age. Hope this helps!

  • Casey says:

    Hi Jennifer!

    Would you recommend the Acne out products from Biofresh for dehydrated acne and acne scarring? I saw you included the range in the PR packages sent out to some bloggers!

    Casey x

    • Jennifer Rock Jennifer Rock says:

      Hi Casey, Biofresh would be fine to use as long as you focused on re-hydrating your skin through other means (AKA Spritz O’Clock, serums, water, omegas). However, for scarring, we would advise that you have a skin consultation which we provide on a 1-1, online basis! If you’d like to sign up for our waiting list, here is the link: https://www.theskinnerd.com/skin-consultation/. Thanks for your comment x

  • Hannah Phelan says:

    Hi Lisa
    Watched you on TV last Thursday Aug 11th & you reccomend ed supplements for teenage acne. I have a 16yr son who is beginning to show acne on his forehead. ..Would you tell me what the name of them were please…Thanks a lot Hannah

  • Siobhan Ryan says:

    Hi Jennifer, loving the site!
    What mineral foundation would you recommend?…. am finding regular foundation very heavy as am wearing it everyday and am looking to swap for some thing more natural.
    Thank you, Siobhan

    • Jennifer Rock Jennifer Rock says:

      Muchos thank you, Siobhan! Big fan of Fuschia Cosmetics, Blush, Jane Iredale and Bellapierre for mineral foundation x

  • lisa says:

    Hey teamskin nerd!

    Would you recommend Le Roche Posay elffciar range for oily, and very prone to spots skin. Orif not, what would you recommend for a little of the road price?

    Many thanks,
    Lisa 💚

    • Jennifer Rock Jennifer Rock says:

      Hi Lisa – LRP Effaclar will not harm the skin at all, so it is great in that sense, and it is also ideal for sensitive skin. However, Acne Out by Biofresh would be my go to recommendation for oily skin on a budget – don’t be put off on the name as fifty percent of adults suffer from acne (and blackheads and bumpiness are classed as grade 1 acne) x

  • Marita Nolan says:

    Hi Jennifer. What would you recommend for a 15 year old with troublesome bacne? My daughter has quite bad bacne and some, under the skin, white spots on her chin. She is using the Mario Badescu range for her face and finds is good at keeping the skin clean but not really helping with those pesky white spots which never seem to come through the skin. Can you recommend products for these also? She would have normal/dry skin. Thank you so much in advance

    • Jennifer Rock Jennifer Rock says:

      Hi Marita, I’d always recommend a consultation so as to choose products based on different concerns and skin type. We currently have a waiting list for our online consultations but if you’d like to sign up, here is the link .

      I highly rate Environ Sebuwash for teen skin and the AcneOut range, they’ve done wonders for Mini Nerd! x

  • Kate says:

    Hi Jennifer,
    I’m hoping you could shed some light on what is going on with my skin please. I’ve luckily never really suffered from spots- apart from the odd few, but in the past year my skin has flared up and gone bananas! I have hundreds of small bumps around my chin which I think is congestion and also some larger, more aggressive ones around my cheeks. I have very oily skin and it seems extremely sensitive to products. Usually any mask, cream or cleanser I use will result in more spots. I’m currently taking the skin accumax for the past month and invested in an environ cleanser, face wash and a vitamin A dry oil which seemed to help subside the spots but now they’re back and my skin is just as red & inflamed as ever! I have now stopped wearing makeup completely as well which also doesn’t seem to make a difference. Is there anything else you think I could do? I also have a few deep scars so I’m hoping to have microneedling done but I know that’s not possible until I have cleared my skin somewhat. Hoping you can help me. Thank you x

    • Jennifer Rock Jennifer Rock says:

      Hi Kate, sorry to hear about this. Would you consider booking in for a consultation with us? We stock both Advanced Nutrition Programme and Environ alongside over 20 other brands and we’d be able to get you on to a programme where you’d see long-term results. If you’re interested or would like more info, you can pop an email along to consult@theskinnerd.com. x

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