Clear the stigma around acne

Acne and blemish prone skin blog One Fine Secret

Suffering from acne or have breakout-prone skin? We see you. Discover how to care for and love your skin's beautiful imperfections.


Let’s take the stigma and shame out of our imperfect skin. After all, acne is something most of us have experienced at least once in our lives, and unfortunately, something some of us struggle with daily. There’s no doubt we’re not alone when it comes to experiencing a breakout (or two!), yet it can be ultra confusing sifting through the endless amounts of help guides out there. Acne doesn’t have to always get a bad rap if we start understanding what it is and the ways that we can support our own unique skin.

What exactly is acne?

Acne or Acne Vulgaris, is a skin condition that occurs in the oil gland of a hair follicle. When this gland becomes blocked and inflamed, bacteria can grow which results in congestion. It is common to see raised, red lumps on the surface of the skin which can be localised to a certain area or across several areas such as the face, chest and back.  

The four stages of acne explained.

  • The first stage starts with comedones (blackheads) where the oil gland has become blocked but is not yet inflamed.
  • The second stage involves whiteheads or pimples where the oil has built up inside the gland and the pore has become raised and inflamed. This is generally localised to a certain area such as the face and may come and go periodically - for example during hormonal changes.
  • The third stage is known as inflamed acne which presents itself as constant inflammation that doesn’t dissipate and may start to appear on different parts of the body.
  • Finally, the fourth stage, known as cystic acne, is characterised by deep, painful lumps that are prone to infection and may cause scarring.  

Contributing factors 

If you’ve ever been impacted by breakouts you might ask yourself, why is my body doing this to me?!
There are a few theories as to what causes acne, but because everyone’s skin is so unique, different factors will affect different people. Common triggers include diet, hormonal changes, overuse of harsh skin products and environmental aggressors.  

For example, diets high in sugar increase our insulin levels, which in turn can lead to an increase in oil production in the skin which correlates with blockages in the oil glands. It's best to swap excess sugar and salt for vitamin-rich, high-fibre foods (such as vegetables) to support healthy gut bacteria and regulate insulin levels. 

In the same way, the more androgens (male hormones) we have, the more oil we produce, so it is common to see acne emerge as we go through hormonal changes associated with puberty, menstruation, pregnancy or menopause.  

Guilty of using too many actives on your skin in the hope of an overnight miracle? Us too! The overuse of chemical exfoliants or too frequent use of active serums can damage the protective layer of our skin, our acid mantle. When this is impaired, it leads to skin irritation and prevents the skin from being able to naturally deflect environmental aggressors such as pollution, blue light and bacteria.   

How can you treat it? 

The main goal of treating acne should be to reduce inflammation, both topically and internally. Here are some general tips to adopt: 

  • Know your skin & track any flare-ups – is it something you are eating or has certain skincare triggered your skin? Do you notice it more when you are stressed? Try keeping a diary so you can notice any patterns. 
  • The microbiome (aka the microorganisms that live in our gut!) plays a big role in skin health so ensuring your diet is rich in gut-friendly foods is super important. For some, cutting out sugar, gluten, dairy and processed foods can have great results.
  • Keep it simple – opt for products that support your skin, not irritate it. Use non-comedogenic skincare and make-up which lets the skin breathe as much as possible.
  • Adopt a consistent and holistic approach – topical products are only one part. Consider your overall diet, reduce your stress levels, and double cleanse at the end of each day. If you need extra support, see a holistic practitioner who will be able to run the appropriate tests to help get closer to understanding the root cause of your flare-ups.
  • Don’t pick or squeeze – let your skin do its thing! Popping can lead to scarring and can also spread bacteria that may lead to additional blockages. 

The right skincare can be supportive and soothing. Help reduce breakouts with these bestselling products: 


Speak to a professional 

Our team of Natural Beauty Advisors at One Fine Secret are here to help with any questions or concerns you may have as well as offer product recommendations for your unique skin! For internal treatment, it’s best to speak with a holistic health specialist such as a naturopath, nutritionist, or holistic medical practitioner.

We’d love to inspire and support you along your skincare journey so that you can truly love the skin you’re in.