Somerset crowned as the most ‘Skin-Friendly’ location
Our research explored six different ranking factors to compare and contrast data in order to discover which areas suffer from acne the most, and why that is.
Using acne prescription data, the rise or fall in the numbers of prescriptions since 2015, the pollution levels, the number of those who smoke, and the levels of obesity, we created an overall ranking for each NHS region across the country.
For each category, we assigned a score from 0-100, with the highest score representing the most “skin-friendly” area in each category. The full ranking can be seen further down, which finds Somerset with the fewest cases of acne, and the biggest decrease in acne prescriptions, perhaps due to having one of the best pollution scores and one of the lowest levels of smoking.
In this map, we can see a general pattern of those South West regions performing well, as well as several other open, coastal and green-space areas such as Hampshire, Dorset, Derbyshire and Lancashire gaining positive, ‘skin-friendly’ scores in our ranking.
Meanwhile, highly populated cities such as London, Manchester and Birmingham were some of the worst areas, perhaps due to what was found to be the higher pollution levels, and the greater number of smokers.
Spanning much of the length of the Bristol Channel, the Somerset coast offers fresh, clean sea air that can be highly beneficial for skin health. Cosmetic and skin care specialist, Julia Brackenbury told us: “Dust and smog in the air can definitely contribute to blocking your pores and increase the levels of bacteria in the skin, leading to acne.
“In addition, chemical pollutants can interrupt your skin's natural defence barrier, which consequently breaks down your skin's natural oils that would normally maintain the moisture in your skin.”
Interestingly, South West England performs extremely well overall, with Somerset’s neighbouring region, Gloucestershire coming in second in the ranking, and Bath and North East Somerset coming in third place. Devon was also a high performing South West region, sitting inside the top 10.