There are so many myths involving acne that it's hard to decide what to do best for your skin. Trust me, I've encountered it myself many times and it's so frustrating! The great news is that I found 7 ways you can treat your acne, so let's get down to the basics. Acne is a skin disorder of the sebaceous glands that appear in various sizes of comedones and blemishes. So before we figure out how to treat it, we must understand where it stems from. Acne is caused by 4 factors: genetics/hereditary, clogged follicles, bacteria, and acne triggers. Foods, skincare products, hormones, stress, and cosmetics are all acne triggers. I know, I know. It's a lot to take in, but bare with me. Clogged follicles can be caused by a hereditary factor called "retention hyperkeratosis" which means that dead skin cells are built up and do not shed from the follicles like they should. Moreover, the sebaceous follicles get filled with excessive sebum (oil) production which then gets mixed with dead skin cells in the follicle. This results in forming a comedo which then turns into comedones (blemishes). Bacteria in follicles work in the same way. When oxygen is present, bacteria cannot live. However, when the follicles are blocked with dead skin and sebum, oxygen won't be able to reach the bottom of the follicle resulting in excessive bacteria called propionibacterium.
So now that we understand how it's caused, how do we treat it is the next question. Here are 7 great ways to free your skin from acne:
1. Exfoliate your skin 3x a week or every other day.
Exfoliating your skin will help get rid of dead skin build up and help follicles become unclogged. Find a cleanser with an exfoliant that contains AHA, salicylic acid, or benzoyl peroxide.
2. Moisturize day and night.
Keeping your skin moisturized doesn't only slow down pre-mature aging, but it helps keep your skin hydrated. Even acneic skin needs to be hydrated. The reason acneic skin breaks out is because your skin will try to compensate for it's loss and begin to hydrate itself by overproducing oil in the sebaceous glands which clogs the pores and leads to more pimples. I recommend using an oil-free moisturizer that is non-comedogenic and a light day sunscreen that will help balance as well as protect your skin.
3. Use a clay, oxygen, sulfur, or anti-inflammatory masks.
Using a mask will help pull out sebum, dirt, and bacteria from your pores. Make sure to make time to apply your mask once a week for 15 minutes max. If the mask you are using is a clay mask, use your mask 2x per week.
4. See your licensed esthetician aka skincare specialist every 4 weeks.
Your esthetician will come up with a game plan to best treat your acne and put your skin on the right track. These treatments will include deep cleansing and properly performed extractions. Using professional-grade enzymes and AHA/BHA exfoliators, your esthetician will be able to thoroughly free your follicles of any dirt or debris. For easier extractions, opt for an Oxygen treatment. This treatment will help reduce bacteria as they oxygenate the cells and open impacted follicles.
5. Take Vitamins orally or topically.
Intake vitamins that contain zinc, vitamin C, vitamin A, and B-complex. Taking vitamins will help counteract your acne by clearing your complexion and healing your skin. Vitamin A can also be used as a topical cream to help stimulate new cells and clear your acne as well.
6. Add an AHA gel or Benzoyl Peroxide gel as a spot treatment.
AHA products are made up of either glycolic, lactic, malic, citric, or tartaric acid. They are used to clear acne and cater to new cell growth. Benzoyl Peroxide releases oxygen that will slough off acne and put the irritation to an end that comes from bacteria. Make sure to alternate when these products are being used and not to use them everyday because they can over dry the skin.
7. Use professional-grade products.
Most of the time, you can purchase these products from your licensed esthetician or your dermatologist. The difference between these professional-grade products that you buy from your esthetician/dermatologist versus your local drugstore is that these products are very concentrated and packed with active ingredients, whereas local drugstore products do not. Professional-grade products only require a small amount and have a longer shelf life which in the long run saves you money. Who doesn't want that?
I hope this post helps all of you on your skin journey and manifested into learning more ways on how to treat acne and your break outs. If you'd like to schedule a facial with me, you can book online by clicking here. Also, let me know in the comments below or message me if you have any questions!
Your Sugar Mermaid