letsFACEit.: Acne & You
Another pimple, huh? How dare your skin rebel against you?!
Acne is complex, but very simple at the same time. Usually, there is something you're doing, touching, eating or neglecting that is causing your breakouts. Adult acne is one of the most common frustrations we have when it comes to our skin. Clear skin requires a healthy balance and when that is thrown off, chaos ensues. Hello acne. It can be a challenge to live with & a lifelong battle for some, but understanding the source of this skin problem can help you teat it. Lets look at a few causes and triggers.
Causes of acne:
Genetics & heredity
Triggers, i.e. hormones, stress, cosmetics, skin care products & certain food
Genetics, Clogged Follicles & Bacteria
Yes, acne can be genetic & hereditary. If there was ever a time to blame it on your mama, the time is now! Go ahead, I'll wait. If your parents had really bad acne, there is a chance that you will too. Look beyond their clothes and funky hairstyles in their yearbooks to see what their skin was like. You may have gotten more than just your mom or dads eyes!
Clogged follicles (or clogged pores) are caused by a variety of things from excess oil production, sebaceous filaments, makeup, heavy products, etc. If a follicle can't breathe, bacteria is allowed to grow and thrive, resulting in breakouts. Bacteria found in our follicles are anaerobic, meaning that it can't live in the presence of oxygen. However, if the follicle is clogged with sebum (oil), dead skin, products or dirt, oxygen can't get to the bottom of the follicle. With no oxygen in the follicle, you've created the prime environment for a bacteria party that you aren't invited to. Look at you! The hostess with the mostess! Now you'll just be left to clean up afterwards & hope it doesn't return.
The triggers listed above tend to aggravate acne that you may or may not have noticed before. Climate, sun, friction, and medications can also be added to that list. Adult acne tends to be more common in women since we go through more hormonal changes than our male counterparts. Hormonal changes from birth control, menstrual cycles, pregnancy, menopause, Monday's & the wind blowing due north can all lead to acne inflammation for women. Ugh, such is life.
How is stress related to acne? Stress causes a hormonal fluctuation and increased sebum production. When we are stressed, the adrenal gland produces adrenaline to help us cope. Androgens stimulate the oil glands & hair follicles causing blemishes to appear from the increased sebum production. This is why acne can seem to never go away when we are under constant stress. If you have persistent acne, slow down and see if something or someone *side eye* is stressing you out. If so, I suggest you take some time for yourself & relax. You (and you skin) deserve it!
Makeup & Skincare Products
Foundation, concealer, highlighters & beat faces...yes, girl! You've finally found the perfect foundation, your face matches your neck and that highlight is heaven sent. You're cute, but your pores are screaming! Often times I find myself showing my clients faces extra love because there is makeup deep in their pores that the usual double cleanse can't get rid of. Just because you can't see it, doesn't mean it isn't there. I have to remind them, and now I'm reminding you, that you MUST wash your makeup off and cleanse your face every night! Find a facial cleanser that suits your skin type and get to work. Don't you dare think that a quick wipe down with a makeup wipe will do the job. Wipes are not, and will never be, a replacement for proper skincare. I don't care what the commercial or pretty packaging says. Stop it!
The ingredients in our cosmetic and skincare products are what causes the unintended aggravation. Most products contain waxes and oils that clog pores and irritate our skin. These comedogenic ingredients block follicles which leads to cell buildup, in turn resulting in comedones. Remember that bacteria party you're hosting, but aren't invited to? Yeah, bacteria plus no oxygen equals the ultimate turn up. Happy popping! Wait, no! Don't pop it! Improperly doing so will result in acne scarring and hyperpigmentation. We'll cover that in another post.
We know right from wrong. However, that craving for a greasy meal or the need to cure that sweet tooth is just too great to turn down. We have to have it, right? Wrong. All of that greasy nonsense has to go somewhere and it's not always to your hips. Eating healthy and eating clean is not just for weight loss, but it also helps your skin. Our eating habits affect our body's functions so we have to fuel it with the right things. Increasing our water intake and eating fresh fruits and vegetables helps lessen breakouts and keep your skin clear.
Good skin care treatments, products, regular facials, and proper nutrition will help with skin problems. An esthetician can work with and educate you on caring for your skin type and skin concern. If your acne is severe or cystic, see a dermatologist. They may prescribe medications to treat your grade of acne (there are 4 grades of acne, with 3 & 4 being the most severe). Ask your dermatologist for more information on acne medications and any potential side effects.
Bonus skincare tips: change your pillowcases and sheets often, clean your phone screen & keep your hands out of your face.
Feel free to reach out to me. I'm always here to help!
Have any skin concerns or topics that you want us to talk about? Let us know!
I wish you nothing but glowing skin & bright smiles,