Acne can be a real issue from your teenage years through to post-menopause. However, it’s in those tender, teenage years where many feel acne’s painful emotional pinch.
Usually, teenagers who have acne, self-treat with over-the-counter products that tend to dry out breakouts. Alternatively, they are taken, by their parents, to the dermatologist’s office for more aggressive treatments, including antibiotics or topical retinols. This will, inevitably, irritate and dry out not only the breakouts but also the skin itself. Very rarely are these solutions both effective and long-lasting.
In our view, acneic teenage skin needs long term support: not a quick fix. Let me reiterate— at the present time there is no permanent cure for acne and the most common solutions that you can purchase from infomercials on TV or that are prescribed every day by doctor’s up and down the country are only temporary and can cause underlying damage to the skin. Let’s be clear, there are no quick fixes for acne. Period.
Girls experience the height of breakouts age 14 – 17 years whilst boys tend to be ‘late-bloomers’ having the worst time from 16 to 19. These are crucial years in their social development and acne can really dent their self-confidence.
As part of a holistic skin care solution, the importance lies with identifying the underlying cause of acne, making lifestyle recommendations based on those causes and suggesting effective treatments and home care regimens.
It is necessary for a skilled Skin Care Therapist to understand the causes in order to address the symptoms.
Common causes are:
This is the most likely cause. It usually means that you have an increased sensitivity to androgen hormones. In this case, avoiding foods that contain added hormones is vital. Eat organic wherever possible. I would also recommend using products that contain zinc, vitamin B6 & azelaic acid which all help to calm the effects of the androgen hormones on the sebaceous glands. We recommend Éminence’s Clear Skin Peel with Willow Bark, which deeply cleanses the pores of oil, dirt and bacteria while calming & soothing at the same time.
This occurs when the outer-most layer of the skin becomes hard due to a lack of exfoliation. Although this can be genetic, it is usually caused by insufficient amounts of water and essential fatty acids. So eating more Omega 3 rich foods, keeping well hydrated and exfoliating regularly will help a great deal. Exfoliation products that have particles will be irritating to acneic skin, so I would recommend an exfoliating mask with BHAs or clay masks. Dr.Hauschka’s Cleansing Clay Mask combines very pure mineral clay, nasturtium extract & witch hazel to cleanse, exfoliate & revitalize the skin.
We all have the p.acnes bacteria naturally on the surface of the skin which is important as it helps balance the skin’s pH. However, when there is an overgrowth of p.acnes, it causes acne. Basically, when we use harsh cleansers, this will remove the food source of the bacteria (oils) which exacerbates the whole situation. So in this case, the best course of action is not to kill the bacteria but to create an optimal flora on the skin. In other words, don’t remove all the oil! Use mild cleansers. Look for products containing tea tree, mandelic acid, probiotics and willow bark which help control the growth of p.acnes.
Éminence’s Clear Skin Masque nourishes and refines the skin while also calming with cucumber & tea tree and clarifying.
This is probably the most individual of causes and needs to be discussed with your highly trained Skin Care Therapist. There are so many, such as picking breakouts, sharing towels, not cleansing at night or after exercise (sweat can clog pores with skin debris and exacerbate breakouts), etc. These are easily remedied. All it takes is for a Skin Care Therapist to ask the right questions and educate.
Personally, I believe this is the most important aspect of acne care. It includes diet, exercise and stress management. A very large percentage of the acne cases I have personally ‘cured’ included the complete removal of sugar and/or dairy. Sugar raises cortisol levels which results in cellular inflammation, therefore, worsening acne.
This is an essential part. However, one size never fits all. Therefore, I suggest discussing this with your Skin Care Therapist who knows and understands your skin and will make the appropriate recommendations.
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