Acne is the most common skin condition and causes much anxiety for sufferers. It is caused by dead skin cells clumping together and blocking the pore, which slows down the flow of oxygen. This allows bacteria to breed and flourish causing the appearance of acne on the skin. An acne sufferer may have anything from basic comedones (blackheads and whiteheads) through to large painful whiteheads and raised red bumps (nodules – previously known as cysts).
Causes of Acne
Acne is genetic. If you come from a family of sufferers you are more likely to be affected. Up to 80% of us experience it in our teens and early 20s and it is increasingly common in women over 40, because it’s caused by fluctuations in our hormones.
Best Acne Treatments
If you have severe acne and it’s causing you distress you should consider visiting a dermatologist (ask your GP for a referral), but there are things you can do to help yourself at home and learn with the help of a trained esthetician.
– Use products that contain salicylic acid, which improves cell turnover and kills the bacteria specific to acne. The pore then becomes unclogged and the acne bacteria is neutralised.
– Over-exfoliate. Being too harsh on the skin can distress it and cause inflammation, which in turn exacerbates acne. Exfoliate gently using clay-based products or liquid exfoliants without harsh grains.
– Over-cleanse. Continue to wash your face twice a day but be careful about using products that foam. They tend to be very alkaline and strip the skin, which again can aggravate acne.
Diet and Acne
There are a lot of misconceptions surrounding diet and its effect on acne. Although it’s true that the causes of acne are genetic – diet can contribute.
Foods that contain a high glycemic index have been shown to worsen the effects of acne – think all white foods such as white bread, rice, pasta and yes, sugar. So although chocolate may not itself give you acne, it may unfortunately make it worse. If cutting out all sweets is too difficult, try to stick to dark chocolate.
Best Products and Treatment for Acne and sensitive skin:
All Sensitive Skincare and Outer Peace from Aveda
It is often thought that “drying out” acneic” skin is the answer to defeating acne, however it has been proven that keeping the balance of moisture even in the skin, and keeping bacteria away are two of the most important factors in conquering acne. We offer both an “All Sensitive” facial for those with allergies, rosacea, and sensitive skin, and a special “Outer Peace” facial to treat those with acne. Our estheticians are well educated in these areas, and will be able to teach you how to care for your skin in order to obtain the best results possible.