We have tackled basic dehydration issues, where they may come from, and how to address them. Next we need to discuss ACNE…DUN DUN DUN!!!!!!
ACNE, one of the most dreaded conditions/diseases to battle. Can I cure my acne? Does it come from all the OIL I SEE ON MY FACE!?! Washing my face more often with more bubbles will do the trick!?! Yes, No whuuuuuuuuyyyyyy MEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!
It can be DEVASTATING! There is a branch of psychology that deals with some of the depression and other obsessive behaviors, that a small amount of people can show. THIS IS WHY I BECAME AN AESTHETICIAN! A little background…
My older brother was a sick child. He had asthma and to this day, he needs medications to breathe. Another challenge developed in his early years; he was probably about 11 years old when he started to show deep cysts along his jaw. It slowly grew over time until the other kids would call him terrible names. I wasn’t always the best sister and I know I have said some crazy stuff to him, BUT NO ONE ELSE WAS ALLOWED to. Now, I know those of you with siblings can relate.
So rather than beat up every kid at school, I decided I would help him get his skin back. At the time, I was too young, but I looked up stuff on acne and bacteria, wound healing and nutrition, anything I could think of that would help me understand…like many of you.
I eventually became an Aesthetician, and though it was years later, my brother has minimal breakouts, watches sugar intake, exercises regularly and uses maybe 2 products daily on his skin. I believe that it was a combination of therapies both internally and externally that helped him get the skin he is in now.
Please know, that not every thing will work for every one. This is due to the complex nature of the human body, the skin and our ability to heal. THERE IS HOPE! IT WILL TAKE TIME! Be PATIENT! I know this is NOT what you wanted to hear (read), but it is the truth.
What is acne? Acne is a condition of the oil gland and hair follicle. It is divided into a grading system by dermatologists and physicians. There are 4 grades:
Grade 1: minor oil production, can be due to hormonal changes, may display small comedones (blackheads), may have one or two papules (red hard painful bumps); pustules (red, painful bumps with a white or yellowish top), or combination of the 3. Usually disappears on its own when not picked or disturbed.
Grade 2: oil production is present for a portion of the day, post cleansing, can be due to hormonal changes, has small comedones (blackheads), papules and or pustules once or twice a month. P.Acnes Bacterium may be present. (THIS IS THE BAD GUY, it is the bacteria that starts the battle below your skin in your pore, down into your oil gland)
Grade 3: oil production is present all day, post cleansing, hormonal changes increase oil, has blackheads, papules, pustules weekly and the monthly cyst (s) (an oil gland that is infected by the bacteria that causes acne p.acnes bacterium, your body encloses this so it does not continue to infect other glands/follicles). Dermatologist should be consulted.
Grade 4: oil production is present all day, post cleansing, acne in all grades are shown, new breakouts can be daily. Cysts are more pronounced, and requires dermatologist specific care.
Part of the challenge for oily and acne prone skins is that you were born with a bit of a deficiency. You are not alone and strangely enough you share this with your skin’s polar opposite…DRY SKINS suffer from this deficiency.
Each of these types do NOT have the enzyme (stratum corneocyte chymotryptic enzyme) that allows for the skin cells once they have divided to move up to the surface. When this happens it can lead to excess dead skin cells on the surface of the skin, BUT ALSO IN YOUR PORES (your pores are connected to the oil gland; this gives the skin its protection from bacteria- OIL IS THE PROTECTION, along with sweat).
So, if your pores are clogged with dead skin cells, and your skin gets its protection from the oil your gland produces…CAN YOU SEE… the dead skin cells are FOOD for P.ACNES BACTERIUM.
It is TIME to STOP THE BUFFET on this bacteria. HOW YOU ASK? Again, not ALL regimens will work for ALL, there are many factors, but we can stop the buffet to the P.Acnes Bacterium and reduce it on the surface of the skin. This is step 1 imho…
STEP 1: STOP STRIPPING THE OIL AWAY FROM YOUR SKIN!
It is like an all night buffet sign in Vegas to these critters. The skin NEEDS OIL and WATER to be healthy (please see balanced skin). It will take anyone at least 30 days for something to become a habit (like exercise), but with skin care we are so impatient. It will take at least 30 days, but it usually take 6-8 weeks of changing your cleanser to see the difference in oil production.
It will slow down and behave more like “your version of normal skin” (cannot change your genetic skin type, but we can trick it). If you wear full coverage or, long wearing makeup, you MUST cleanse at least 2, preferably 3 times to really get all makeup off.
STEP 2: EXFOLIATE!
You have to and should exfoliate 3 to 4 a week (see above deficiency). HOWEVER, SCRUBS and SCRUBBING PADS ARE TO BE AVOIDED. Why? You will spread the bacteria around and increase your chances of breakouts in other areas. Use AHA’s, BHA’s Retinols, under guidance, as these can cause sun damage and scarring, especially for my people of color. Other suggestions are azaleic acid and more can be found under Women of Color-Asian Descendants, African Descendants.
STEP 3: TREAT PM/SPOT TREAT AS NECESSARY
If using a prescription from your doctor, the prescription ALWAYS GOES ON FIRST, POST CLEANSING (ie: Tazorac Rx, allow to penetrate 30- 60 secs, follow with oil free hydrator).
I have used this lil’ trick for years, when I feel a zit coming on (you know there are some you can feel a week before you see it), get an ice cube, ice it for 2-5 minutes, THEN SPOT TREAT!!!! You can use a SA 2% like ZAPZYT for more than a few zits.
My ABSOLUTE FAVORITE FOR ZIT ZAPPING IS SAMPAR’S PRODIGAL PEN!!!! It unreal HOW FAST IT WORKS. I do NOT leave home with out one. It is small enough to fit in the change pocket of your skinny jeans, but potent enough (with essential oils only-lavender, thyme, savory, rosemary and geranium) to kill that pesky P.Acnes on contact and it also heals bug bites!!!!!
Remember your AM regimen will be the same except YOU MUST WEAR SPF, MINIMUM OF SPF 30. It MUST be separate for the best protection. If the sun doesn’t come up…then we have bigger problems.
More to follow, but in the meantime…
Be GENTLE with your skin, it’s the only one you have got.