I get my kicks out of watching Dr. Pimple Popper. Extractions - the juicier, the better have been my favorite thing to watch and if you have ever received a facial off me, you’ll hear me say “that was a juicy one!” to myself as I’m extracting.
In January, I became a Face Reality Certified Acne Specialist in order
to give my clients the best and most knowledgeable treatment for acne. So far, my clients have been having really amazing results from this treatment, which consists of a personalized homecare routine, bi-weekly treatments and keeping a food journal to determine which foods could trigger your acne. There are a lot of myths surrounding the causes and treatment of acne, some of which we will debunk today.
Firstly, what is ACNE?
Acne is an inherited inflammatory skin condition. Within the acne-prone pore, we have the presence of P. Acnes bacteria, a deficiency of linoleic acid, abnormally sticky skin cells called corneocytes and an abundance of skin cells that are shedding too rapidly called retention hyperkeratosis. A normal pore sheds one layer of dead skin cells every day. An acneic pore sheds up to five layers a day. The pore then becomes clogged with these sticky, rapidly shedding corneocytes. Oxygen cannot get to the pore, which allows the P. acnes bacteria to proliferate and a pimple is formed! The problem with acne is not the bacteria, it is the rapid skin shedding that clogs the pores. If we can prevent that dead skin buildup, then the acne cannot form. This is why homecare is essential to controlling acne!
Acne Myth 1. Acne is caused by a bad diet.
FALSE. We now know what causes acne (buildup of sticky, rapidly shedding cells in the pore) but a bad diet can absolutely compound it. Studies have shown that sugar, iodine, soy and dairy can worsen your acne. Reducing or eliminating foods such as cheese, milk, soy, shellfish, sushi and processed foods may
help reduce the severity of your acne. Keeping a food journal and recording how good or bad your skin is may help determine your food triggers. Also – sugar in our diet contributes to the aging process – something we all want to avoid!
Acne Myth 2. Scrubbing your skin will help get rid of acne.
We all probably overdid the exfoliation with the St. Ives scrub in the shower when we were younger! Scrubbing your skin will lead to sensitized skin and a compromised barrier – the outer layer of skin that protects us against bacteria, prevents moisture loss and is an essential component to having healthy
When your skin is sensitized, it can appear red, tender, dry and you may experience a stinging sensation when products are applied. To combat this, do not use any active products for two weeks –use a gentle cleanser, toner, spf and night cream only. This will allow your skin to recover and replenish the lost moisture and reduce the inflammation caused by over exfoliation. Also, physically scrubbing your skin does not allow you to reach inside the pore to clear out the buildup, therefore is kind of redundant.
An AHA serum like the *Face Reality Mandelic serum can penetrate the pore and work its magic from the inside out. (*only available from a Face Reality Specialist).
Acne Myth 3. Accutane will cure your acne.
I will try to not get emotional about this one. Accutane is a doctor prescribed vitamin A derivative taken orally that shrinks the oil glands that produce sebum. I encourage you to look up the side effects from this drug and bear in mind that it is so severe that a doctor will perform a pregnancy test on women prior to giving the prescription as there is an extremely high risk of birth defects if one becomes pregnant while using Accutane.
Also, once you finish taking the pills, your acne can return – again going
back to the point that acne is a skin shedding issue, not an excess oil issue.
Acne Myth 4. Only teenagers get acne.
Although many teenagers experience acne growing up due to hormonal changes, adult acne is becoming more prevalent.
Hormonal changes, pregnancy, birth control – all these things can contribute to adult acne formation. So many clients who never had acne as a teenager are now suffering as adults. Finding the right birth control to avoid acne is important so speak with your doctor about selecting a form of birth control that is higher in estrogen and lower in androgen potency.
Stress, bad diet, lack of a proper sleep – all these things contribute to adult acne, as we live in high stress environments than in the past.
Making time for yourself to destress, getting regular facials, taking skin-loving supplements like probiotics and Omega 3s and using non-pore clogging products like the Face Reality products will help get your skin under control.
Acne Myth 5. Getting a tan will clear up acne.
There is some research that claims UV rays help clear up acne. However, the damaging effect of UV rays (accelerated aging, hyperpigmentation, sun damage and skin cancer) outweigh any temporary benefit of UV rays. Our skin looks healthier with a tan which is why some people feel better about their acne in the summer.
However, for the health of your body and you skin, it is vital to use a non-pore blocking SPF every single day of the year. Even if it is cloudy, the sun’s rays shine through and can damage unprotected skin. Sun damage can worsen hyperpigmentation from old acne scars too so SPF all day every day!!