You're getting ready for the big night when you look in the mirror and see it- a bothersome break out has appeared! Acne can pop up at any time regardless of your age or skin type. There are several types of acne, and they all have the potential to ruin your day. Read to learn about the most common types, what causes them, and how to prevent your next break out before it happens.
This is public enemy #1! We first experience this most-common type of acne during puberty. It can appear in many different forms, from blackheads to cysts. Hormonal fluctuations also occur during the menstrual cycle and during menopause. This can result in a resurgence of hormonal acne, which if left untreated can result in deep, permanent scarring. Common treatments for hormonal acne often include retinol and benzoyl peroxide. These chemicals can be quite effective in the right dosages, but sometimes they treat only the symptoms and not the root causes of acne. You may experience a temporary fix only to be plagued by acne again in the near future.
One of the main hormonal culprits is DHT (dihydrotestosterone). We all have DHT in our bodies, but when imbalance occurs, we may see the results in our skin. Too much DHT can increase sebum (oil) production in the skin (1), which creates a perfect breeding ground for bacteria.
How to prevent it
Ilike organic skincare products contain 100% organic whole fruit and vegetable pulps which retain their full potency and can help address hormonal imbalances. If you are experiencing hormonal acne during your period or due to the beginning of menopause, PhytoLift products can effectively treat this. These products contain estrogen hormones from plants, which can help balance DHT. These plant estrogens are commonly found in soy, stinging nettle, and pumpkin seeds. Those with problematic bacteria trapped under the skin need a way to draw the bacteria to the surface where the body can naturally eliminate it. Herbal clays such as our Ichthammol and Herbs Mask absorb sebum and bacteria, pulling them out of the skin. Clay masks often seem to increase the appearance of acne on the surface of your skin, but this is temporary and a normal part of the elimination process.
Diet can also be an important factor in controlling hormonal acne. Did you know that dairy products increase your body's production of DHT? Cow's milk naturally contains many hormones that are great for baby cows, but can wreak havoc in the skin of some human beings (2). Sugar is another suspect. It causes the body to increase insulin production, which can stimulate enzymatic reactions in the body resulting in more production of that scoundrel DHT (3). Check with your doctor to see if trying an elimination diet could help you determine if there are nutritional causes behind your break outs.
Thankfully, this common type of acne is very preventable! There's a reason why we always ask our guests detailed questions about the products they use on their skin, in their hair, and even to wash their clothes. Cosmetic acne (and other skin irritations) can because caused by the products that come into contact with our skin. It is usually characterized by smaller, non-inflammatory whiteheads or blackheads.
How to prevent it
Make sure you always inform your Esthetician and physician when you start using a new product on your skin. Moisturizers, serums, shampoos, and even laundry detergents can all cause skin irritation when first introduced. It is best to choose products that are described as non-comedogenic (that means not acne-causing), with short ingredient lists free of petroleums, dyes, and synthetic fragrances. Make sure to always read ingredient lists thoroughly and check for anything your doctor or Esthetician has told you to avoid. It's also important to cross-check all of your products for ones that contain high concentrations of the same ingredients. Some products, such as retinol, when used in excess can irritate the skin (4). Check with your doctor to make sure you aren't getting more than the recommended dose of certain ingredients.
Overuse of products can cause them to build up in your skin and clog your pores, causing bacteria to become trapped. Make sure you cleanse your skin well at the end of each day to remove makeup, and include regular exfoliation in your beauty routine (5). Most guests can consider periodic deeper exfoliation such as crystal-free DiamondTome Microdermabrasion, a non-invasive service that gently removes the outer layer of skin cells to resurface the skin. Check with your doctor and Esthetician to see if this is a good option for you.
Pro Tips for Acne Prevention:
1. Some products only list the ingredients on the outer packaging and not on the bottle, so it's a good idea to save the box panel with the ingredient list on it before throwing the rest away. If you have a reaction, you'll be able to reference the label or even bring it to your doctor.
2. Make sure to wash your makeup brushes periodically: foundation brushes should be washed weekly and dried thoroughly if you use them every day. If you use make up only on occasion, toss your products three months after opening. Bacteria can grow in the bottle and live on your skin when you apply your makeup.
3. Sleep on clean sheets, pillow cases, and pajamas. Go to bed with clean skin. This is especially effective for preventing acne that occurs on the chest or back.
4. Don't try a new acne regimen every week- ask your doctor or Esthetician to help you choose one and recommend how long you should stick with it. Your skin may go through a period of adjustment before you can see if the new products have been effective.
5. Keep your hands off of your face! During the day we touch countless surfaces that are covered in germs- countertops, our phones, door knobs- and then we subconsciously touch our faces and deposit dirt and bacteria onto our skin. Avoid touching your face to keep your skin clean.
author: Juliana Burkhart