Acne breakouts are one of the most bothersome skin conditions to handle. They may pop up on every special occasion, unannounced! The art of managing acne better lies in understanding it better. Therefore, here we dissect all the factors that influence acne at root levels. Read on to explore all about acne-prone skin; from scratch.
Acne is a common dermatological condition. Thus, it is not surprising that 80% of the population in the west will counter acne at some point in their lives. It affects both children as well as adults.
Acne lesions can be emotionally distressing can cause hyperpigmentation and post-acne scars.
The science behind acne (well, that is not rocket science!)
The sequelae begin when your pores start to clog. That may be due to increased sebum production. Besides, retention of dead skin cells can clog the pore too. Whatever is the cause, the result is pores clog forming comedones. As pores congest with sebum, it provides bacteria a perfect ground to grow. That can give rise to painful acne.
Types of acne
You can divide acne into inflammatory and non-inflammatory lesions.
When pores block, they appear as either whiteheads or blackheads. Blackheads are open comedones that lie flat against the skin. They appear as black spots. The sebum present in them interacts with oxygen. Thus imparts its black color. The dark color is not due to dirt or grime, contrary to what is, believed.
Whiteheads are closed comedones. They are skin-colored, a little raised above the skin.
Non-inflammatory acne is best treated; with OTC, exfoliators, or salicylic acid.
Painful and angry-looking robust acne is inflammatory acne. That may appear as papules, pustules, nodules, or cysts. Thus, inflammatory acne might need dermatologists for an effective treatment. They may prescribe topical antibiotics.
Acne-prone skin; does your skin type matter?
Acne has always been linked; to oily skin. That is due to the increased amount of oil and sebum produced by oily skin. However, it is not uncommon for people with dry skin to have acne breakouts. That is because dry skin can be irritative and flaky. One of the culprits is a poor skincare regimen.
How to identify if you have Acne-prone skin?
Acne-prone skin is not necessarily oily or dry. If your skin encounters breakouts day in and day out, you may have acne-prone skin. That means your skin is more liable to whiteheads, blackheads, and other acne lesions.
Acne VS Blemishes
Blemish is a general term for any discoloration, spot, or pigment patch. On the other hand, acne is a type of blemish that includes comedones. Furthermore, acne breakouts contain other acne lesions too. They are whiteheads, blackheads, Pustules, Papules, and pimples.
Acne VS Rosacea
Acne essentially contains clogged pores or comedones. The area of redness and irritation is limited to acne lesions. However, rosacea produces an extensive area of redness and irritation. Furthermore, there is an absence of comedones.
Acne Face Mapping
Some areas of the face are more prone to develop acne due to some specific reasons elsewhere. Face mapping dates back to ancient medicine. However, there is limited scientific research to back face maps. But the idea here is to localize the cause of breakout by site and treat it likewise.
- Poor Sleep
- Unhealthy Diet
- Haircare products
- Eye makeup
- Ingrown hair
- Less water intake
- Makeup Brushes
- Haircare products
- Bacterial Infections
Jaw Line and Chin
- Hormonal Imbalance
What triggers acne?
Triggers that can cause acne-prone skin may include;
Increased androgenic hormones, for instance, polycystic ovarian disease, causes acne. Furthermore, increased estrogen, testosterone, cortisol, and growth hormones can all contribute to acne. Since; hormones are most active around puberty. That is the reason acne is commonest among teenagers.
Acne and your Diet; is there a link?
To understand the relationship of diet with acne, let us learn what low and high glycemic index diets are. Glycemic index rates the amount of carbohydrate in foodstuff from 0-100. The higher this number is, the more a diet spikes blood sugar.
- The low glycemic index is less than 55
- The medium Glycemic Index ranges from 56-69
- The high glycemic index is more than 70
A diet with a low glycemic index is a diet that does not affect blood glucose levels. Thus a diet; with a low glycemic index does not cause sugar spikes.
Example of a diet with a low-glycemic index includes;
Stone fruits, fresh vegetables, barley, whole wheat flour, lentils, beans.
Contrariwise, a high glycemic index diet raises blood glucose levels. Thus there are spikes of blood glucose seen.
Researchers claim that a diet with a low-glycemic index can lead to fewer breakouts. That is because glucose levels do not rise as such. A higher glycemic index tends to produce a state of inflammation in your body. Thus, the amount of insulin needed will elevate too. Also, inflammation increases sebum production. Both inflammation and sebum contribute to acne-prone skin.
However, the role of a high glycemic index diet with acne is not well established to date.
Milk and Acne
Milk Products and Acne
Research does not show a relation between products made from milk with acne. Examples of such products include cheese and yogurt.
In conclusion, there is a lack of data to establish a direct link between your diet with acne. However, you can look for dietary changes that render your skin more prone to acne. Likewise, watch for any betterment you get with any dietary restriction.
Poor skin hygiene and skincare routine
If you have been bending over backward to get rid of acne without any success, your skincare routine might be to blame. Read on to discover the simplest; acne-friendly morning and night skincare routine. It is not only easy to stick to it but will also yield promising results.
Ingredients that help blemishes and acne-prone skin;
Salicylic acid is a beta-hydroxy acid. It penetrates deep into your skin. Moreover, it dissolves all the dead skin cells that might plug your pores. Thus salicylic acid works as a chemical exfoliator. Studies have shown salicylic acid to be comedolytic, superior to benzoyl peroxide. Therefore, it is potent against non-inflammatory acne, to be more precise.
Benzoyl peroxide is an antibacterial agent known for ages. These properties are; attributed to the production of reactive oxygen species. ROS suppresses bacterial survival. However, the role of benzoyl peroxide is a constraint. That is because of its irritation-causing property. Thus, this side effect can be counter-acted; by combining it with adapalene.
A study proved the efficacy of herbal acne treatment is equal to benzyl peroxide. Surprising enough! Along with it, patient compliance improved with no apparent side effects recorded.
Opt for organic herbal ingredients for acne treatment here!
Retinols have three main actions on acne-prone skin:
- Suppress keratin cells proliferation.
- Reduce sebaceous glands function (thus sebum production reduces)
- Furthermore, retinol is comedolytic. It exfoliates dead skin cells and unplugs pores.
These actions make retinol the mainstay of acne therapy.
Retinoids include isotretinoin and adapalene. Among them, the best-tolerated topical retinoids are adapalene.
Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil is an antiseptic known for ages. It has proven efficacy as an antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory agent for blemishes. That is what makes it one of the over-the-counter ingredients for acne-prone skin.
A 12-week study claimed tea tree oil to have the ability to combat mild to moderate acne.
Shop organic tea-tree oil here!
Vitamin E and Zinc
Skincare Routine Step by Step Guide to an Acne-Prone Skin
One of the neglected causes of frequent breakouts could be your skincare routine. Use products that are non-comedogenic or will not clog pores. Apply them in the correct order of skincare to allow greater penetration of products.
Here is a guide to morning and night skincare basic routine for acne-prone skin.
Morning Organic Skin Care For Acne Skin Routine
The natural microbiome of your face flourishes when skin pH is optimized. However, this pH is imbalanced with the use of soaps and alkaline skin cleansers. That harms the natural skin barrier, essential microflora, and skin health. As a result, frequent breakouts occur. Therefore, the use of an acidic cleanser; protect barrier function and the microbiome.
Cleansers; work by eradicating gird and grime. They do not compromise skin pH and keep it optimized.
Grab organic, acidic soothing cleanser that penetrates deeper.
Shop cleansers for oily acne-prone skin here!
Shop for sensitive dull, dry acne-prone skin here!
Your skin needs some hydration tap post-cleansing.
Studies have shown rose water to have anti-inflammatory and hydrating properties. That is how it helps acne-prone skin. These anti-inflammatory properties soothe discomfort associated with acne.
Rosewater has vitamin C and tannins that can even tighten your pore. That further explains why it works for blemishes and acne-prone skin.
Organic Skin Care For Acne Moisturizer
If you think your skin is oily and thus you do not need a moisturizer, think again. You can use lightweight moisturizers on oily skin. Opt for products that are:
- won’t clog pores
Here you have a lightweight Emerge Labs Therapeutic Acne Moisturizer. It is; designed for acne-prone skin; with bonus salicylic acid.
Following is a checklist of a perfect sun protection formula for acne-prone skin.
- Broad-spectrum that works for both UVA and UVB.
- Water-resistant; SPF formula at least 30.
- Mineral sunscreen with zinc and titanium; works best for blemishes and acne-prone skin.
Avoid the use of chemical sunscreens. Use physical, non-comedogenic mineral sunscreen. They neither clog pores nor augment sebum production. Grab Nelly De Vuyst Mineral Sunscreen here! Its lightweight, non-greasy, absorbs without leaving a white cast. It has a slight tint to fit all skin colors and types.
Concern about UV-induced hyperpigmentation of lips? Try organic Eminence, Rosehip, and Lemongrass Lip Balm with SPF 15. This unique combo nurtures dry, flaky lips with moisturization. Also, it comes along with a UV protection formula.
The last step of the morning acne-prone skincare routine is not a must. It depends on you. If you are a makeup fan, use lightweight foundations that can cover blemishes well.
Grab Combination Skin Mattifying Day Fluid; contains organic algae and green tea extracts. Also enriched with vitamin E, lecithin and jojoba oil. They protect against blemish-prone skin and normalize sebum production. These provide a silky, matte finish ideal for base makeup.
Organic Skin Care For Acne Nighttime routine for acne-prone skin
Never forget to take off your makeup before you hit the bed. That is because products staying overnight on your skin can trigger breakouts. You can use Yonka Gel Nettoyant Cleansing Makeup Remover. It works for both Face and Eyes.
Cleansers are essential for nighttime skincare too. But you may not need a double cleanse if your makeup remover claims to cleanse too!
Organic Skin Care For Acne Spot Treatment
Now that you have followed all the steps, this is the best time for acne spot treatment. Salicylic acid 2% with botanical gels have proven efficacy in treating inflammatory acne.
A surprising study combined salicylic acid with plant extracts to improve inflammation. It reduced lesions of acne and redness within two days of its use.
Claim your Image Clear Cell Salicylic Clarifying Pads here. They have 2% salicylic acid as an active ingredient, choke-full with organic extracts!
Weekly add ons
Following are the steps you might not need on a day-to-day basis for acne skincare. However, they do add a cherry to the top of your acne-prone skincare regimen. Therefore, try them as needed!
Exfoliation removes dead skin cells, allowing quicker renewal of newer ones. That will also reduce the chance of dead cells clogging the pores; and forming comedones.
Exfoliate twice weekly to regenerate healthier skin cells. Also, avoid the use of harsh physical exfoliators on acne-prone skin.
Get clear skin exfoliating peel by eminence. It is suitable for all skin types. Gentle salicylic acid with sebum control ingredients shrinks pore size and reduces inflammation.
Sulfur is a known bactericidal. Furthermore, it is keratolytic, can exfoliate deeper, and keeps your pores unclogged. Zinc has many practical implications in dermatology. It has soothing, inflammation suppressing properties. That is what makes it a good choice for the care of skin prone to acne.
Here you have a zinc and Sulphur face mask combo designed for acne-prone skin. You can use it 1-3 times a week for optimal results.
Organic Skin Care Remedies for acne-prone skin; Straight from your kitchen!
Green tea extracts
Research proves green tea to be a potent, cost-effective; solution for acne. Thanks to its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties.
Brew hot water in a pot and add green tea leaves to it. Let it cool and squeeze half a lemon. Fill a spray bottle with your DIY green tea toner!
Read here to know more about all the benefits of green tea on your skin.
Honey with cinnamon
Honey combined with cinnamon shows significant activity against acne-causing bacteria. Take one tablespoon of honey and add one pinch of cinnamon to it. Apply as an acne spot treatment or face mask for 10-15 minutes. Rinse completely.
Read here to explore are the surprising benefits of honey on the face!
Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar contains citric acid, which has activity against acne-causing bacteria. Due to its acidic nature, apple cider vinegar stabilizes skin pH and microflora. Think of it as a go-to low pH cleanser!
Dilute two tablespoons of ACV in one-fourth cup of water, and that is it!
Toothpaste for acne spots; Fact or Myth?
A popular claim about toothpaste; is that it fades acne spots. Toothpaste does possess antibacterial properties. However, it owns ingredients that irritate the skin. So, it is wise not to use toothpaste to fade away acne spots.
How can you prevent acne, according to dermatologists?
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, you can prevent acne in the following ways;
- Wash your face twice a day, in the morning and at night. Furthermore, wash your face whenever you; perspire.
- Avoid; the use of soaps; since they have alkaline pH and may alter normal skin pH. You may use gentle cleansers to wash your face.
- Follow a basic skincare routine that fits and suits your acne-prone skin, and stick to it. Similarly, use products that are non-comedogenic and oil-free.
- Do not exfoliate or scrub harsh. Otherwise, it may cause your skin to develop abrasions, irritation, and breakouts.
- If your scalp is oily, use shampoos to prevent excess oil from getting on your face and causing acne. Also, try to keep your hair off your face at night.
- Avoid skin contact with makeup and other articles.
- Change bed sheets at least once weekly. Change pillow covers at least twice weekly.
- Swear with your sunscreen. In other words, never ditch this crucial step of skincare.
- Know what you put to your plate! Thus, cut out the bad carbs from your diet and stay hydrated.
- Use organic extracts for your skincare. Thus, bypass the unnecessary use of harsh chemicals on your skin.
What are post-acne hyperpigmentation and scarring?
When a blemish or any acne lesion heals, it leaves an area of darkened skin. In other words, post-acne hyperpigmentation. These dark patches lie flat against the skin. They may be more challenging to treat; than the acne itself.
The usual cause is that acne produces inflammation. That increases melanin production in that area. As a result, when acne heals, it leaves a dull patch.
Scarring occurs when either; depression or raised areas form. The pit is an atrophic scar. When cellular overgrowth produces raised areas, it is hypertrophic scars.
When it comes to the treatment of acne-related pigmentation, the options are plenty. From over-the-counter drugs to dermabrasion, there are many possibilities. However, it is always wise to consult your dermatologist, what will work best for you.
If acne leaves subtle patches of discoloration, treat with over-the-counter drugs. But if they are darker and persist for ages, they may need prescription medications.
Fading is time-dependent!
Acne-related hyperpigmentation fade over time. Subtle; discolorations may fade on their own. However, they require a lot of patience. It may take them 6-12 months to depigment entirely, or sometimes even longer.
Keep reading to explore how over-the-counter and other treatment lines work against pigmentation. Various over-the-counter help lighten pigmented patches quicker.
Hydroquinone has skin bleaching properties. That is what makes it a treatment choice for acne-induced hyperpigmentation.
Hydroquinone 4% cream may be used twice daily for up to 6 months for optimal results.
Similarly, you can go for organic GM Collin PhytoWhite Dark Spot Serum. It claims to be as effective as 4% hydroquinone.
Kojic acid is a byproduct of fermentation. Also, many fungal species produce kojic acid. It can inhibit tyrosine production, an amino acid that forms melanin. Melanin is a pigment that colors your skin. That is the reason; kojic acid has excellent skin whitening properties.
You can give emerge labs dark spot corrector, skin lightening serum with kojic acid a try!
Vitamin C Serum
A chemical peel is an ingredient that works to remove the outermost layer of skin, the epidermis. As a result, it lightens; acne-related hyperpigmentation. Chemical peels are either alpha hydroxy acids or beta hydroxy acids.
Alpha hydroxy acids are glycolic acids.
Beta hydroxy acids include salicylic acid.
Eminence Willow Bark Exfoliating Peel combines organic extracts with azelaic and salicylic acid. They cleanse pores; depigment acne scars.
But these are OTC peels that act on the outermost skin layer. Likewise, Schrammek Perfect Skin gentle Peel removes dead skin cells. Also, it revitalizes the complexion and tone.
Eminence Arctic Berry Peel & Peptide Illumination is a must to try; for all organic lovers! Grab exfoliator, peel, and hydrating radiance cream, three fusions in one pack.
However, if your patches are stubborn, they extend deeper to the dermis. If that is the case, you may need an in-office peel from a specialist.
Microdermabrasion uses crystals that sand and resurfaces your skin. They provide a more even tone. They are in-office procedures, but many OTC products are available too.
Dermabrasion peel with pharmacological grade crystals may work best for you. It also combines soothing lactic acid.
Laser peel is another method to work acne pigmentation and scars. They work precisely to resurface and rejuvenate your skin. Thus, they work well on pigmentation and scar marks.
In conclusion, if your skin is prone to acne and blemishes, you need a sound skin care regimen. Likewise, you also need a few lifestyle modifications. Moreover, you need deep insights into your acne breakout triggers. This is how, you will be able to care for your acne-prone skin better.
Skincare is not about slathering product after product. Therefore, you should avoid the use of harsh chemicals on your skin. However, you may opt for organic ingredients to help your acne-prone skin. After all, natural components of skincare may protect your sensitive acne-prone skin.