Have you ever known someone that battles acne or perhaps you battle it yourself?
Then you probably know that not only can acne cause physical discomfort, but the emotional and social stress of this condition can also significantly impact the quality of life.
Acne is a significant skin concern that can persist well beyond the teen years, especially for females.
There is no single cause for acne and seeking solutions to combat it can be frustrating.
Let’s dive into the process of acne so that we can better understand possible solutions.
WHAT IS ACNE?
Acne is the term used to describe or identify a process. Acne is not an infection. It is an inflammatory process and is medically referred to as Retention Hyperkeratosis.
You can get complete total clearing and remain clear with just a few daily skincare routines. Regularity and compliance are key to seeing results!
Once we understand how “normal skin” behaves, we then have a better understanding of the acne process.
The outer layer of skin is a dead layer called stratum corneum. This dead layer sheds microscopic cells CONSTANTLY! You are not aware that the skin is doing this. You can read more about this process in the previous blog "Live More Ageless."
A sebaceous follicle opening is the opening into a long, hollow tube, which is about as big as the diameter of a hair. This is also known as a pore. The follicle (or pore) is lined with dead cells.
How do the dead cells get into it? These are the ones that are being shed from the outer layer of the skin, the stratum corneum. And those dead cells are constantly shed into the follicle.
At the bottom of the follicle is the sebaceous (oil) gland. One of the reasons we produce oil is because oil pushes the dead cells to the surface, where they shed or fall off. This is the normal process. That is how it is supposed to occur.
Makes sense, right?
Someone with a tendency to acne, envision this:
A “clogged” pore is essentially a microscopic clump of dead cells – that means they are sticking together. The oil isn’t pushing this to the surface and therefore progress into acne. Even if you squeeze and extract that only removes retentive material from the opening, it doesn’t interrupt the process!
What? Read on!
That’s when the cells in the follicle trap oil and what’s known as P.acne bacteria. Now P.acne bacteria is totally harmless. You can’t catch it, you can’t spread it. And if you have the clearest skin of anyone, you still have colonies of P.acne bacteria on the surface of your skin and in the follicle. It is part of our flora and fauna.
This P.acne bacteria thrives in an environment without oxygen. The P.acne bacteria eat the oil and excrete a fatty acid by-product. The fatty acid by-product is very corrosive and inflammatory and wears down follicle walls.
A lesion on the surface occurs when the follicle wall has a leak, a rupture, or a blowout (a way to describe the various stages of acne - more than you probably want to know).
A little side note:
Now, let’s make a distinction as to what scarring is because it often gets confused with acne or discoloration. Of course, both can occur caused by acne.
Any acne lesion can leave discoloration. If you are very fair-skinned it might be reddish discoloration. If you have deeper skin tones it can be purple-ish brownish discoloration. That discoloration can be post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, which is not a scar. A scar is where the skin is compromised with an indentation or divot, and involves scar tissue.
HERE IS HOW YOU CAN FIGHT BACK!
You need to use something keratolytic to un-clump those cells. You need to create a different environment that P.acne bacteria can’t live in, so it’s not trapped.
You will also want to address the inflammation for more advanced acne lesions.
If you stick to appropriate daily homecare, you can address all of the above.
An ingredient list to fight back acne includes resurfacing ingredients such as:
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to tackling acne, and something that works for one person might not work for another. Some people require a more specialized acne regiment “cocktail” of sorts to finally eliminate the breakouts for good. The problem is, it can take months–or years–to figure out which treatment, or combination of treatments, will finally banish adult acne and keep it from coming back. What’s more, conventional chemical-based acne treatments can often dry out the skin and cause even more irritation, exacerbating acne breakouts and their side effects.
If you are in search of upgrading your skincare routine and feel lost in the world of options available in how to treat your acne, don’t hesitate to reach out for a thorough consultation where a precise recommendation can be made so that you can love your skin. With the appropriate homecare, you can achieve clear skin. It is a lifelong commitment, and while you will see some results with facials, you must implement a daily home care routine. Taking care of your skin is just like taking care of your body–it is part of a lifestyle. The best results will come with time.
Put intention into your skincare routine. Keeping your skin healthy is a lifelong responsibility. Caring for your skin is akin to caring for your body – it's an integral part of your lifestyle.
Skincare is Healthcare! Be kind to your skin. You'll wear it every day for the rest of your life.
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