The skin’s protective barrier naturally sits in an acidic environment. Factors such as over- cleansing and exfoliating, compromise this ecosystem creating alkalinity and imbalance. Whilst the squeaky sensation after cleansing the skin is associated with the removal of oil and impurities, that tight sensation is a sign of skin danger. If you’re rushing for the moisturiser after cleansing or if your skin feels taut, it’s time to reassess what you are cleansing your skin with. Whilst it is tempting to use ‘oil-control’ or ‘acne-specific’ cleansing mediums, these high foaming and stripping bubbles actually deplete the skin’s acidic environment, promoting an increase in bacterial proliferation. Acne bacteria thrives in an alkaline environment, with levels elevating every time the skin is over-cleansed or stripped. Why not try a low-foam gel formula such as Skinstitut Gentle Cleanser? These types of products only remove excess oil without creating a tight or dry sensation. Bacteria becomes under control and the skin’s ecosystem is fortified for renewed strength and immunity.
Thicker oil production occurs when normal hormones convert into super anabolic steroid hormones – yes, the very same ones taken by some athletes and body builders. Classic signs of accelerated hormone conversion include increased hair growth on the body, thinning of the hair on your head and of course, more pimples and acne. Unlike standard breakouts which tend to appear around the cheeks and chin, hormonally imbalanced acne develops down the neck and across the chest, back and arms. What regulates hormone conversion is a naturally occurring enzyme found in the body. This enzyme is regulated by zinc to maintain balance and efficacy. If your breakouts have a blue or purple undertone, take more than a week to heal or appear on the body, it’s time to regulate the regulator. Systemic zinc levels may be increased by eating a diet rich in shellfish, pumpkin seeds and even dark chocolate! Looking for a quick fix? Why try a daily zinc supplement to boost levels and assist in regulating wayward steroid hormones.
Whilst microdermabrasion and chemical peels enable a rapid solution for clogged and congested conditions, their mechanism forces sluggish cells to renew and replenish. Why not help the skin help itself by re-establishing its own process of desquamation. Topically applied vitamin B3 (also known as niacinamide), stimulates the natural enzymes found in the epidermis to extrude congestion from the inside out. In other words, the skin’s own cellular renewal is re-activated, pushing out congestion, debris and dead skin cells up, up and out. Unlike scrubs or acids, the daily application of vitamin B3 will not aggress or irritate sensitive skins and will actually reduce the appearance of inflammation and redness. Why not try Aspect Dr Multi B Serum applied after cleansing and before applying your daily sunscreen for support and nurture the skin’s own process of renewal.
Despite the rumours often fuelled by teenagers, oil production cannot increase by eating fast food, chocolate, touching your face or working in a greasy environment. The size of the sebaceous gland (the gland that produces oil) and how much oil it will produce is genetically determined at the onset of puberty based on a variety of hormonal releases. When hormones become imbalanced, this can promote the secretion of thicker and waxier oil, which can often form plugs in the pore. As crazy as it may seem, fight oil with oil by increasing your daily intake of essential fatty acids or EFAs. Look for omega-rich foods such as olives, avocado, nuts and fish. These good fats and oils reduce systemic inflammation, calming the appearance of angry acne and breakouts. These oils also help to dislodge waxy congestion in the follicle, allowing for easier flow and removal. A table spoon of fish, olive or evening primrose oil taken every morning will get the process kick started.
Stress, fatigue, a busy lifestyle and a lack of attention can slow the skin’s immunity and defence, leaving it incapable of dong what it needs to do. Although chemical peels are renowned for their pimple-busting capabilities (such as Skinstitut Peel Accelerator), why not consider Dermapen skin needling for an unusual but highly effective acne solution. The micro channels deliver oxygen deep into the follicle, immediately busting and killing pimple-causing bacteria. The stimulation of regulatory growth factors supports the skin’s own renewal cycle, reducing the formation of blackheads, congestion and pustules. Combined as part of a treatment programme with low level laser, laser facials and peels, pimples and acne can be a thing of the past for fast and long-lasting results.
For acne treatments available at Australian Laser & Skin Clinics click here.
By: Andrew R. Christie
Beauty & Skin Industry Specialist