All things ACNE
Acne. I love this topic!
Mainly because I speak from my own experience in the years of trying to cure my cystic acne.
And yep that’s right, THAT’S ME! —>
Typically, it starts from puberty as our hormones begin to develop. It is different for men and women however the insecurities that develop over time with acne can be really difficult to cope with. This is why I love the topic of acne!
I’ve been through what most of my clients are going or have gone through. It is a very personal-related subject and it is also why I got into the health & beauty industry. I was always told that there was no cure for it. Knowing what I know now, and with a lot of trial and error, I know that there is a cure for acne, its not a quick fix, but you can heal your skin from this condition! However it does take quite some time and patience to kick it to the curb!
Firstly its important for you to understand what is acne?
Acne is a medical term for pimples. It happens when a follicle becomes blocked with sticky sebum (oil) and skin cells. We have a bacteria in our skin called p.acne bacteria (it’s species name is Cutibacterium Acnes part of the Proprionibacteriaceae family, hence the name p.acne) which thrives on a congested environment. They use sebum, cellular debris and metabolic byproducts from the surrounding skin tissue as their primary sources of energy and nutrients, which often results in inflammation (see image below).
Now just because I’ve said ‘bacteria’ doesn’t mean we need to rush off to find an anti bacterial wash! This is where we go wrong!
There are around 66 different types of p.acne bacteria in our skin, all which serve a purpose. P.acnes secrete many proteins including digestive enzymes. These enzyme are involved in the digestion of sebum and the acquisition of other nutrients. Problems with getting acne, only occur when this bacterium multiply out of control. In small numbers, they actually help the skin by feeding on excess sebum.
Where does excess sebum come from? There are a couple main factors that I would like to touch on this subject.
The first is Hormones!
Hormones play many roles in our body, if I were to explain them all I’d need to write a book or two (lol) the main hormone that contributes to the excess oil production is testosterone! If this hormone is over active it drives the sebaceous gland into overdrive and produces too much sebum! Imagine!! The quality of sebum is sticky trying to make its way through the follicle and your sebaceous gland is on overdrive! Can I get a hell no!
Another reason you may be overproducing sebum is because your acid mantle (the skins surface) has been broken down and is losing too much hydration - let me explain.
On the outside of our skin we should have a healthy barrier of lipids (oil) protecting us from environmental stress and pollution.
As you can see in the image to the right, this in tact skin barrier not only protects external factors entering the skin, it also stops anything within the layers from escaping!
With the use of harmful ingredients (listed below) we will begin to compromise the integrity of the skin barrier, creating pathways for pathogens to enter the skin (refer to image below).
We have natural moisturising factors and hydration between cells that will evaporate and this is what we call Epidermal Water Loss, aka dehydration!
Imagine if your skin cannot retain hydration.. it needs more lipids to protect you! So, it secretes more oil which is needed to fill up the loss of oil, thus leaving you frustrated and running off wash it off.
Argh! So much going on, but your skin loves you – it will do what it can to try protect you, even if it’s driving you mentally crazy!
Why do we produce poor quality sebum?
We can begin to produce poor quality sebum which can be caused by many factors!
• Poor Diet (processed foods, sugars, dairy)
• Hormonal Imbalance
• Wrong use of skin care
Theses are only SOME of the many factors, but they are likely the 4 that we as Skin Therapists look deeply into when treating acne.
This is how I see it! We are stressed, so the body will produce a hormone called cortisol - that is now going to imbalance other hormones aka testosterone. When we are stressed, we will usually lose our appetite and therefore result in our body and skin cells becoming malnourished, OR we reach out to eat processed foods or sugar for comfort, which commonly feeds bad bacteria in our gut!
An overgrowth of bad bacteria in the gut causes digestive issues. The liver begins to be overwhelmed and sources external ways for elimination! This extra external way of elimination in through the skin! Crazy way to see it huh?
Here are a few recommendations to start improving the quality of your sebum.
Make some healthier choices in your diet. This doesn’t mean you need to ‘diet’ it just means that before you eat think of its nutritional value for you. If you’re unsure what is healthy for you and what is not then seeking advice from a health expert will be your best investment.
My Tips: Don’t go cold turkey! Each month choose one thing to focus on. You want to make it a lifestyle change and something you can actually stick to long-term.
Also, I don’t eliminate foods from my diet (unless I’m allergic) I source better alternatives. Invest in a good quality Essential Fatty Acid!
EFA’s are the building blocks to healthy skin cells and creating better quality sebum. It unclogs the blockages for a better free flowing oil. Bestow Beauty Plus Oil is an amazing product recommended to all clients. Just take 1 table spoon a day. Manage your stress! Take up yoga or Meditation! Find something that relaxes you.
So? What is the best way to approach acne?
We all need to remind ourselves that that skin is a very large organ and just like our heart and lungs, it requires gentle care.
Being an organ, the skin is made of its own ingredients.
• Fatty Acids & Natural Moisturising Factors (NMF)
So when choosing skin care we must be mindful of what we are applying.
We love Dermaviduals as it is the only skin care that psychologically mimics the skin and provides the essential rebuilding and repairing tools of the skin.
Dermaviduals does not contain ANY:
• Mineral Oils
It is so important to avoid breaking down our skins barrier, its time to focus on balance and nourishment.
If you are struggling with acne and would like to learn more, we want to meet you!
Written By Jess Chapman