Acne blemishes can be one of the most frustrating skin conditions. There are many causes for acne including excess oil, blocked follicles, bacteria, inflammation, and the worst of all…hormones. This doesn’t mean we are doomed. We just have to make sure we are more diligent in our skin treatments and skin care regimen. When I suffered from acne as a teenager, I did what most people do to treat my blemishes. I over stripped my skin with cleansers, scrubs, harsh astringents, and did not moisturize. Why would I? I had oily skin so I didn’t need to right? Boy, was I wrong. I’d like to share my advice that I’ve been fortunate to learn as an esthetician.
- Get a skin analysis. Not all acne is treated the same. Getting a thorough skin history may help shed some light on any external causes. This will also help determine what products are the best for your skin type. Products and treatments used on a dry acne client will not necessarily help out someone who has an oily skin type.
- Make small lifestyle changes. Many lifestyle habits can contribute to acne. Drinking more water will help flush out toxins and hydrate the skin. Wiping your phone off every few days. Washing your pillowcases regularly. Making sure you wash your makeup off at night. All of these little things can help reduce buildup and bacteria on the skin.
- Consistency is key. We are a generation of people who want instant gratification. I see many clients who buy that “miracle” product, use it for 3 days, then toss it when it doesn’t work or their skin gets worse. When you’re dealing with acne, more times than not, the skin will get worse before it gets better. The skin gets confused when you change products too much and you will not get the results you want.
- Choose professional product. Skin care products can be an investment but they provide better pay off than over-the-counter products. Professional products are formulated using pharmaceutical grade ingredients. Cosmeceutical skin care also uses higher concentrations at a better quality. Meaning you have to use less for great results. OTC products also only treat the top of the skin and do not penetrate as deeply as professional products.
- Simplify your routine. You’re regimen doesn’t need to be an 8-step process. Start off with a basic skin care regimen and then you can build from there to treat any other skin conditions. Cleanse your skin morning and night. Exfoliate your skin 2-3 times a week either using a granular scrub or enzyme mask. Hydrate morning and night. Especially important to those who were like me and felt moisturizer was too heavy. There are many lightweight, oil-free products. Use SPF daily.