Here we are at our 30’s to 40’s and we are still greeted by Acne? "Surely that’s a thing from our days of youth?” Maybe not.
Acne Vulgaris is a common skin disease and is increasingly seen in adults. Traditionally, adult acne is defined as acne in men & women over 25 years of age. This can be broadly divided into persistent acne, new-onset cases, or recurrent disease. Persistent acne represents disease that first started in adolescence and continues into adulthood, new onset acne presents for the first time in adulthood, and finally, recurrent disease refers to acne that is present in adolescence, clears for a variable amount of time, then returns unexpectedly in adulthood. Post Inflammatory Hyper-pigmentation can also occur when skin goes through an insult or damage. This can be in the form of inflammation, infection or mechanical trauma (eg. picking of skin etc). While the jury is still out on why breakouts are on the rise, here are some things we can do to tackle the bane of stubborn zits:
1. Eat Right
“We are what we eat”; and this can’t be any further away from the truth when it comes to the status of your skin health, with what we eat having a direct impact on the way we look. If you’re constantly noshing on processed foods or those high in sugar and fat, the adversity doesn’t end with just an expanding waistline. Dietary indiscretions can affect the pH balance of your skin, messes up the immune system and exacerbates skin conditions such as acne and rosacea. According to Los Angeles–based nutritionist Kimberly Snyder, you can actually get better skin in just a week through consuming key natural ingredients – so keep those sugar levels down! For great looking, blemish free skin that glows, it is important to adopt an all-rounded healthy diet that’s focused on lean proteins, fibre, healthy fats, raw fruits and super-greens. The high-quality amino acids consumed form the basic building blocks for firming up skin cells, with antioxidant-rich and anti-inflammatory ingredients mopping up harmful free radicals to protect against environmental stressors and boosting skin metabolism for optimal skin health.
And if our lifestyle does not allow us to eat right all the time, consider adding natural antioxidant supplements to our routine. Crystal Tomato is one such antioxidant rich supplement; which contains L-cysteine, a precursor building block for the powerful antioxidant, glutathione. Being naturally colourless (derived from 100% pure white tomatoes), we get all the antioxidant benefits without turning “orangey”, if we were to consume tons of carrots! One pill is equivalent to consuming 3 white tomatoes! Oxithion is another antioxidant containing L-Glutathione, a natural tripeptide to keep body healthy and youthful.
2. Never Skip Your Moisturizer / Cream
Perhaps one of the biggest misconception amongst those with acne is that moisturizers tend to worsen their breakouts. Many use serums as the final step of their routine & possibly skipping even sunscreen. Teenagers might be able to get away with it, but most adult skins will not tolerate inadequate moisturization especially when faced with the drying effects of anti-acne lotions and creams. If you starve skin of its needed hydration, skin’s sebum protection will be unwittingly pushed into overdrive with the propensity for further zits eruption and more blemishes. The trick here is to find a suitable moisturizer, one that’s tailored for acne prone skin without clogging up pores.
One of our top favorites is none other than Biologique Recherche’s Crème Dermopurifiante. In short, this 20+ rich actives crème purifies, detoxifies, hydrates & delivers potent anti-inflammatory properties. So whatever sebum / impurities it takes out from the skin, an equal amount of hydration & medicinal benefits are pushed back in. Used in conjunction with soothing serums like Placenta Serum (heals skin), Extraits Tissulaires (hydrating), Complexe Iribiol (a gentle sebum regulator) or Blemish and Age Defense Serum (for a stronger sebum regulator), skin will be purified, calm & on its way to recovery. For acne scars / PIH, using Crème Placenta will also help heal skin and lighten scars & facial discoloration caused by recovered acne.
3. Never Over-Do Things
The natural tendency we see is to focus on purifying skin but equally, the aim must be to purify skin without OVER doing it. Serums that are meant to be spot treatments should remain that way – one fine example is the powerful Blemish & Age Serum. This should be used as a spot treatment and not over the entire face; lest we risk drying out the surrounding skin in the process. One of the worst things that can happen is to curtail the full maturation of that acne. This results in multiple “half-baked” pimples that dry out beneath the skin’s surface, causing unsightly multiple bumps. Bearing in mind that the road to that glowy glass skin is a smooth surface for light to reflect well, this is one we should strive to avoid. It’s better to lure the pimple out to its full state, for the pimple “head” to surface so it can be removed swiftly.
Couple of tips: Masque Vivant and Masque Bain de Plantes are 2 great masques, which, when used regularly (I would do this daily when having breakouts) will draw the pimple out, instead of “arresting” its development. Mix a dash of baking soda in the concoction with some Placenta Serum and you have a reliable means of drawing out the pimple.
4. Clean Up Your Pores Safely And Surely
Treatments like Hydrafacial (Aqua-Boost facial) and LED light therapy go a long way to keep pores skin, purified & calm. The patented Vortex technology of Hydrafacial uses a gentle suction, lubricated by a smooth continuous flow of special serums to deeply yet gently cleanse skin, remove excess sebum and unclog pores. Oxygen is able to flow freely again so bacteria cannot cause problems. For skin that is acne prone and sensitive (not an uncommon combination), our Healite LED Blue & Yellow light therapy is a gentle yet powerful non-invasive tool to effectively target pimples, improve skin texture and reduce sebaceous / enlarged oil glands. Unlike home LED devices, medical grade ones consist of hundreds and thousands of diodes for optimal potency, distance and coverage.
5. When Nothing Else Seems To Work
For persistent and raging acne, being on a short course of medication like doxycycline may work wonders. To reduce over reliance of the medication, we combine this with sensible treatments like Hydrafacial + LED light therapy; and the use of good skincare to ensure a successful tailing off of medication. When acne turns inflamed, angry, red, the treatment of choice for these angry bumps is to ask your doctor for an injection of a diluted corticosteroid and antibiotic concoction to lower the inflammation, nip the infection, speed up healing and reduce the chance of potential scarring. Although seemingly simple at first glance, Intra-lesional acne injection is not without its risks. The expertise and injection technique employed is just as crucial as the amount and dilution of the medications used, as there’s always a risk of fat atrophy with steroid injection(s) that can result in dimpling or atrophic scarring of the area(s) treated if not done properly. Continue with home-care with Placenta Serum, Extraits Tissulaires, Crème Dermopurifiante for faster recovery.
6. Refine Your Skin
If you skin is plagued by zits of varying age, with some new ones rearing their heads while old healing ones are leaving behind footprints of unsightly dark marks, consider a Laser Peel. This revolutionary approach to skin rejuvenation resurfaces and replenishes the skin at the same time with the use of gentle yet deeply penetrating laser energies, exfoliating the rough and damaged outer layer of dead skin cells to reveal younger, softer, and fairer skin underneath. Without the use of harsh chemicals, it is able to control sebum production and thus reduce oiliness, shrink down pores and lighten dark acne pigmentation to restore glow and youthfulness to blemish-prone complexions.
The truth is, sometimes it takes more than one course of treatment to banish away acne and give rise to clear, uncongested skin. Understanding how our skin behaves and having a multi-pronged approach usually gives the best results.