Acne – a teenager’s worst enemy
Acne can be a debilitating condition which not only affects the skin but can also affect confidence, self esteem and our mental state.
How do I know? I suffered with it.
In January 2011 it was at its worst, covering my cheeks and my chin. The breakouts caused my skin to become inflamed with spots filled with puss. I used every piece of willpower I had not pick at them… even with how tempting it was to try and rid of them as quickly as possible.
I heard of all the apparent ‘remedies’ and ‘cures’ that were available to purchase on the high street, from charcoal soaps to cleansing washes that strip the skin of oil.
But I avoided all of these. Do you know why? I knew that these were not going to rid my skin of what is going on internally and externally.
I followed some crucial steps in order to calm the breakouts and soothe my skin as well as effectively treat the internal source.
What can affect the skin?
There are many factors that can affect the skin.
This is probably one of the most common factors of acne in teenage skin, as the body is trying to regulate the hormonal fluxes that are happening within the body at this stage of life.
The hormone responsible for this is known as an Androgen, or more commonly known as Testosterone.
Testosterone is mainly present in males, although women do carry this hormone too. It plays an important role in the growth and maintenance of female reproductive tissue and bone mass.
Too much of this hormone can cause irritation on the skin such as:
- Overall skin inflammation
- Excessive oil production on the skin
- Clogged oils and skin cells in the follicles
- Production of acne-causing bacteria know as P. Acnes
Genetics can play a small role within the acne spectrum, although there is no direct acne DNA mutation that can be passed on.
Some families can have a hereditary tendency to overproduce dead skin cells, which then in turn can clog pores and produce acne.
Some family lines can be more prone to oilier skin which can trap bacteria in the pores. This can lead to breakouts and inevitably acne.
Some believe that eating excess sugary foods and dairy products can contribute towards acne.
Although there is not sufficient data to support these claims, there have been studies which show that for those who eat too much of these food types, their skin can appear worse.
So what can be done to help alleviate the condition?
Look out for products that will not clog the pores, level out excessive oil production and will reduce the P.Acne bacterias.
The main ingredients I always recommend are:
- Vitamin A – a wonder ingredient in any skincare product. Vitamin A is known as the ‘Skin Normaliser’. It is perfect for acne prone skin. It helps level out the amount of oil on the surface of the skin and produces cells within the skin that fight bacteria.
- Oil – I know this one sounds weird, but facial oil can help balance oil levels on the skin. Look for ingredients containing sunflower seed oil and antioxidants to fight any free radicals
- Colostrum – these are the antibodies produced as soon as a mother gives birth. These antibodies are amazing at reducing bacteria on the skin. We have little cells in our skin known as Langerhan Cells which are the skins white blood cells. Stimulating these cause a chain reaction of an acne fighting army
- Lactic Acid – works wonders on acne prone skins. It stimulates growth factors within the skin and to stimulate exfoliation. Lactic acid peels are the perfect treatment to reduce breakouts.
- Salicylic Acid – this is another acid to be used on the skin, but it works in a slightly different way to lactic acid. Salicylic acid works its way into the pores and pushes out any debris, bacteria and oils from within. It also helps to mildly exfoliate the skin, levelling out excess dead skin cells on the surface allowing the skin to breathe.
Advice from a GP
To help level out hormonal acne conditions, I recommend speaking to your GP about hormone replacements such as the contraceptive pill.
Another alternative is to seek out the help from a skin specialist, like myself, to see if a supplement named Skin Accumax can help.
Skin Accumax contains a special ingredient known as DIM which is extracted from broccoli. These supplements were designed for acne and breakout-prone skin with measurable differences noticed.
Also look at your diet. Trying to eat a healthy, varied diet will help to reduce any breakouts, cutting out fatty food, processed food and dairy products is a must!
There are a few products that I always recommend for acne-prone skin, and are listed below.
Environ is known as a Cosmeceutical skincare brand. This means it can only be purchased through authorised stockists who have undertaken intensive training in order to supply these products.
The range of products was created by a South African Surgeon named Dr. Des Fernandes, who discovered the power of Vitamin A.
They have a range of products suited to breakout-prone skin, called Clarity+. This range of products contains Vitamin A, lactic acid, salicylic acid and tea tree leaf oil to combat breakouts for clearer skin.
The products work in synergy with each other, meaning they work perfectly together for a true acne fighting team. Prices start from £26.
Eve Taylor is the ORIGINAL aromatherapy skincare brand, founded by Eve Taylor.
There is a range of products known as teen skin actives which contain active aromatherapy oils such as lavender, lemongrass and tea tree oil to combat excess oil helping to prevent blocked pores, reducing the likelihood of spots and acne type breakouts.
They also have a range named Purifying for anyone over the age of 20 to use which works in the same concept. They have starter kits that contain all the essentials such as facial wash, toner, moisturiser and spot treatment gels starting from £19.99.
Help at hand
Hopefully I have given some insightful information into the world of acne and blemish-prone skin and given you some tools to work with that can help alleviate the condition.
I know how you feel with this condition, and can promise that something can be done.
If caught at the right time, you can also reduce the after-effects of acne such as scarring.
If you would like to book in with me for an informal chat and to find out what will work for you, do not hesitate to contact me.
I am always here to help and understand what you are going through.
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