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Acne 101: Abort Acne

Updated: Aug 1, 2019

Almost all of us have had an encounter with acne. Let’s admit it! We all have some sort of bad experience with it. Acne comes in many different shapes and sizes however, I think we can all agree that it’s a freaking HASSLE to control it, especially when you have a breakout just when you have to attend a special event or are about to go on a date with that guy (or girl) your think is super hot. Whatever you do, DO NOT AGGRAVATE YOUR ACNE BY TRYING TO POP IT! It’s the worst thing you can do, especially if you don’t take the precautionary actions to keep it from getting infected. Or even worse, ending up with a scar. As a licensed esthetician, I’ve learned how to treat my clients who suffer from moderate to severe acne breakouts by educating them on how it’s formed in the first place. Welcome to Acne 101. Sit up, take notes, and prepare for a mini lesson that will help you learn how to control these nasty buggers.

“ac·ne ˈaknē/ noun the occurrence of inflamed or infected sebaceous glands in the skin; in particular, a condition characterized by red pimples on the face, prevalent chiefly among teenagers.”

Wikipedia, this is a nice concise definition of acne, but you forgot to include that it is not subjected to just teenagers. Adults can suffer from it too. Here’s a quick diagram of how it begins to form in the skin.

When your skin produces an overload of oil in the sebaceous glands, it travels up your pores and onto your epidermis. When the oil gets stuck in between the top layer of skin and the gland that produces the oil, that’s when the problem begins. When oil is exposed to air, it oxidizes thus becoming a blackhead. Too much of this oil and bacteria get trapped and it builds up, spilling into the surrounding tissue with infected, inflamed pus. Your skin has now created a freshly baked pimple. Ew.

Hormones, cosmetics, genetics, stress, your environment, certain medicines, diet, dirty objects that come in contact with your skin and poor hygiene are factors that can cause and aggravate acne.

Some of these factors are hard to change but most of them can be controlled with the proper preventative actions. One action that you can take to fight acne is to follow is a skincare regimen custom built for acne prone skin. Depending on your particular diagnosis of acne, your dermatologist and/or esthetician will prescribe you products with ingredients that will treat the infection from inside and out. Common ingredients you will find in acne fighting products are:

Alpha hydroxy acids (AHA’s)Salicylic acidClayBenzoyl peroxideSulfurTopical retinoids (Retin-A)Tea tree oil

Since I am such a skincare addict, I usually know when a pimple is brewing because I can feel the pressure underneath my skin. This alerts me to begin what I like to call operation “ABORT ACNE.” You will not win…

Begin cleansing your face with a pH balanced cleanser. pH balanced cleansers help keep the acid mantle (the acidic layer of skin that protects against moisture loss and bacteria from entering the pores) maintained. Keep in mind, the skin has a pH of about 5.5. Look for cleansers that have a pH of 4.6-5.5.Apply a toner to the face to help clean up any residue the cleanser might have left over and also re-balance the skin’s pH. Toners also help soothe red, hot inflamed areas.Apply a serum that contains anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals that nourish the skin. Some serums contain the aforementioned acne fighting properties, which is essential for preventing any pre or post new flare ups.Apply a mask. Masks can either be in the form of clay or a sheet soaked in essence. My all time favorite is a Korean brand named Verael Acne: Premium Facial Mask Sheet.

Click on the link to learn more!Moisturize! It’s very important to keep your skin moisturized even though you feel like it’s going to be too oily. Look for mattifying moisturizers or gel based ones packed with skin softening properties. Also be on the lookout for products that are oil-free.WEAR SPF ALWAYS! I cannot stress how important it is to apply this on the daily. Sun, overcast, rainy, snowing, tsunami…IT DOESN’T MATTER. Your skin is all you have to protect you from the outside forces, and unfortunately the sun is a silent yet super deadly killer. UVA, UVB, UVC rays are all naked to the eye and penetrate the skin, killing vital structures that keep our youthful appearance. Mineral based SPF’s are preferred because they are more effective in bouncing off these invisible rays from your skin. Don’t end up looking like a leather couch honey, it’s not cute.Stay HYDRATED. Drink water so you can help keep your system clean of any shady acne aggravators.

If you feel like nothing is helping, definitely consult with your dermatologist for a more aggressive approach to healing your skin. They are quite knowledgeable in the newest skincare innovations, plus they have years of experience in the field.

Leave comments, suggestions and your tips below, I’d love to hear your stories. We can all learn from each other, so sharing is caring!

Stay fly darlings 📷


@krystalpistolet (IG, TW, SC)

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