‘How to get rid of spots’- if I had a euro for every time my sisters ask that question! In 2015, acne was estimated to affect 633 million people worldwide. It is quickly becoming one of the most common skin conditions that can affect anyone regardless of age, sex or race. It also comes in many forms, ranging from oily skin with blackheads and the occasional breakout to more severe conditions such as cystic acne.
Whether you’re just at the start of your acne journey or have been navigating these waters for some time now, the information you see online can leave you feeling confused. In order to treat your condition, it is important to understand just how acne effects your skin and what’s really going on underneath the surface.
What is happening to my skin?
Acne is attributed to a hormonal imbalance which can be caused by many factors, hormonal fluctuations, stress etc which can affect the function of the sebaceous glands, whose job it is to create sebum (oil).
The Good – This oil travels along the pore to hydrate and protect the skin on the surface.
The Bad – When too much oil is produced it becomes clogged within the pore and pairs with dead skin cells from the surface, this becomes the perfect breeding ground for the P acnes bacteria.
The Oily – The P acnes bacteria is a naturally-occurring bacteria in our skin, but in this environment it rapidly multiplies causing inflammation within the skin. Eventually infection occurs which can damage the foundations of the skin resulting in unsightly scars. We will talk about the best treatments for scarring in our next blog.
Okay, but how can I get rid of my spots for good?
As oily, congested, acne prone skin are all hormonally stimulated, a combination approach is usually necessary to reduce the excess oil production caused by your hormonal imbalance. With so much information out there, we have decided to break down for you the options available to banish breakouts for good!
Appropriate homecare is probably one of the most important things in keeping the breakouts at bay. Salicylic Acid, Retinoids and Benzoyl Peroxide are all hailed as gold standard acne fighters. Salicylic acid is favoured by many dermatologists for its ability to help break down the outer layer of skin so it doesn’t mix with sebum, while speeding up the resolution of whiteheads. It’s also a common agent in chemical peels which I’d suggest for sufferers with moderate to mild acne- it helps to banish acne lesions, pigmentary change and to diminish superficial scars. Recent studies have also shown that benzoyl peroxide can help to prevent antibiotic resistance in acne.
Most cosmetic/ over-the-counter brands do not have the correct percentage of active ingredients and are produced in large molecular structures that are unable to penetrate to where they are needed, meaning they cannot make a cellular change and therefore will only ever give temporary effects. With many active cosmeceutical brands boasting patented delivery systems and potent active ingredients, a skin specialist will be able to help you choose a homecare routine to ban those breakouts.
Whether your skin is sensitive and prone to breakouts or very oily with severe acne, we have summed up our top 5 favourite products that have been proven to actively treat acne in our clients.
Alumier Salicylic Cleanser
Acne Clarifying Cleanser deep-cleans pores and calms skin for a clearer complexion. Salicylic acid exfoliates and clears pores while oligopeptide-10 reduces acne bacteria (P. acnes). Honey, niacinamide (vitamin B3) and rice bran extract soothe and hydrate skin, leaving it fresh, supple and comfortable. This product can only be purchased in-clinic, so give us a call to book a consultation and we will discuss if this product is suitable for your skin condition.
SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF
SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF is a powerful day-time antioxidant that uses some of the best ingredients on the skincare market to smooth and brighten skin. It contains 2% phloretin, 10% pure vitamin C and 0.5% ferulic acid to help shield skin from damaging free radicals and keep it protected from environmental damage.
Glo Oil-Free Moisturiser SPF 40
Although packed with proven hydrating ingredients such as Hyaluronic Acid and Pro-Vitamin B5, this daily sunscreen doesn’t leave the skin feeling greasy or looking shiny. Added antioxidants protect against free radical and oxidative stress while helping to gradually soften and smooth the texture of the skin with daily wear.
Medik8 Blemish Control Pads
Medik8 Blemish Control Pads are an effective, alcohol-free blemish treatment that’s tough on breakouts and gentle on skin. Pre-soaked in a clarifying maximum strength salicylic acid serum, Blemish Control Pads dissolve oil and dirt from deep within the pore to purify problem complexions.
Buy Medik8 Blemish Control Pads HERE
Advanced Nutrition Programme Skin Accumax
Skin Accumax is a skincare supplement from the Advanced Nutrition Programme that addresses all levels of problem skin. As it works from the inside, the skin over your whole body will reveal its natural radiance, not just your face. Skin Accumax contains DIM (a plant compound) which enables the active nutrients to work together much better than they would individually. They are your skin’s ultimate complexion enhancing power team.
‘It takes only two days for a pimple to crop up and you need to give any topical preventive measure 42 days to kick in. The lifespan of a pimple is about six weeks, so that’s the magic number for how long you should give a product before you give up.’
– ELLE Magazine –
There are many topical treatments available to reduce the appearance of Acne and breakouts. Some of the most results driven are listed below:
Salicylic Acid Peels – These work to exfoliate the skin while decongesting the pores and reducing irritation with their anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, helping to minimise post-breakout and post-inflammatory markings left behind.
Chemical Peels – These medium-depth peels use trichloroacetic acid to treat acne and correct post inflammatory hyper-pigmentation post breakout.
Oral Medication Options
There are a number of oral medication options available such as Accutane, the Pill and antibiotics, however we recommend consulting your GP before venturing down this route.
Another popular alternative to oral medication is oral skincare supplements such as The Accumax supplements from the Advanced Nutrition Programme. Full of vitamin A, C and E these supplements unique formulation and patented technology help to clarify and clear the complexion naturally. These supplements contain a unique ingredient called DIM (not found in any other skincare supplement) which has been proven to work from the inside out, enabling active ingredients to work together much better than they would individually to become your skin’s ultimate power team. Gluten and dairy free, the best part about these unique supplements is they nourish all the layers of the skin, feeding every cell in your body to clarify and clear your complexion not only on the face but on the body too, without any side- effects such as dryness or flakiness.
If you are concerned with Acne/Oily Skin/Congestion, The Laser and Skin Clinic has been successfully banishing breakouts for over 15 years. Call one of our three clinics in Dublin, Mullingar or Athlone and our dedicated team of skin specialists will be more than happy to book you in for a consultation to tailor a skincare plan to your individual needs and help you on the road to a clearer complexion.
Dublin: +353 1 6766527
Mullingar: +353 44 9347800
Athlone: +353 906 498839