Acne, What should I do ?

Dr Toey - Acne skincare - Paris Montmartre

I have to admit that I have oily skin on my face and have struggled with acne.
It appears suddenly on my chin, cheek, or forehead, or all three at once.
And, of course, it was never at the right time... always before a big meeting or a romantic date...

When I tried to pop those whiteheads as soon as they appeared, they would return or leave a disgraceful inflammation that I quickly covered with foundation.

When those stronger breakouts came over, I had a few moments of peace...

So I went to every cosmetic store and bought all of the cheap anti-acne products... nothing really worked... so I decided to buy more expensive products from well-known brands...

Except for increasing my expenses, it had no effect on my self-esteem...
It sort of works...
However, flare-ups continue to appear, especially when I least expect them...
So I decided to learn more about acne.

To begin with, several factors may explain the origin of acne:

Genetics : Acne appears to be a highly heritable condition...
So, if a relative has it, you have a good "chance" of getting it as well.

Hormones : Androgen hormones, Testosterone, Dihydrotestosterone (DHT), and Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) activity, as well as high levels of growth hormones (GH) and insulin-like growth factor 1 are all linked to acne (IGF-1).
In other words, if you used to have acne, it will almost certainly flare up during your menstrual cycle and/or puberty.

Bacterial: Acne can also be caused by an anaerobic bacterial infection (bacteria that are formed without oxygen).
It has the ability to alter, sustain, or adapt the abnormal cycle of inflammation, oil production, and insufficient sloughing of dead skin cells from acne pores.

Diet: It has been discovered that high glycemic diets have varying degrees of effect on acne severity.
Acne may also be caused by milk containing whey protein.
According to research, these components stimulate the effect of insulin and IGF-1, increasing the production of androgen hormones, sebum, and, ultimately, the formation of comedones.

Stress: According to some studies, stress causes or worsens acne.
This is due to the fact that stress can cause hormonal imbalances.

Basically, there are two major sources of acne : Hormones and Bacteria. Other factors are inextricably linked to one of those two sources.

So, how can we treat or lessen the symptoms of acne?

Several treatments are available on the market, but the first and most important is Vitamin A, which your dermatologist may recommend if you have acne.
With daily pills, you can significantly reduce oil production, which in turn reduces acne symptoms.

However, it has side effects and should not be used for an extended period of time...
Click here to get some additional details about those side effects.

Topical acne products include all-over acne treatment, pore strips, acne patches, and chemical exfoliators.
These are mostly based on the following ingredients:

Salicylic acid is a naturally occurring compound that can be isolated from willow tree bark. It is a chemical that is similar to aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid). It can also be synthesized, either through the biosynthesis of the amino acid phenylalanine or through the synthesis of phenol.
The first benefit is that it is anti-inflammatory.  

Salicylic Acid is used to treat acne by unclogging clogged pores. It accomplishes this by facilitating the release of dead skin cells from the pore and breaking down oils such as sebum. Salicylic acid also reduces sebum production in the skin, resulting in fewer breakouts. It could take 6 to 8 weeks to see results. Dryness, peeling skin, and mild irritation are some of the side effects. When using a Salicylic product, you should always protect your skin from the sun.

Another topical agent that may help treat acne is benzoyl peroxide.It is an antiseptic that kills the bacteria that causes acne. People can use Benzoyl Peroxyde on its own or in conjunction with Salicylic Acid. Both are usually non-prescription medications. People with sensitive skin or eczema should avoid using benzoyl peroxide. People who have pre-existing skin conditions should consult a doctor or dermatologist to see if benzoyl peroxide is safe for them to use.

Retinoids are a type of vitamin A acid. Topical retinoids stimulate the exfoliation of dead skin cells while also increasing the production of new skin cells. Dead cells and excess oil are pushed out of blocked pores by the new cells. Retinoids have anti-inflammatory properties as well.
The side effects are the same as with Vitamin A.
Topical retinoids are typically prescribed only if other acne medications have failed.
If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning to become pregnant, you should not use them.

Glycolic acid is an Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA - meaning skin exfoliant) derived from sugarcane that can aid in acne treatment. It produces a peeling effect, making the skin appear smoother and more even.
The benefit of glycolic acid for acne sufferers is that the peeling results in less "gunk" clogging the pores. This includes oil and dead skin cells. When there is less to clog the pores, the skin can clear and there are fewer breakouts.

Side effects include swelling, itching, and a burning sensation, so avoid it if you have sensitive skin!

Furthermore, some people find that when they use glycolic acid, they become more sun sensitive.

Lactic acid is a natural AHA derived from the acids produced when milk ferments.
This acid, like glycolic acid, promotes exfoliation by dissolving bonds between dead skin cells.

Lactic acid molecules are larger than glycolic acid molecules. As a result, it may not penetrate the skin as effectively as glycolic acid. According to research, lactic acid is less irritating to the skin than glycolic acid. Lactic acid may be the exfoliant for you if you have more sensitive skin.

And there is natural ingredients such as :

Tea Tree Oil is extracted from the leaves of the same-named Australian tree.
For centuries, Aboriginal Australians have used it as a traditional medicine.
According to research, Tea Tree Oil has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties and may help with acne treatment, but it is not a cure-all.

Activated charcoal (or activated carbon) is a fine black powder formed when regular charcoal is heated to a high temperature.
It is well-known for its ability to absorb oil and toxins. It also has antibacterial properties that may aid in the removal of bacteria from the pores. Within a few hours, you may however experience itching or redness... Active charcoal is best used as a mask in conjunction with other ingredients such as aloe vera.

Clay, like activated charcoal, is an excellent oil and toxin absorbent.
Using a clay mask on your face removes excess oil from your pores.
Green clay is said to be the best for drying out your skin. If you have naturally oily skin, using a clay mask once or twice a week may help you control the excess oil.
However, the drying effect of the clay on your skin can cause itching or redness.

Aloe Vera belongs to the succulent family of plants. It has thick, serrated leaves and grows wild.
The clear gel inside aloe vera leaves is applied topically to soothe burned or irritated skin, and some people use it to treat acne.
Aloe's antibacterial properties are most likely what make it effective for topical acne treatment.
When aloe vera was combined with traditional anti-acne medication, the results were promising.
Try these home remedies if your acne is mild to moderate and you're looking for a gentle way to soothe your skin.

Rosewater is a liquid created by steeping rose petals in water or steam distilling rose petals.
Because it is high in Vitamin C and phenolics, it is a natural anti-inflammatory treatment for inflamed acne. It is also a powerful antibacterial, killing the bacterium Propionibacterium acnes, which is linked to acne.

Overall, dermatologists recommend the following acne treatments:

Washing the face twice a day, and after sweating, with lukewarm water, using the fingertips to gently cleanse the face with a non-abrasive face wash, avoiding scrubbing the skin, avoiding touching the face with unwashed hands, protecting skin from the sun, and avoiding tanning beds.

Anyway, finding the right acne treatment is not easy; it takes time and can be frustrating because it does not always work...
Especially if your acne is caused by hormonal activity.

Remember that whether or not you have acne, it is always important to take care of your skin with a proper skincare regimen.
Thus, instead of trying and failing to get rid of your acne, you should definitely reduce it when it appears.

About me, my skin, and acne treatment, I chose a treatment based on a natural ingredient that I enjoy, prickly pear seed oil (or cactus oil), but that is a topic for another blog :)



About the Author : Dr. Toey is Belle de Jour / Personality Skincare co-founder.
She enjoys traveling and learning about natural ingredients that are both healthy and efficient.
She is the mother of two beautiful children and pays close attention to the products she uses for herself and her family.


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