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Dealing with acne

Acne can be an incredibly distressing condition to live with. In the past, treatments were long and arduous – and results weren’t guaranteed. But today we know more about acne than ever before, including that it can be treated from the outside and from the inside. And we can achieve faster and more effective results by following these steps:

  1. Eliminate all congesting or pore-clogging products. Look for professional skincare ranges that are labelled ‘non-comodogenic’.
  2. Control sebum (oil) production. This does not mean remove or strip all of the skin’s oil from the surface as this will lead to barrier impairment. Use a suitable non-detergent-based cleanser daily. And don’t use toners that contain alcohol. Use topical ingredients such as Niacinamide (Vitamin B3), Vitamin A and see a professional to ensure you are prescribed the correct dosage.
  3. Do not over-exfoliate the skin! It can be tempting to scrub away at your acne to keep it clean and unclogged but doing this can disrupt your skin’s pH and barrier function. Using gentle acids (high pH) can help prevent blackheads and smooth the skin. AHAs (alphahydroxy acids) will work on the skin’s surface while BHAs (betahydroxy acids) will work within the follicle. This is where blackheads are formed.
  4. Do not expose your skin to inflammatory environmental factors. Heat and humidity provide a breeding ground for bacteria. If you work or live in this environment, you are more inclined to over-clean your skin, and this can lead to barrier dysfunction. If your skin is exposed to heat and humidity regularly, cleanse gently with a non-detergent-based cleanser twice a day. A common mistake is to expose acne to the sun in the hope it will dry out, but sun exposure actually leads to increased sedum production so don’t fall into that trap!
  5. Clean up your diet. A diet loaded with sugar has been proven to aggravate acne. Try to keep your diet free from processed foods, and excessive sugar, alcohol and caffeine. Try to incorporate at least six serves of fresh vegetables daily and drink plenty of water. Stay clear of soft drinks, coffee, dairy and processed foods to keep your liver happy and your skin looking clear.
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