DEALING WITH ACNE
So what exactly is Acne and what causes it?
Acne commonly occurs in adolescence and affects an estimated 80-90% of teenagers in the Western world. Although acne becomes less common in adulthood, it persists in nearly half of affected people into their 20s and 30s and for a smaller group beyond that.
This long-term skin disease occurs when hair follicles are clogged with dead skin cells and oil from the skin. It is characterised by blackheads or whiteheads, pimples, oily skin, and can in many cases result in scarring. It primarily affects areas of the skin with a relatively high number of oil glands, such as the face, upper part of the chest, and back.
Genetics is thought to be the primary cause of acne in 80% of cases. The role of diet and cigarettes remains unclear, and neither cleanliness nor exposure to sunlight appear to play a part. Trying to 'dry out' acne using harsh astringent products or by excessive exposure to sunlight is likely to simply irritate the condition and could have the detrimental affect of increasing post inflammatory hyper-pigmentation resulting in long term marks and/or premature ageing of the skin.
In both sexes, hormones called androgens appear to be part of the underlying mechanism, by causing an increased production of sebum. Another frequent factor is excessive growth of the bacterium propionibacterium acnes, which is normally present on the skin.
Types of Acne
The diagram above shows the many forms acne can take
How can acne be treated?
Many treatment options for acne are available, including lifestyle changes, medications and medical procedures. Eating fewer simple carbohydrates such as sugar may help.
We would always recommend seeking advice from a Doctor or Dermatologist as there are a number of treatments they may well ask affected people to consider. Treatments applied directly to the affected skin, such as azelaic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and salicylic acid are commonly used and in more extreme cases antibiotics and retinoids are available in formulations that are applied to the skin or taken by mouth.
Many people struggle to find products to put together a skincare routine or to supplement stronger/ prescribed products. Given the characteristics of acne you should look to put together a routine with products which as a group have the following qualities:
Non-Commedogenic (doesn't clog pores)
Higher in Linoleic Acid
Contain Salicylic Acid
Which Fragrance free skincare products could help you deal with acne?
Below are a few recommended fragrance free skincare products which have many of the properties listed above and which we hope will help you in your fight against acne:
1 - Konjac Facial sponge Infused with Bamboo Charcoal
As acne results from a build up of dead skin cells it is important to incorporate products with exfoliating properties into your routine in order to remove the top layer and reveal fresher skin beneath. This should not be done excessively as you may disrupt the function of the skin barrier resulting in irritation.
Someone with acne is likely to benefit from the use of a konjac sponge on a daily basis as this has a gentle abrasive quality which will not disrupt the skin barrier on inflamed skin. SKIND stock both face and body sponges infused with bamboo charcoal. Brought to you by The Konjac Sponge Company they provide gentle exfoliation with purifying anti-bacterial properties, perfect for those with acne prone skin.
2 - Green People - Light Day Moisturiser
It is easy to be put off from using a moisturiser when you have acne as it can feel counter intuitive to add addition oil to the affected area. However, if you select one which is light weight, calming and contains anti-inflammatory ingredients then this can create a marked improvement in the condition of the skin. Green People Neutral Scent Free Light Day Moisturiser provides all of these benefits and more due to the excellent line-up of ingredients below:
Restore a healthy skin balance to help prevent acne and impurities.
Rich in Salicin, an anti-inflammatory which reduces irritation and helps control acne breakouts.
Helps to balance sebum levels, and is a highly protective oil rich in Omega-7 & 9 fatty acids to provide a non-sticky, light and soft skin feel.
3 - Lyonsleaf - Zinc & calendula cream
Lyonsleaf have created a cream which works as an amazing spot treatment for those suffering from acne. It contains the following key ingredients which make it so great for this purpose:
Thought to have wound healing, collagen promoting and anti-inflammatory properties.
Can combat acne by calming inflammation and further protecting the skin. It helps soothe redness, decrease the size of breakouts/pimples/cysts and is thought to help reduce excess sebum production.
Has a low comedogenic rating, meaning it has a low chance of clogging pores. It is great for soothing inflamed skin conditions like acne, reducing both redness and itchiness.
4 - Myroo - Gentle Cleanser
While washing your skin with oil sounds counter intuitive, especially if you have oily skin, it is in fact the most gentle and effective way to loosen pore clogging debris, pollution, make-up and spf without irritating your skin. Cleansing oils draw out other oils, make-up and impurities that congest pores with a “like attracts like” approach.
Research has shown that people with acne have low levels of Linoleic Acid in their skin’s surface lipids. Adding these fatty acid-rich oils topically is the best way to address this problem. Linoleic Acid is an omega-6 essential fatty acid not produced by body. It has anti-aging, barrier protective, soothing, and balancing properties, and is most suitable for oily and acne prone skin.
Myroo have created a wonderfully well balanced cleansing oil which is high in linoleic acid so so should work well for those suffering from acne. It contains the following key ingredients which make it so great for this purpose:
Safflower Seed Oil
Has one of the highest percentages of linoleic acid of any oil (65%-85%).
Apricot Kernel Oil
Anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and anti-bacterial which makes it a valuable ally against acne causing bacteria.
Contains rosmarinic acid, which is believed to have a calming effect on skin and may therefore be useful for mitigating several common skin issues including the inflammation associated with acne.
5 - Bloomtown - Blue Clay & Indigo Leaf Soothing Mask
Brought to you by Bloomtown this soothing clay mask provides all the detoxifying benefits of bentonite blue clay in a product which is incredibly soothing and won't leave your skin feeling tight. The product contains the following beneficial ingredients:
Blue Bentonite Clay
Draws out toxins from the skin and has anti-bacterial properties to improve blemishes.
When the extracts are applied to the skin, stinging nettle has been proven to reduce the severity of acne and can even prevent bacterial infections. Due to its antioxidant properties, it can also speed healing, reduce the appearance of scars and blemishes.
Myroo - 100% Cold Pressed Blackberry Seed oil Super Boost Drops
Brought to you by Myroo these super boost drops are perfect for tackling oily, blotchy and uneven skin either applied directly to the skin or as a boost to your moisturiser. The product contains the following beneficial ingredient:
Blackberry Seed oil
Blackberry Seed Oil contains standout levels of Vitamin C, Omega 3 and Omega 6. This unique combination of essential fatty acids and antioxidants help combat the signs of ageing skin, blotchiness, large pores, and blemishes.
This oil is suitable for oilier skin types and does well mixed with other oils.
Apothaka - Barrier Support Serum
If your goal is healthy skin then you need to keep your skin barrier in check. The skin barrier is the first line of defence against environmental assaults and unwanted substances so it’s vital to keep it fully functioning and maintain its resilience. A compromised barrier can result in potential for irritation and sensitivity as unwanted substances are more easily able to penetrate the skin.
This clear, hydrating serum is designed to support, protect and replenish the skin barrier, allowing it to maintain its optimal hydration balance and keep skin healthy. Silicone, oil and alcohol free, with a weightless gel texture that is perfect for those with oily or acne prone skin. Some of the beneficial ingredients which this product contains are:
5% Niacinamide (Vitamin B3)
Strengthens barrier function (among a wide variety of other benefits), resulting in better water retaining abilities of the skin.
Key components of your skin’s natural lipid mix, this skin-identical lipid complex contains 3 different types of ceramides, cholesterol and the ceramide precursor phytosphingosine to help form a protective layer and prevent moisture loss from the skin's surface.
Instantly hydrates, plumps and smooths the skin.