So what exactly is Acne and what causes it?
In 2015, acne was estimated to affect 633 million people globally, making it the 8th most common disease worldwide. 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 will simply irritate the condition and could have the detrimental affect of increasing post inflammatory hyper-pigmentation resulting in long term marking 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.
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 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 and taken by mouth.
Many people struggle to find products to put together a skin care routine or to supplement stronger/ prescribed producs. 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 skin care products will help the condition?
Below are a few recommended products which have many of the properties listed above and which we hope will help you in your fight against acne:
Konjac sponges 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.
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 oils to the affected area. However, if you select one which is light weight, calming and contains a form of salicylic acid then this can create a marked improvement in the condition of the skin.
Green People's Neutral Sensitive Scent Free Light Day Moisturiser provides all of these benefits and more due to the excellent line-up of ingredients below:
Prebiotics restore a healthy skin balance to help prevent acne and impurities.
Willow Bark is rich in Salicin, an anti-inflammatory which reduces irritation and helps control acne breakouts.
Chamomile extract is rich in flavonoids instantly reducing oxidative stress and soothing skin inflammation
Perilla oil has powerful antioxidant properties with a soothing action ideal for inflammatory skin conditions
Avocado oil is bursting with a wide range of nutrients including 11 vitamins and 14 minerals
Jojoba oil 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
Seaweed (Fucus vesiculosus) increases skin hydration and is a rich source of minerals and trace elements essential for normal skin cell function
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:
Calendula is thought to have wound healing, collagen promoting and anti-inflammatory properties.
Zinc Oxide 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.
Babassu Oil 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.
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. They typically contain botanical oils such as sunflower, safflower, apricot kernel and grape seed that emulsify with water to rinse away cleanly.
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 a comedogenic rating of 0 so won't clog pores and has one of the highest percentages of linoleic acid of any oil (65%-85%).
Apricot Kernel Oil is anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and anti-bacterial which makes it a valuable ally against acne causing bacteria.
Borage (Starflower) Seed Oil is high is linolleic acid (~35%) but also contains one of the highest percentages of Gamma Linoleic Acid (GLA); an activated form of omega-6 that promotes skin hydration and elasticity.
Rosemary extract 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.
Here at Skind we are constantly looking to improve our product line-up and feedback on the effectiveness of our products is key. Should you decide to try out any of the products above please do let us know how you get on by dropping us a line at email@example.com
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