Acne is an inflammatory response within the skin and presents in what’s commonly seen as "mini infections" or "papules/pustules". This response can be due to internal factors such as hormones or gut health or external factors such as incorrect skin care or make up which contains inflammatory or pore clogging ingredients.
Acne can also leave discolouration on the skin known as PIH (post inflammatory hyperpigmentation). These are the dark spots or red spots that are left after acne lesions heal and can also be exacerbated by picking and pulling the skin. PIH can also be darkened by UV exposure.
What are the common causes of Acne?
Hormones are a big influence on the skin and can trigger excess oil production causing skin cells to become sticky, leading to clogged pores and breakouts. Hormonal breakouts are commonly found but not limited to the chin, forehead and chest area.
Getting tested for hormonal imbalances is recommended, many contraceptive pill methods can help to regulate hormones which in turn can assist in clearing up the skin.
Diet and gut health can also play a part in the health of your skin and often acne can also be linked with inflammation in the gut. Some causes such as food intolerance or bad diet can contribute to the skin behaving badly. Reducing sugar and alcohol can help the skins clarity. Alkalising the body can also help to detoxify and improve the appearance of your skin.
Using the wrong makeup containing ingredients such as talc can clog the skin and can contribute to how the skin breathes. This can often be the culprit when skin becomes oily and congested, resulting in breakouts. If make up is contributing to your breakouts a mineral make up is the best option to alleviate this factor.
How to treat and prevent acne and breakouts
Following a good skincare regimen at home is paramount to seeing improvement in the skin. Consistency is also key, there is no overnight cure for acne or PIH. It may seem like a tedious process but with the correct treatment plan, skin care products, make up, guidance and support from Victorian Cosmetic Institute, the chances of good results are greatly increased.
The best skin care products to treat acne and breakouts
With many different skincare products available promoting their effectiveness for treating acne and breakouts it can be difficult to know which products are the best to use. Often it can be trial and error to find the products that will best suit your particular concerns. To assist you I have listed the products that have given my patients the best results when it comes to treating their acne, breakouts and post inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
Cleansers for acne and breakouts
A good cleanser to use at the end of the day is essential. Proper cleansing helps to regulate oil flow and help skincare serums penetrate more thoroughly. For congested, oily and blemished skin there are three cleansers I have found that my patients prefer.
Dermaceutic Foamer 5 contains and mild concentration of Glycolic Acid to decongest blocked pores and remove dead skin cells. Also containing Enoxolone to assist with uneven pigmentation and calm the skin.
Cosmedix Purity Clean is a cleanser containing L-Lactic Acid to gently exfoliate and deep clean pores whilst aromatic Peppermint Essential Oil provides a cooling effect to the skin.
With a blend of natural occurring Alpha Hydroxy Acids, Aspect Dr Deep Cleanser's non-irritating formula will exfoliate, renew and refine your skin to enhance your complexion.
If your skin is inflamed or for sensitive skins with acne and breakouts Dermaceutic Advanced Cleanser is a foaming cleanser which contains zinc for it's natural healing properties. This cleanser is effective in removing make up and excess oil and leaves the skin feeling fresh and hydrated.
Highly sensitive skin types can benefit from Synergie BioCleanse's unique formula which contains gentle pure ingredients and is 100% free of sodium laureth sulphate, parabens, artificial fragrance and artificial colours. Designed to cleanse the skin of impurities without stripping the natural acid mantle of the skin.
Serums for acne and breakouts
Once you have cleansed your face it is time to use an active serum designed to treat and prevent acne and breakouts.
Cosmedix Clarity Serum can be applied as an all over face serum as well used to spot treat breakouts. The combination of Salicylic Acid, Tea Tree Oil and Willowherb will purify impurities whilst helping to balance oil production. Also contains Aloe Vera to sooth the appearance of agitated, problematic skin.
Osmosis MD Clarify is an antibacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral formula which assists with clearing blemishes, regulating oil production with Niacinamide, and reduces congestion whilst calming inflammation.
Aspect Dr Problem Skin Serum is a potent skin serum that provides antioxidant protection and assists in the management of oils, all while detoxifying and mattifying. A great serum for acne and breakouts when the skin is also in need of hydration.
Sunscreen for acne or breakout prone skin
Sunscreen is a necessity no matter your skin type. If you're prone to acne and breakouts it is important to choose a sunscreen that will work in harmony with your skin care regime. The sunscreen you select should provide the ultimate protection from UVA and UVB radiation, whilst helping to reduce the severity of post inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Synergie Uberzinc contains zinc oxide is a natural anti-inflammatory which soothes and calms inflammation, it also contains a high level of antioxidants, including Pure Green Tea, to neutralise free radicals.
La Roche 50+ Ultra Light is a light weight SPF which contains no clogging ingredients making it great for an acne prone skin.
What are the best treatments for acne and breakouts
At Victorian Cosmetic Institute we treat many patients who come to us to assist with their acne and PIH. Our Skin Therapists will carry out a detailed skin assessment, tailor a treatment plan and ensure the correct action is taken for optimal results. In some cases our patients are also seen by our Cosmetic Doctors who can assist with prescription medications such as antibiotics and the contraceptive pill if required.
LED light therapy is a very popular treatment for acne. LED light therapy is available in many difference wavelengths or colours. Depending on the cause and the severity of your acne and breakouts you may require one or both of the most popular LED wavelengths.
Blue LED light therapy is designed to kill a common bacteria known as P.acnes and accelerates the healing response within the skin.
Red LED light therapy helps to reduce inflammation and redness and is very effective in strengthening the skin’s barrier function.
A course of LED light therapy treatment is required for optimal results.
Chemical peels such as Salicylic peels, Dermaceutic Milk Peel and Dermaceutic Mask peel are controlled systems used to assist in reducing the appearance of acne and post inflammatory hyperpigmentation and are best performed every 4 to 6 weeks. The type of chemical peel most suited to you would be determined after a thorough skin assessment by a Skin Therapist.
Written by Alexandra Young, Skin Therapist
Alexandra Young is a Skin Therapist with over 16 years of experience. Alexandra’s dedication and passion is evident as she strives to build a strong rapport with her patients offering ongoing support and a tailor made treatment plan to help them achieve the best possible result for their skin.