What to do with stubborn acne - at any age!
Acne is never not a hot topic in the skincare industry. We’ve all had it at one point or another whether minor or severe and I think we can all agree…it's the WORST. We want it gone as quickly as possible, to put it in our past and say good riddance! But it isn’t always that easy or fast. Oftentimes this acne is caused or exacerbated by bacteria. Bacterial acne is caused by a combination of hormones, blocked follicles and certain bacteria. It can be primarily in your teens or be all throughout your life. Here are a few friendly reminders to aid you in the process of combatting the acne as well as helping you cope with the condition cause let's be real, acne can have an emotional effect on us as well.
Patience and consistency
First off, it's important to understand that acne will not go away overnight, especially with the presence of bacteria. It can be a slow-moving process so being patient and giving yourself grace is key. Depending on the severity of your acne and bacteria, it can take a few weeks or even a few months of consistency in products, professional treatments and possible lifestyle changes to be rid of it. You may think at first that it may not be working but, like watching water boil, it seems to take forever and then it finally does work. Most people will see a difference after about 4 weeks.
Seek professional advice
Everyone’s acne journey is different. No one face is the exact same as another so try not to compare your experience to a friend, family member or internet influencer. What did or didn’t work for them may or may not work for you. Instead, seek guidance from a professional like a trusted esthetician who has been trained to treat this very thing. They can map out a plan of treatments and take-home care specifically tailored to your skin condition and monitor your progress. Again, be consistent! Use your products daily. Don’t sleep in your makeup. Don’t skip your monthly facial or chemical peel. You will not get the results you’re hoping for if you’re not all in.
Say no to the cheap home trends!
I’m sure we’ve all been tempted to do at-home treatment trends found on social media but for faces, especially those with acne or acne-prone, these fads can prove disastrous. At-home microneedling and dermaplaning seem like a cheap and easy fix to get rid of dead skin, hair or to get a rejuvenated complexion but these devices and tools are not as precise as the the professional ones and can create injuries and tears to the skin wherein bacteria can enter, spread and wreak havoc. It’s not worth it. Save yourself the trouble and have your licensed professional do the treatment in a sanitary environment.
The amount of things bacteria will breed on (aside from your face) is frightening. You’ve got to think like bacteria to get an idea of things to avoid when dealing with bacteria on the skin. Their ideal environment has moisture, warmth and food. Bacteria makes a hefty, plentiful feast out of dead skin and excess oil found on faces and common things that make contact with a face such as: bathroom towels, pillowcases, our hands, cell phones, hair that is not clean, unsanitary facial cleansing devices, brushes and sponges, loofas, products where cross-contamination has occurred. The list goes on! Use caution and abide by these tips for cleaner, more sanitary skin:
- Use separate towels for face and body. Change out the facial towel after 1-2 uses (AM & PM use). Towels are one of the worst and fastest breeding grounds for bacteria!
- Change your pillowcase regularly. Our hair holds onto oils and dead skin and sheds onto the pillowcase that our face rests on.
- Use cleansing devices made of medical-grade silicone vs brushes or sponges. The silicone is antimicrobial and won’t harbor bacteria.
- Fight the urge to pick your face! Not only is there likely bacteria under your fingernails but picking and breaking the skin can spread the bacteria everywhere. I do, however, understand the temptation is there. We’re only human. At the very least, make sure your hands are extremely clean and wrap fingers with tissue to extract. If you see blood or clear fluid, STOP. Those are healing mechanisms. Step away and keep the skin clean.
- Brush teeth before doing skincare routine to avoid irritating ingredients on face but more importantly, to prevent potential spread of mouth bacteria.
- Be mindful of triggers like dairy and fatty, processed foods, caffeine or simple sugars. These are all common for inducing acne flare-ups.
- Whether you frequent the gym or work out from home, be aware of what your body and face come in contact with. Remember that warmth, moisture and dead skin are bacteria’s favorite so a warm, sweaty body is ripe for the picking! Bring a clean towel to wipe sweat, do not work out after facial treatments or injections, limit time in sauna/steam room, don’t put face and body on a dirty yoga mat or equipment, shower immediately after workout and BONUS TIP: grab our Vitality Daily Renewal Pads and use on your face, back, chest, and even your bottom to soak up that oil, remove some dead skin and kill that bacteria!
Acne is such a tough thing to get your head around and the toll it can take psychologically can be tremendous. Know that you’re not the only one. In the US it affects an estimated 80% of people at some point in their lives. Luckily we live in a world where we have education, products and professionals at our fingertips. If you are struggling with acne and need a consultation, our licensed professionals are here to assist you.
*Article was written by Licensed Esthetician, Katie Verboom, to book a consultation or treatment with her, click here.