The Skinny on Acne

Think that your monthly hormonal breakouts are not really acne? Think again! If you are getting 5 or more pimples per month, you are one of the 30-40% of adult women who are acne sufferers. The good news is that although there is no cure for acne it is highly treatable. The right ingredients in the right order can address each of the components of the acne cycle, stopping blemishes deep in the skin before they start. As we all have experienced, there is no good treatment for a blemish once it appears, so prevention is the key!

So what causes acne? There are a variety of individual factors like genetics, stress, and hormones that come into play but the general mechanism is the same. First, a pore becomes clogged by the skin cells that are trying to slough off as a part of the process of normal skin turnover. Second, oil becomes trapped in the clogged pore. Third, bacteria flourish is this environment and release toxins. Finally, your immune system triggers the process of inflammation to combat the infection, which in turn causes redness, swelling, and pain.

The process of inflammation can lead to temporary or permanent damage to your skin in the form of hyperpigmentation or scarring. This can be much more difficult to treat, so again prevention is the most important thing that you can do! It is also very important to use sunscreen daily as this can contribute to the process of hyperpigmentation.

Does food cause acne? This a controversial topic and the answer has historically been “no” but more recent studies have suggested a link between diets that are high in processed foods, refined sugars, and dairy products. The best thing you can do if you have a suspicion would be to eliminate a certain food for at least 30 days to see if it makes any difference. It is also very important to keep your hands away from your face, avoid picking, and make sure your environment is clean (phone, makeup brushes, towels, pillow cases).

So what ingredients have been shown to be helpful? 

  1. Topical sulfur unclogs pores and combats inflammation.
  2. Alpha hydroxy acids such as glycolic acid and azelaic acid also unclog pores.
  3. Benzoyl peroxide is anti-bacterial and has not been shown to lead to bacterial resistance.

I heard a comment recently that made a lot of sense to me…that we should start to treat our skin like we do our teeth. In other words, we don’t think twice about brushing our teeth twice a day to prevent cavities but it seems like such a chore to commit to a twice daily skin care regimen. In the same analogy, spot treating a blemish would be the same as only brushing the tooth with the cavity while ignoring the rest of the mouth. It really makes sense when you look at it from a different perspective!

I recommend the Rodan + Fields Unblemish regimen, which is clinically proven to combat the entire acne cycle by unclogging pores and fighting inflammation, preventing blemishes and blackheads before they become visible on the skin.  Https://mpapa1.myrandf.com/shop/Unblemish

I can also make personalized recommendations for reducing the appearance of hyperpigmentation and scarring once your acne is under control – just private message me on Facebook (Michelle Papa), Twitter (@michellepapado), or Instagram (michellepapa001).  

Feel free to subscribe to this blog and/or follow me on these channels to get daily skin care tips and product specials. Comment and share on things that you find useful as it can really help me expand my reach and provide information that you find valuable.

Michelle Papa
#acne #skincare #antiaging #rodanandfields #unblemish

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