Clean It Up + Clear it Out: Help for Treating Acne

Maybe it’s the tracking cookies on the interwebs but acne and acne treatments have been showing up all over my social media feeds and in the latest edition of Skin Inc. Not only that, but I was just talking with my daughter over dinner at The Grove the other night about teenage acne. She was one of the more unfortunate ones (like me) who had to take Accutane to control her acne when she was in high school. But we also talked about how many teens don’t want to wash their face properly (or don’t want to wash their face at all)!

And there are sooo many over the counter products and washes that promise all sorts of results, that sometimes you can over do it and make your skin worse, or else feel like you’ve tried everything, but nothing has worked.

There are some main root causes of acne and generally it’s not caused by just ONE reason. Some things to keep in mind when treating your acne: ~Nothing is going to be a quick fix, or a one-time treatment that will render perfect skin. ~Get recommendations from your aesthetician including in-office treatments and products for at home.

~Don’t overdo it with too many products - in fact the acne kits we carry have only three products each.

I posted a chart on our Facebook page last week from Skin Inc. detailing the root causes of acne and how to best treat each cause. I’ve adapted it slightly here and added specific product recommendations and treatments.

Some causes of acne, and what can help:

Oily skin - Sebaceous glands become overactive with sticky sebum that can block pores, causing a build up of cells that can result in infection. Treat with 2% salicylic acid (Obagi Acne Kit)

Bacterial presence - Too much bacteria will make the skin inflamed and red. Treat with benzoyl peroxide (Obagi Acne Kit)

High pH of skin - Can be caused by genetics or products - acidify with facial wash. Recommended facial washes: Obagi Clenziderm Foaming Wash or Skin Ceuticals LHA Cleansing Gel, or Simply Clean.

Hyperkeratosis - Skin cells form irregular growth patterns due to impairment from genetics or certain products. Treat with a retnoid like Alpha Ret and Alpha Ret peel pads.

Dehydration - Topicals that treat acne can cause dehydration so counteract it with products that repair the skin barrier. Options are Elta MD Barrier Repair, Skin Ceuticals Triple Lipid and Skin Better’s Trio.

In-Office Procedures

HydraFacial There are various options for customization depending on exactly what your skin needs. Hydrafacial includes deep cleansing, extracting, and hydrating, a salicylic acid treatment, specialty booster serums and LED light therapy that helps control bacteria. Add-on options are: (1) lymphatic therapy which can help with inflammation, and (2) extra extraction time if needed.

BroadBand Light (BBL) Forever Clear This is the same machine that we use for all of our photofacials. BBL Forever Clear uses light therapy to treat acne. Step 1: Skin is first treated with blue BBL light to eliminate acne-causing bacteria at its source, deep down in the pores. Step 2: Skin is then treated with yellow BBL light to reduce the inflammation and acne-associated redness to give you healthy, luminous skin. Step 3: The skin is treated with SkinTyte using infra-red light in rapid, gentle pulses to initiate the body’s natural healing process.

BBL delivers the light energy deep into your skin to stimulate and regenerate your skin cells, leaving you with clear, healthy, radiant skin.

If you’re dealing with acne, I know how frustrating it can be. I did three rounds of Accutane over the period of a decade to deal with cystic acne. Hopefully that’s not the case for most, and these treatment options can work. Pick some, or all, of these options and stick with it. Treating those root causes and returning your skin to a normal, uninflamed state takes time!