3 Step Acne Treatment Solution, Preventing Future Breakouts, and Debunking Myths/Lies about Skincare
If you are suffering from acne and don't know where to turn, I'm here to share some information with you that may spare you a dermatologist visit.
The ultimate goal for a proper acne treatment/prevention is to:
1. Unplug your pores
2. Remove the bacteria
3. Reduce inflammation (Swelling)
Did you know? The only FDA-approved active ingredients to help fight acne without a prescription are:
There is no 1 single FDA approved acne treatment that can combine any of these four ingredients. This means, there's no 1 single product out there that can unplug your pores, remove bacteria, and reduce swelling. Yet, in order to properly treat and prevent acne, all 3 bases need to be covered. So, you'll have to find 3 products with each active ingredients.
3 Step Medicated Acne Treatment/Prevention:
1. To unplug your pores: Use a Salicylic acid cleanser, toner, masque.
2. To remove bacteria: Use a benzoyl peroxide cleanser, moisturizer, or masque
3. To reduce the swelling: Use a sulfer/resorcinol leave on lotion/masque
* You do not need to use these ingredients in order. You just need to use all three. With that being said, you should always go in order when it comes to your cleansing routine.
* The percentages of potency in each product will be listed. It's recommended you use the lower percentage of salicylic/benzoyl peroxide (2.5% as opposed to 5%) to prevent irritation/reduce redness post application and rest assured, effectiveness will remain the same.
* It's important to not over-do your acne medicated cleansing routine. It's best to do this a few times a week. In the meantime, find a mild cleanser in between days (List of mild, noncomedogenic cleansers below) so that you do not further irritate your skin.
Your skin routine should include these steps (in order):
Exfoliation (2-3 times a week)
Masque (1-3 times a week for dry/dehydrated skin)
Sunscreen (after or with moisturizer)
Cleansers for people with non-severe/mild acne or no acne:
If you don't feel as though you're in need of a medicated acne treatment, prevention for future breakouts is still important. While you do not need to invest in medicated over the counter topical gels and cleansing products, you should still have a skin care routine that is appropriate to your skin type, skin concerns, and preventative.
Here is a list of mild, noncomedogenic (won't clog your pores) cleansers:
Avance Algae Deep Gentle Cleanse
Aveeno Clear Complexion Foaming Cleanser
Biotherm Acnopur Purifying Cleanser
**Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser for normal to oily skin
Clearasil Daily Face Wash Sensitive Skin
Elemis Re hydrating Ginseng Toner
Ellen Lange Daily Maintenance Oil Control Cleanser
Eucerin Gentle Hydrating cleanser
Eucerin Pore Purifying Foaming Wash
Jurlique Face Wash Cream
L'Oreal Ideal Balance Foaming Cream Cleanser
L'Oreal Ideal Balance Foaming Gel Cleanser
Physicians Formula Deep pore Cleansing Gel
Rodan & Fields COMPOUNDS Gentle Wash
Myths about Acne/Skincare
Did you know? There is a lot of common myths out there about acne and skin care. I'd like to debunk a few of these for you so you have a better understanding about choosing products, understand false scams/marketing techniques, and to properly take care of your skin for the future.
Acne is your fault:
False. Genetics have a lot in play here. There are many factors in life that can leave you with acne. Although it is not your fault, you can still make sure you're taking preventative steps to alleviate/rid yourself of future breakouts.
Spot Treatments Cure Acne:
False. That blemish you see is 2 weeks in the making. Yes, you can zap those suckers away for important events or just because you hate seeing them on your face, but getting to the route of the problem for future breakouts is your best bet.
Acne is Caused By Your Diet:
False. There is not enough scientific evidence linking acne to your diet. However, certain foods can make you break out. If you think that you're consuming a certain food that always follows up with acne, remember that it's a two week process. Therefore, the chocolate you ate the night before is not the reason you broke out. Keep a food diary and try to connect the dots in previous weeks.
Sunscreen Causes Acne:
False. Sunscreen is not the problem and you should still wear it. Just like anything you put on your face or body, noncomedogenic products will clog your pores. Find a sunscreen that is oil free/noncomedogenic and you're in the clear.
You Can't Moisturize if you have Acne:
False. You should most certainly moisturize regardless if your skin is oily. Many people have oily skin because our skin's natural response to dehydration is excess sebum production (which is also why acne can occur). If you get to the root of the problem, your skin will not produce extra oil given that the skin is no longer in need of extra hydration. Again, noncomedogenic products are a must. Don't clog your pores!
Use hot water to open your pores for a better cleanse:
False. First of all, hot water increases blood flow and dilates your blood vessels which makes a red face even more red. Secondly, pores do not open with heat. Pores don't just open and close like you've been told. Use lukewarm water, always!
Cold water closes your pores:
False. Like mentioned above, pores are not little windows that you can open and close. Use lukewarm water, always!
You can't wear makeup if you have acne:
False. You can still wear all the makeup you want to wear, but it's the kind of makeup you're wearing that causes breakouts. My favorite word again, noncomedogenic makeup is a must! Do not clog your pores and you'll help yourself prevent acne.
Pore strips unclogs/shrinks your pores:
False. Pore strips can be used in moderation, but unfortunately, a lot of the filaments you seen in your nose are actually good oils. Also, you can diminish the appearance of large pores, but you can't make them go away. You should unclog your pores by washing off your makeup or using products that are noncomedogenic. If you are prone to the "clogged pore look", there's not much you can do about that. You can remove them as much as you want, but they'll be back the next morning. Don't waste your money on these products unless you're fully aware they do not cure anything.