-Acne is caused by extra oil, known as sebum, being overproduced by glands in skin, causing white heads (when the pore is closed) or black heads (when the pores are open).
-This oil changes the activity of a bacteria (it’s always the little guys causing trouble!) known as P. acnes from being harmless to being more aggressive causing inflammation and pus.
-80% of acne is found in girls (not fair!). This may be due to hormonal activity.
-it can be hereditary. If your parents suffered from acne, you probably will too! (not fair either!).
-Girls may have episodes of acne coming up to their periods or in the first 3 months of pregnancy. (Seriously!?)
-Acne flare-ups can be caused by some medications e.g. Steroids, the contraceptive pill.
-Smoking can contribute to acne in older people. (Acne usually disappears in your mid twenties)
-Some cosmetic products can cause the pores to become blocked and cause spots, try to use products which say they are “non-comedogenic”, meaning that they don’t block pores to cause blackheads, white heads and spots.
-Acne is NOT caused by chocolate, crisps or fatty foods.
-Drinking 8 glasses of water per day does NOT clear spots. There is no scientific evidence to support this claim. Your body is a very sophisticated thing that lets you know when its dehydrated,- it’s called thirsty! (However, 8 glasses of water are much better for you than 8 glasses of fizzy drinks, never mind the spots!)
-Acne is NOT caused by poor hygiene. Scrubbing your face as it’s a dirty car may just cause more irritation and inflammation.
OK, SO WHAT TO DO?
-Use gentle non-comedogenic products to clean and moisturize the skin rather than attacking your skin with rough exfoliating products. If you feel the need to exfoliate, use a mind, non-comedogenic one such as St Ives Gentle Smoothing Oatmeal scrub and mask (at €3.50, it’s a great price and has already gotten the thumbs up from several customers!) Don’t exfoliate more than twice a week.
-Alot of products marketed for acne are way to harsh and drying, causing the skin to produce more sebum to try and moisturize itself and Hey, it’s back to more blocked pores!
Simple Kind to Skin Purifying Cleansing or Simple Skincare Micellar Water/Lotion with Simple Hydrating Lotion. Simple also do a very handy size moisturizer in a pouch with SPF 15. Or, try Simple Protect and Glow Triple Protect Moisturizer SPF 30.
OR, Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser with Cetaphil Moisturizer.
Both of these ranges are non-comedogenic and come in bottles and pump dispensers, so they don’t get too ‘gungy’!
SOMETHING NOT TO DO!
-Do NOT pick or SQUEEZE spots! We know that it’s tempting but can lead to further infection and inflammation and lead to scarring which will be there long after the spot is gone.
SPOTS AND SHAVING
Shave gently and in the direction of the hair growth.
However, when the spots stand their ground despite our best efforts, your next ‘go to’ is benzoyl peroxide (acnecide). Short of going to the doctor, this is the most effective product to treat spots. Give it about six weeks and if there is no improvement then pay a visit to your G.P. for antibiotic cream, lotion or tablet form. An antibiotic and benzoyl peroxide work very well together to cure acne!
BUT REMEMBER ABOVE ALL BE PATIENT!
Acne cannot be cured by next Friday. Give any skin care regime at least six weeks before deciding if it’s not for you as with anything, one product may suit you more than another.
If you have any questions, about skin care, including prescription medications, just ask us, on the spot!
Oh! and one more thing. Don’t ruin your efforts by applying heavy sunscreens to the spotty areas. Ask us about non-comedogenic sunscreen in store.