Most people believe that acne is the result of an oily skin. In my experience this is rare. Acne can occur in both an oily and a lipid dry skin, but more often in a lipid dry skin. It’s often caused by hormonal changes during the teenage years and later on in life when women approach menopause. While we can’t control our hormones, we can control:
the quality and quantity of oil in our skin,
the skincare ingredients we put on our skin as many ingredients upset the skin’s microbiome encouraging acne bacteria to grow.
the congestion and build up that cause blockages.
All these factors contribute to acne.
The key hormone that contributes to acne is testosterone. This hormone surges in both males and females during puberty. As women approach menopause, testosterone has more influence, not because the body makes more testosterone but because the level of estrogen decreases. The testosterone influence manifests itself in acne and facial hair growth.
Testosterone stimulates the production of sebum (oil) which is why there is a common belief that acne is caused by an oily skin. Not so!
The increase in sebum or oil production is not the problem when it is good quality oil. Good quality oil should have the consistency of water, allowing it to flow easily. Poor quality oil is thick and gluggy like cottage cheese. This cannot flow and gets stuck in the pore causing a plug. This is the beginning of acne.
More often than not, skin cells don’t desquamate properly and together with dirt and debris they just sit on the skin surface, closing in the oil plug forming blackheads, whiteheads, pimples and acne.
P. acnes is a naturally occurring bacterium that is present on the skin as well as within pores and sebaceous glands. When dead skin and sebum become trapped and block the pores, P. acnes rapidly multiply, causing follicle damage and inflammation. Once inflammation develops, papules, pustules, nodules, and cysts start to form.
Poor skincare ingredients
Many products address acne by stripping the skin of its natural oil, believing that oil is the cause of acne. Products like foaming gel cleansers and toners that contain alcohol tend to strip the skin of its natural oil leaving it dry and tight. The skin then overcompensates and makes extra oil and if this oil is of poor quality, acne problems are not solved.
The Skin Image approach to acne management
Through a skin consult, we start with understanding what is causing your acne and where appropriate address:
quality of sebum / oil produced by your skin.
congestion that is causing blockages.
bring balance and calmness back to the skin.
We do this through a combination of treatments which could include any of the following combinations: Detox & Decongest Facial Treatment, Enzyme Peel, Light Therapy or IPL. We will also work with you on ensuring you use the appropriate skincare and supplements to support any in-clinic treatments.
The aim is to achieve clear, healthy skin.