Acne Tips & Tricks
Updated: Jun 27
Greetings Skin Worthy fans,
It's ya girl Nicole, I'm here to talk to you about your acne and how to get those blemishes to heal faster and leave you free of scarring - tips that I wish I had known years ago!
Tip #1: Wear Sunscreen
This is something that I struggled to realize for a long time. My break outs would start to clear up on their own after tanning outside or in tanning beds (yikes, I know) so I would continually use sun exposure as a method of temporary relief. This is not a solution, because those breakouts return once you stop tanning, as you have not actually addressed the core issue. The glow you experience after unprotected sun exposure temporarily masks the redness and irritation while the UV rays dry out the skin. The P.acnes bacteria on your skin remains ever present and will come back to haunt you. We are all aware of the dangers behind tanning - but here are somethings you may not know:
The sun dries out the skin and destroys the levels of water, lipids, and proteins in the skin, leaving skin looking and feeling dry and wrinkled, over time.
Sun damage reduces and impacts the rate in which the skin renews itself, causing a build-up of old, dead skin cells that result in dull, congested skin- AND ALSO ACNE.
Sun exposure causes stubborn pigmentation marks, brown spots and ACNE SCARRING!
Sun damage destroys the collagen and elastin in your skin. These are the proteins and fibres that retain the firmness of your skin and allow the skin to bounce back. This can result in premature signs of skin ageing, such as wrinkles and fine lines, because your skin loses its elasticity and firmness.
There is also a huge misconception that sunscreen causes acne. This is a myth... Much like other skincare products, it is important to find a good quality sunscreen that is non-comedogenic (meaning it will not clog your pores). My go to sunscreen is the SUNFORGETTABLE BRUSH-ON SUNSCREEN. It is super easy to apply/reapply, does not cause breakouts, makes me look less oily and you can wear it on top of make up, literally everything I could ever ask for in a product- oh and its vegan and reef friendly!
Tip #2: No Picking Allowed
Another thing I was guilty of for a very long time- however, I have found the solution to this and have not looked back since.
THREE WORDS: Hydrocolloid Bandages & Extractions.
Think of a breakout as an infection, they're not that different from one another in that a) there is bacteria present b) picking can cause the infection to spread and c) if not taken care of properly it can lead to scarring. The last thing that should be going anywhere near an infection is dirty fingers and sharp nails.
Hydrocolloid Bandages for acne can be found at your local pharmacy or online (I get mine on Amazon). I use these little circular bandages, at work, at home, at night or while I am running errands. They can be very discreet and wonderfully helpful in that they suck out all the pus without breaking the skin- this means: faster healing, no spreading infection and no scarring! For everything that I can't obliterate with bandages, I have it extracted. The only downside to my trusty bandages is that they do not eliminate congestion or blackheads - that's what medical aestheticians are for!
(this is me wearing a hydrocolloid bandage at work - it's almost invisible!)
What happens during an Extraction Session at Skin Worthy? We deeply cleanse the face to remove any dirt, makeup and oil, we then steam the face to open up those pores to ensure easy access to whatever lies within. Once the face is prepped, Anne uses a variety of tools like a medical grade comedone extractor or lancet to remove anything that she cannot manually extract. Once completed, we top you off with some medical grade skincare products and sunscreen and send you on your merry way.
For certain types of acne, extractions are the only option. Inflammatory acne benefits from laser therapy, comedonal acne benefits from retinol use, white heads & blackheads benefit from extractions.
Tip #3: Retinol Use
As stated in Tip #1, the rate in which the skin renews itself is very important in reducing the amount of congestion within the skin. The use of retinol will speed up that skin renewal, this will aid in unclogging pores and allow for better absorption of topical creams and products. When your skin is constantly forced to renew itself you are reducing the amount of dead skin cells and oil that build up within the pores thus improving your skin tone while preventing and reducing acne. The use of retinol may also reduce the formation of acne scarring AND it has anti-aging benefits. Retinol is everything that sun exposure is not - helps with epidermal and dermal stimulation and renewal, supports natural collagen health and reduces visible signs of aging. With that comes a word of warning: if you are adding retinol to your routine, ensure that you are always wearing sunscreen. By increasing the skin's cellular turnover, you are also becoming much more susceptible to sunburns and sun damage (see Tip #1). My favourite part of using retinol is that it reduces the post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation that I get after a breakout (you know those annoying red/brown spots you get after a pimple that stick around for weeks at time - it gets rid of those a lot faster).
As someone who has struggled with acne for the majority of my life (yes, I have spent more years on this planet with acne than without), I value the honest opinion of people who can relate to my struggles. When it comes to my acne journey I am an open book. I am very open to talking about it and admitting to the things that I've tried (including tanning). There are too many people out there spreading unhelpful advice like "you should wash your face more" or "you should stop eating dairy". If there was a simple, one-size fits all solution to acne, then we wouldn't need to tips and tricks to combat it. Everyone's skin is different, and that is the beauty in it.
At Skin Worthy, we value educating our patients on their skin concerns, if you are looking to address your acne concerns or would like to learn more, we encourage you to come in for a complimentary consultation. We will discuss your goals, assess your skin and decide the best plan of action for your specific needs.
call Skin Worthy 647-350-7546 to book your consultation today!
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