Acne is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the sebaceous (oil) glands characterized by papules, pustules, and comedones- which we commonly term ‘pimples, whiteheads and blackheads’.
Dealing with an acne flareup or breakout is always challenging but more often than not, it is our own doing that exacerbates the condition even further.
1. The Cover-Up:
You wake up one morning to see this unicorn horn staring back at you in the mirror. You panic and immediately think there is no way that you can face the world today with this ‘thing’ on your forehead. As a woman, the first thing we think of is, “the cover-up!”. Makeup (cosmetics) are typically formulated with highly comedogenic ingredients that contribute to clogged pores. NOT all makeup is created equal, of course. Companies are becoming more aware that consumers are more ingredient savvy these days and cheap, harmful ingredients aren’t going to cut it. So if you choose to cover it up make sure you are using a makeup line that is formulated to be non-comedogenic- and please don’t take the label’s word for it. Parabens and Sodium Lauryl Sulfate are 2 of the most comedogenic (chemical) ingredients, so if you see those in there- steer clear.
2. The Premature Pop:
Pickers are going to pick. When I used to teach paramedical skin care, the first thing I would say to my students on the topic of ‘popping pimples’ was that pickers are going to pick- I know this because I am one! So rather than go off on a tangent about how to get your client to not pick at their skin, I would train them to teach the picker how and when to pick. If there is little or no ‘white head’ on the very surface of the skin- LEAVE IT ALONE. When you prematurely extract something from your skin you are traumatizing it and now leaving open and vulnerable to bacteria; as if the bacteria on the inside wasn’t enough, right! In addition, never, ever touch your face! Unless you are washing it, of course. 😉
3. The Dryness Factor:
The oils in our skin are the first to blame for our breakouts, and even though overactive oil glands are responsible for acne conditions- over drying is NOT the answer. Matter of fact, its one of the biggest (if not the biggest) contributors to acne flareups. Here is why- water and oil are needed to keep skin properly balanced. Since excess oil can clog the pores, oily skin needs to be cleansed and exfoliated more often to keep this from happening. Too much of a good thing, however, leads to over drying. Because the skin needs to maintain that ‘balance’, it will now switch into defense mode to ‘create’ it by pumping out more oil through those same follicle openings- causing an over abundance of oil in the follicle, leading to clogging, and, voila’- a pimple is born.