Perhaps one of the most stressful skin conditions, acne and congestion can be caused by multiple factors. Here are the most common!
All skins contain a type of bacteria called P Acne, which lives within the hair shaft. Unfortunately, acne skins contain an excessive amount, as this bacteria thrives in an environment where there is no oxygen. Due to the excessive dead skin buildup on the surface of the skin, the hair shaft becomes clog and the P Acne bacteria has a big party within the skin.
BUT we can fix this, by exfoliating with Salicylic Acids, a liquid exfoliant that penetrates oil-filled pores to clean them out with no harsh scrubbing, reducing inflammation as it works.
When our bodies are constantly stressed out or in a state of fight or flight mode for long periods, we produce high levels of a hormone called cortisol. This contributes to acne and can also contribute to increased inflammation while suppressing the immunity of our body. This affects acne in the long term, as the body’s ability to fight off acne-causing bacteria, is reduced. High levels of cortisol also play havoc on other hormone levels in the body, which can send oil production into overdrive.
It pays off to learn ways to reduce the stress that works for you. Studies show that deep breathing and meditation, exercise, healthy eating, and getting 8 hours of sleep each night can help reduce stress levels.
It’s a huge myth that only teenagers are affected by hormonal acne! In fact, it most commonly appears in adults aged 20 – 40; especially women. Like we don’t have enough to deal with!
The hormones which cause this type of acne are fluctuations of estrogen and progesterone, which both vary widely throughout our menstrual cycles; contributing to overactive oil glands, bacterial infections, and accelerated skin growth. One of the tell-tale signs of a hormonal breakout is its location: your pimples will always appear around your lower face (yep, those pesky chin zits!).
Another massive contributor to unbalanced hormones is stress.
To help with hormonal acne, home care products and skin treatments will assist and support your skin. This is where we retrain the skin and the way it functions. We also commonly see success with our clients when they combine skincare with visiting a health professional such as a naturopath, nutritionist, or integrative doctor.
Poor Diet and Gut Health
This is certainly a grain of truth in the old wives’ tale, that eating chocolate causes pimples. This is because consuming foods that are high in sugar, dairy and refined carbohydrates (such as white bread and pasta) can directly impact the health of your skin.
Whenever you eat foods that rapidly convert to sugar, your blood sugar levels rise quickly and cause the body to release a hormone called insulin. Excess levels of insulin in the blood cause your oil glands to produce more oil, and can also create a burst of inflammation throughout the body. This adds further fuel to acne.
The best way to help your skin in this instance is to ensure you enjoy a well-balanced diet from all of the food groups, including good carbohydrates. Loads of green leafy veggies will also help to ensure a healthy gut (and skin) and don’t forget to drink 2-3 litres of water every day to help flush out toxins from your system.
Yep – sadly, genetics can play a role in the severity of acne you experience, although it is not a deciding factor in the future of your skin. Acne genetics can determine a tendency for you to overproduce dead skin cells, experience clogged skin or even be prone to read and sore pimples. But it is important to understand that having a predisposition to acne does not mean that you will be plagued with pimples, or can’t treat them.
Our best advice if you suffer from genetic acne is to start looking after your skin early! Targeted acne treatments and home care products can focus on the contributing factors that cause acne, stopping it in its tracks.
Hot or humid climates and certain ingredients in skincare can set the stage for breakouts. We also advise you to be wary of using heavy-coverage, long-wear foundations as these can cause the most trouble to skins, causing congestion which, if left untreated, can advance to acne.
By avoiding prolonged exposure to hot and humid environments, and using the right home care products to deeply cleanse the skin and re-hydrate it at the end of each day, we can help manage environmental breakouts. We also always recommend using good quality mineral makeup, which happily lacks any pore-clogging ingredients that we want to avoid.
Get into contact with our team of Skin Therapists. We are here to help and can take you through a thorough skin diagnosis and provide you with a skincare plan. Book a consultation here.