UNDERSTANDING YOUR SKIN
How to Care for Acne
Acne is a complex skin condition that can be caused by multiple factors including hormones, bacteria, diet, lifestyle, genetics and gut health. It occurs when there is an overproduction of oil in the skin along with dead skin cells resulting in clogged pores. The trapped sebum is the perfect meal for the p.acnes bacteria and as their population grows, skin becomes inflamed and spots, pimples and cysts form. Acne is most commonly localised to the face; however, it can also occur on the back and chest.
How to tell if I have acne
Acne is more common than you think, so it’s totally normal if you’ve experienced it. In fact, it affects 95% of people between the ages of 11-30.
Acne presents itself as reoccurring breakouts that are often inflamed. These breakouts can be blackheads, whiteheads, cysts, papules and pustules. There are 3 levels of acne:
Mild – if the majority of your breakouts are blackheads and whiteheads with a minority of papules and papules, it is classed as mild acne.
Moderate – moderate acne is indicated by widespread whiteheads and blackheads and many papules and pustules
Severe – severe acne, also known as cystic acne, occurs when you experience large, painful papules, pustules, cysts and nodules (hard under the skin inflamed lumps). Severe acne also leads to scarring.
What can I do?
Acne is an indicator of internal imbalances, so it needs to be addressed from within too.
Hormones are one of the biggest causes of acne, which is why it’s common during puberty, pregnancy, post-natal and even when we change our contraception. These hormonal changes have an effect on our sebum production which can result in acne. Whilst we can’t control these fluctuations, we can minimise the effect it has on our skin through treatments and a suited skin routine (more on that below).
Diet can be a big factor too. Poor gut health can reflect in our skin and a lot of foods that can cause inflammation to the gut (all the good things- alcohol, dairy, caffeine and sugar) can add to compromised and irritated skin. A happier gut = happier skin, so make sure you are incorporating probiotics and nutritious food into your diet. Drink lots of water and increase your omegas. Water will help to balance oil production; omegas are fantastic at reducing inflammation.
External factors can aggravate acne, so it’s important to make a few tweaks to your lifestyle to help minimise breakouts and encourage speedy healing. Ensure everything that touches your face is clean. Whilst it might not be the root cause of acne, poor hygiene can lead to the spread of bacteria so it’s an important measure to take when treating acne. Towels, bedding, phones, make up brushes, and hands all harbour bacteria so book in a weekly cleaning session of them as your treat yourself to a decongesting mask.
It’s super important not to perform at home extractions. This can lead to further inflammation, the spread of bacteria and scarring. Incorrect extractions can actually push blocked debris deeper into the skin, leading to more painful, harder to treat breakouts.
And most importantly – treat your skin with love! Fighting against your skin is not the best path to take. Even if it’s not on its best behaviour, treat it with kindness and a gentle touch. Don’t try to scrub, strip, or squeeze as this will do more harm than good.
How can treatments help?
Our treatments are designed to target acne at multiple levels. We use a combination of medical grade resurfacers to exfoliate the skin as well as reduce inflammation and bacteria levels. We can also incorporate state of the art technology to work in the deeper levels of the skin, reducing breakouts and preventing future breakouts from forming. Our therapists are highly skilled and will be able to perform safe, beneficial extractions.
The treatments we recommend to target acne are:
Absolutely Flawless – this treatment banishes the blemish at every stage. ClearSkin laser that targets the acne causing bacteria, as well as reducing oil production and drawing out congestion. We also incorporate a resurfacing treatment (reducing inflammation and oiliness), extractions and LED.
Correct, Prevent and Perfect - this treatment involves a great focus on exfoliation and extraction, deeply decongesting your skin while using a mixture of products to also calm the skin having an anti-inflammatory effect. This treatment concludes with LED light therapy to kill p.Acnes bacteria, calm and soothe the skin.
What products support improvement?
When treating and caring for acne prone skin, everything begins with a well-suited cleanser. As tempting as it may be to choose a foaming cleanser to eliminate oiliness, don’t do it! When skin is starved of its natural oil, it will overproduce oil to make up for what it's lost and thus a vicious circle begins! Go for a gentle but effective cleanser such as Synergie UltraCleanse which also contains antibacterial bergamot to help reduce bacteria levels on the skin. If you can’t part with a foaming cleanser, then Odacite Black Mint Cleanser gives a delicious lather and harnesses the power of detoxifying Rasool clay and charcoal to detoxify the skin.
Salicylic acid will be your skin’s ally through your acne journey. It’s a beta-hydroxy acid which is lipophilic meaning it looooves oil and will mop up all that excess oil. On top of this salicylic acid can reach deep into the pores and scoop out any debris making it a superstar pimple buster. Keep things simple with ZENii’s Salicylic Acid or for a combination of AHA’s and salicylic acid for smoother skin texture too, reach for Synergie ReVeal.
Up your vitamin intake too. Synergie Vitamin B helps to control sebum production, improve hydration and barrier function and also reduces pigmentation in case any breakouts decide to leave a mark on your skin. In the evenings, vitamin A is a fantastic ingredient to increase cell turnover, balance oil production, and gently resurface the skin. If you’re a first timer to retinol, we recommend Synergie Ultimate A - this is a stabilised retinol which means it gives you all the results with none of the irritation.
2-3 times a week, treat yourself to a decongesting and clarifying mask. We use Vestige Verdant Organic Bioactive Mask in our Correct, Prevent and Perfect treatment to draw out impurities and rebuild the skin barrier. If you prefer a sheet mask, Karuna’s Clarifying mask is rich in anti-inflammatory honey and salicylic acid to calm everything down.
And finally, make sure you are protecting your skin! Environmental stressors from UV and pollution can make the skin tired and less able to function well. A mineral SPF such as Synergie UberZinc will shield your skin as well as having an anti-inflammatory effect.