By Teleetha, Skin Therapist at Ultimate Skin and Body Clinic
As a mother of a teenage girl who suffers from acne, nothing breaks my heart more than seeing how much it affects her confidence and self esteem. After a bad breakout, my outgoing, bubbly little girl is withdrawn, emotional, anti-social and lacks her usual spark. My main concern is that during adolescence, our children are growing and developing their personalities and experiencing dramatic physical and psychological changes. It is a time when the need for acceptance from their friends is at an all time high and physical appearance unfortunately plays a huge part in this. Acne sufferers have a much higher risk of developing mental health issues such as anxiety, depression and even suicidal thoughts. Scary right?
Studies have shown that early intervention is key. The longer the acne lasts, the greater the likelihood it will have an affect on mental health. In my opinion, having a treatment plan in place is critical to support you or your loved one through what is proven to be a very difficult time in their life. I will go through the details of treatments in my next post, but for now, here are some simple steps you can do at home to help.
1. CLEANSE RIGHT
Make sure you cleanse morning and night to remove excess oils and the build up of dead skin cells from your skin. (Clinic Manager, Morag, did a great video recently showing how to properly cleanse which you can view here).
2. MY PERSONAL FAVOURITE HOMECARE STEP
Use a facial scrub with both chemical and mechanical exfoliants to help clear away excess debris in the pores. I recommend the UltimateRX 12% Glycolic Scrub. This scrub combines both chemical (glycolic acid) and physical (jojoba beads) exfoliating mediums to maximise the removal of dead skin cells, oil, and dirt from congested pores to deeply cleanse and buff the skin leaving it cleaner, clearer and brighter. When used twice daily it helps to reduce the occurrence of breakouts, especially in acne-prone skin.
*** A LITTLE TIP! *** If your skin is feeling extra congested because you haven’t been able to get in for your regular clinic treatments, try leaving the scrub on the skin for 5 minutes before removing it. This will allow the glycolic acid to go to work dissolving the glue-like bonds that hold all that dead skin and oil together and give you a much deeper exfoliation. Your skin will thank you for it!
3. SPOT TREAT
Apply a spot treatment (we recommend Blemish Aid) directly to active spots with a cotton tip, morning and night.
4. FINISHING TOUCHES
Don’t forget to complete your routine with your serums such as HA (Hyaluronic Acid) for hydration (yes, even oily skin needs correct hydration) and Vitamin B to help calm and soothe. Then apply your moisturiser (we recommend Ultimate Rx Probiotic Moisturiser for acne-prone skin) and SPF!
5. ACNE-PROOFING YOUR ENVIRONMENT
After all this time spent on your skin you now need to make sure your environment is clean. A good first step is resisting the urge to touch your face. Our hands pick up a multitude of bacteria with everything we touch so it stands to reason that touching our face and transferring that bacteria definitely contributes to breakouts. Did you know that mobile phones are known to carry 10 times more bacteria than a toilet seat? Think about how many times you pick up your phone during the day. Do you wash or sanitise your hands every time you touch it? No… Now think about how many times you rest your head on your hands, or touch your chin, jawline or forehead as you think… probably more than you realise right?
Another must is changing your pillowcase daily to ensure a bacteria free surface to sleep on. After all, your skin is in contact with your pillow case for at least 6-8 hours every night and it easily soaks up hair products, old makeup, bacteria and dead skin that can very easily be transferred back onto your nice clean face. It’s the same with hats. Especially school hats. The inner sweat bands are a breeding ground for bacteria and must be washed regularly. Use an antibacterial rinse such as Dettol rinse or Canesten rinse in your wash to ensure the bacteria is killed.
Exercising good hygiene is paramount in reducing the transmission and spread of acne causing bacteria. There is no use putting all this effort into your skin if you’re going to put these bacteria laden things back on your skin.
Join me for part two soon where I will talk about the treatments I perform for my acne clients and my daughter.
Until then, take care!
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