What is Acne?
Acne is a common inflammatory disorder of the sebaceous glands. These glands produce oil, which can get trapped as it travels to the skin’s surface and this is where the problem begins as the pores then become clogged. The areas most often affected are the chest, shoulders, back and face. It tends to be in these areas because they have larger oil producing glands than other areas of the body. The hallmarks of Acne are spots and skin eruptions such as blackheads (papules), white heads (pustules), raised red blemishes with semi-solid centres and localised bacterial infection beneath the skin’s surface.
What causes Acne?
- Acne can be triggered by a response of the skin to levels of male hormones ‘androgens’ (masculinising hormones present in men and women). These hormones control how much oil or sebum is secreted from the sebaceous glands.
- In women menstrual periods or pregnancy can create acne-producing hormonal imbalances.
- Emotional stress can make the problem worse by triggering the body’s adrenal glands to become overactive which in turn boosts sebum production.
- Certain medications can affect hormonal levels like contraceptives and steroids.
- Bad digestion due to lack of friendly bacteria because of a disturbance to the natural balance of flora in the gut.
- Toxins in the body caused by a variety of things including constipation, bacterial or yeast over growth (candida in the gut) or food sensitivity.
Making it better
Although good hygiene or good health can sometimes make no difference at all, the following may have an affect on Acne.
- Balance your blood sugar. People with chronic Acne may have some degree of impaired glucose tolerance, so high-fat, high-carbohydrate diets may worsen the condition.
- Avoid iodine-rich foods and supplements such as kelp, seafood, fish, mushrooms, garlic, onions, watercress and iodised salt, as these can trigger hormone-related Acne.
- Eat fresh foods. Experts agree that chocolate, fats and other foods do not cause Acne, but may cause allergic reactions that can aggravate the condition. Organic meats and milk are also preferable since they are hormone free.
- De-stress. Although a relationship between emotional stress and Acne has not been scientifically proven, Cortisol (the body’s primary stress hormone) does have a few side effects, such as an increased glucose production, immune system suppression and nerve-cell damage. Excess cortisol has been implicated in some cases of female adult Acne.
- Cosmetics, toiletries and hair products with oil as well as suntan lotions can all worsen Acne. Watch out for ingredients such as synthetic lanolins e.g. acetylated lanolin alcohol, lanolic acid or anhydrous lanolin. Also avoid mineral oils, isopropylmyristate, butyl stearate, capric/caprylic triglyceride, and octyl palmitate and stearate and certain D&C red pigments, such as those used in blushers, as they can all clogg pores.
- Natural ingredients that are renowned for helping to treat pimples are lavender, jojoba, sausage tree and tea tree.
- The following natural ingredients also help to balance oily skin: lemongrass, rosemary, green clay, jojoba, kelp, lavender, virgin coconut oil and yarrow.
Our suggestions & recommendations
It can sometimes be difficult to find the right product for you; you know your skin so always use your intuition to guide you. There are many products on the market to treat Acne and many are very drying and aggravate the skin more. The body needs moisture – if your skin is dry it could be that you are dehydrated or using a strong cleanser. Your body will naturally try to maintain moisture levels and so produce more oil to compensate. It is essential to keep your skin clean and maintain a healthy level of moisture. This can help to reduce bacteria that get into a clogged pores.
Here are some products which we recommend for balancing oily skins and treating acne. Click on the product for more information:
|Trevarno Lavender & Jojoba Soap
This creamy cleansing bar provides the perfect solution for oily or combination skin. Jojoba is a balancing oil, good for treating acne, oily skin and dry or dehydrated skin. It is also anti-inflammatory and may be used for the treatment of eczema and psoriasis. Lavender oil is excellent for promoting healing and for balancing the skin because of the high percentage of linalool that it contains.
|Esse Barley Grass & Mint Gel Cleanser
This cleanser is for those who prefer a foaming facial wash. It contains anti-oxidant actives from barley grass and grapefruit seed. Lightly fragranced with spearmint and peppermint essential oils, it stimulates micro-circulation and ensures a deep down clean. The wash will also relieve skin irritation and reduce inflammation.
|Trevarno Rosewater Camomile Skin Toner
The Rosewater and Chamomile Skin Toner is the perfect way to finish the cleansing ritual as it removes the last traces of dirt and any residue of cleanser or soap. It contains Rose and Chamomile Flower Water which is mixed with the gentle anti-bacterial properties of Lavender Essential Oil and Grapefruit Seed extract. The toner can have a healing affect on problem or spotty skin.
|Esse Light Moisturiser
The light moisturiser is recommended for young skins or combination skins during humid conditions as it helps to control the skin’s oil. People with oily skins tend to use soapy cleansers to remove greasy build-ups. Without proper nourishment following cleansing, the skin tends to compensate for this drying out action by producing more oil. The Esse light moisturiser supplies the skin with valuable nourishment and returns the skin to a healthy equilibrium.
|Jane Iredale Disappear Camouflage Cream
This new camouflage cream is so packed with pigment that it will even cover black tattoos! Better yet, Disappear won’t just cover breakouts but will also help them to disappear permanently. The liposome-based formula contains seaweed extracts; superoxide dismutase, a copper-containing protein enzyme that decomposes free radicals; and the potent antioxidant green tea extract. Green tea extract isn’t just an antioxidant but has also been documented to combat acne causing bacteria.
|Trevarno T.L.C. Soothing Cream
This special cream is for those times when skin needs some special care. It helps soothe blemishes, spots, insect bites and it calms itching. Essential Oils of Tea Tree, Lemongrass and Chamomile have been chosen for their anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, soothing and calming properties.
|The Victorian Garden Lavender Myrrh Facial Healing
This amazing facial oil is for skin suffering from acne and hormonal imbalances. Comprising of several excellent plant extracts chosen for their ability to disinfect, heal and restore skin texture, this formula is helpful for teenage spots and for acne. An additional benefit is that certain plant oils have the ability to mimic human hormones and are therefore helpful in balancing the human hormonal system which in turn helps to balance the skin’s own sebum production.
|Hemporium Acne Organic Ozonated Gel
This treatment gel is absorbed instantly into acne infected areas, eliminating bacteria which reduce inflammation of comodones & other acne related skin disorders. The ingredients are chosen for their innate healing properties while ozonoids enhance this effect. Bacterial resistance to ozone has never been reported, nor to this range of ozonated natural extracts.
|Nui Lime & Aloe Vera Cleansing Clay
This is a distinctive wash off clay of exceptional quality that will leave your skin purified, toned and revitalised. The cleansing clay acts as a light and natural exfoliant and it absorbs toxins from the skin.
Purifying and softening, this clay can be used for the face, body and hands and is ideal for oily skin.