What is acne?
Acne is a skin condition affecting approximately 17 million Americans. Acne is characterized by multiple whiteheads, blackheads, papules and pustules on the face, chest and back. It develops when grease from the skin's glands plug the tiny hair follicle openings which leads to clogged pores. When bacteria grows in these clogged pores it leads to different types of inflammation resulting in acne.
What causes acne?
There’s been lots of speculation over the years about what causes acne. It has been linked to chocolate, exercise, cheese... but scientist are now saying that genetics and hormones are the only two proven culprits.
When hormones change due to adolescence or pregnancy there is a rise in androgen levels. Androgen is a hormone that can cause oil glands under your skin to increase in size which in turn stimulates increased oil and sebum production. Sebum is an oily or waxy matter that is necessary for keeping skin hydrated and helps give the skin a waterproof like quality. However, too much sebum or oil can break down cell walls and encourage bacteria to grow leading to inflamed and clogged pores. Studies also show that high levels of oil that lead to acne can be genetic.
What are the symptoms of acne?
Acne is characterized by redness, uneven skin tone and blemishes. There are several different forms of acne that can sometimes become very painful or inflamed. Whiteheads, blackheads, papules, pustules, nodules and cysts are all different types of acne that generally manifest as red, white or black bumps on the skin.
How can I treat acne?
The best way to treat acne is to reduce bacteria build up and oil formation under the skin. Spas and dermatologists can offer very effective professional treatments to reduce the symptoms of acne including peels and masks . For at home treatment we suggest using oil-free products containing Totarol, Salicylic Acid and Benzoyl Peroxide. These acne fighters are proven to reduce flare ups and redness. Below are the following products recommended for acne prone or congested skin:
- Clear Skin Kit (contains Clear Acne Cleanser, Clear Anti-Blemish Treatment, Clear Refining Mask, Clear Complexion Pads)
- Clear Healing Gel
- Purifying Oil Control Emulsion
Can makeup help cover acne?
Yes, the proper makeup can help cover acne without aggravating skin and causing more breakouts. We suggest using the Corrective Camouflage Kit, Camouflage Oil-Free and Pressed Base to achieve results similar to the ones below. For more tips on how to camouflage acne using makeup read Kate McCarthy’s tips here: Q&A with Kate: Acne Help