Whether you are male, female, old, young, ageing, fit or unfit; we can all agree that at some point in our lives we have suffered from a breakout. But understanding your skin type and the advantages to certain lifestyles we can help to control the quality of our skin. Acne is a skin condition that very often people jump to assume they are suffering from when the skin becomes less then it’s optimal prime.
However, it is worthwhile understanding the difference between a regular breakout and the condition that is actually known as acne.
We can break out from time to time when our eating habits change, our stress levels increase, our skin care routine changes and many other external contributing factors can be taken into consideration too- But acne is a skin condition that worsens and needs more vigilant care and attention.
So what actually is acne? Acne is a skin condition that occurs when the hair follicles become blocked with oil and dead skin cells. As a result, we can suffer from pimple’s, black heads and whiteheads. it is usually assumed that acne just affects teenagers- however acne can be common across all different ages.
Whilst there are very many effective acne treatments available from pharmacies or GP’s, there are other ways to prevent this condition growing or worsening. Acne can be persistent and unfortunately, it’s one of those things that sometimes we just have to ride out.
Depending on the severity of the acne condition, we can find it to cause severe emotional distress, low self-esteem and in extreme cases, scarring,
What are the symptoms of acne?
- Painful, pussey lumps under the skin- otherwise known as cystic lesions
- pimples with puss at the tips
- small red bumps that can be tender to the touch
- black heads
- closed plug pores
- open plug pores
Whilst the general assumption is that acne appears on the lower face, it can also be found across the forehead, chest, upper back, and shoulders.
As we mentioned before, there are many contributing facts to the cause of acne from our external environment as well as emotional, however the main factors that cause acne tend to be internal imbalances of excess oil production-known as Sebum, hair follicles being clogged by dead skin cells and oil, inflammation, and bacteria.
Hormonal changes through puberty can cause the sebaceous glands to enlarge which result in the excess production of sebum.
If your diet contains greasy or carbohydrate-rich foods, this can also trigger an influx in acne.
What are some simple and effective things we can do to reduce inflammation?
Pay attention to how often you are washing the area that is inflamed. When our skin starts to feel greasy or pimply, the natural instinct is to want to clean to remove excess oil and dirt but one thing that people aren’t aware of is that by stripping the skin’s natural oils this can actually worsen the skin’s condition. as a rule of thumb, it’s advised that we wash our face or the affected area no more than twice a day. Applying a mild oil free cleanser is the best way to remove excess dirt from the skin whilst maintaining a healthy balance of oils. it’s important to note that to dry the skin it is far more beneficial to pat dry there rather than to scrub or wipe.
Knowing your skin type…
By understanding your skin type this can be hugely beneficial when applying treatments and performing a skin care routine.
The different skin types are:
- combination– this is when the skin suffers from excess oils in places, but also dehydration in others
- dry– this is when the skin tends to feel tight and flaky and dehydration lines can be visible
- sensitive– you will be able to identify your skin as sensitive when your skin reacts easily to new products, diet, and visible redness can occur
- oily– the skin appears greasy and product slides easily off the skin
By learning how to identify these different skin types, it can benefit you hugely in the long run.
Selecting the correct moisturiser for your skin type
When we suffer from acne and breakouts in the skin, the instinct is usually to avoid anything that adds hydration or moisture to the skin’s surface. However, not all moisturisers will produce excess oils in the skin and it’s vital for the health of the skin that we keep the hydration levels balanced. if breakouts and acne are an issue, the best thing you can do for your skin after cleansing is to moisturise but with an oil free moisturiser. these products usually tend to be rich in Aloe Vera, often Cucumber and Hyaluronic acid. all of these are rich in water and help to bind moisture to the skin but in the healthiest way possible. avoid rich creams that contain oils and ingredients like Shea butter as they tend to block the pores and are harder for the skin to breakdown- thus aggravating the inflammation more.
Whilst there are many other tips that we can provide for helping skin conditions-the most important of all is to stay hydrated!