Updated: Jun 9
June is acne awareness month. Acne can be a tricky skin problem to treat, and can not only present in the teenage years but also in adulthood. In this blog I will talk about what medical grade skincare solutions are available to you here at the Medished. Certain products can help if you have mild/moderate acne, however it's important to say that you have to be committed as achieving skin health can take time. Seeking specialist advice from a dermatologist is important if the acne is severe and if more prescriptive products are needed.
WHAT IS ACNE?
Acne is the occurrence of inflamed or infected oil glands. Hormones can act on the oil glands in the skin to make them bigger thus leading to more oil production and blocking your pores. Bacteria can act on the skin surface and cause deeper seated spots. Acne comes in different forms when it comes to the pimples. The most common types are:
-Whiteheads These are pimples that stay under the surface of the skin.
-Blackheads These pimples rise to the skin’s surface and look black.
-Papules These are small pink bumps that can be tender.
-Pustules These pimples are red at the bottom and have pus on top.
-Nodules These are large, painful, solid pimples that are deep in the skin.
-Cysts These deep, painful, pus-filled pimples can cause scars.
Causes of acne are really unknown, but typically hormonal changes, heredity, the start and stop of medications, including birth control, diet, makeup, and use of products that clog pores are known factors. Triggers can vary from one person to the next. Diet can also play a part so possibly reducing your diary and sugar from your diet can be helpful.
For females acne can be more pronounced around the time of your period , first trimester of pregnancy, and also around the time of menopause. When it comes to skincare and acne I would advise certain key ingredients some of which below that can help in the fight against acne, so let's explore this further.
When a patient presents to me initially once we have gone through lifestyle issues, I tend to advice a simple regime to start with. Like all skincare protocols it all starts with cleansing.
Double cleansing is super important as first cleanse will remove makeup and second a cleanse will clean the pores.
Depending on level of acne this kit pictured below by Obagi is great for mild/moderate acne. Its gentle yet effective ingredients make it perfect for teens and adults alike. Unlike other acne treatment regimens, the CLENZIderm M.D. System will never over-dry. Instead, skin is left balanced and hydrated as blemishes heal and fade.
CLENZIDERM M.D. SYSTEM BY OBAGI MEDICAL
So what are the 3 products in this kit?
A) Obagi CLENZIderm M.D. Daily Care Foaming Cleanser
This product contains 2% salicylic acid. This oil soluble compound penetrates deep into your pores, gently washing away and removing dead skin cells, as well as restoring the skin’s natural oils. Targeting blackheads and whiteheads as well as acne, the cleanser also contains soothing menthol that cools and calms any skin irritation. Overall your skin will be left feeling cleaner, clearer and healthier.
B) Obagi CLENZIderm M.D. Pore Therapy
Working with a similar mechanism of action to the Daily Foaming Cleanser, this therapy cleans deep within the pores to clear skin with the aid of salicylic acid. By unclogging the pores and cleaning away dead skin cells, this product not only builds upon the cleansing action of the cleanser. I always advise patients to start with one daily application to ensure your skin does not become too dry.
C) Obagi CLENZIderm M.D. Therapeutic Lotion
This product is specially formulated with 5% benzoyl peroxide, which works its way deep down into the follicles beneath the skin where acne begins targeting the bacteria such as P.acnes.
VITAMIN A (RETINOIDS/RETINOL) PRODUCTS AND ACNE
Retinoids/Retinols are also essential in acne treatment since they treat acne by unclogging pores. They also work to normalise skin cell turnover and act as an anti-inflammatory. The most important side effect of Vitamin A products is an increased sensitivity to UV rays that can lead to sun damage . It's vital when using a retinoid to be vigilant about using sunscreen and my favourite mineral SPF's are pictured below.
The Oxygen Infusion Wash by SkinBetter Science is also an option with mild acne as it contains AHA'S. It great for normal to oily skin. I advise use 3/4 times a week as acids shouldn't be used too often as we need to guard the lipid barrier of the skin. A gentle cleanser can be used on other days.
Many patients will also have occasional breakouts, for which a milder protocol can be advised. One favourite product that I love is the Complexion Renewal Pads shown below by ZO Skin Health. They are moistened facial pads containing salicylic acid that help minimise surface oil while removing pore-clogging dead skin cells and dirt to leave the skin feeling clean and refreshed.
MANDELIC ACID is an antibacterial, it's really helpful in treating existing acne and preventing future breakouts. It's also oil-soluble, so it penetrates the skin's surface and helps to regulate sebum production by keeping pores clear of clogging oils and dead skin cells that lead to breakouts and oily skin.
AZELAIC ACID is a chemical exfoliator. Exfoliating is a way of removing acne blockages that have already formed within your hair follicles, such as whiteheads and blackheads. It is also a way of removing trapped skin cells, oil, cosmetics and other follicle-blocking substances from your skin, reducing your risk of developing acne in the future.
NIACINAMIDE (VITAMIN B3) and ZINC are also must-have for battling breakouts. The Ordinary’s Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% (great price tag!) regulates sebum production to minimise pores and reduce blemish-causing bacteria, keeping your complexion clear, calm and collected. Niacinamide boosts the skin’s immunity and improves moisture retention, while a brilliant shot of zinc works to repair damaged skin and promote the creation of collagen.
ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS in Omega 3 fish oil benefit skin by soothing your body’s inflammatory response to excess sebum and bacteria, they can also tackle the root of the problem by helping to regulate acne-causing hormones, such as testosterone and androgen.
A good moisturiser is also essential for when treating acne as the oil levels are not a marker of the hydration levels. It has to be non comedogenic and a personal favourite is the Obagi hydrate pictured below.
I also advise patients use oil-free makeup, and not to use a vitamin C serum if acne is active. Finally acne treatments are also available to help. They can be medical micro-needling with SkinPen, medical grade facials, LED light treatments, and bespoke chemical peels, such as the Blue Peel Radiance by Obagi done in clinic.
Regimes are tailor-made for each patient so its really important to take advise as you may only need two or three products to help you achieve healthier skin! Hope you found this useful,
Lots of love