How to Treat Acne Appropriately
Does that non invited guest on your face need to be left alone, or can you harness the power of salicylic acid?
Yes, a pimple might not be ideal, but is not the end of the world. You may have a medicine cabinet full of products meant for this exact situation. But a stocked skincare arsenal is only helpful if you know how and when to use each product. Should you consult someone or can you (very safely of course!) clear out that sucker on your own? It all depends on the type of acne, so read on to decode what you’re dealing with so you know how to treat it.
When bacteria, dead skin cells, or excess sebum get trapped in a hair follicle, the result is comedonal acne in the form of bumpy skin or non-red, non-inflamed blemishes. The most common types are ones you’re probably already familiar with: whiteheads and blackheads. The root of both is the same, but the first one has a layer of skin over the follicle (closed comedone) whereas the second one is open (the “black” you see is when the contents of the clogged pore are exposed to air and oxidize). This type of acne is fairly harmless — in fact it’s often only noticeable to you (thanks, magnifying mirror) and rarely painful the way cystic acne can be.
You can detox your skin and slightly change the size of your pores, through diet (read our blog post Which Is Your Right Skin Food) and using adequate natural beauty products (including make up). Clean skin is the best start, use cleansing products that are not too astringent, so they don’t strip the moisture out of your skin like our Floral Cleanser. When the skin feels deprived from its moisture it counteracts by producing more oil, therefore bringing more pimples.
Your skin will love Dew Drops as it contains several naturally found acids from its fruit extracts including salicylic acid. Strawberry rich in polyphenols and Vitamin C, provides protection for the skin, contains soothing properties and is a wonderful toner to reduce the appearance of pores. Apple fruit extract is nourishing, moisturising, soothes irritation in dry skin and cleanses oily skin. Pineapple extract contains Bromelain, an enzyme that assists in skin debridement (peeling). This gentle exfoliating action helps to gently boost collagen production by removing dead skin cells. This in turn helps to brighten and smooth the complexion, leaving it looking fresh and clean. And these are just a few of the fruit wonders included in that luxurious mist!
When comedonal acne garden variety transforms into something red and angry, you’ve got inflammatory acne. Papules, pustules, nodules and cysts make up this category: they start as whiteheads or blackheads before morphing into red, pus-filled bumps thanks to bacteria. A lot of inflammatory acne is chronic, so you may be able to track flare-ups and figure out if there’s something specific causing it (like sleeping in your makeup or not showering after a workout).
While you’re going to definitely want to pop these yourself, try your very best to keep your hands off your face — picking and squeezing will only make it worse and can lead to scarring. Because the root cause of inflammatory acne is bacteria, your main focus should be a solid skincare routine you adhere to, like Double Cleansing and bacteria-fighting ingredients like tea tree essential oil or our wonderful blend Beso de Sol (roll-on) that treats pimples while soothing the inflammation as well as Sweet Dreams (roll-on) that does a great deal thanks to their essential oils blend.
If you’ve ever had nodular acne, you’d know it: these guys are the ones that feel like they’re buried deep under your skin and are often painful or tender. The reason why they feel like tender? Well, they are buried deep under your skin and are often connected to other nodules or cysts. Both nodules and cysts are caused by bacteria deep within the pore, though cysts tend to be more severe since they’re pus-filled and can burst, thereby infecting the surrounding skin.
Because nodules and cysts are so deep within the skin and most acne-fighting ingredients work topically, nodular acne often requires a trip to the dermatologist and a prescription. What you can do to help prevent them is focus on ingredients that exfoliate (natural AHA, BHA) to keep pores clear and that promote cell turnover like our Aqua Serum Elixir. For more severe cystic acne, it’s a good idea to talk to a doctor about the best treatment option. A clay mask won’t target the root cause of the acne, which may be hormonal, but it will help increasing perspiration and absorbing the amount of oil and dirt your skin releases hence opening the way to de-clogging these nodules and cysts. Radiance Mask is a great alternative to start working with in any of these type of acne.
Unlike the previous three, hormonal acne isn’t so much a type of acne as it is an indicator; comedonal, inflammatory and nodular acne can all be caused by hormones. When you experience a sudden surge or drop in hormones like progesterone, your carefully calibrated oil production also changes suddenly, leading to flare ups.
While hormonal acne certainly isn’t fun, one silver lining is that since it’s so often associated with your menstrual cycle, you can likely anticipate when it’s going to happen. De La Luna blend helps with hormonal changes helping you find more balance.
You should always be on top of cleansing your face, but especially so around your period as oil production ramps up. Regular exfoliation — physical or naturally produce by some ingredients like AHA — will also help. And if a spot manages to get the best of you, wash it with Floral Cleanser and treat it with Beso de Sol or Sweet Dreams rollers.
Overall, cleansing is a staple for healthy and glowing skin. If you’re experience redness, sensitive skin or acne, the overlooked first step in addressing this is considering the quality of your cleanser. An ideal cleanser will be free of nasties, not foaming (this strips the skin of its natural oils); will contain soothing ingredients like rosehip extract; will avoid synthetic AHAs (whilst effective in the short term they can make the skin overly sensitive) and will contain ingredients that control acne (we love using iris rhizome in Floral Cleanser which excels at removing dirt and impurities without stripping the skin of its moisture).
Another important step to address would be re-considering your makeup, especially foundation (liquid or powder) and blush. Synthetic mineral oil and other synthetic substances clogged pores and become the cause of an incipient acne.
Sometimes making this one change can set up the perfect base for healthy, glowing and clear skin.
Spark Your Natural Beauty!