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Demystifying Acne


Article by Jennifer Buck

Photography by Jennifer Buck

Acne, the bane of many a skincare enthusiast's existence, can be a tough issue to tackle. As a licensed esthetician, I've encountered numerous clients grappling with the frustration and embarrassment acne can bring. From mild breakouts to severe cystic acne, this common skin condition affects people of all ages and skin types. So, what causes acne? Let's delve into the intricacies.

  1. Hormonal Imbalance: Hormones play a significant role in acne formation. Fluctuations in hormone levels, especially during puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, or times of stress, can stimulate the sebaceous glands to produce excess oil (sebum). This surplus oil can clog pores, leading to acne. Typically these break outs happen on the lower part of the face and jaw line.
  2. Excessive Sebum Production: Sebaceous glands produce sebum, which helps keep the skin moisturized. However, when these glands become overactive, they produce too much sebum, contributing to oily skin and acne.
  3. Clogged Pores: Pores can become clogged with a combination of dead skin cells, oil (sebum), and bacteria. When this mixture accumulates within the pore, it creates an ideal environment for acne-causing bacteria to thrive, leading to inflammation and breakouts.
  4. Bacterial Overgrowth: Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes) is a type of bacteria that resides on the skin's surface. While typically harmless, when trapped in clogged pores, it can multiply rapidly, triggering an immune response that results in redness, swelling, and the formation of acne lesions.
  5. Inflammation: Inflammation is a key component of acne development. When the body detects the presence of bacteria in clogged pores, it initiates an inflammatory response to combat the infection. This process can manifest as red, swollen pimples and can worsen existing acne lesions.
  6. Diet and Lifestyle Factors: While the direct link between diet and acne is still debated, certain foods high in sugar and refined carbohydrates, and milk products may exacerbate acne by increasing insulin levels and inflammation in the body. Additionally, factors such as inadequate skincare routines, excessive sun exposure, and high levels of stress can also contribute to acne flare-ups. However each persons body is unique so I always recommend a food diary for a month to help us decide what might be happening.

Understanding the root causes of acne is crucial for effective treatment and prevention. As a licensed esthetician, my approach involves personalized skincare regimens and treatments such as our Aerolase laser or The Saltfacial are often part of our tailored plan to address each client's unique needs. By addressing factors such as hormonal imbalances, excess oil production, and inflammation, we can work together to achieve clearer, healthier skin.

Remember, managing acne requires patience and consistency. While there may not be a one-size-fits-all solution, with the right guidance from me and my team we will guide you to skincare routine perfect for you, so you can take control of your acne and embrace a complexion you feel confident in.



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