Unfortunately for many Americans, acne remains a primary skin concern whether they’re in their teens or 40s. It is estimated that more than 40 million Americans suffer from acneic symptoms, with the average age of acne sufferers rising from 20.5 years old to 26.5 years old over the past decade.
If you’ve been in any store that sells health and beauty products, you’ll know there is no shortage of products attempting to heal current breakouts and prevent future ones. Key ingredients like Salicylic Acid, Benzoyl Peroxide and Glycolic Acid are common but when and how you should use them varies. Not to mention, the rules that coincide with mixing different ingredients within your routine. We all know how much information is out there but finding the best solution for your skin isn’t one-size-fits-all.
In honor of Acne Awareness month, our licensed estheticians are answering your top questions regarding this common skin concern.
I know what acne is, but remind me.
Acne is an inflammatory disease of the sebaceous glands and hair follicles of the skin. When you think of acne, you probably imagine inflamed breakouts, but acne lesions can be noninflamed as well.
- Micro-comedones: clogged hair follicle or pore in the skin
- Open comedones: a clogged follicle that reaches the surface of the skin and opens, commonly known as blackheads
- Closed comedones: a clogged hair follicle that stays beneath the skin, producing a white bump
- Papules: a small, solid raised bump
- Pustules: papules filled with pus
- Nodules: large, painful, solid lesions
- Cysts: deep, painful, pus-filled lesions
I want to revamp my entire regimen to focus on my blemishes, which products do you recommend?
- Cleanser: Because cleansers spend minimal time on your skin, it isn’t necessary to spend too much time worrying about your selection. If you have a cleanser that you currently love, stick with it. If not, look for one that is gentle, yet effective at removing dirt and impurities.
- Toner: The second step in your regimen, toners help hydrate, prep and balance your complexion. We love Purifying Mist if you also experience oily skin.
- Moisturizer: Choose an oil-free and lightweight moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated. It may seem counterintuitive but using a moisturizer can drastically improve oily skin, which is a major cause of acne. By keeping the skin hydrated, you won’t have to worry about it over producing oil to compensate.
- SPF: if you use any product, let it be an SPF! We have a variety of options depending on your skin type and all of our bases include pure mineral sun protection, so you have no reason not to include this vital step in your daily routine.
- Exfoliate: Introducing an exfoliant into your regimen can help speed up your cell turn over process. However, over exfoliation can be detrimental to your skin’s health. Make sure you’re not over doing it by only using these products 1-3x per week.
- Serum: A crucial step in fighting acne around the clock, serums boast potent, active ingredients that can help speed up your skin’s natural processes. One of our top-sellers, Renew Serum, just so happens to be for targeting acne concerns using a powerful blend of top ingredients including Salicylic Acid, Glycolic Acid and Retinol.
- Moisturize (if necessary)
I keep seeing different acne-fighting ingredients, which one is the best?
Well, that really depends on who you ask. There are 5 key ingredients that support the fight against acne but each is unique in its own way.
- Benzoyl Peroxide: One of the most popular and effective acne-fighters, Benzoyl Peroxide eliminates P. acnes bacteria by injecting air into the follicle. Because it is so strong, we recommend using as a spot treatment, like in our Clear Skin Spot Treatment.
- Sulfur: Normally we want to steer clear of any ingredients that are extra drying as they can inadvertently cause the skin to overcompensate and produce more oil. Sulfur is a great alternative to Benzoyl Peroxide for its antibacterial and oil balancing properties. Find it in our Refining Mask.
- Salicylic Acid: A beta hydroxy acid that stimulates exfoliation in the skin, clearing pores and promoting new cell growth. Salicylic Acid reduces inflammation, smooths skin’s surface and breaks down blackheads and whiteheads. Because it takes off the upper layers of skin it allows other active ingredients in a formula to penetrate more effectively. Try Renew Serum for a healthy dose of Salicylic Acid (along with Glycolic Acid and Retinol).
- Sodium Chlorite: Found in Clear Skin Body Spray, Sodium Chlorite breaks apart sebum and bacteria, preventing bacteria regrowth for extended periods of time.
- Retinol: One of the best multi-tasking ingredients, Retinol penetrates skin cells and normalizes their behavior. It also stimulates cells deep in the basal layer, which push upwards causing a burst of exfoliation, helping keep the skin free of impactions. Pick up Retinol Smoothing Serum for a higher percentage of Retinol and added brighteners to improve the overall look and texture of the skin.
I started a new product this week and haven’t seen any results, should I try something else?
One of the hardest parts of treating any skin concern, but especially acne, is the amount of patience required.
For an adult 20-50 years old, it can take anywhere from 30-60 days for cell turnover to occur.
This means that using a product for a week or two isn’t going to cut it. If you want to see results, you need to stick with your regimen for at least one month before you can determine whether or not to continue with a certain product. If you experience an immediate negative reaction from a product, do not continue using it as you do not want to make your skin worse.
I’ve tried everything and my acne still isn’t going away, what else can I do?
If you’ve exhausted over the counter options, it might be time to see a licensed esthetician for a professional treatment or visit a dermatologist for a prescription alternative. Depending on the severity of your acne, the relatively low dosages of active ingredients in consumer products might not be enough. Talking with a professional about your skin concerns can be incredibly beneficial in getting you the treatments your skin needs. Glo Skin Beauty offers several professional treatments available at our authorized accounts to help calm and prevent acne, including our Beta Clarity Peel and GlyPro Resurfacing Peel.
Want to learn more? Check out a few of our other favorite acne related blogs:
Product Talk: Clear Skin Solution
We explain the basics of acne and how our Clear Skin Solution Products can help.
5 Acne-Fighting Ingredients We Love
We breakdown our favorite ingredients to help you reveal a blemish-free complexion.
6 Facts about Acne & Our Clear Skin Solution
A quick reference guide to top acne questions and products.