Oily, acne prone skin may seem complex and intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Studies show that acne is often due to DNA but the condition can be aggravated by emotional stress and environmental factors. What is understood is that Acne is an inflammatory disorder of the skin that involves the sebaceous gland.
What causes this disorder in the sebaceous glands?
Sebaceous glands are small oil-producing glands usually attached to hair follicles in the skin. They release sebum into the follicular duct and from there to the surface of the skin. Acne occurs due to a disorder of these sebaceous glands which causes excessive sebum to be produced. When this excessive sebum mixes with the dead skin cells in the hair follicle this creates a micro plug (comedone/blackhead). These micro-plugs can lead to a variety of blemishes because an enlarged hair follicle plugged with oil is a perfect environment for bacteria. This can result in pimples, pustules, cysts and nodules. Although acne’s actual cause is unknown, and a number of causes can play a role, we do know that it involves bacterial breakdown of sebum into fatty acids that create irritation in the surrounding tissue. During puberty the production of Androgen (hormones - the most well known being Testosterone) increases – this can cause the sebaceous glands to become enlarged leading to more oil production, bacteria and inflammation. Hormonal changes from menstrual cycles, pregnancy, pre-menopause and menopause can also be culprits for breakouts. Even hormonal fluctuations from birth control can either cause (or sometimes resolve ) acne breakouts.
When you’re suffering from breakouts, the last thing you want is dead skin filled with bacteria to build up. The Clarifying Facial Treatment from Institut' DERMed contains cosmeceutical ingredients designed specifically for your skin’s needs and contains supporting peptides to help you achieve a clean, clear and comfortable complexion. The Institut’ DERMed Clarifying product system is formulated with glycolic, lactic, salicylic, ascorbic and phytic acids specicifally designed to keep oily acne prone skin under control. Using active ingredients to exfoliate and remove dead skin cell build up is key. By keeping your skin exfoliated, you will also make it easier for your topical products to penetrate into the skin and stop the breakouts at their source! Providing you with clean, healthy looking skin is our priority. The Institut’ DERMed Clarifying product system used in the Clarifying Facial treatment contains glycolic, lactic, salicylic, acids and pumpkin enzymes to exfoliate, there's also Willow Tree Bark and Totarol from the Totara Tree which are a wonderful and gentler alternative to anti-bacterials such as Benzoyl Peroxide and BioFense Probiotic® to normalize skin.
So what are some easy steps to keep in mind to prevent break outs?
First, use appropriate skin care ingredients that will control the oil production in the skin, for example a cleanser containing salicylic acid will be an effective oil controller.
Secondly, keep in mind that people are prone to touching their face a thousand times a day. Not only does this spread germs, but this spreads bacteria to the face. Also, think about your phone! The amount of bacteria that is on your hands is also on your phone screen, when possible use an ear-piece for your calls to keep your phone screen off your face.
Monthly facials, whether in Spa or at home to unclog pores and to treat your skin with manual exfoliation methods, including microdermabrasion (or at home the Institut' DERMed Micro Crystal Polish) will help . Product choices should be regularly assessed depending on how your skin is doing and new ingredients can be added to the product regime, or products can be removed, in order to advance the results.
Stay away from any unnatural makeup. Mineral makeup should be the only type of makeup used on acne prone skin types to prevent pore congestion and possible irritation from unnatural ingredients. Some mineral makeups are even formulated to help calm the skin and reduce redness, a great benefit for those suffering with acne.
Collagen rejuvenating treatments are based on the principle that the skin has a natural abilitiy to repair itself whenever it is subjected to any kind of physical damage. Immediately after an injury, such as an abrasion or a burn, our body goes into a healing response; part of that response mechanism is to produce new collagen and elastin fibers.
Collagen is the main protein found in our bones, muscles and tendons. It makes up 75 percent of our skin, forming the scaffold that strenthens our connective tissue. There are several different types of collagen but it is Type I and Type III Collagen in particular that are responsible for the majority of our skin’s regeneration. When the skin is injured Type III Collagen begins the healing process and is followed in the later stages of repair by Type I Collagen, which is stronger and more resilient.
As children, our skin is rich with Type III Collagen. This is why a child's skin is so capable of repairing itself very quickly after any kind of abrasion due to a fall. But as we enter adulthood the production of this Type III Collagen naturally slows down. Instead our Type I Collagen begins to increase. Type I Collagen continues to build until we reach the age of around thirty-five and then it too starts to decrease. This is when true aging begins. Due to this reduction in collagen our skin becomes thinner and less elastic, pore size increases, facial spider veins and sun damage become more apparent, fine lines begin to appear, wrinkles become deeper and our skin loses its natural youthful radiance. These issues then become steadily worse as time progresses.
Collagen production can, however, be encouraged with what we call a controlled injury. When the face is abraded such as with Microdermabrasion or an exfoliating Acid Peel or treated with Micro-needling, or heated through Radio Frequency, it triggers the body’s normal wound-healing response. It is this normal wound-healing response that the science of these treatments are based on to naturally increase the production of collagen in the skin.
With the presence of new collagen the skin’s condition begins to improve. Over time it will appear plumper and suppler, skin tightens, fine lines and wrinkles appear softer, uneven skin texture is smoothed, and dark spots appear to fade. With each treatment more new collagen is produced and the overall quality of the skin continues to improve.
Although aging is a biological inevitable process it is possible to focus on ‘successful aging’. Maintaining professional results at home will also greatly help to minimize the signs of aging on the skin. Topicals for home skin care maintenance are particularly recommended to not only encourage collagen production but to continue to protect the collagen you still have from degrading further.
Professional treatments with a Facial peel such as the Institut' DERMed Level 201 Retinol+ Peel containing L-Retinol, works to exfoliate the surface of the skin and promote collagen production. The exfoliation effect of this peel not only removes the dead skin cell layers but will improve the appearance of acneic skin as well.
The next level up, the Institut' DERMed Micro Lifting Peel contains L-Ascorbic Acid which is essential to collagen production. Collagen cannot be built without vitamin C and its antioxidant properties which make it a vital ingredient for skin health. Studies have shown this to be one of the strongest antioxidants proven to encourage collagen and protect the skin from oxidative stressors. Although not a suncscreen Vitamin C is also recommended for it's antioxidant activity that helps to protect the skin from UV stressors that contribute to the signs of premature aging.
Homecare recommendations to continue maintaining professional treatment results are the Institut' DERMed Vital C Serum formulated with L-Ascorbic Acid and Resveratrol and the Institut' DERMed Vital A Serum formulated with Micro-encapsulated L-Retinol and Glycolic Acid.
Aging may be mathematically inevitable but it is possible to delay the appearance of aging on your skin. Read more about collagen rejuvenation in this months Institut' DERMed Healthy Skin Lifestyle Magazine Issuu:
UV light can damage our skin, creating hyperpigmentation, wrinkling, abnormal cell development, and lead to skin cancer. Just about everyone has at some point been caught unprepared in the sun. Many of us don't begin to see the visible effects on our skin until one day we look in the mirror and suddenly see discoloration and a growing number of wrinkles. Excessive exposure to sun rays is the most common reason people age prematurely. Aging skin presents as: dehydration, fine lines, volume loss and the appearance of deep wrinkles, as well as skin discoloration. Age spots (solar lentigines) on the skin are directly caused by UV exposure.
Peels are one of the oldest modalities for rejuvenating the skin and they are still the go to solution today for improving the appearance of prematurely aging skin due to excessive sun exposure. Our skin has a natural built-in desquamation (shedding) process. Over a 24-hour period we naturally are going to lose over a million skin cells. One of the factors that disrupt this normal desquamation process is aging. As the tissue ages the desquamation process just slows down. As an individual ages, if they are not performing exfoliation procedures it can take anywhere from 45 to 60 days for that skin cell to fully renew itself.
Peels work with this already pre-programmed process that’s happening every day. New skin cells are given birth in what we call the stratum basale layer of the skin and then go through a process of differentiation, migrating through the dermis up to the epidermis and all the way from the basal layer of the epidermis to the granular layer. Through the peel process we can remove surface dead skin cells and send a signal that those cells need to be replaced. This process of continuous shedding and replacement actually helps to accelerate the rate of desquamation and prevents the metabolic rate of the skin from slowing down as we age. This is how we can have so much effect on undoing the effects of environmental stressors and delaying the signs of aging - just through exfoliation of the epidermis.
Best practice for exfoliation is to start with a superficial level of peel, such as the Institut' DERMed Fundamental Level 101 Brightening Peel, formulated with a combination of L-Lactic Acid and Pearl Powder to accelerate the exfoliation of dead skin cells. This 101 peel can be used in the treatment room and also at home to extend professional results between treatments. After this level of pre-conditioning you can gradually progress in follow up professional treatments to a Level 201 peel such as the Lactic+ Peel or the Glycolic+ Peel.
These peels are Alpha Hydroxy Acid peels that loosen and remove dead skin cell buildup and help to even out skin pigmentation as well as encourage collagen production. The benefit is a glowing firmness that lends a kind of ageless look to your skin.
To truly defend against the signs of too much sun exposure using the right topical ingredients daily to nourish and condition the skin in-between sessions is key. Apply a Vital C (L-Ascorbic Acid) Serum daily, the antioxidant and photo protective properties of ascorbic acid make vitamin C a vital component for skin health that helps to protect the skin while brightening uneven toned areas.
Beautiful skin is healthy skin, always apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen daily, even when it is cloudy outside. Daily application of sunscreen is essential if you are trying to undo hyperpigmentation issues. All it takes is one sun exposure to re-pigment quickly.
Read more about sun exposure and premature aging in our Institut' DERMed Healthy Skin Lifestyle Magazine August Issuu