How to Clear Acne Once and for All
By Alison Clay, Licensed Cosmetologist & Esthetician
Whether magazines and TV want to admit it or not, acne is troublesome for almost everyone. In fact, from genetics to greasy food, hormones to clogged pores, acne affects up to 50 million Americans every single year. That means there’s a pretty good chance you’ll have to face a dreaded pimple at some point in your life, whether you’re a teenager, college student, or even an adult in your 40’s.
As an esthetician, I know from personal experience how frustrating acne can be. To help you combat this pesky skin condition, I’m going to break down some of the most sought-after answers to the BIG acne questions:
- Why do I have acne?
- How can I get rid of acne?
- How can I prevent future breakouts?
- Will my acne scars go away? If not, how do I remove them?
Why you have acne, pimples, blackheads, oh my!
As I mentioned above, there are a lot of reasons acne exists: genetics, food triggers, clogged pores from dirt or makeup, hormones, and more.
Teenagers typically find their acne collects on their face, back, chest, and shoulders. Research suggests teenage acne is caused by excess oil and hormonal changes, as well as from diet and nutrition.
Adults, on the other hand, find that their pimples tend to form on the lower face, specifically the jawline and chin. Most people believe acne will cease as we age, but this isn’t always the case. As we get older, the cell turnover slows down and the oil builds up, causing inflammation such as cystic acne and pimples.
How to prevent future breakouts
The two biggest things you can do to prevent future breakouts are scheduling maintenance skincare treatments and buying (and consistently using) quality skincare products that are right for your skin type.
In terms of treatments, our favorites include:
- HydraFacial – a non-invasive treatment that clears pores to prevent future breakouts. Plus, at the end of treatment, you get to see everything that comes out of your skin!
- BBL (BroadBand Light) – a pulsed light treatment that zaps away acne-causing bacteria, reduces redness from inflammatory breakouts, and stimulates collagen to heal acne scars.
- Microneedling – a collagen induction therapy treatment that uses mini-needles to stimulate self-repair. It’s one of the best treatments for acne scars.
- Peels – a more aggressive treatment that exfoliates the face through removing the damaged outer layer and promoting collagen remodeling
- Halo – a laser and skin resurfacing treatment with minimal downtime that reduces pore size and targets deeper layers in the skin
Your at-home routine should include:
- Washing your face in the morning and before bed to remove any dirt, grime, or sweat accumulated during your sleep or during your day
- Using a quality facial cleanser on your face (not a bar soap)
- Using an oil-free wash after workouts or sports practice
- Drinking plenty of water to keep your skin moisturized
- Switching our pillowcases every few days (you’d be surprised how much sweat they accumulate throughout the night)
How to treat acne scars
Out of the 80% of teenagers who suffer from acne, 25% of them will develop scars. Scarring typically happens because of inflammation, which destroys healthy tissue. While some scars may fade, many will remain visible if left untreated.
To help reduce the appearance of scarring, we recommend microneedling, which promotes self-healing through micro-injuries around the scar. After treatment, your body actually produces brand new collagen that creates smoother skin — and a less noticeable scar.
If that sounds intimidating, we do have two light-based treatments that help with scarring: Halo and BBL. As mentioned above, Halo is a resurfacing treatment that penetrates deep enough in the skin to stimulate collagen where the scar is. BBL treats the red pigment in acne scars to make the skin tone more even.
Still have questions? Please call us at 513-791-9474 to book a complimentary skincare consultation where we’ll discuss your concerns, symptoms, and the best treatment for your skin. For more information on skincare, subscribe to our YouTube channel.