- The medical term for acne is an inflammatory eruption affecting the face, upper back, and chest, consisting of blackheads, cysts, papules, and pustules, and occurring, but not confined to puberty and adolescence.
- Acne is a chronic disease of the sebaceous hair follicles that can be successfully treated and controlled by sticking to a strict regimen, but not 100% cured, as in permanently banished. Professional treatment and sticking to a strict at home treatment agenda is crucial. Usage of product outside of the system may compromise best results.
What causes acne?
Hormones prompt your oil glands to produces excess oil, provoking the skin cells in your pores to rapidly shed. When the pore becomes clogged by trapped oil and dead skin cells, it creates a perfect breeding ground for irritating acne bacteria. As your skin tries to deal with the bacteria, it becomes inflamed, eventually causing a full-blown breakout. To stop this cycle from repeating itself over and over, you need to use medical ingredients to control all four trigger factors:
1. Excess sebum
Sebum is produced in sebaceous follicles that are found all over the body except for the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. They may number several hundred per square centimeter on some areas of the face, and there may be about 150 per square centimeter on the back. Human sebum has great complexity containing free fatty acids, triglycerides, cholesterol, squalane and waxes. The average rates of sebum secretion are higher in people with acne than people without acne.
2. Pore-clogging Dead Skin Cells
The epidermis, or outermost layer of the skin, extends down into the follicles, forming a lining. Dead skin cells shed indie the follicles in large clumps. In people with acne, these dead cells stay in the follicle, where they mix with sebum and form an impaction called a micro-comedo.
When the impaction builds, it flows to the surface of the skin. In some cases, it causes the pore to dilate, creating an open comedone (a blackhead) or it becomes a closed comedone (a whitehead).
3. Acne Bacteria
P. acnes are a natural resident of the skin. They are anaerobic bacteria, which means they hate the air, and so they live inside sebaceous follicles. The mixture of sebum and dead cells there facilitate the overgrowth of P. acnes. The chemicals that P. acnes produce as a by-product of ingested sebum contribute to the final trigger factor inflammation.
Free fatty acids released from the P. acnes are a primary irritant. As P. acnes proliferate in the oxygen-free environment of the follicle, the irritation and inflammation increase.
The other cause of inflammation is the body’s response to the development of the acne lesion. White blood cells are the first line of defense on the body’s response to injury and infection. Some ingest the bacteria and cellular debris, others produce a host of antibodies and other substances that kill the bacteria and help repair the damaged tissue. Some cause the tissue to become inflamed as the work.
FACT: Acne is not caused by dirt or surface skin oils. Vigorous washing and scrubbing will only irritate the skin, triggering an overproduction of oil, ultimately making acne worse. Because acne is triggered internally, the best approach to hygiene is to use the Bioelements Acne Clearing System as directed, which fights existing acne, prevents future breakouts and heals visible signs of past acne flare ups.
Myth: Acne is caused by certain foods you eat
FACT: In general, extensive scientific studies have not found a firm connection between diet and acne. Although food alone is not a culprit, Bioelements believes that a healthy diet rich in nutrients significantly boosts the body’s ability to deal with acne from the inside out.
- Diets high in sugar, fats, processed materials and hormonally treated animal products (including dairy), often heighten systemic inflammation, which in turn, fuels disease. The healthier your diet is, the better equipped your system will be to fight disease of all types.
- Shellfish, iodized salt and nutritional supplements that contain iodine, may trigger acne flare-ups.
Myth: Only teenagers get acne
FACT: Anyone can get acne. Bioelements Acne Clearing System will clear existing acne blemishes, prevent future breakouts and heal the visible signs of past acne flare-ups
Myth: The sun can clear up acne breakouts.
FACT: Many people feel that sunlight improves their acne because a tan temporarily dries up surface oils and masks some of the redness associated with acne. Despite the temporary results that the sun provides, uv exposure further weakens and damages skin, significantly increasing the likelihood that skin will be left with red, brown or black pigment marks where skin tried to protect itself. In addition, ultraviolet light increases the risk of skin cancer and early aging of the skin. (Be sure to have your client use a Bioelements Sunscreen daily.)
Myth: Acne can be cured.
Fact: There is no cure for acne. But you can control and clear acne with the right medicated products and professional treatments.
Let's talk about skin extractions (more commonly called "popping" or "squeezing" pimples/zits – gross). You may think you're a pro up there in your bathroom or in your rear-view mirror, but taking matters into your own hands is a bad, bad idea. Skin extractions should only be performed by a skin care professional at a spa or medical office. Here's why:
Prep work is key – Your skin must be adequately prepared prior to extractions, involving more than just washing your face. Your skin care professional knows how to do this.
Looks can be deceiving – Your skin care professional knows what is okay to extract and what is not okay. The possibility of spreading infection and making matters worse is HIGH when you try to do it yourself. A blackhead forced out of a pore that is not ready can leave a scar (repeat: a SCAR, a.k.a. a HOLE on your FACE)!
Location, location, location – Your bathroom may seem like a great place for extractions... bright lighting, a super-magnifying mirror, etc. But it's not. An unsterile environment can lead to infection (and that means MORE blemishes). Very strict sanitation measures are taken by your skin care professional to ensure a super-clean environment. A can of Scrubbing Bubbles® and some paper towels won't cut it.
The aftermath – After extractions, special precautions need to be taken. Your esthetician will apply professional-use only products to treated areas to prevent bacteria from re-invading the pores and causing more breakouts.
A Bioelements skin care pro answers some of your most common questions about extractions:
What are they: Extractions are performed during a facial to remove pore-clogging sebum.
Why you need them: Leaving these pores unattended can lead to blackheads, whiteheads and inflamed acne breakouts.
Why an esthetician should perform them (and not you): Extractions should be performed only after properly preparing the skin. In the treatment room, I will thoroughly cleanse and exfoliate your skin, usually under steam. Then, I'll apply a professional-use-only softening solution to ease the removal of impurities and cellular debris in the pore. I'll manipulate my fingers using a technique I've been trained in until the debris eases up and out. When done correctly, you'll feel little discomfort. Post-extraction, I'll treat the skin with an antibacterial toner to kill any surface bacteria. There's a big difference between you and me. I'm working in a sterile, clinical setting, and I've had years of training. When you are standing in front of the bathroom mirror, you are much more likely to make things worse –forcing the bacteria deeper into your skin, and causing redness, swelling, and scarring.
How often should you get them: This is a question that's best left to the skin care pro that's working with you. She'll determine a schedule that best suits your skin's needs. Find one at a Bioelements Spa near you.
You're throwing a dirt party – and you’re such a gracious host! If you don’t remove your makeup at night, the powder, shadows and cremes you’ve worn for 12+ hours will combine with the dirt, debris and oil that has accumulated on your face throughout the day. And it will all sit there on your skin, mixing and mingling for another 6-8 hours while you sleep.
You're clogging your pores – especially if you fall asleep in your makeup on a nightly basis. And did we mention the oils, dead skin and grime from your hair that is on your pillow? This will help to push all the dirt and debris right into your pores, leading to blackheads, breakouts, a dull complexion and overall congestion.
You're preventing your skin from doing its overnight job – like regenerate and repair from the day’s damage. Your skin behaves differently at night – cell turnover increases, TEWL (Trans Epidermal Water Loss) increases, oil production decreases and blood flow increases. There’s a lot of important work to do, and you need to give your skin a proper cleansing, rehydrating and an overnight rejuvenation treatment to help the process get done as effectively as possible.
Formulated with the highest effective levels of FDA-approved salicylic acid and sulfur, plus plant extracts, 100% pure essential oils and antioxidants, the Acne Clearing System delivers clear, professional results. Clinically tested to be non-irritating, and packaged in glass to ensure it medicated ingredients stay effective – without any added fragrance, artificial dyes or parabens. It’s a complete system that raises the bar on acne products.
So effective, it’s used in acne facials by skin care professionals.
The Acne Fighters:
- Acne Toner
0.5% salicylic acid acne treatment and hydrates, clears and eliminates acne
- Amino Mask
5% sulfur acne treatment that treats acne breakouts and allows skin to heal
- Breakout Control
5% benzoyl peroxide acne treatment that works invisibly to spot-treat and clear breakouts
1. The combination of at-home care coupled with professional services is a ‘one-two’ punch on acne, and will clear your skin faster.
2. Your professional knows how to properly prep your skin for extractions without causing irritation, damage or further breakouts.
3. They’ll monitor your skin’s progress and make necessary adjustments to your at-home care.
Find a Bioelements Spa near you here.
A study examining the prevalence of acne prone skin in adults over age 20 found that acne affects more than 50 percent of women between the ages of 20-29 and more than 25 percent of women between the ages of 40-49. *
The study found a disproportionate number of adult women were affected by acne compared to similar-aged men. *
A 2011 clinical study examining photos of women from age 10-70 for visible signs of acne found that 45 percent of women aged 21-30 had clinical acne, 26 percent of women aged 31-40 had clinical acne, and 12 percent of women aged 41-50 had clinical acne. *
*Source: The American Academy of Dermatology
Did you know that stress can lead to breakouts? Any time the body is exposed to a stressor, external or internal, the brain triggers hormonal, immune and nervous system reactions. These hormonal changes can disrupt the skin’s natural cycle.
A recent study published in the Archives of Dermatology found that stressed college students had acne flare-ups during exams, as compared to periods without testing.
While scientists can’t pinpoint exactly how stress worsens acne, they do know that cells that produce sebum have stress hormone receptors. Sebum is the oily substance that mixes with dead skin cells and bacteria to clog the hair follicles, leading to a pimple or acne cyst.
When acne leaves a mark on the skin, scars can appear as a result of inflammation within the dermis. A scar forms when a wound tries to heal itself, and too much collagen generates in one area.
The longer you have acne, the greater the risk of scarring, But even a minor breakout can lead to a permanent scar, especially if you try and perform an extraction.
Inflamed red marks left on the skin after acne is called post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. These marks are not permanent like scars, but they can take weeks or sometimes months to fade.