By Nutritional Therapist Lucy Drennan
As much as 20% of acne can be put down to the skincare products used on the skin. Not only can the appearance of acne be reduced, but also the presence and recurrence of acne can be dramatically reduced with a good skincare routine.
The biggest misconception with acne is that it comes from poor hygiene. From personal experience, I actually find people with acne are more hygienic than those who don’t get breakouts, most likely because those with acne invest in lots of different products, which can irritate the skin further and they use multiple layers of product on their skin, often causing pores to become blocked and acne develops.
Treating acne is multi-dimensional. The first part of this blog series covers the link with acne and nutrition. As well as calming inflammation from a nutritional and skincare perspective, you also want to prevent pores being blocked, hydrate the skin and heal any scarring or pigmentation as a result from the acne.
Here is a simple routine anyone with acne can start to implement straight away. Please note further professional advice may be needed.
Cleansing the skin should be done twice a day, morning and evening.
Gently cleansing the skin in the morning removes any bacteria and dead skin cell build up overnight, and preps the skin ready to take in more helpful ingredients to the skin during the day.
Cleansing at night removes make-up, debris and pollution, and is vital to clear out your pores to help prevent any spots developing.
The key thing here is to be gentle. The Kinvara Absolute Cleansing Oil contains natural plant oils which can be helpful in balancing the oil produced in the skin, it contains NO stripping ingredients like surfactants and foamers so can help maintain a healthy skin barrier, important in the management of acne rosacea, eczema and psoriasis. This cleanser also contains watermelon seed oil which is a non- comedogenic oil so it leaves no greasy residue and doesn't contribute to the blocking of pores. It is suitable for all skin types and can be helpful in reducing the presence of acne. This can be used both in the morning and in the evening.
With acne prone skin, there is no need for harsh exfoliation. Having had acne myself, I understand the urge to rub your face harshly and you feel like your skin is dirty but that is not the case. If you do wish to try a light exfoliant to induce the production of new skin cells, I’d recommend the Kinvara Exfoliating Powder
Serums are great for all skin types but especially for acne skin as it’s like adding nutritional supplements to your diet, a top up of vital ingredients to help keep you healthy. Kinvara’s Rosehip Face Serum is packed with plant extracts, vitamins, antioxidants and calming ingredients which can all help manage and improve acne skin. It’s hydrating and also adds a lovely healthy glow to your face.
There is often a misconception that oily skin doesn’t need moisturizer but oily skin doesn’t mean hydrated skin. DO moisturise, just use a small, pea sized amount of product.
For acne skin, moisturizer needs to be lightweight and calming on the skin. For this, I’d recommend Kinvara’s award winning, Active Rosehip Day Cream. It contains a lovely blend of Hyaluronic Acid, which keeps the skin hydrated, and omega plant oils which help keep skin plump. It also contains lavender which is very calming on the skin, helping to reduce the redness and bumps with acne skin. This moisturizer can also be used as a night cream if you feel your skin needs a moisturizer at night.
Don’t forget to apply SPF as your very last step after moisturising and before you apply make-up if wearing any.
This whole routine may sound a lot for some people but it’s actually fairly simple and a basic starting routine to help in clearing acne. Please go back to the Adult Acne part 1 and make sure you are eating a healthy diet in addition to doing all the skincare work. It’s definitely a combination of both that will get you to clearer skin.
Whilst a good skincare routine can make a huge difference to the prevalence of acne, how you apply products is also crucial.
Here are a few other tips that can make a huge difference that you just need to keep in mind:
Gently wash your face with lukewarm or tepid water. Do not use hot water as this aggravates the skin further and cause more inflammation in the skin.
Look out for ‘non-comedogenic’ on make-up and skincare. This means the product will not block pores and cause acne.
My top tip for picking acne skin. Make a habit of celebrating every time you don’t pick! I know people who have found charts helpful or even adding coins or paper clips into a jar you can see visually every time you stop yourself from picking. At the end of the month, you’ll be amazed at how much you’ve filled up the jar and the visual reward motivates us even more!
Wash your skin and shower straight after exercise or if you’re wearing a face mask for a prolonged period of time. Acne is not caused by unclean skin but the build up of bacteria can contribute to it.
Disclaimer: As acne is a medical condition, it is advised you consult your GP or dermatologist for treatment. Also bear in mind, acne can affect your mental health and you should seek treatment if you find your acne is particularly distressing. Before putting new products directly on the face, gently test a small amount on the back of your neck.