By Sheridan Rollard, Director of Shine Skin and Body
In my clinic I see all kinds of skin issues but one of the most consistent problems which I treat is adult acne. People are often embarrassed, thinking acne is something only teenagers experience, but studies show that persistent acne is seen in 75 to 85 percent of people. Late-onset acne (from the age of 20) is reported in 20 to 40 percent of women and over 40% men*
When experiencing acne, people get quite desperate and try anything to get rid of it (especially picking and squeezing – STOP!!), it is important to seek professional help to ensure your acne is properly treated, taking into consideration the cause and a personalised program to best banish the spots.
The location of your acne can tell us a lot about its cause and how to best treat it. For example, if breakouts are around your blusher or bronzer lines you may need to look at the ingredients in your make up, or simply clean your brushes better.
The lower face and jawline can often be attributed to hormonal-related breakouts, as can the chest and back. These require a combined attack of in-salon and at-home treatments to help keep the skin clean and clear. Another cause of the dreaded ‘backne’ is sweat – a shower post-exercise not only leaves you smelling fresh but can also instantly reduce this uncomfortable problem.
We also hear stress is seen as a cause for many. We like to dig a little deeper to find out what people do when they are stressed. Eat badly, sleep poorly, drink more coffee, rest their hands on their face, get rundown, don’t exercise, smoke, don’t drink enough water? Instantly we start to see there is more than just stress which can be at the centre of their spots.
By seeing a professional, not only can we take you through a course of treatments, such as extractions, AHA or BHA peels, microdermabrasion, LED light therapy and regular facials, which will properly clear out the acne, we can also work to find the source and prevent ongoing problems. Sometimes we may even look to get support from other professionals such as naturopaths and acupuncturists when the acne has a deeper-rooted cause within the body.
We also like to educate our clients. There are so many myths around acne that we address in our consults. One of the common misconceptions we often tackle with acne is that it is related to diet – while this does come into play it is not so much about the food (for example dairy) causing the acne, it is only a problem if you have a sensitivity to it. You need to pay attention to how you feel after eating foods – do you bloat or feel lethargic and then end up with the acne? If so, it may be worth removing the food from your diet for a period to see if it makes a difference.
Another big mistake we see is the belief that you need strong products loaded with acids to get rid of acne – this is definitely not true. In most cases this strips the skin of natural protective barriers and as a result we see red, raw and very dry skin which is traumatised and left open to absorb all the nasties to allow for fresh acne rear its ugly head (pun intended!) We still believe in the routine of a twice a day cleanse, exfoliating twice during the week and utilising serums which reduce redness, but you need to ensure you are armed with the right products to get results which work for your skin.
Your skin is your largest organ, so while there are plenty of local salons who can take care of your nails, waxing and relaxing facials, it is worth investing in seeing a skin specialty therapist when you are battling with something like acne. A personalised approach is vital to an accurate diagnosis and treatment which will actually beat the cause. A good beauty therapist will ask lots of questions to get to the cause of your problem and ensure you are on the road to clean, clear skin in no time!