Acne is something we will all experience at some stage in life. Whether it’s when puberty hits and hormones are raging, or when we’re well into adulthood and menstrual cycles are flowing! There’s a loooooong list of reasons as to why we are home to our sore and inflamed friends, and the medical breakdown behind our beloved breakouts can be overwhelming and confusing.
I have personally struggled with acne since my teen years, and it hasn’t been an easy journey. Like many women I have experienced painful, emotional, and pimple prone menstrual cycles. It’s not uncommon to experience a spot or two when our friend visits us each month; but for some, acne can be a life altering hindrance with no light at the end of the tunnel! My lowest point with my hormonal acne was having to cover them with bandaids so I could leave the house!
I am not a Dermatologist. I REPEAT, I am not a Dermatologist. Everyone’s skin journey is so unique, but one thing we have in common….we’re not alone! Here’s my breakdown on acne and how to manage it.
Reasons for acne
Hormones / menstrual cycles – Do you experience breakouts when on your period? Do you experience breakouts on your lower face (particularly on your chin and jawline). I know I do! If you also struggle with this, chances are it’s due to hormonal imbalances. This is my number one problem area, and my years of Googling and Doctors visits have identified that it is in fact hormonal (mixed with some uninvited stress of course).
Stress – Our stress hormone Cortisol can really mess with our skin, when released from our adrenal glands in response to stress (enter fight or flight mode). Not to mention other alarming side affects of stress, breakouts in an already stressful situation – um, no thanks!
Diet – Who’s been told to stop eating junk food or your face will breakout? I have and while at the time when I was younger I knew better than to believe it (typical teenager), I now understand that what I nourish my body with heavily affects my skin. I am guilty of not sticking to a well balanced diet, and it’s something I need to work on. Not to say that I eat junk food everyday, but skipping meals and neglecting all five food groups is a common theme for me.
Source – http://healthypreg.com
lifestyle – Important factors to living a healthy lifestyle like sleep, alcohol consumption, mental well being, or even where you live can play a huge part to how our skin behaves. Environmental stress factors like high humidity or heavily polluted destinations can encourage pore congestion and sebum build up. On the more chillier side, cold locations can increase dehydration of the skin and even ageing! According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults over the age of 26 are encouraged to get 7-9 hours of sleep each night. These days with busy routines and work/kids/study schedules, this can prove challenging but a must do nonetheless. Alcohol consumption in large proportions has numerous damaging affects to the body and mental well being, and your skin is not exempt from this. As you’re sipping on your favourite cocktail, remember a lot of alcoholic beverages contain high amounts of sugar, sulphates, and toxins. This can cause dehydration and puffiness of the skin, hormonal imbalances, and you guessed it…breakouts!
- Don’t pick, pop, or over touch your face (especially when broken out). Touching your face can cause the spread of bacteria or germs, which will in turn create further congestion. Despite the intense urge to squeeze zits and spots in an attempt to make it go away, this will only cause inflammation, redness, and scarring! Instead, use your killer skincare routine (or medication recommendation from your GP or Dermatologist) to fight it for you
- Do not under any circumstances be ashamed or embarrassed of your skin – be brave and know you’re not alone in your skin journey
- In saying the above, avoid caking on layers and layers of make up to cover blemishes. Give your skin room to breathe and heal. Clogging pores with further products like make up will only cause further congestion
- Even thought you will be tempted, don’t over cleanse your skin. Over cleansing will strip your skin of natural oils, stimulating further sebum production, leading to breakouts
- Choose the right skincare – sometimes what we slap on our face each day can be the cause of breakouts. Especially in the current climate of cosmetic saturation within women, we are constantly product testing and experimenting. Sounds fun right? Yes! However it can also confuse your skin with high levels of conflicting chemicals, that may not sit well with your skin type
- Drink alcohol responsibly and in moderation, to maintain your best skin glow
- Ensure your diet is nutrient rich
- See a dermatologist or local GP to seek medical treatment
- Incorporate these ingredients into your skincare regime to fight acne – AHA’s, Benzoyl Peroxide, Salicylic Acid, and Tea Tree Oil. Be sure to research the best products for your skin before investing or applying
- Depending on the type of breakout you have, you may need different treatment. Seek guidance from a skin specialist to understand what’s best for you.
What are your skin journey stories? And how have you overcome them?