The Gentle Care Of Vulnerable Skin (Acne and Hyperpigmentation Prone)
It’s almost automatic when I meet someone and tell them what I do for a living that they confess their skin sins to me. I’ve heard it all and on occasion have even shared my own skin health history. Mostly what I have learned is that many people do not correlate their skin’s outer appearance with their inner health or emotional wellbeing. Over and over I hear someone list all the products they’ve been using and complaints about how nothing works and they’re still searching for their “holy grail” product to save them. Indeed skin health is important and one's confidence is instilled when your face reflects wellness.
I don’t want to convert anyone. I want to help educate and get those seeking skin wellness back on track to understanding their skin and how to care for it in the very best way possible. I get it though. It’s frustrating to know what products best suit your skin type or in what order these products need to be applied for the most effectual results, but there is a science to this and it’s not complicated at all. Today I’d like to help you understand vulnerable skin and how to care for it and treat certain symptoms and issues. We’ll stick to acne prone and often the result of acne; hyper pigmentation because this skin type is subject to being vulnerable and unfortunately mistreated with a heavy arsenal of terrible advice and toxic loaded products aimed to cure acne.
Acneic skin types come in several variations. There are so many types of acne vulgaris from blackheads, whiteheads, cystic, chronic, hormone related, acne mechanica to the severe nodulocystic acne. Acne can be both physically and psychologically painful and it’s important that you seek professional medical treatment if your acne is more on the advanced side and chronic. The mysteries of what cause severe cases still persists, but I’ve been researching and have read positive results from partaking in an all plant diet. Certainly that is not the answer to cure acne, but it is rather fascinating that switching your diet may help ease flareups and reduce breakouts. When skin is in the midst of breaking out it is maddening, frustrating and embarrassing. We do drastic things and put all sorts of products on our skin that claim to kill acne, but may exacerbate the issue instead. Our skin becomes extremely vulnerable to scarring and hyper pigmentation after a bad breakout, but we can prevent major damage with gentle care. Here is a step-by-step guide in how to gently care for your skin when experiencing a bad breakout.
DO NOT wear makeup if possible. I know this sounds horrific especially when you want to cover and hide blemishes, but makeup can cause more problems and deeply clog pores which triggers even more acne. Dirty makeup brushes or utensils are loaded with bacteria and that bacteria is also contributing to acne. Keep skin clean and nourished.
Eat well. Avoid soft drinks and sugary drinks that cause inflammation and eat fresh vegetables high in zinc and Vitamin K, fruit and lean protein like fish (wild salmon is excellent for healthy skin) and organic chicken avoiding red meat. Some dermatologists believe that all of the added antibiotics and hormones in meat may cause systemic inflammation which is a heavy contributor to chronic acne. Make good food the little luxury you feel guilt free about because it's an investment in your health, mood and overall appearance.
Change your bedsheets often, especially pillowcases. On average we shed one million skin cells a day and those cells accumulate on your bed sheets, pillowcases and ultimately on your face and body! If your acne is severe and prone to break open all of that bacteria filled pus will find its way onto your pillow and may infect your skin further. Change sheets every week and pillowcases every 2-3 days. Use fragrance free laundry soap to wash your bedding.
Keep your hands away from your face. Bacteria and different strains do not mix. Wash your hands first thing coming in from a public commute, grocery shopping or walking your pet. Wipe your cell phone and computer keyboard clean as we tend to engage in these daily rituals without a thought of how if affects our skin health. The statistics of how dirty your cell phone is will have your head spinning.
Protect and nourish. This may sound scary to many of you that suffer from acne prone skin, but use a face oil to nourish and protect. Listen carefully because I want to help reeducate anyone who believed the nonsense that you need to treat your acne with harsh alcohol based products to “kill” bacteria and avoid oil at all costs. That is total marketing hype to sell terrible products. While it’s true that alcohol does kill bacteria the kind of alcohol you need is Isopropyl Alcohol at a concentration of 45% and that is just too harsh for skin. It will cause damage to the outer layer, sebum to over produce oil and you’ll experience an unnatural oily reaction while also experiencing flakiness and tightness from the damage on the topical layer. Use tea tree oil to treat affected area at a 10% concentration. It gets the redness out of a blemish in just a couple of days and kills staph bacteria, the kind that cause “pimples” filled with pus. Clove oil also works exceptionally well. I personally prefer clove oil as it also helps provide Vitamin C benefits to the cell and compounded antioxidants that speed up the healing process. I add 5-6 drops of clove oil to a 5ml bottle of Barbary Fig Seed Oil and keep it on hand when a blemish appears. (Note clove oil has an extremely high ORAC value and should be diluted not used directly on skin.)
Post acne your skin is likely to scar or leave a pigmented mark especially if you pick and irritate skin. This is more visible on Latino, Asian and dark skin than it is on Caucasian skin. It also takes longer to fade marks on ethnic skin because ethnic skin is more prominent in melanin which is the determinant of skin, eyes and hair color. We recommend if you don’t fall into the severe acne category that you use a Vitamin C serum to help heal the scars and tissue damage and boost up the production of collagen. Collagen fiber helps in the formation of lower layers and keeps them intact as well improves circulation reducing the outbreak of acne. Healthy production of new collagen helps tone and firm the skin and results in a lovelier complexion. Modern Radiance Concentrate works well for those with moderate acne and mature skin helping to brighten, firm and tone skin with a high concentration of complete Vitamin C. Use every morning with an omega loaded face oil like our Daily Elements Defense or Barbary Fig Seed Oil or La Flora. If you have light skin you will notice results faster than if you have more melanin rich skin. Be patient if your skin is darker with results and be vigilant with treatment. It's a slower and gradual process, but with gentle and proper care your marks and scarring will soften and begin to fade.
For mild acne and post acne scarring Crema Supernova with Vitamin C, licorice root, arnica and wasabi extract aids in hydrating skin while fighting free radicals and layering Barbary Fig Seed Oil over this crema will boost your skin’s luminosity. For more more prominent post acne treatment try Crema Virtuosa combined with Daily Elements Defense and Barbary Fig Renewal Serum at night. This combination will treat hyper pigmentation and speed up tissue recovery from compounded antioxidants in Sangre de Drago, Gromwell root and Blue Tansy flower oil paired with the incredibly reparative Sacha Inchi Oil in Daily Elements Defense and provide Vitamin A benefits for nighttime repair.
Post acne treatment takes patience and care because this skin type is vulnerable to more permanent damage if the proper care isn’t applied. Long term scarring and dark spots can ruin your complexion and picking or using the wrong products can make these issues worse. Be mindful that your skin needs to increase blood circulation and regenerate healthy cells for fresh skin to visibly appear. Wear sunscreen daily and avoid using harsh products with Vitamin A during the day. You can achieve happy and radiant skin when you practice the four steps of skin wellness; cleanse, nourish, exfoliate and protect.