So why do we get acne? What are the cause, triggers, and factors that lead to this embarrassing stage of teenage development? At Winslow Skincare when a teenage client comes to visit us for the first time, we always suggest that they have a 1 hour treatment, 30 minutes for the Skin Lesson and 30 minutes for the treatment. Our Teen Skin Lesson is unique to us as no other skin therapist or experts do anything similar in our area. Below we have detailed exactly what we speak about in our Teen Skin Lesson so you can understand the causes, triggers, and factors of teen acne.
Your Skin Lesson
So we always start with your current skin routine and what you use. One thing we will always ask is how you remove your makeup? And if it is using makeup wipes. Wipes are great and when we are tired and just want to crawl into bed they are perfect however on a regular basis they can cause irritation and sensitivity around your delicate eye area. Wipes are really just moving your make up around, they will remove the surface debris, however, the make-up that has sunk deeper into your skin will only be removed with a full cleanse. Whilst I understand this isn’t always practical if you can try and maybe at least fully remove your makeup with a cleanser and makeup remover at least 3-4 times a week, would be a fantastic start.
The second thing we will speak about would be changing your pillow cases weekly or at least once a fortnight. When you go to sleep you are resting your skin in a bed of bacteria, saliva, and excess sebum. All of these are being pressed into your skin for 6-8 hours a night or maybe longer, this can all contribute to breakouts.
Thirdly we would speak about SPF and it’s importance, I would recommend a minimum of SPF 15 for your skin as it will help protect against UVA and UVB rays which lead to premature ageing and also the development of acne scars. If you acne is healing and you then expose it to UV rays the development of dark marks and scars is far more likely.
We now would discuss how a spot informed underneath your skin. We speak about the three factors that cause spots
- Excess sebum (oil)
- Too many cells being produced (hyperkeratosis)
- Bacteria (P-Acnes)
These three factors are the causes of spots and below is how you can fight them step by step.
- Excess sebum in itself is not a problem; it would simply mean that you would have an oily shine to your skin. The problem with the sebum that you are producing in your teenage years is that it is triggered by hormones. In particular, androgen hormones which are released by the adrenal glands. This hormone makes the texture of the sebum less like olive oil and more like butter. This butter is then deposited on your skin and when combined with excess cells that create a plug in the hair follicle.
- Hyperkeratosis, which in English means too many cells are being produced which is again triggered by hormones, the hormones go to your brain and send certain messages that send your cell production into overdrive. Normally these cells would simply be deposited on your skin and sloughed off, either by exfoliation or cleansing (that’s why they are both so important!) however the butter like sebum that is now sitting on your skin traps these excess cells and creates an impaction, which is where your bacteria comes in.
- The bacteria found in hair follicles is known as p.acnes or propionibacterium acnes. They thrive anaerobically (without oxygen) so when your pores are clean and clear they sit quiet happy in your hair follicle without causing any damage at all. However once an impaction is created with the combination of excess cells and butter like sebum these bacteria thrive, feeding off your cells and sebum. However a bi-product of their digestion is acid, this weakens the cell walls and is what causes the inflammation when you have a spot.
Now that you understand the science behind acne you can begin to take charge of it. You can fight excess sebum with products (Clear Start Daytime Treatment, Overnight Treatment and Matte Moisturiser SPF 15) you can reduce a number of cells being deposited on the skin with regular exfoliation and cleansing (Clear Start Foaming Wash and Pore Control Scrub, however, every 6-8 weeks a professional exfoliation is recommended to deeply clean and remove excess skin cells from your skin) and finally the bacteria. This is probably the most difficult one to control as you will never remove them from your follicle, but bear in mind that the bacterium only comes into play when you ignore the first two factors. If you can control and keep them in check then you will not need to worry about your p.acnes.