Everywhere you look, there are marketing messages promising the miraculous answer to treating acne: a magic pill or magic potion that will solve your blemish problems once and for all.
If only it were that easy.
Acne presents in a variety of ways, from annoying clogged pores to sore, inflamed underground cysts. There is no way that one method of treating acne can work for everyone and all types of acne. Effective treatment demands a thorough consideration of the type and severity of breakouts, as well as individual skin type, general constitution, and other skin conditions.
Additionally, skin adapts and changes over time, so even when a product or treatment seems to work for a time, it is likely that eventually it will not work as effectively and something else will be required.
As we explored in “What Causes Acne?”, there are a variety of contributing factors that need to be addressed when dealing with acne. It is these various elements and the way individuals respond to them, that makes acne so challenging. In our later blog post “9 Tips to Get Clear Skin“, we shared some of our most effective suggestions we give our clients. But even these strategies sometime aren’t enough, and professional intervention is required. In this article, we explain our specific approach to treating and coaching individuals who continue to struggle with acne, and our treatment strategy to get them clear.
When to See an Esthetician
If you are prone to acne breakouts, regular sessions with a skin therapist can be a tremendous help. Besides the obvious extractions and preventative care, working with a skin professional ensures that you have a partner and coach for any changes or setbacks. They can expertly adjust your treatment plan and get you quickly back on track.
Here at Facial Expressions, we approach treating acne with the same systematic philosophy in which we tackle all skin issues. We always look at the whole person, searching for clues as to the root cause of skin issues, and what else might be contributing to the problem.
By using advanced diagnostic equipment we can record images of exactly where and how extreme acne blemishes are presenting. We gather data pertaining to work/play lifestyle, and nutritional, medical, and cosmetic history that is relevant to determining the contributing factors to your skin’s condition. We then prioritize our recommendations to those that will make an immediate, real difference.
Finally, we design a progressive treatment plan that takes skin through a healthy, gradual process to ‘calm, protect, and renew’.
In order to facilitate immediate healing and skin improvement, we always look at how we can reduce topical and lifestyle sources of stress to the skin. Providing a calm skin environment will ensure that it is not ‘trigger happy,’ and over-reactive to the slightest insult or change in variable.
We overhaul skin care and cosmetic products, eliminating comedogenic ingredients, as well as known irritants and inappropriate or unnecessary products. We educate on skin science, lifestyle and nutritional considerations, and work with each individual to create a workable home care routine.
Regardless of skin type, we introduce effective and proper cleansing that works with the natural skin type (regardless of acne). Cleansing should not be too stripping to the skin’s natural hydration and protective micro-biome, but should work to thoroughly remove any topical irritants like makeup, sweat, and environmental pollution.
We encourage use of our Glow Room, a do-it-yourself LED Light Therapy option that shows tremendous effectiveness in clearing up active blemishes, as well as preventing future breakouts.
We round out our primary phase of care with soothing and hydrating formulas that work to calm the appearance of redness, inflammation, and stressed skin. By addressing these areas first, we’re able to perform comfortable, effective extractions and begin the process of significant clearing.
This primary phase is a gradual process and can take several months, or even longer. Blemishes can take up to 90 days to form, so it’s likely that even towards the end of the Calming phase, the skin will periodically erupt with random blemishes that have been brewing for months. The more frequent and consistent the visits to an esthetician, the more extractions can be done at earlier stages of acne development, and the fewer inflamed pimples should manifest down the road.
Once we’re making progress with reducing reactivity and signs of inflammation, and seeing fewer new breakouts, we turn our attention to stabilizing home care and continuing to clear out older congestion. At this point, our focus shifts to protecting the skin against future flare ups, environmental damage, and premature aging.
Skin continues to gather strength in this phase, in that it doesn’t react quite as intensely as it once did to aggravating factors. And when it does break out, the frequency and severity are much reduced, plus it recovers more quickly.
All of this is due to respecting and working with the natural physiological processes of the skin, encouraging it to function properly, contributing as much nutrition as we can topically, and helping skin’s inherent ability to regenerate. This results in clearer and clearer skin.
Only after the majority of active breakouts are under control do we turn our attention to the more intense repair or skin revision process.
Acne has a tendency to leave proof of its passing in the form of post inflammatory pigmentation, erythema (redness), and scars that linger long after the blemish has passed. It is futile to try to address these marks in any major way while the skin is still experiencing active blemishes that are likely creating new spots. Skin revision requires enormous resources in the skin, and inflammation around new blemishes can compete for those resources, resulting in inferior results.
But when the time is right, we take a non-invasive approach to skin rejuvenation, with techniques at our disposal that can reduce the appearance of old blemishes, smooth out texture, and brighten overall skin tone, all while respecting the integrity of the skin’s barrier system.
These three phases of our acne treatment philosophy are each a critical part of the process of creating lasting relief from constant acne breakouts. Our skin therapists provide education, coaching, and support on an individual basis every step of the way. There is nothing more satisfying than seeing our acne clients get clear and regain their optimism and confidence. It’s why we do what we do!
Treatments We Recommend
Clarity FX – Deep Pore Cleansing Facial
Extreme Clarity FX – Extreme Edition Facial
Acne FX – Clear Skin Program
Youth FX & Youth Xpress
Glow Room – DIY LED Light Therapy
Disclaimer: The information we provide on this site is for general use as an information resource only and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or medical treatment purposes. Be sure to talk to a healthcare professional before making medical decisions.