5 things to try before going to your GP about your acne
Acne is a common skin disorder that primarily affects the face, chest, shoulders, and back, plaguing roughly 80 per cent of people between the ages of 11 and 30 at some point, according to The National Institute of Health. It’s fuelled by several factors, including hormones that increase oil production, genetics, diet, stress, incorrect skincare and even hair styling products. Breakouts occur when oil (also known as sebum) combine with dead skin cells, trapping bacteria, causing inflammation, and clogging pores.
If you’re battling breakouts, you may be feeling frustrated, and you may even be considering turning to your GP for guidance. The good news is that you’re not alone, and several in-clinic treatments and homecare products can help you manage your acne effectively. Here are five things to try before turning to your GP about your acne.
Optimise your skincare regime
A great starting point is to seek a good quality foaming cleanser, a moisturiser, a chemical exfoliant and sunscreen. When you’re acne-prone, the key with your skincare regime is to reduce oil production whilst supporting and maintaining a healthy, nourished skin barrier.
Chemical exfoliants such as BHAs (salicylic acid) travel inside the pore lining to eliminate the build-up of oil and dead skin cells in the pores as well as on the surface of the skin. It’s also anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial, so it really is your best friend if you’re battling spots.
Dehydration leads to inflammation, so no matter how oily your skin feels, it still needs moisture. For acne-prone skin, try a lightweight moisturising serum such as Hyaluronic acid. Not only will it deeply hydrate and reduce redness, but it can also help protect the skin, which is especially helpful for acne-prone skin, as it typically doesn’t have a very strong lipid barrier.
Despite what you may have been led to believe, sunlight makes acne worse, not better. In addition, the salicylic acid and other exfoliants you use will make the skin more sun-sensitive. So, an SPF 30 is essential, otherwise, you may make things worse.
But don’t overdo it
Stripping the skin of all oil, including natural oil, might activate the skin to produce more in the long run. Therefore it’s counter-productive to cleanse and exfoliate excessively. Exfoliating with physical scrubs can also damage the skin, so opt for chemical exfoliants with mild acids to dissolve dead skin cells and eliminate excess oil in the pores.
Invest in a retinoid
The acne-busting benefits of retinoids are well documented. They work on a cellular level to help kickstart your cell turnover rate, reduce inflammation, and decrease oil production – all key functions for keeping pores clear and breakout-free. Prescription-grade retinoid creams like tretinoin are the most effective when it comes to treating acne. You can access these by visiting a skin clinic for a consultation with a doctor. Click here to book.
Try the HydraFacial
When it comes to treating spots and congestion, there isn’t much that compares to the HydraFacial. It hoovers out pores with a suction tool before treating the skin with a bespoke serum containing ingredients such as salicylic acid (to decongest) and hyaluronic acid (to hydrate and plump). It’s not abrasive or irritating, but it does work deeply to unblock, peel and drive in active ingredients in a gentle way.
It’s not just for acne-prone skin either. There are also anti-ageing versions available that contain a cocktail of cellular stimulants, which minimise the appearance of fine lines. But if it’s a clear complexion that you’re aiming for, the HydraFacial should rebalance your skin, and your breakouts should begin to reduce after around just two sessions
Get acquainted with LED light Therapy
By targeting the skin with specific wavelengths of blue LED light to target different depths of the skin, we can kill bacteria and reduce inflammation and oil production, resulting in improvement in skin tone, texture, and clarity. This works by reducing activity in the sebaceous glands so that they produce less of the oil that blocks the hair follicles and leads to inflammation and, ultimately, acne.
Resurface with chemical peels
Chemical peels offer an array of benefits for your complexion – a smoother, clearer and more radiant appearance being one of them.
Chemical peels work to dissolve the build-up of dead skin cells, stubborn grime and excess oil on the skin’s surface to reveal a fresher surface beneath, which makes for a complexion that’s smoother, reflects light better and absorbs skin products more effectively to maximise their performance.
The ingredients used in chemical peels – whether glycolic or salicylic acid or retinol – also stimulate skin repair in the lower levels of the skin. They thicken the dermis and improve its health, leaving your skin in better shape overall.
Whether you suffer with mild congestion or are struggling to manage your acne, there is a solution. Click here to enquire or here to book a skin consultation with one of our expert practitioners to find the right solution for you.
Enjoyed this? Sign up to our mailing list for weekly tips, tricks and skinspiration from our medical director, Dr Sophie Shotter.
Disclaimer: Please be aware that results and benefits may vary from patient to patient taking into consideration factors such as age, lifestyle and medical history.