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Clearing acne is a process, there is no quick fix.

Lately, I have been treating a lot of acne skin types who have an impaired barrier.

This means that the surface of the skin is dry, flaky, sensitive, burns, redness etc…

A lot of people think that when we are breaking out, we need to be more aggressive with our skin to try and make the pimples go away. We use harsh scrubs, alcohols and products that are too harsh and throw off the natural moisture balance, hoping to dry out the oil and stop breaking out. All this really does is completely dry out the surface. It also confuses the skin and in turn it begins to create more oil to overcompensate for the abuse.

When I come across skin types like this, I know that we are going to have to go slow and steady in order to change the condition of their skin. It’s never as easy as just prescribing a skin care regimen and sending clients on their way. No, we have to begin with a very simple, gentle regimen for a few weeks, until the skin’s barrier is healed and then we can begin adding in more active ingredients.

I always test clients’ sensitivity (when beginning a new acne regimen) with different serums to see how their skin reacts. If they are too sensitive to be able to handle any serums, we will omit them all together until the skin heals. A gentle cleanser, gentle toner, gel or cream moisturizer and sunscreen is all that is needed to repair the skins barrier. It should be stronger in 1-2 weeks.

During treatments, we are not able to begin strong peels or anything aggressive so I use gentle enzymes to loosen up congestion and eat away at the dead skin on the surface, this also helps to extract any blackheads or trapped oils.

Once we get the skin to its normal, balanced state, we can begin adding in serums like Mandelic Acid, Glycolic and Lactic Acids as well as Benzoyl Peroxides and Bleaching Serums. We can also begin doing chemical peels in the office, this will start the process of evening out the skin tone and clearing any hyperpigmentation, as well as reducing inflammation.

The key to clear healthy skin is to be super consistent with your home care regimen and make sure you are receiving treatments every 2-4 weeks. Your diet and lifestyle play a huge role in the health of your skin as well. Always strive to keep your immune system strong and keep your gut health in check, this is where our overall health begins.

You should be increasing the strength of products over time as your skin gets acclimated until you achieve the results you are looking for. Acne can take up to 90 days to form inside the follicle so it may take at least that to see improvement.

What are some of your skin concerns? Let me know if there is anything I can do to help!


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