Tag Archives: acne

Ask An Esthetician: I’m So Over My Acne! Plus, What Is Up With Bacne, Really?

Skin: Our largest organ, and also probably our biggest pain in the butt. Managing its temperamental, over-sensitive ways is pretty much a full-time gig, especially if your skin is a delicate Sensitive Sally like mine. Thankfully, we’ve got our new BFF, esthetician Jenna Kulp, to help us solve our skin woes. Jenna’s here to answer all of your troubling skin problems — to offer suggestions and solutions to your skincare needs.

I’ve had clients that can’t figure out that taking a shower and changing their shirt and sports bra are necessary after a workout.

Q: I am 27 years old and have been battling acne since I was 10. I’ve been on every medication under the sun, and have been on Accutane twice. I’ve tried nearly every facewash and skin care regimen that promises to banish acne, with disappointing results. Needless to say, I am over it. I’m sick of having acne and waking up to a new blemish every morning. It’s ridiculous. I was wondering if Jenna has any advice for somebody like me? (Also, my father’s side of the family has a history of acne).

A: You are not the only one dear, but don’t get discouraged! Acne is hereditary so you may have to deal with it for the rest of your life so take it in stride. Sometimes less can be more and you might be over-drying or overdoing it with the skin care. If you’ve ever asked someone with perfect skin how they achieved it, they’ll almost never respond with some extensive skin care regimen. Usually it’s “oh, nothing really, I don’t use much on my skin.” For example, one of the girls here in the office rarely ever washes her face and sometimes just cleans it with random shampoo at the gym and she has blemish-free, perfect skin.

Your skin may just be out of whack from everything you’ve tried. I would suggest going back to square one and getting back to your natural roots. Getting off the products, drugs, heavy makeup or whatever for a couple weeks can really help you understand more about your skin. Figure out your natural skin type and take it from there; your skin may be dry and overproducing oil, or needing some serious inflammatory help. In the meantime, you can use a mild cleanser (like Eminence’s Lemon or Coconut Cleansers) and moisturizer (like their Guava and Bamboo Moisturizer) to make sure you are still doing a little something to battle the elements.

My advice: Stop the laundry list of skin care products for at least two weeks and really commit to the au natural route which will be your best bet. Afterwards, and like everyone, you’ll experience a breakout here and there but you can get your acne under control. When you do figure out what’s really going on and your skin type, commit to a basic regimen and stick it out for a least another few weeks to test if it works. Remember, with acne it will ALWAYS get worse before it gets better so give it time.

Q: What’s your advice for treating and/or preventing breakouts on the chest and back?

Let’s start with the basics with acne. (I’m keeping this short and sweet.) There is no definite answer to the question of “what causes acne,” but there are a variety of things that can be happening with your skin. Usually when a breakout happens it’s technically caused by the overproduction of sebum which gets trapped by dead skin cells in the pore. When bacteria gets inside of the blocked pore, it swells up and results in redness and pus. A big part of acne also has to do with fluctuating hormones, stress, genetics, how you take care of your body (as well as your skin), and a little part is hygiene. Most of us deal with acne on our face, but there is a good amount of people that experience it on the chest and back. Here are my tips for taking care of bacne:

  1. Keep it clean!
    I’ve had clients that can’t figure out that taking a shower and changing their shirt and sports bra are necessary after a workout.

    I shouldn’t have to explain that one, but you’d be surprised. Also, change your pillowcase and sheets at least 2-3 times a week so you’re not sleeping in a breeding ground for bacteria.

  2. Keep yourself hydrated. You’ll hear this a million times but drink PLENTY of water and lightly moisturize so your body isn’t overcompensating for the loss of water/oil.
  3. An old remedy to try is a little bit of apple cider vinegar mixed with a little bit of tea tree oil and applied after you get out of the shower before bed time.
  4. This is where I feel a glycolic can be needed. Glytone’s Exfoliating Body Wash is great for clearing up body acne. It’s exfoliating and revitalizing with 8.8 percent glycolic acid in it. If you feel like you’re too dry after the body wash, follow up with Glytone’s Body Lotion to round it out. Not only are these two products effective but they’re raved about by DermStore customers.

If you want to explore more options with back acne products I would also recommend Glytone’s Back Acne Spray, which has 2 percent salicylic acid and a 360 degree spray pump so you can spray it upside-down, and Avene’s Diacneal Soap-Free Gel Cleanser for sensitive or dry skin types.

Ask An Esthetician: What Do Different Break Out Spots Mean? Should I Be Using A Glycolic?

Skin: Our largest organ, and also probably our biggest pain in the butt. Managing its temperamental, over-sensitive ways is pretty much a full-time gig, especially if your skin is a delicate Sensitive Sally like mine. Thankfully, we’ve got our new BFF, esthetician Jenna Kulp, to help us solve our skin woes. Jenna’s here to answer all of your troubling skin problems–to offer suggestions and solutions to your skincare needs. If you’ve got a question for Jenna, {encode=”julie@thefrisky.com” title=”let us know”} and we’ll pass it along! And after the jump, check out her answers about acne and glycolic skincare products. Keep reading »

Beauty Test Drive: A Personal Microderm Kit That Makes Skin So Soft

As I have mentioned before, I have a little bit of an adult acne situation. Even worse (and if you’re my mom, or squeamish, don’t read this part), I tend to pick at my acne, inciting red marks, scars and flaky skin. So when I had the opportunity to try the Personal Microderm kit, well, duh. The Personal Microderm, despite its generic name, allows you to give yourself a microdermabrasion treatment at home, which sloughs off the dead top layer of skin to reveal the soft, dewy stuff underneath. The easy-to-use tool comes with a variety of detachable heads so you can use on your face or your body with ease. After one use, I was hooked; my skin felt softer and my face seemed to actually glow. The biggest problem with the Personal Microderm? You’re going to want to use it five times a day (and you really, really shouldn’t). [$169.99, Dermstore] Keep reading »

Do Not Want: Acne’s Highway Boot

As if the return of cargo pants couldn’t be more offensive, we now have this to deal with: Acne’s “Highway” boot, which comes adorned with hobo-like patch pockets. To be fair, we’re huge fans of the edgy Swedish label but can’t quite understand a) why you’d need eight pockets on your feet, and b) why they’re called “highway” boots? [Creatures of Comfort] Keep reading »

I’m 25 And I Still Have Acne—When Will It End?

I’ve never had acne that’s been bad enough to earn me the nickname “Pizza Face” or to produce yearbook photos that needed to be burned. But I have had persistent breakouts since I was a teenager, and have gone through the ringer of treatments from the prescribed (creams, cleansers, oral antibiotics) to the popular (microdermabrasion, galvanic facials, weird “As Seen on TV” heat-treating gadgets). The only thing that’s ever worked for me is Accutane, the hard-core prescription drug which is no pretty process and will give you a deformed baby if you happen to get pregnant on it. Yet, even after a few courses of Accutane, I’ve found (as is common with the drug), that its effects wear off after about a year … Keep reading »

Study: Acne Sufferers Have More Suicidal Thoughts

Being a teen is hard — but being a teen with really bad acne is positively suicidal, at least according to a new Norwegian study. Teens with bad skin are two times as likely to have suicidal thoughts, say researchers from the University of Oslo. The study examined the psychological habits of Norwegian teens. Fourteen percent of teens reported having “a lot” of acne, and of those, 25 percent said they had suicidal thoughts, compared to 11 percent of the overall teen population. Bad acne was also linked to a lower attachment to friends, and teens with acne tended to have fewer boyfriends and girlfriends, and do worse in school.

But — before you pull out the hanky in despair — it might actually be teens’ acne meds that are making them suicidal. A drug found in several anti-acne medication, Isotretinoin, has been linked to depression, suicide, and suicidal thoughts. So, basically, you’re damned if you have bad acne, and you’re damned if you try to do something about it. [CNN] Keep reading »

Beauty Test Drive: Peter Thomas Roth Complexion Clearing Pads

As if bikini waxes weren’t inherently embarrassing enough, some of us (read “me”) may or may not have ingrown hair situations that make the whole thing all the more uncomfortable. Perhaps in an effort to put me out of my awkward misery, one of the lovely wax ladies at The Skin Spa suggested Peter Thomas Roth complexion pads to solve the problem. Skeptical though I was of using an acne product so near my lady parts, desperation is a great motivator and I gave it a shot. Awesome. The pads work as well on ingrowns as they do on acne and far better than, for example, Bliss’ ingrown hair pads, my former favorites. [$36, Peter Thomas Roth, Sephora] Keep reading »

Don’t Want Acne? Quit Smoking!

As if you really needed another reason to kick that terrible smoking habit — that is, if you do smoke — here’s news that just might put you off those cancer sticks. Recent studies found that those who have the nasty habit are also more likely to have another nasty issue: acne. So that means in addition to stinky clothes, yellow fingers, and smoking breath, smokers can now add pimples and poor complexions to their list of issues, all thanks to the cigarettes they’re inhaling. We’d suggest heading out to the drugstore for Nicorette gum ASAP and relishing in your new, clear face once you’ve kicked the habit. Your lungs — and pores — will thank you. [BellaSugar] Keep reading »

Quick Beauty Tip: Drugstore Vitamin-E Oil Vs. The Fancy Stuff

It’s no secret that vitamin E is super healthy for your body and skin thanks to its antioxidant properties. You’ll find it’s often a nourishing ingredient in lip balms, but lately we’ve been seeing some great skin care results from the natural product in its purest form. It all started when we tried out a super fancy face oil, one like Bobbi Brown’s Extra Face Oil, which retails for a fairly pricey $60. We kind of prefer the straight vitamin E-only drugstore variety, however (which is also helpful if you’re allergic to nuts—facial oils blended by beauty companies will often be a mix including almond extract or oil). Dabbing a bit on has helped clear up acne slightly, but better yet, helps it heal faster. After a few weeks of treatment, a few of our brown sun spots have faded noticeably. (Sunscreen, always!) Best yet, a bottle from the vitamin section will cost you less than $20, and keeps for ages. (Kind of like oil for the Chanukah lamp that you think is only going to last for a little bit, but instead lasts forever!) [$14.56, MaxVite] Keep reading »

Beauty Test Drive: Liquid TimeBalm Spot Concealer

Know what’s not cute? Sweating through your makeup. Also not cute? The icky things that drying concealers do to your face as they try to banish your zits. But come summer (by which we mean the clogged pores of summer), we have a habit of turning to concealers with harsh ingredients out of pimply desperation. Here’s the problem: they don’t really work long term. For one big zit that you need to zap into submission, a concealer with salicylic acid will briefly help you out. For everyday acne, all it does is dry your skin into anger. Counter-intuitive though it sounds, a spot concealer with a touch of natural tea tree oil is actually a better way to go. We tried out TheBalm’s TimeBalm liquid concealer and kind of fell in love. It’s lightweight, so you won’t feel pancake-faced in the heat, and super soothing for sensitive or broken out skin. The ingredients are natural, the tea tree oil is a natural anti-bacteria and harsh ingredients are nowhere to be found. [$20, TheBalm, Sephora] Keep reading »

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