Dear Skin; I’m not a teenager anymore! The why & how-to-banish of breakouts

Health & Wellbeing April 14 2015

_MG_5808-traceyThere are a few things we once imagined would happen when we ‘grew up’… mainly no curfews, a fun lifestyle, great career…. And finally no breakouts!

Like with many things, life (and hormones!) had other plans and similar to many other women, we found ourselves battling more breakouts than we had while studying for final exams.

We’ve got the breakdown on breakouts from Tracey Beeby, (Global Trainer for Ultraceuticals and one of the best in the business when it comes to cosmeceutical skincare) to answer our concerns around pesky pimples and the most effective preventions and treatments.

Just when you think you’ve escaped teenage breakouts, pesky pimples pop up again! What are the most common causes of ‘adult acne’?

The primary causes for adult acne are similar to teenage acne; primarily hormones. Intrinsic factors like androgenic (male) hormones are generally the main contributor to this with the fluctuations of hormones in both pubescent and adult acne.  Extrinsic factors like pollution, sun and stress will aggravate the condition.  Female adult acne often occurs with the onset of menopause or even swapping birth control pills. Androgenic hormones play a major role in the formation of acne. When androgen levels increase, the skin responds by producing more sebum and in turn increases the likelihood of acne formation.

Our hormones fluctuate throughout varying stages of our lives, puberty and for women pregnancy and specific systemic conditions like PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) will also contribute to this condition.

What’s the best prevention?

If your skin is breaking out due to a systemic issue such as PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) it is very difficult to prevent. However it has been shown in clinical testing that the use of the correct products can still have an enormous benefit when used in conjunction with in-clinic treatments and under professional guidance.

Using the correct skincare products for your skin type is essential. Always ensure you are given the correct advice from a skincare professional. Everyone’s skin is different and the triggers may also differ so it is essential a full consultation be given to each individual to provide the most appropriate homecare and treatment prescription.

Is the rumor behind ‘breakout prone skins will age better’ true at all?

There is some truth behind this rumour. Due to the excess oil production it tends to preserve the skin better than a drier skin that produces less oil. However there are many factors that contribute to skin ageing for example, extrinsic factors like free radical damage, pollution, stress, diet, as well as smoking.

What is unique about the new Ultraceuticals Ultra Clear range? What are the hero ingredients?

The Ultra Clear Range is unique as it is formulated to treat acne at the four stages of acne formation. Stage 1; Hormonal changes, Stage 2; Follicular hyperkeratosis (dead skin build up within the pores, which creates the first stages of blockage within the pore), Stage 3; Sebum accumulation occurs and lipid (sebum) oxidation occurs, Stage 4; Inflammation occurs – papules form and an anaerobic environment is created, leading to infection and pustules.

Ingredients within the Ultra Clear range, such as Mandelic Acid  (an AHA extracted from bitter almonds), Clove Oil (a highly effective and potent antioxidant to prevent lipid oxidation), Salicylic Acid (BHA to reduce over production of surface cells and deeply cleanse the pores) along with anti-irritants and soothing ingredients such as aloe vera and Vitamin E phosphate do assist when the skin is breaking out.

If there are some key things women can do/ stop doing or add in to their skincare routine in their 20s, 30s, 40s – what would it be?

1. Firstly to stop using harsh stripping products on their skin. Unfortunately most people with an excessively oily skin try desperately to strip it back and remove as much oil as possible. This can lead to an impaired lipid barrier which is a skin lacking in moisture and the external outer layers of the skin can become very weak and fragile. Often when this occurs the skins natural response is to produce more oil, leading to an overabundance of oil within the sebaceous gland (oil gland) that is unable to make its way through the skins surface, leading to breakouts.

2. Seek professional advice from a qualified skin technician. They will consult you correctly and be able to provide you with the most appropriate homecare and treatment prescription that best suits your lifestyle and commitment.

3. Cleanse (and cleanse twice when wearing make-up), treat, moisturise and protect your skin twice daily. It is our largest bodily organ and too often is neglected and abused. We should be looking after it appropriately and religiously as required.