How To Prevent + Cure Acne & Hormone Breakouts
Acne is the most common skin disorder in the United States affecting 40 to 50 million Americans according to the American Academy of Dermatology (aad.org).
The difference between adolescent and adult acne is in the location of breakouts. In adolescent acne, breakouts begin to occur on the T-zone area at around 12 years old. Adult acne more commonly appears on the lower part of the face, predominately the jaw line and chin. In both age groups, dermatologists say that hormonal changes are the major culprit. Common causes of mild acne are due to menstrual cycles as estrogen levels slowly escalate from the onset of a period up to 14 consecutive days until ovulation occurs during mid cycle. Then progesterone production kicks in and sometimes the production of androgen hormones-and both these hormones will cause breakouts. Oral contraceptives can create imbalances in the skin as well as hormone replacement therapy, sometimes helping & sometimes aggravating breakouts. Mycrocystic Acne is acne that usually begins in women during their 40’s as they enter the perimenopause hormone stage- changes that begin prior to menopause and characterized by small, hard, tender cysts mostly occurring around the chin, jaw line, and sometimes the neck. Most postmenopausal acne is due to hormone replacement therapy and it is the progesterone or testosterone related side of HTR that causes acne, not low doses of estrogen.
Hormonal changes trigger the involvement of three elements: oil, bacteria and abnormal shedding of skin cells in the follicle surface. Oil glands are attached to the base of the hair follicle. When oil is pumped into the opening of the follicle, it pools and allows bacteria to feed from it and inflame the follicle. If the pore of the hair follicle can’t drain the oil efficiently via normal skin shedding, it backs up. An increase in oil production can clog pores and create acne. It is not the sebum oil in the body that causes acne, breakouts occur because of bacteria trapped in the skin or when hormone levels fluctuate such as decreases in estrogen and increases in the male hormone, androgen, or when a person is under stress causing an overproduction of the adrenaline and epinephrine hormones that leads to an overproduction of sebum oil. Hormones are almost always to blame for breakouts and acne.
The kind of acne present is determined by the severity of each of the three elements: oil, bacteria and abnormal skin cell shedding.
1. Abnormal skin shedding is characterized by white and blackheads (Whiteheads are a mix of trapped oil, bacteria and dead skin and last 2 to 5 days-Blackheads arise from a back flow of oil that can't reach its way out. When the oil finally reaches the surface it oxidizes with the air and turns dark brown or black).
2. Trapped oil and bacteria can develop into deeper cystic acne (cysts contain a sac of fluid at a deeper level-the white blood cells do not rise to the surface and give way to a big blemish under the skin).
Keeping skin clean; regular application of topical drying and shedding agents; and topical application of retinoids, (vitamin A) [especially in cases of deep and cystic acne as well as whiteheads and blackheads because they normalize the shedding of the hair follicle] are a must to combat mild to moderate acne.
INTERNAL ACNE AGGRAVATORS are caused by either:
1. HORMONES-An increase in the hormone Testosterone or Androgens causes an influx of bacteria. Androgen levels rise when the body experiences a surge in hormones due to menstruation, pregnancy, menopause or stress causing the production of skin cells & oil to be AMPLIFIED. The key to controlling how this affects the appearance of the skin is to exfoliate the dead skin cells & build-up of bacteria.
2. STRESS-stress releases Cortisol as a response mechanism and high levels of Cortisol cause the sebaceous glands to go into overdrive. It is important to recognize when you are building up a stress level--call it quits for the day and get 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night to reduce your Cortisol levels.
EXTERNAL ACNE AGGRAVATORS are caused by either:
1. SUN EXPOSURE- Sun exposure raises inflammation internally eventually causing more breakouts. The solution is to wear any T4 Sun Block because they are physical sun blocks with no synthetic ingredients that cause the skin to feel oily & congested. The Zinc and Titanium Dioxide found in all our Sun Block products heals acne & Rosacea.
2. PORE CLOGGING MAKE-UP-Heavy Make-Up traps toxins in the pores.
3. HARSH TOPICAL PRODUCTS- Harsh ingredient products irritate the skin from outside in and aggravate acne because they over dry & irritate the skin- ie -Benzoyl Peroxide. Over drying the skin stimulates the oil glands forcing them to compensate for what the skin feels it is lacking by breaking out. Apply our T4 Extreme Retinol Creme that hydrates, or Collagen Boosting Face Repair Crème w/ Retinol & Vitamin C that hydrates- but at the same time kills bacteria to control acne breakouts.
Acne is caused by the inflammation of the skin's hair follicles and over washing acneic skin exacerbates the problem because the Ph balance of the skin is thrown off causing the surface of the skin to become over dry that signals the skin to produce more oil that gets lodged into the pores leading to more breakouts. If you are currently using Benzoyl Peroxide products it will do more harm for your acne than good. Benzoyl Peroxide contributes to the formation of free radicals because it is partially made up of oxygen that causes free radical damage. Benzoyl Peroxide also causes dehydration and premature aging and leads to PIH-Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (brown spots), especially in medium to dark skin clients. Because of the irritation it causes, benzoyl induces sun damage because it cancels out the effects of a person's SPF making the skin more sensitive to the sun. This irritation causes redness and benzoyl should never be used on Rosacea prone/ Acne prone clients. This is why our Acne formulations are Brnzoyl Peroxide free. Our T4 Alpha Beta Hydroxy Cleanser, Oxygenating Antioxidant Face Gel (in test studies controlled by dermatologists, a 66% reduction in acne lesions was observed in those patients using products containing Resveratrol, an ingredient found in T4’s Oxygenating Face Gel), Extreme Retinol Crème, Extreme Blemish Zapper, 10% Mandelic Skin Peel and 15% Glycolic, Pyruvic & Lactic Skin Peel fight breakouts, keep the pores free of bacteria and repair mild scarring. If you are acne prone you should also exfoliate 1 to 2 times per week with our T4 Face & Body Boost Enzyme Exfoliating Cleanser with natural papaya enzyme.
Acne causes inflammation in the skin that can create more damage than the acne itself. Inflammation causes new blood vessels to form and dilate as the skin tries to heal the acne lesion, creating more pigment to deposit as a healing response. Internal inflammation that attacks the bacteria inside the pores of pimples as a means of defense is what is responsible for acne skin scarring and leaving behind dark marks. The best remedy to heal acne caused dark marks on the skin is our T4 Sun & Age Spot Remover or any of our 2 products that contain Retinol. On the other hand, post acne redness is caused by an influx of blood vessels that are recruited to the acne site acting as a repair mechanism and our best products for this are T4 No More Red Skin or any of our two T4 SPF 30 products to fight off redness as your acne heals.
Please do not pick at blemishes that surface your skin. Picking transfers bacteria from your hands to your face & ruptures the pustule deeper into the skin causing more inflammation and redness and increases scarring.
It is a skin care myth that oily skin does not need a moisturizer. Moisturizer is beneficial for oily skin. Moisturizers are important because they provide ingredients that can be absorbed into the skin. Sebum, on the other hand, comes out of the pores to lubricate the skin, sealing in the moisture. After cleansing and toning with products designed to combat oil, the skin may be a little dry. When moisturizer is not used, the sebum in your body goes into overproduction; it is making an effort to quickly prevent the loss of remaining moisture in the skin. Moisturizers reduce the overproduction of your internal oil and minimize an oily appearance. Moisturizers help prevent oil buildup. The best daily coverage for acne are our mineral products that contain zinc and titanium because both these ingredients reduce the inflammation and irritation caused by acne and help give the skin a matte finish that helps to minimize the shine of oily skin. We highly recommend our T4 Collagen Boosting Crème with Retinol & Vitamin C, our Extreme Retinol Crème or any of our two SPF 30 titanium or zinc oxide products. Our T4 Alpha Beta Cleanser disarms oil, bacteria and abnormal skin cell shedding without over stripping necessary lubrication in the skin mantle.
Our T4 Oxygenating Antioxidant Gel rebalances and hydrates the skin as well as normalize abnormal oil, bacteria and skin cell shedding.
Both our 10% Mandelic Face & Body Peel and Face & Body Peel with 15% Glycolic, Lactic and Pyruvic normalize abnormal skin cell shedding to alleviate overproduction of oil and trapped bacteria. Our No More Red Skin product reduces surface bumps due to hormone, physical and chemical aggression. Our T4 Extreme Retinol Treatment Crème is excellent for whiteheads, blackheads, and cystic acne to normalize the shedding of the hair follicle and resurface the skin. SPF 30 Natural Mineral Eye & Face Moisturizer, Vitamin C-Oil Free Day Creme are free of oil trapping ingredients and their titanium and/or zinc oxide formulation helps to reduce and heal acne conditions.
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