We often delve into the more testing of skin concerns and discuss comprehensive remedies for the best possible way to treat the most problematic of skin concerns. But what about the day to day, the most common skin concern that most of us will face? Let’s talk about ZITS! They’re there for us at our worst, they’re there for us at our best, and they like to make an appearance when you least expect it.
Although we would have liked to have seen the end of spots when we waved goodbye to our teens, the hard truth is that breakouts, hormonal pimples and acne do not discriminate based on age. Whatever stage of life, this common skin concern can follow us into our 20s, 30s and 40s and just when you think you saw the last of pimples, boom, they’re right there celebrating your 50th birthday with you.
We breakdown pimples, why they occur and what you can do to clear your skin.
What is a Pimple
Other than a little, squeeze-worthy, life wrecker – The Pimple is much more complex than meets the eye.
Deep within each follicle, your sebaceous glands work to produce sebum, the oil that keeps your skin moist and supple. If we aren’t getting enough good oils in our diet, the sebum we produce can also be of poor quality.
As your skin renews itself, old skin cells die and shed. Normally, these cells shed gradually, making room for fresh new skin cells. But if cells are shed unevenly, they clump together with the skin’s natural oil to form a plug within the pore – like a cork in a bottle.
This plug, or comedo, traps oil and bacteria inside the follicle and begins to swell as your skin continues its normal oil production process.
That’s when your body’s immune system kicks in, producing white blood cells to attack the bacteria – the result? A pimple
What Causes Pimples
There is no “one-cause” for pimples. Often our age, genetics, diet, hormonal status, skincare and daily activities have a part to play and each person will be affected differently.
For most blemish sufferers, skin problems start at puberty, when the body begins to produce hormone. During puberty, hormone production changes. This can cause the sebaceous glands, located at the base of hair follicles, to become overactive. As a result, pimples are most likely to occur during the teenage years and around menstruation, for women.
When the sebaceous gland is stimulated by hormones, it produces extra sebum (oil). As the sebum makes its way up the follicle towards the skin’s surface, it mixes with common skin bacteria and dead skin cells that have been shed from the lining of the follicle. While this process is normal, the presence of extra sebum in the follicle increases the chances of clogging which can cause pimples.
The bacteria exist in all skin types; it’s part of the skin’s natural sebum maintenance system. Once a follicle is plugged, however, acne bacteria multiply rapidly, creating the chemical reaction that results in inflammation in the follicle and surrounding skin.
When your body comes into contact with unwanted bacteria, it sends an army of white blood cells to attack the intruders. This process is called chemotaxis; or, the inflammatory response. This response is what makes pimples red, swollen and painful. The inflammatory response is different for everyone.
Course of Action
There are many things you can do to help keep your skin clear of pimples. Depending on the severity will determine the best course of action.
To help prevent pimples, it’s important to remove excess oil, dirt, and sweat daily. A gentle cleanser will remove the daily grime without stripping your skin of vital oils. Excessive washing can upset the natural balance and can cause further breakouts as your skin works to replenish the oil that has been removed.
Use quality Skin Care Products suited to your skin
With so many skin care options, all promising clear and blemish-free skin, it can be difficult to determine what product will be best for you. Ask the team at Face Fit to prescribe a tailored skin care treatment that will best suit you while targeting breakouts. Avoid using harsh scrubs and oils and be selective about the active ingredients.
If you’re dehydrated, your body may signal your skin’s oil glands to produce more oil. Dehydration also gives your skin a dull appearance and promotes inflammation and redness. Remember to drink water!
Particularly is you have inflammation. It can be tempting to want to conceal blemishes with excessive makeup but please note that this can further add to the breakout. Makeup can clog pores, causing further congestion and trigger breakouts. Avoid wearing heavy, greasy makeup and opt for a mineral alternative, fragrance free and light on your skin.
Stop touching your face
Your hands encounter grime and bacteria constantly throughout the day. And each time you touch your face, some of those pore-clogging impurities may get transferred to your skin. We understand that not allowing your hands to come into contact with your face is down right difficult so be extra vigilant with washing your hands, carry a sanitiser that kills germs and bacteria and wash your face at the end of the day.
No more poppin’ pimples
As tempting as it may be to squeeze that larger-than-life whitehead on the tip of your nose, don’t. Popping pimples may cause bleeding, severe scarring, or infection. It may also increase inflammation and clog surrounding pores, making your pimple problem worse.
Consider your Gut Health
Diet plays a significant role in the health of our skin, breakouts and reactions. It’s the notion that in order to protect what we have on the outside, we must consider what goes on, on the inside. There are a multitude of foods and dietary supplements that can effect our skin. If you feel that you have tried everything under the sun to improve your skin and rid your face of breakouts once and for all, it could be time to speak with your doctor, your therapist or your naturopath.
At Face Fit, we offer comprehensive skin analysis and consultations. Together our team of experts will be able to access your skin and put together a skin care plan to keep your clearer for longer, giving you back your confidence.