Acne is the most common skin concern; traditionally acne is thought to be skin that is not functioning correctly. Normally when sebaceous glands make sebum this empties onto the skin through the pore, next the body sheds dead skin cells, called keratinocytes, these rise to the surface of the skin. When someone has acne the sebum and dead skin cells stick together and will clog the pore. The mixture of the oil and the dead skin cells cause inflammation, when the wall of the plugged pore or follicle breaks down, it spills out into the next pore creating pimples and cysts.
There is more to the story! The skin actually is one way the body eliminates waste and toxins. The quality of oil or sebum is a concern. Not all oil is created equal and certain foods will create oil production to be stickier, such as sugar, dairy and fast foods. Digging deeper we also start to understand the connection with the gut-skin axis connection. We all have our own microbiome in our gut, but what we eat will create imbalances, these imbalances cause the body to detox through the skin.
When the body has an imbalance of yeast, or candida we will see acne breakout on the forehead, nose, upper cheeks and sometimes even Peri-oral Dermatitis around the mouth. Candida is part of our probiotic population, but it can become imbalanced when we eat mucus producing foods such as sugar, dairy and fried foods. Likewise when our bodies are trying to eliminate preservatives, pesticides and GMOs, this can appear on your jawline, neck, chest and back. This type of acne is also more pronounced in women due to the changes in menstrual cycles, many are hormonally imbalanced due to estrogen-like environmental toxins we are encountering every day. The toxins are purging out of the skin.
One last factor I need to consider is how stress is impacting the way the body and skin is functioning. Emotional stress actually increases oil production. It also can impact the digestion which will cause gut imbalances. Stress also impacts hormone levels; all of these factors can impact acne breakouts.
Pulling it all together, as a professional this is how I support someone with acne concerns.
Step 1: I take an in-depth intake to understand what the source of the acne is.
Step 2: I will put together a skincare routine specific to the way the client’s skin is functioning and the source of the acne concern.
Step 3: I evaluate the source of the acne, do I need to incorporate detox strategies to help. Supplements and lifestyle shifts will be implemented if needed to help support the gut-skin axis.
Step 4: I will recommend the appropriate acne treatments customized to the clients specific need.
To work with me, I start with a complimentary virtual consultation to share with you my approach and the importance of not just skincare, but addressing the source of the concern in the first place. This is what Holistic esthetics is, treating the body and skin as a whole.