Troubled Skin 101: The Lowdown on Acne
Innovation in the science of skincare is happening at breakneck speed these days, but one condition has remained more challenging to address: acne.
Acne blemishes are the result of dead skin cells, dirt, and sebum (your skin’s natural oil) becoming clogged in hair follicles. (Whiteheads, blackheads and full-blown pimples are all considered “acne.”)
Here is the lowdown on acne and potential remedies to help you manage troubled skin.
A very common skin issue, acne still plagues many women long after our teens have come and gone, partly because it discriminates based on sex; more women over the age of 25 are affected than men, and the culprit is often hormones¹, which are simply subject to more fluctuation for women and may have an effect on sebum production.
A good place to start with managing troubled skin is looking for any additional factors that may be triggering breakouts. And while it isn’t yet curable, acne can be managed with a targeted, consistent skincare routine. Blemishes take longer to form than you might think (two to four weeks), and can take some time to clear up, too.
We recommend daily use of our Rescue Rebalancing Cleanser and Rescue Pore-Minimizing Toner. Read about how our toner helped virtually eliminate the hormonal acne of a beauty editor who’d tried everything.
Grown-Up Stress, Grown-Up Blemishes
When you were a teenager, you may have gotten blemishes all over your face, or primarily in your t-zone. Hormonal adult acne tends to happen in cystic formations on the chin and jawline, though you can still get non-hormonal blemishes well into adulthood, too. Fine lines and blemishes at the same time? Woot!
Hormones combined with the stress of adulting (jobs, girlfriends, boyfriends, partners, maybe children, too), create the perfect conditions for trouble to brew—almost literally—stress can prompt your adrenal glands to produce excess oil. What’s more, the emotional stress of dealing with blemishes can lead to more stress.
You’ve probably heard it before but we here at Nuria can personally attest to the power of exercise and meditation in addressing stress. “Self-care” isn’t solely about skincare but more about the “me time” involved. It starts with you making time for yourself to do the things that bring you serenity and joy. (And it isn’t so you can “be more present for others.” It’s for you, period.)
And speaking of “me time,” sleep should be at the top of the list. Lack of sleep triggers cortisol, the stress hormone, to flood our systems, so getting enough sleep is crucial for clear skin.
Does Your Skin Scream at Ice Cream?
Certain foods can aggravate acne, and while there are no robust studies to prove it, dairy seems to be a common culprit. If you’ve never attempted to cut down on dairy, you may want to give it a go for a couple of weeks and see if it helps.
Excess consumption of foods that contain iodine and excess sugar probably isn’t a recipe for clear skin, either. Everyone’s body is different, so your individual approach to diet could be something to consider on your road to clear skin
Hands Off Your Face
Face touching is common amongst we humans, but every time you touch your face you touch it with all the bacteria you’ve picked up by touching other things like door handles, your phone, the elevator button and so on. Being cognizant of how often you touch your face plus frequent hand washing can help keep the bacteria at bay, which will also help you stay healthier during flu season!
Cleansing is Key, But Be Gentle
Stripping skin of all its natural moisture and oils via vigorous cleansing may be your first impulse when dealing with troubled skin but removing every last bit of oil actually triggers your skin to produce more oil.
Use a rebalancing cleanser or good purifying cleanser with blemish-fighting properties and don’t neglect hydration. Even oily skin needs the hydration that can be found in our Hydrate collection products, like our Moisturizing Toner or Hydrate Moisture Replenishing Serum.
Ready Steady Glow
A consistent skincare routine is essential for clear, glowing skin. Your Nuria regimen may eventually include a number of products from the Rescue, Defend and Hydrate Collections, which are all formulated to be mixed and matched according to your skin’s transitional needs.
Think of cleansing and toning as your non-negotiable anchor steps and then design the rest of your routine accordingly and stick with it.
¹National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine. 2018 Feb 1.
About the author, Jasmin Figueroa
Jasmin is an accomplished formulation scientist and skin health expert who has spent her career listening to consumers and developing products that rock. A founding member of the Nuria community, she loves traveling with her family, chilling with her friends at the beach, and will totally judge you if you don’t wear SPF.