Posts Tagged ‘acne’

January 2, 2014 8:01 am

The Truth about Acne, Part II

With a better idea as to how to outsmart our genes, we can move on to the trickier cause of acne — life. Stress and personal care products can, and will, cause acne flare-ups. In other words, unless you intend to live your life in your apartment avoiding all human contact and never allowing anything to come in contact with your skin, you are likely to encounter acne triggers on a daily basis.

When it comes to triggers, stress is the nastiest offender. We live in a dog-eat-dog world and chronic stress is as normal a part of our daily lives as breathing. Like a chain of dominos, it sends our adrenal glands into super-drive, boosting our sebum production and setting the stage for that uninvited guest, acne. I wish I could suggest a surefire way to prevent stress, but the truth is – it’s impossible. Something will always cause worry or anxiety in our lives and instead of pretending they aren’t there, its better to face our stressors head on.

The best defense against a stress trigger is a healthy lifestyle. If you think I am about to launch into a diatribe about cutting out all the junk, you’re wrong. I would never ask that you eat only healthy food, because that demand would set you up for failure. You can indulge yourself in this extra large, double cheese world, just as long as the good you consume surpasses the bad. It’s easier than you might think to add a vegetable. If you want that burger, have it with a salad instead of fries. Put frozen banana and Greek yogurt puree over your brownie instead of ice cream. The added dose of vitamins and antioxidants will send a pulse of nutrition directly throughout your body and that alone will do a great deal to keep the acne away. Another quick way to head off the stress monster is mind-body synchronization. As cliché as it sounds, deep breathing, yoga, or even a short jog in the park do will wonders not only for your skin, but also for your overall well-being. And, if it hasn’t already been made it crystal clear, the two are intimately connected.

As if genes and lifestyle aren’t enough, the products you choose to use on your skin may be the biggest offenders of all. Some of the most common “healthy” products are actually loaded with ingredients that cause or exacerbate acne. Here are some of the monsters to look out for. Lanolin is a common moisturizing agent, but being a fatty oil derived from sheep’s wool, it quickly coats the skin and blocks the pores. Artificial fragrance and dyes are the most frequently overlooked culprits. Found last on the ingredient list, these little devils ravage the face causing irritation and sensitivity. The end result is a swift boost in the production of protective sebum and you know where that leads.

Insider tip: artificial fragrance and color in skin care products will bring you no benefit. If acne and oily skin are your primary concern, you want to look for products that contain salicylic acid. This power player works fast to reduce swelling and redness, de-clog pores and minimize breakouts. In terms of multi-purpose, that single ingredient takes the cake. There is also a belief that people with oily skin do not need to moisturize and that could not be further from the truth. Water and oil are two completely different things and a balance of both is necessary for optimal skin health.

When it comes to acne, there is rarely a single cause. To successfully treat, clear and prevent breakouts, the cascade of events leading to their development must be controlled. A healthy lifestyle, regular facials and great home-care routine are the only way to keep the spots at bay.

These are just a few basics about the monster we call acne. The better you understand it, the more valuable you will be to your clients.

 

nathan johnsonWritten by Nathan Johnson

Nathan Johnson is a film, television, celebrity, and real women’s makeup artist with 18 years experience in the industry. Nathan believes in education and empowerment – his personal mission is to make America more beautiful one woman at a time. He brings product reviews, makeup tips, and personal experience to the QC blog.

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December 26, 2013 8:41 am

The Truth about Acne, Part I

As a makeup artist, you will be required to hide breakouts. But you will also be looked to as a skin expert. It is one thing to be able to hide them, but if you can give your clients the information they need to prevent them you can become more than a makeup artist. You can become an invaluable resource.

There comes a moment in almost every person’s life when they wake up to find that acne has taken up residence on their face. It is a dreaded condition that almost all people have experienced to some degree at some point in their lives. One of the greatest misconceptions about this self-esteem destroying disorder is that it only affects adolescents and teenagers. Unfortunately, the increasing number of twenty-somethings who suffer from breakouts, oily skin and other such skin conditions debunk that myth.

Acne has many causes but the most common are genetics, stress and personal care products. The predisposition and behavior of our skin happens on a molecular level and, truth be told, it is something we have little to no control over. But that doesn’t mean we can’t take preventative counter measures to ensure those breakouts never see the light of day.

The most common genetic disorder that causes acne is called retention hyperkeratosis. It is a terribly ugly phrase that simply means you are producing more skin cells than you can shed. When these excess cells combine with the sebum you naturally produce, a pore blocking cement is formed. This cement settles into the pores depriving the follicles of oxygen and creating the ultimate breeding ground for bacteria. As the bacteria thrive, they invite along a few of their best pals–swelling, redness and inflammation. When left untreated, this perfect storm is an express pass to a face covered with pimples. Exfoliation is the only true way to outsmart retention hyperkeratosis. It’s plain logic – if you regularly slough off the excess skin there will be nothing left to mix with the sebum and plug the pores.

A second major genetic factor is an overactive pilosebaceous unit. In simpler terms, this means that the oil glands within the follicles are producing sebum at an above average rate. Most people think that harsh cleaning or over exfoliating will solve this, but it actually does the complete opposite. Skin that has been stripped will want to protect itself and the only way it can do this is by producing excess oil. It’s a total catch-22, and over-cleansing is definitely not an option. The key to calming oil production comes down to the ingredients in your products. Key players to look for are zinc salt and willow bark. These two powerhouses will help to regulate sebum production giving you the glowy, non-oily skin you have longed for.

Stay tuned! I’ll be going over more causes of acne, and how to overcome them.

nathan johnsonWritten by Nathan Johnson

Nathan Johnson is a film, television, celebrity, and real women’s makeup artist with 18 years experience in the industry. Nathan believes in education and empowerment – his personal mission is to make America more beautiful one woman at a time. He brings product reviews, makeup tips, and personal experience to the QC blog.