Can Skincare Heal Your Acne?
As a Naturopathic Doctor specializing in acne treatment, I am constantly overwhelmed by all the skincare products on the market – and I know how to read labels and discern which products are going to help or hurt my skin!
If you are not trained to read skincare labels (and let’s be honest – who wants to learn about all those chemicals), navigating the skincare world with acne is like running through a very expensive minefield. One wrong product can cause a serious acne explosion.
But how important is skincare when battling acne? Are we spending our time and energy focussing on the right thing? Considering how much time, energy and money we put into our skincare routines, let’s examine what we can really expect from skincare.
How important is skincare when it comes to healing acne?
Here is the truth: The wrong skincare can make your acne way worse and the right skincare can help heal your acne. Finding the right skincare routine is essential to healing your acne.
What should a good skincare routine accomplish?
If you suffer from acne, a good skincare routine should do the following things:
1. Gently cleanse your skin
2. Add moisture to your skin
3. Protect your skin with anti-oxidants
4. Gently exfoliate your skin and remove dead skin cells
5. Regulate skin cell turnover
6. Protect and nourish the skin’s moisture barrier
Can the right skincare routine completely heal acne?
If your acne is relative mild and you only suffer from surface break-outs (such as blackheads and minor whiteheads) you may be able to clear your skin completely with an excellent skincare routine.
When can skincare not heal acne?
If any of the below points sound like you, chances are you have to go beyond skincare to really get rid of your acne for good.
1. Acne consistently appears on one area of the face, such as the jawline or cheeks
2. When acne is deep and cystic or becomes infected easily
3. When acne is hormonal and appears with your cycle
4. If you have a family history of acne
5. If you are experiencing acne due to coming off the birth control pill or PCOS
6. If you have gut issues along with your acne
7. If you have tried everything (skincare, medications, diets, pills) and nothing has worked
If your skincare routine cannot heal your acne completely, what should you expect from your skincare?
1. Your skincare should never make your skin sting, feel tight or dry or increase redness. Your skin should feel moist and comfortable.
2. You should not get an increase in blackheads or minor whiteheads.
3. Your skincare should not make your skin feel oily.
How do you find a skincare routine that really works?
1. Different things can work for different people – become aware of how your skin feels and immediately stop any products that make your skin feel dry, tight or stinging.
2. Seek advice from a professional that truly understands acne and has been treating acne patients for a while. This is incredibly important and will save you tons of money and tears. This does not include sales people that have been trained to sell.
3. Always introduce one product at a time. You want to understand how each product feels on your skin and whether or not you experience a reaction.
4. Treat your skin as sensitive – always.
5. The skincare steps that are the most critical to get correct are cleansing and exfoliating.
If either of these steps are too harsh your skin will become more sensitive and prone to break-outs, scarring and hyper-pigmentation.
6. If you find a routine that is working for your skin, stick with it and stop experimenting endlessly with different products. The grass is not always greener (saying this from experience)!
The Bottom Line:
If you have minor, surface acne then you can likely solve your acne with only skincare products. If your acne stems from an internal imbalance skincare will never solve your acne for good – but a solid skincare routine is still important. Find a good skincare routine that does not aggravate your skin and then focus on healing your acne from the inside out!