July 15, 2015

What can I expect after starting a better skincare routine ?

I get asked this question all the time, and rightly so.  A great deal of trust is being put into me.  The focus of my skincare practice is acne and sensitivity experienced by adults aged late-twenties on up.  Why is that?

There are two reasons for my focus on clients in their late 20’s and older. 

One, I believe that those of us who are looking for anti-aging products that won’t break us out, and acne products that won’t dry or irritate our more mature skin, are being largely ignored.  I want to fill that void.

Second, I have found that there are significant differences between teen acne and adult acne.  This is something I covered in a previous blog post.

Oftentimes when acne is more severe, it continues into one’s 20’s.  There are many factors involved in a case being severe, or even just persistent, like pore clogging makeup and lack of a good skincare routine. 

But even when an acne case is not severe, the early twenties are still within the age range that is considered a normal time for pores and oil glands to complete their development.  This means there is a very good chance that an acne problem experienced by an early 20-something will still be considered “teen acne.”   

There is a plethora of resources, products and experts out for teen acne.  

But when it comes to acne with aging considerations and the pressures of adult life thrown in?  Not much out there!

As an online skincare coach, my goal is to get your Adult Acne under control by improving the hydration, integrity, resistance and resilience of your pores, to get them to flow more freely and fight irritation and infection effectively.  Whether you get monthly facials or not, the main feature of my method of acne clearing is use of products that do each of those things without clogging your pores or drying your skin out.

So the question of the day is, what can you expect from an adult acne clearing program?

Individual acne breakouts have a maturation process.  The normal time it takes for a blemish to go from the birth of a microscopic blackhead, or "microcomedone", to a full-blown pimple is approximately 3 weeks. 

Here’s the thing, though.  If both dehydration from the wrong cleansers or acne treatments and pore clogging from the wrong anti-aging moisturizers create stiffness or obstructions, this maturation process can get arrested.  This often results in a kind of closed-in blackhead that looks like a colorless bump, called a “closed comedone”.  It can also result in stubborn inflamed bumps, or "papules".

What this means is that a new skincare routine will loosen these impactions so this maturation process can finally play itself out, resulting in a temporary breakout.

Also, inflammation from newly flowing oil can bother pore linings which results in redness and swelling surrounding impactions.

This is where the beginning of acne clearing gets a little tricky.  The right products have to be used in the right way in order to control this process.

After starting a better skin care routine, some people experience less oil as their pores get cleaned out and the skin gets more hydrated.  There may be minor breakouts in this case, as some pores get a little irritated by the new oil flow.  As we continue with calming and hydrating the skin, breakouts start to subside and blackheads become less prominent.

Most people, however, notice their skin becoming more oily as the pores finally start to flow more freely than before.  In this case, the skin might break out a little in response to the newly flowing oil creating inflammation inside pores.  This subsides as oil production normalizes because the skin has no longer a need to overproduce oil in response to an ineffective skincare routine. 

The time all this takes varies from person to person.  It should also be noted that these temporary breakouts do not happen to everyone.  

The solution to these temporary breakouts while we're clearing your skin with a regular personalized daily routine is the weekly use of either clay mask or salicylic acid gel mask, depending on irritation levels.  

In cases where there is a lot of congestion with or without inflamed breakouts, salicylic acid may not be enough; we may need to introduce benzoyl peroxide into the mix.

The best way to deal with individual blemishes that come up during this process is Ice Therapy.

How much clearing of acne can you expect and how long does it usually take?

Generally speaking, we first see the larger blemishes go, with smaller ones taking their place, oftentimes in larger numbers.  At this point, most people report these smaller blemishes taking much less time to subside and hurt less than the larger ones that were there before.  With most clients, this can take place in the first month or two.

Next, the smaller ones start to clear, sometimes altogether, sometimes simply getting smaller until they disappear.  Breakouts at this point are still a little worse near “that time of the month”, but they have shorter duration and are less deep.  This stage can last two to four months, longer in more severe cases.  Consistency and diligence in your skincare are key here !

The blackheads and colorless bumps are the last to go and are the most difficult to get rid of.  In this case we have a delicate balance between hydration and effective exfoliation.  Acids and antioxidants become our best friends with clays coming along for the ride. 

The most important thing to remember, is that if you have been experiencing acne problems since adolescence, it means you are engaged in an ongoing battle, possibly for life.  That is NOT to say you can never get clear.  But you have to be diligent and committed to keeping your pores clear and healthy for life.  Nothing the least bit clogging can ever come in contact with your face and the right exfoliation and hydration will be of utmost importance.  Changes in your skin will occur as you age, that will have to be considered when continuing to keep your skin clear.  I wrote a fantastic 2-part post about approaching anti-aging for the acne prone adult here.

If you haven’t been dealing with acne all your life, your acne problem has a source, and clearing your skin requires finding that source and either eliminating it or healing it.  You can start that right now by filling out my Eval by Email® Online Skincare Consultation Form created specially for ages Gen-Y to Baby Boom!

Want to get 10% off your purchase at my web store? Pin this blog post to any one of your Pinterest boards by pinning any one of the photos above, and email the link from your board of the pinned post to skin911@daniela.com along with a question about your adult acne, Rosacea or sensitivity problem. You will get a personalized discount code along with a detailed answer to your question.   Happy Pinning!

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