April 20, 2016

Allergies and Adult Acne

The Acne-Allergy Connection

What is the Allergy-Acne Connection?  If you have environmental allergies or even food sensitivities, they could provide clues to your persistent breakouts.  Sensitivity in one area can contribute to sensitivity in another area.

As part of my online skincare coaching service, Eval by Email® Online Skincare Consultation, vital information about your skin’s history is gathered along with full names of all the products you use from head to toe. 

One section that may surprise you is dedicated to listing your allergies -- anything related to food, environment, cosmetics and even medication.  Why do I need such details about everything topical or ingested?  Is there a connection between allergies and acne breakouts?

A few clients have even submitted Yelp! reviews mentioning the difference in their skin after assessing their allergies and adjusting their skincare product usage accordingly.

Melissa P. from Wisconsin:

I had been struggling with acne for a long time before I met Daniela.  The damage was done (scars, red marks, self-confidence) and I figured there was no hope.  I randomly found Daniela from a friend's FB post.  I contacted Daniela and did her online survey. I noted the allergies I had along with the products I used.  Within 2 days, Daniela had assessed my problems over the internet to a T.  Turns out I was allergic to everything in the facial products I had been using!!!!  I tried Daniela's products she recommended over the last few months and doing everything she said.  Here's where the story gets really good.....  My skin is gorgeous!!!! 50% (MAYBE MORE) of the red marks and scars are gone!  My confidance has been restored. My friends and family compliment my skin vs. look at me with a pained look.

Consider the following:

Allergy => Inflammation => Immune Response => Sensitivity

At a very basic level, acne formation involves inflammation.  If there is any redness at all, and certainly when there is infection, inflammation is occurring in the pore.  This means redness, swelling, and often, pain.  This is all part of your body’s immune system.  Something bothers the lining of a pore, the body perceives an invader or irritant, and it sends blood, lymph, and certain chemicals to try and encourage the invader to die, or the irritant to leave. 

The immune system plays a principle roll in dealing with allergens in your body, just like irritants in your pores.

As your body reacts to an allergen entering your system in a certain way like, let’s say, a histamine reaction to an environmental allergen entering through your nose, it is conceivable that the same allergen could also cause a reaction entering another part of your body, like the top layer of your skin.

As a matter of fact, the involvement of histamine in an allergic or sensitivity reaction actually alters the composition of your skin’s oil just a little bit, making it susceptible to inflammation!  I’m not talking about a literal allergic reaction to a product, like immediate redness, itchy hives or a welt.  I’m talking about a reaction you might not even perceive, slowly accumulating in pores eventually leading to just enough inflammation to cause a pimple to form.  This can take a week or a month.

For instance, I have a waxing client who has a fairly severe case of celiac disease.  Being too long near an open bag of wheat flour can land her in the hospital.  She can accidentally get “glutened” by the teeniest amount and get a rash all over her arms. 

Well.  Chamomile and Ragweed are actually cousins of Wheat.  I know, weird, right?  She had been struggling with reactions to skincare products with no solution to the mystery in sight.

Can allergies to ragweed or wheat be connected to your adult acne breakouts?

Now, because of sensitivity being an issue (obviously), and with Chamomile being one of the most recommended botanicals for calming and reducing inflammation, it made sense that all her products should contain it.  Thing is, while she may not have had allergic reactions to what she was using, she did have minor but persistent acne breakouts. 

We first got rid of everything pore clogging in her routine, since that is always my first recommendation.  Still no luck.

So, I took a drop of chamomile essential oil, mixed it with half teaspoon of mineral oil, which no one on the planet would have a reaction to, and put a quarter-sized circle of this mixture onto her inner arm and waited.  Within 20 minutes, the area was red.  Clearly her skin was reactive to Chamomile.

As soon as we eliminated every product from her skincare routine that had Chamomile and replaced them with products that had no botanical ingredients, and of course no oat or wheat-derived ingredients either, her skin started to clear up beautifully.  She now has no breakouts, even around her period.

Could your adult acne breakouts be connected to allergens in your skincare?

Other examples?  If someone is allergic to penicillin, I ask if they’re also allergic to mold (the answer is yes more often than not).  If they’ve been using “all natural” or hand-crafted products, it can explain their more inflamed breakouts.  You can’t always detect an odor or discoloration when mold begins its takeover of a weakly-preserved natural product.  Such a person can end up with persistent inflamed breakouts way before someone else without such an allergy. 

Or another client, who is allergic to cherries and shellfish.  I have an enzyme peel that contains cherry, and I used some for her facial, forgetting about her allergies (a rare occurrence, but I had a lot on my mind looking for an assistant).  Three days later her chin exploded with pustules and angry undergrounders.  We waited a few days with her using as few products as possible, and it all went away within 5 days.

Even Pollution Solution Mist, one of several toners in my webstore, has a warning on the label itself that it may cause a reaction in those who are severely allergic to shellfish. 

So you see, so much is connected in our body systems, it does make sense that I would want to know all about what my clients are sensitive to, doesn’t it?

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-X to Baby Boom!

Eval by Email, Virtual Skincare Coaching specially designed for acne sufferers ages 24 and up.

Know anyone who might benefit from this post ?  
Please share !