UNDERSTANDING ACNE: CAUSES AND TYPES
Acne is a frustrating skin condition. People who suffer from this condition have acne prone skin, which often means constant, persistent breakouts. Those of us who are lucky enough to only experience occasional pimples tend to have different skin types and generally have clear skin most of the time.
Acne occurs when a hair follicle and its sebaceous gland become blocked and inflamed. It can be caused by a range of factors, the most common being hormonal imbalances that can be exacerbated further by an unhealthy diet, poor skin hygiene, the wrong skincare, stress and gut health issues. Blocked pores that lead to acne can be cause by:
- Excess sebum production
- Dead skin cells
- Ingrown hairs
Acne can be a complicated and confusing skin condition, as there are not only many contributing factors, there are also various types of acne.
Blackheads and Whiteheads
These types of pimples are most common and are usually non inflammatory, meaning they generally won’t cause too much redness or swelling. Blackheads form when a pore is clogged with excess sebum and dead skin cells, while the pore remains open. Whiteheads form in a similar way, however the top of the pore closes up, leaving a “whitehead”.
Swollen and red pimples are known as inflammatory acne, and they generally sit deeper below the surface with no visible pore opening. These types of pimples may be infected from bacteria, can be painful and are difficult to clear with skincare alone. Papules, Nodules and Cysts are types of inflammatory acne that can form as a result of bacteria, sebum and dead skin cells clogging pores beneath the skin.
THE IMPORTANCE OF SUITABLE SKINCARE ROUTINE
A consistent skincare routine using products that support your skin type and concerns is essential for the overall health and appearance of your skin. A good skincare routine will:
- balance skin by keeping it clean and hydrated
- gently exfoliate to remove dead skin build up that can block pores and cause breakouts
- prevent dry skin and protects the skin’s barrier health
- maintain healthy skin and prevent conditions from developing or becoming worse
WHAT IS MY SKIN TYPE?
Identifying your skin type can be a little confusing, particularly if you have multiple concerns or combination skin that shows signs of oiliness and dryness in different areas of the face. To limit confusion we suggest separating these 2 areas:
Your skin type is your skin’s ongoing behaviours and will determine what type of products generally work best on your skin. The four basic skin types are Normal Skin, Dry Skin, Oily Skin and Combination Skin.
Skin concerns can include problems such as breakouts, ageing skin, dull skin, uneven complexion and conditions such as eczema and rocacea. Skin concerns often change over time and usually require specific products to target and treat these conditions.
Skin Type Characteristics
- Generally well balanced, not too oily or dry
- You can use a variety of skincare products with minimal irritation or reaction
- Very few skin concerns
- Skin can appear dry, flaky and textured
- Skin can feel tight and uncomfortable
- Your skin is ‘thirsty’ and products absorb quickly
- It may feel like you need more moisture, even after you’ve applied moisturising products
- Your skin is visibly oily on most areas of your face
- Oil build up is obvious first thing in the morning or at the end of the day
- Pores may be enlarged or congested
- You may find it hard getting your makeup to stay put
- Your may be oily through your t-zone (forehead, nose & chin)
- The larger areas of your face such as your cheeks are generally normal to dry
- Your skin can become congested and breakout in areas of your t-zone
PREPARING YOUR SKIN FOR A CLEAR COMPLEXION
Choosing a Cleanser to suit your skin type
If you have normal skin, lucky you! Your balanced, generally well behaved complexion doesn’t need a lot of work so it’s best to focus on maintaining health and preventing damage. Gentle gel or cream cleansers will work well to provide a deep clean whilst maintaining hydration and preventing irritation.
Our Hydra Calm Cream Cleanser is great for normal skin types as it effectively cleanses the skin without irritation whilst hydrating and delivering age-defying results. If you prefer the feel of a gel cleanser, our sweet orange balancing cleanser is a gentle way to achieve a deep, refreshing clean.
Comfort dry skin using a nourishing Oil Cleanser. Oil cleansers are great for this skin type as they effectively melt away your SPF, makeup and dirt without damaging or irritating dry skin.
LAMAV’s Marula Oil Cleanser is a lightweight, antioxidant-rich formula that will effortlessly clean the skin and replenish cellular lipids to prevent moisture loss. This cleanser will diminish any feelings of tightness or discomfort, leaving you with plump, dewy skin.
Oily skin needs a little help when it comes to re-balancing sebaceous activity, but it’s important not to over-strip your skin. Investing in products that provide a deep clean without depleting natural oils will the best cleansers for oily skin.
Our Sweet Orange Balancing Cleanser was created to purify, balance and brighten. In addition to providing a deep clean, this refreshing gel cleanser will also reduce redness and improve skin texture, all while treating and preventing breakouts.
Finding the right cleanser for combination skin can be a little bit of trial and error. Using cleansers designed for oily skin may be too harsh for the dry areas on your cheeks and going too far the other way with products designed to hydrate may not be so great for balancing your oily t-zone. Finding a natural gel cleanser that contains AHAs are great for this skin type as they provide a gentle exfoliation to breakdown excess sebum without irritating the skin.
LAMAV’s Sweet Orange Balancing Cleanser will give you the deep clean and balance that your skin needs but contains nourishing ingredients such as Aloe Vera Juice and Natural Glycerin to soothe the skin and restore moisture levels.
Exfoliation: Removing Dead Skin Cells and Clearing Pores
Exfoliants can be very beneficial for acne prone skin as they assist to breakdown and remove dead skin cells that could otherwise clog pores, leading to breakouts. It’s important to find exfoliants that are non-abrasive as too much scrubbing over active pimples can cause further irritation and in some cases infection if the blemish is broken open or irritated. Natural AHA’s are ideal ingredients to look for in exfoliants as they effectively breakdown dead skin without the need to scrub.
LAMAV’s AHA Face Exfoliant is a powerful but gentle 2 in 1 exfoliant that supports the breakdown and exfoliation of dead skin.
- AHA Fruit Acids encourage cellular turnover and deep exfoliation to reveal smoother, brighter skin
- Matcha Powder is rich in antioxidants that have an effective anti-inflammatory action on the skin. It also deeply detoxifies, making it ideal for acne prone skin
- Desert Lime Extract dissolves and breaks down dead skin cells, purifying as it removes excess oil and impurities
- Bamboo Powder and Diatomaceous Earth gently buff away dead skin and impurities without scratching or irritating the skin
Toning: Balancing Your Skin’s PH Levels
Toners aren’t an essential skincare product, but this one can deliver some serious benefits when it comes to battling breakouts. LAMAV’s Probiotic Toner provides an additional boost to support sebum balancing, hydration, repair and smoothing skin texture with the added bonus of probiotics to balance the skin’s microbiome.
- Probiotics help to restore balance while repairing and protecting the skin’s barrier. They have potent anti-inflammatory properties to calm and soothe redness and irritation while boosting skin’s immune health
- AHA’s purify and exfoliate the skin to encourage cell turnover, keeping pores clear and free from dead skin cells
- Lilly Pilly Extract is packed full of Vitamin C, essential for overall skin health
- Bilberry and Raspberry Extracts protect the skin from environmental factors
Moisturising: Hydrating Without Clogging Pores
If your skin is overloaded with excess oil and breakouts, it can be tempting to want to dry it out. Believe it or not, skipping the moisturiser won’t do oily skin any favours. Over-drying oily, acne prone skin through the use of harsh cleansers or avoiding moisturisers can cause your skin to produce more oil as it attempts to hydrate and balance itself. Oil (in the right amount) is extremely important for our skin’s health as it protects the barrier, preventing premature damage and ageing.
LAMAV’s Skin Balancing Fluid was specifically designed with oily and acne prone skin in mind. This lightweight, mattifying moisturiser supports hydration while reducing shine and balancing your complexion. The addition of Vitamin C and Australian Native Extracts deliver a serious hit of antioxidants to provide age defence and a clear, even complexion.
ADAPTING YOUR SKINCARE ROUTINE FOR SEASONAL CHANGES
Knowing your skin type is great, but it’s also important to understand that our skin and the environment we are in is always changing. When the weather cools, we become unwell or start working in a different environment, there are times we may have to alter our skincare products to support our skin through these stressful changes. The products you use through summer may need to change through winter, so assessing your skin’s health and the effectiveness of your daily products is essential to maintaining a healthy complexion and preventing any flare ups or skin conditions.
LIFESTYLE CHANGES FOR MANAGING ACNE
Acne treatment is a long term game that will require work from the inside out. At LAMAV we believe beauty is holistic and nurturing our inner and outer health is essential to achieve healthy skin and a balanced body and mind. In addition to a solid skincare routine, there are lifestyle factors that you can work on to keep your skin clear from the inside out.
Diet: Foods to Avoid and Include for Clearer Skin
Skin can often be a reflection of your diet and gut health, so it’s important to make healthy choices when it comes to what you put into your body. If you’re suffering from acne it’s best to avoid:
- Highly processed foods (think fast food and anything in a packet)
- Saturated Fats (often found in fast food)
- Foods containing high amounts of sugar
While the above foods may not be the direct cause of acne, they are known to exacerbate the condition.
If you want to support your skin and give your body the best chance to reduce and heal acne, include the following into your diet:
- Drink plenty of water
- Eat good fats from Avocado, nuts, seeds and fish
- Anti-inflammatory foods such as turmeric, green leafy vegetables and berries
- Introduce a probiotic to support gut health. LAMAV’s Beauty Restore is an inner beauty elixir containing a blend of probiotics to support microbial balance and reduce inflammatory skin issues such as acne.
Stress Management: Reducing Stress for Clearer Skin
Stress has many negative effects on the body, including weakening the immune system and upsetting our digestive system, which can affect our body’s ability to repair and heal the skin. Focusing on self care practices, regular exercise, meditation and support our digestive system can all have a positive impact on our overall health and wellbeing. LAMAV’s Ayurvedic beauty powder is a multi-tasking formula containing pre and probiotics to nurture gut health and support a healthy complexion. The addition of powerful antioxidants and Ayurvedic ingredients also assist to restore balance and calm by improving the body’s response to stress.
HYGIENE PRACTICES: TIPS FOR CLEAN AND HEALTHY SKIN
Acne thrives on bacteria, which is why skin hygiene is so important if you’re battling acne prone skin. Some simple ways you can reduce the spread of bacteria to your face include:
- Double Cleansing every night to ensure skin is clean and free from makeup, excess oil and dead skin
- Don’t touch your face throughout the day
- Don’t squeeze pimples
- Wash makeup brushes regularly
- Change pillow cases regularly
- Wash hands regularly
Although acne is frustrating, taking a holistic approach to treatment will improve the condition for most sufferers. If you’re suffering from severe acne and have attempted treatment through skincare, diet and lifestyle without any signs of improvement it’s best to consult with a dermatologist.