What do Pantene, peanut butter, and Ulta makeup have in common? They all broke out someone whose skin was completely clear this month.
Why? Well, it’s a testament to the multitude of reasons why you could be dealing with acne—even if your skin was clear a month, or even a week ago. When your skin breaks out like this, we here at Clear Skin Solutions are here to act as your acne detectives to discover the culprits behind why you’re having difficulty getting clear and staying clear.
Let’s cut to the chase: what causes breakouts?
Once upon a time, we thought that breakouts occurred at random. However, we can now arm ourselves with the science behind why breakouts occur—and who may be at highest risk of them.
Even more vital to know, however, is what causes breakouts after you’ve succeeded in clearing your skin. Even if you’ve followed the routine set by your Skin Therapist to a “T”, breaking the rules and indulging in any (or all!) of the following will set your skin back to square one.
- Under-cleansing, or cleansing improperly: Cleansing your face twice daily (once in the A.M, once in the P.M) is the first step in combating acne. While cleansing too frequently can also aggravate acne by stripping the skin of its essential oils and, in turn, drying it out, cleansing twice a day with a skin therapist-approved acne wash with room temperature water will remove excess dirt, sweat, and oil from the face and reduce the likelihood of new whiteheads and blackheads.
Using your cleansing products inconsistently, or (heaven forbid!) skipping your routine could be the first reason why your skin could be regressing.
- Hormones: Having a high level of androgen, the male hormone, often causes sebum production, inflammation, and colonization of hair follicles on the face and body, which are all acne triggers. Causes of high androgen levels in the body can include hormonal disorders such as polycystic ovarian syndrome, pregnancy, menopause, and women’s menstrual cycles. Visiting both your Functional Medical Doctor and your skin therapist can provide you with oral and topical methods to combat acne that stems primarily from hormones.
You may be thinking, “But I can’t control my hormones— why did they make it onto this list?” Hormones can be difficult to balance at the best of times, which is why it is so key to check in with your Clear Skin Solutions Skin Therapist at the designated two-week intervals: we can work hand-in-hand with you to shift your routine to counteract hormonal imbalances and get your skin back on track.
- Diet: While a concrete link between diet and acne is yet to be determined, research strongly suggests that dairy, foods with a high glycemic index (such as white bread and sugary breakfast cereals), chocolate, and processed foods (like peanut butter) lead to an overproduction of sebum, which in turn causes acne.
Diet is one of the main factors we consider when crafting your home care routine. So, changing your diet without consulting your Skin Therapist is a big red flag as to why you’re suddenly seeing those pesky pimples again. Running dietary alterations by us when you’re thinking of reintroducing— or introducing for the first time— a food to your life ensures that we can advise you on how we anticipate it to affect your skin.
- Medication: Often overlooked as an acne trigger, medications such as antidepressants, Ciclosporin, halogens, and antiepileptics may affect the skin due to how they raise insulin levels in the body, which can agitate hair follicles. When starting a new medication, be sure to let your Skin Therapist know so that they can discuss with you if you should expect to see a change in your skin and adjust your skincare routine to combat that change.
- Comedogenic products: Certain hair and skin product formulas—such as Pantene and Ulta, unfortunately—are known as “comedogenic”, meaning that the ingredients in those formulas are likely to clog pores. While the research behind comedogenicity is complex, the most common comedogenic ingredients in hair and skin products that you can keep an eye out for include most oils (except for sunflower oil, safflower oil, jojoba oil, and essential oils), cocoa butter, isocetyl stearate, beeswax, and A & D additive.
Trying out non-Clear Skin Solutions approved products is one of the biggest reasons why we see clients breaking out once they’ve achieved clear skin. Before changing up your routine, chat with us first so that we can ensure that your path to clear skin is permanent, not a flash in the pan.
Here at Clear Skin Solutions, the way we frame the path to clear skin is this: imagine having a personal trainer. Let’s say you have gotten into the best possible shape of your life but, now that you’ve achieved that, you stop doing the work that got you there. Your diet slips, you stop exercising… eventually, your body would revert to the way it was at the start of your journey, right? Acne-prone skin is the exact same.
What about if my acne is consistent and/or won’t go away in the first place?
This question is why we consider ourselves personal trainers for your skin: not only will our consultation determine what areas in your life need adjusting in order to steer you towards clear skin, we will work closely with you on the specifics of how to make those changes fit into your lifestyle. Clear skin is a journey, not a sprint: it requires dedication, persistence, and a guiding hand. The upside? You don’t have to live in Ardmore, Oklahoma to benefit from our skin therapists; our Long Distance Skin Consultations ensure that we can treat patients all around the globe!
Your assigned skin therapist will review your submitted New Client Intake form and photos of your skin to build a detailed profile of your skin needs, as well as design a powerful home care plan. After your consultation, your new home care program will kick off with our Hydration Starter Kit (consisting of a cleanser, toner, hydration, and moisturizer) and accompanying instructions, all shipped right to your door.
Complacency after you’re clear– or as you’re becoming clear– is what leads to “slips” in the outcome of your skin. Switching up your diet, lapsing in taking your recommended supplements, starting up new medications, skipping out on your skin routine… we’re all human, and we all make mistakes, which is why communicating with your Skin Therapist every step of the way is the key to success.
If you’re looking for an at-home product that you can immediately incorporate into your skin regimen, we can’t overstate the importance of mandelic formulas for acne. When your skin is acne-prone, it means that your pores cannot expel the sebum and dead cells on your face on their own: mandelic acid restrains the pores from overworking by removing the sebum and dead cells for them and has the additional effect of minimizing fine lines, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation.
We’re curious: are you currently struggling with acne? Let us know if any of the facts above surprised you, and be sure to book a consultation with us so we can design a home care plan that will make acne a worry of the past.