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How to Get Clear Skin | Best Acne Treatment & Acne Products

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One major acne treatment mistake is treating all types of acne with the same methods. But different types of acne require a different approach if you’re going to be successful in clearing up the skin.

Make sure read today’s post so that you’ll know the correct way to properly treat your breakouts.

In order for the information in this video to make sense, it’s important to make sure that you didn’t miss my last post which covers the difference between inflamed and non-inflamed acne and shows you how to know which type you have.

It’s important to first identify your acne type before you starting treating your skin, so make sure to read my previous post first.

How to Treat:  Inflamed Acne

With inflamed acne you should know that these pimples will heal on their own if you give them enough time, however new ones always seem to pop up just as the previous ones start to heal up.

With the right products you not only speed up the healing time for these pimples, but more importantly prevent new ones from forming.

BEST ACNE PRODUCTS FOR INFLAMED ACNE

A product routine for inflamed acne should focus on exfoliation, anti-inflammatory action, and anti-bacterial action. Each of these are equally important to combating inflamed acne.

Exfoliation will unclog the current buildup of dead skin cells and oil, as well as prevent future clogging from taking place. Exfoliation is crucial to clear skin because those of us that are acne prone create up to 5 layers of dead skin cells per day, while those that aren’t acne prone typically create 1 layer of dead skin cells.

When the pores are clogged, this creates an anaerobic environment, or environment absent of oxygen, which is exactly what the inflamed acne causing bacteria loves. So it’s important to prevent this clog from taking place by continually keeping your skin exfoliated.

Anti-inflammatory action will bring down pain and swelling from inflamed acne lesions and just generally heal them up much faster. Anti-inflammatory action is also important when trying to minimize post inflammatory hyperpigmentation because the less inflamed your pimples get, the lighter these marks will become.

Anti-bacterial action will help to keep the special p. acnes bacteria that is responsible for inflammation in check. It will ensure that it doesn’t get out of hand from the beginning.

At Luminosity Acne Skincare we have products that tackle every need for inflamed acne to help heal it up quicker, but more importantly prevent it from re-occurring.

Some of our favorite go-to ingredients are Mandelic Acid, Lactic Acid, Benzoyl Peroxide and extracts such as Green Tea and Chamomile.

If you’re new to our products, I recommend you start with our Breakup with Cystic Breakouts Kit. Besides clearing up acne, our products also eliminate hyperpigmentation which is the leftover dark marks after a pimple has healed.

ONE FACTOR THAT CONTRIBUTES TO WORSE INFLAMED ACNE

Once you’ve selected acne products with ingredients that have the right properties to fight inflamed acne, you’ll need to make sure that you stay away from anything that creates friction on the skin, including rubbing or scrubbing.

This means no scrub cleansers! Always select a gentle cleanser without any beads or scrubbing particles. Furthermore you should absolutely avoid rotary skin brushes, washcloths, cleansing clothes or makeup remove wipes.

Friction or scrubbing of the skin can create more inflammation which means your breakouts will become larger, more swollen and more painful. Also for those with a darker skin tone, you may hyperpigment your skin in splotches.

Fighting the urge to scrub away pimples and cysts may be hard, but it’s in your skin’s best interest. Trust me! You’ll only be doing more harm than good.

BEST PROFESSIONAL ACNE TREATMENT FOR INFLAMED ACNE

If you wish to take things a step further and combine your at-home acne product use with professional treatments then I recommend seeing an esthetician for a series of chemical peels.

Chemical peels are best suited for the needs of inflamed acne. At our office we use peels that have ingredients that tackle both the acne and hyperpigmentation at the exact same time so that both conditions can be resolved.

Because microdermabrasion is abrasive so it creates too much friction on the skin therefor which will lead to more inflammation so I would stay away from this treatment for inflamed acne.

How to Treat:  Non-inflamed Acne

Unlike inflamed lesions, non-inflamed lesions such as blackheads and closed comedones typically do not heal up on their own if you wait it out. The skin just continues to accumulate more and more of these lesions.

BEST ACNE PRODUCTS FOR NON-INFLAMED ACNE (BLACKHEADS AND CLOSED COMEDONES)

The best product routines for non-inflamed acne need to be hyper-focused on exfoliation. That’s because non-inflamed acne is mainly a buildup inside of the pores of dead skin cells and oil.

There is some bacteria present but it’s not a main component like with inflamed acne so the focus should be on exfoliation.

Exfoliation will unclog the current buildup of dead skin cells and oil, as well as prevent future clogging from taking place.

I recommend exfoliation through the use of scrub cleansers, Mandelic Acid, Lactic Acid, and Benzoyl Peroxide.

You may be surprised I mentioned benzoyl peroxide when talking about exfoliation, but a little known fact about it is that it has the ability to peel or exfoliate the dead skin cells that cling to the inner lining of the pore wall. I cover this ability in more detail in my previous blog post titled, Benzoyl Peroxide Mistakes.

Although I do recommend scrub cleansers for non-inflamed acne, I still want to caution you to stay away from the other things that will create friction on the skin such as rotary skin brushes, washcloths, cleansing wipes and makeup remover wipes.

That’s because if you combine these with the scrub cleanser then you may be over scrubbing or rubbing the skin which can lead to sensitivity, hyperpigmentation, and may even create some inflammation which can turn that small manageable blackhead into a painful, large and red inflamed pustule.

BEST PROFESSIONAL ACNE TREATMENT FOR NON-INFLAMED ACNE

I recommend that if you have non-inflamed acne that you schedule a series of chemical peels or microdermabrasion sessions with an esthetician that is experienced in treating non-inflamed acne. That’s because in most cases, homecare products alone cannot clear up or prevent non-inflamed acne. They are far too stubborn and impacted in the pores.

Non-inflamed lesions need to be properly extracted out or else they continue to just sit in the pores and accumulate more and more as time goes by. This results in a bumpy texture to the skin.

Proper extraction of non-inflamed acne includes prepping the skin with a series of chemical peels or microdermabrasion. These treatments help to loosen the clog inside of the pore so that they can be extracted easier and with less force.

HOW TO TREAT COMBINATION ACNE

Now what if you have combination acne which is both inflamed and non-inflamed?

The best thing to do is to treat the inflamed acne first since it is more painful and needs less friction inducing methods. Once the inflamed lesions are under control, then switch gears to the non-inflamed acne. You can add in a scrub cleanser and get your pores professionally peeled and extracted.

Watch Carmen’s Video Version Of This Post: Benzoyl Perodixe Acne Mistakes

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  • Have you figured out your acne type? If so, in what ways will you be changing your skincare routine to make it more effective?
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Watch Carmen’s Video Version Of This Post:  How to Clear Acne

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Benzoyl Peroxide Mistakes

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A lot of people will pick up the highest strength  benzoyl peroxide  they can find, which is usually is 10%. This leads to several mistakes.

Benzoyl Peroxide Mistake #1
First is that they will dry out their skin really quickly to the point where the dryness becomes unbearable so then one would think that the logical next step would be to slather on a thick moisturizer to combat the dryness. Unfortunately heavy moisturizers interfere with the benzoyl peroxide’s anti-bacterial properties so it becomes less effective against the acne.

Benzoyl Peroxide Mistake #2
The second issue with jumping straight away into a high strength benzoyl peroxide  is that you have no room to strengthen it up. You see acne has this crazy ability to adapt to the products you use on your skin. That’s why if you’ve ever tried a new acne product you may have noticed that it works a little bit at first, but then before you know it the improvement stops and you’re back at square one with the same amount of acne. This occurs because you never strengthened up your routine to stay ahead of the acne’s ability to adapt.

At Luminosity we remedy both of these issues by starting our clients out on a low strength benzoyl peroxide  and strategically increasing it every couple of weeks. This allows the skin to slowly adjust with it and while some dryness will still occur, most will be able to avoid the extreme uncomfortable dryness that occurs with the higher strength benzoyl peroxide, thus eliminating the need for a heavy moisturizer which  as I mentioned can interfere with the benzoyl peroxide  doing its job properly. For those clients that still need a bit of moisture we recommend out Hydra Boost Gel which is a light weight hyaluronic acid gel serum that can be used in conjunction with the benzoyl peroxide  without stopping it from working.

Starting out with a low strength benzoyl peroxide  will also allow us to steadily increase the strength of it over time so that we don’t allow the acne to adapt. I also want to mention that we aren’t increasing the benzoyl peroxide  forever. We only need to increase it until you clear up. Once you are clear we can keep your routine the same to maintain the clear skin result.

Benzoyl Peroxide Mistake #3
Another issue that occurs when making the mistake of starting off with a high strength benzoyl peroxide is that many will stop using it or cut back on how much they are applying to their skin at the first sign of dryness. While we don’t want your skin uncomfortably dry, it’s important to understand that dry and flaking skin is normal to occur.

Benzoyl peroxide  has this great ability which allows it to peel or exfoliate the inner lining of the pore wall. You see on a daily basis your pores are shedding up to 5 layers of dead skin cells, and on a side note non-acne-prone pores shed only 1 layer of dead skin cells per day so the difference is huge. These daily 5 layers of cells first cling to the sides of the pore wall and then they start to continue piling up and clogging the pore. Benzoyl peroxide comes to the rescue by exfoliating that liner of cells clinging to the pore wall so some of the flaking you are seeing is just exfoliation at work which is a great thing if you want clear skin!

But if you back off of your benzoyl peroxide  at the first sign of dryness or flaking then you are allowing these 5 layers of dead skin cells to get a hold inside of the pore again and create a clog which will only continue to result in breakouts. So remember not to skip your benzoyl peroxide and not to use less of it and that dry skin isn’t the end of the world, in fact it’s a good sign as long as it’s not extreme.

Benzoyl Peroxide Mistake #4
Another mistake I see people making with benzoyl peroxide is by exclusively spot treating their individual pimples rather than applying it all over. I’ve written a previous blog post on this subject and you can click here to read it.

Benzoyl Peroxide Mistake #5
Another mistake is by not rubbing it into the skin thoroughly enough. Make sure that you really work it into your skin so that it can deliver its anti-bacterial properties properly.

Benzoyl Peroxide Mistake #6
Finally the last mistake we see people making with benzoyl peroxide is that they don’t pair it with a good exfoliating serum. While benzoyl peroxide does have the ability to peel inside the pore, your skin will clear up much quicker and better if you pair it with a serum that is designed to exfoliate. That’s because as I mentioned earlier acne-prone skin sheds up to 5 layers of dead skin cells per day so it’s important to really focus on exfoliation so that we don’t allow those cells to create clogs.

Now many people opt for salicylic acid or glycolic acid, but the superstar at our office is our Mandelic Maven Serum which contains Mandelic Acid. Mandelic Acid is superior to any other acid on the market because it tackles every aspect of acne clearing. It’s anti-bacterial to kill the acne causing bacteria, it’s exfoliating to prevent dead skin cells from clogging the pores, it has anti-inflammatory properties to bring down cysts, and it has hyperpigmentation lightening properties to speed up the fading of any leftover dark marks from past breakouts. It really does it all for acne, but it’s important to always pair it with benzoyl peroxide in order for each of these products to work to the best of their abilities to fight acne.

So those are all the mistakes that I see people making when it comes to using benzoyl peroxide.  Benzoyl peroxide can be amazing at fighting off acne but you need to use it properly or else it won’t be effective.

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Leave A Comment!

  • Have you been making any of these common benzoyl peroxide mistakes?
  • Have an idea for a blog post topic? Leave a comment below!

icon_color_pngWatch Carmen’s Video Version Of This Post: Benzoyl Perodixe Acne Mistakes

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Acne Mistake – Don’t Use Makeup Remover Wipes to Cleanse Skin

makeupremoverwipesDo you rely on makeup remover wipes to clean your skin at the end of the night? If so make sure not to miss today’s post!

A  big mistake that I see acne-prone people making when it comes to removing their makeup or just cleansing their skin at night is relying on makeup remover wipes instead of using a cleanser. There’s a few reasons why I am against these wipes.

Reason #1
They can create too much friction for those with cystic or inflamed acne. If you have inflamed acne then it’s really important to stay away from anything that creates friction on the skin including scrubs, rotary brushes, washcloths and makeup remover wipes. The friction can create irritation which can lead to more inflammation and that’s the last thing you need with cystic acne. At our office, we educate our clients with inflamed acne to stay away from anything abrasive because it can slow down or prevent their progress toward clear skin.

Reason #2
These wipes can leave behind a residue and that’s problematic for 2 reasons. First is that depending on the ingredients found in the wipes, it can be pore clogging so this lingering residue can create breakouts. Second is that this residue can prevent the subsequent acne products that you use from fully penetrating into your skin. If your products aren’t fully sinking in then they won’t be effective.

Reason #3
Wipes just don’t clean as well as a cleanser and besides leaving behind a residue they also just push around makeup, sweat, oil and dirt.

To ensure that you don’t have any lingering residue from the wipes and that they don’t leave behind any makeup or dirt, you’ll have to cleanse your skin with water and a cleanser after using the wipes so why not just save yourself the time by skipping the wipes and just going straight for the cleanser.

icon_color_pngLeave A Comment!

  • Do you rely on makeup remover wipes instead of just cleanser and water?
  • Have an idea for a blog post topic? Leave a comment below!

icon_color_pngWatch Carmen’s Video Version Of This Post: Makeup Remover Wipes for Acne 

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Don’t Spot Treat Your Pimples!

spottreatcover1 One of the biggest mistakes you can make when using acne products is to EXCLUSIVELY spot treat individual pimples. Now before I go on, please understand that I am not talking about using products specifically designed for spot treating, but rather I am talking about your general acne care products that are meant to be applied all over such as your exfoliating serums and benzoyl peroxide.

To understand why this is ineffective, first you need to know that every single pore on your skin has the ability to create a micro-comedone which is the beginning mass of dead skin cells and oil that later turns in to a pimple. It typically takes 1-3 months for that micro-comedone to grow into an actual pimple that surfaces on your skin.

The goal of your acne product routine is to PREVENT new pimples from forming in the first place and the only way to achieve that is to apply your products all over your face. All of your pores must receive your products because you don’t know where that next pimple will want to surface.

You are missing a big opportunity to PREVENT new pimples from forming if you are only spot treating.

One reason why so many people spot treat is because they want to avoid drying out their skin. Unfortunately, when it comes to successfully treating acne, dry skin is going to occur for most of us to some extent. Keep in mind though that your skin won’t be dry forever, just during the clearing process.

At Luminosity Acne Skincare, we take an approach that I call “starting low and  slow.” This approach helps your skin slowly adjust to your acne products so that you skin can tolerate them without getting excessively dry. Yes, some dryness may still occur but it will be manageable.

So remember that when you are using your general acne products, the key is to apply them all over your face in order to prevent new pimples from forming later on. Only spot treat with products that are specifically designed for that.

icon_color_pngLeave A Comment!

  • Do you typically spot treat your skin or apply your acne products all over?
  • Have an idea for a blog post topic? Leave a comment below!

icon_color_pngWatch Carmen’s Video Version Of This Post: Don’t Spot Treat Acne

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Can You Outgrow Acne?

outgrowacnecover1If you are suffering from acne, it is important to know that eventually you will outgrow it! The bad news is that there is no way to know exactly when you will outgrow the acne. Even within the same family, some members may outgrow it years or even decades before others do. For example, in my family my brother out grew his acne around age 20…meanwhile I am 31 years old now and still very much acne-prone so I have not grown out of mine yet. I’ve even been on Accutane, while my brother never really did much for his skin, but in the end, just giving his skin time is what ultimately cleared him up, while for me I had to and still have to use acne products daily because I haven’t outgrown my acne yet.

Now generally speaking, most men will outgrow their acne much earlier than women will. Men most times outgrow it in their early 20s, while women can continue to breakout well into their adult years. In fact, have you ever noticed it is much easier to see an adult woman with acne, rather than an adult man? I see this all of the time when I am out and about.

So what exactly does it mean to outgrow your acne?

Well simply put, your pores give out. To understand, it’s important to first know that acne is a genetic condition of the pores which causes an over production of dead skin cells to form. These cells mix with excess oil and bacteria and eventually pimples form. To learn more about the cause of acne make sure that you read my previous post. Click here to read.

Once your pores “give out” like I mentioned earlier, they are no longer creating excess dead skin cells, they are back down to a regular production. Once these cells are no longer an issues then then oil production and bacteria do not become a nuisance.

If you breakout on multiple areas of your body, for example the face, chest and back, not all areas will outgrow the acne at the same time. Sometimes you will notice one area clearing up years before the others. So maybe you continue to have severe breakouts on your face, but your chest is now clear and no longer a problem.

When you reach the outgrowth phase, you don’t have to rely on acne products again, but you should continue to care for your skin with a general product routine.

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icon_color_pngWatch Carmen’s Video Version Of This Post: Can You Outgrow Acne?

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Microdermabrasion VS. Chemical Peels For Acne

micropeelcover1Many acne sufferers are turning to professional treatments in hopes of clearing up their skin. Two very popular choices are chemical peels and microdermabrasion.

At the end of this post I will let you know which method I prefer for my clients and why.

Let’s first talk about Microdermabrasion.

Microdermabrasion is a form of mechanical exfoliation that removes the outermost layer of dead skin. Originally microdermabrasion sprayed aluminum oxide crystals onto the skin while simultaneously vacuuming them up. Newer machines known as diamond microdermabrasion, use a wand that abrades the skin, while at the same time vacuuming up the dead skin cells. As an esthetician, I’ve used both types of machines and prefer diamond tip because you don’t have to worry about ingesting the crystals. If you are an esthetician and performing a lot of crystal microdermabrasion treatments, I highly recommend wearing a mask over your mouth and nose for protection or investing in a diamond tip machine if possible.

As far as using microdermabrasion as a means for acne clearing, I would only recommend it for non-inflamed acne. The abrasion is great for exfoliating the build up of dead skin cells which play the biggest role in this type of acne.

I would however completely steer clear of this treatment if you have combination or inflamed acne. You do not want to use anything abrasive when dealing with inflammation because it will promote MORE inflammation and irritation. And also the abrasive nature of microdermabrasion would just really hurt when used on cysts.

Now let’s talk about chemical peels.

Chemical peels most commonly contain acids that exfoliate layers of dead skin cells. Unlike microdermabrasion, which just exfoliates the outer layer of skin, peels can penetrate deeper into the layers of skin depending on the strength of peel that is used.

Besides exfoliation, which is very important when clearing up acne, peels can also provide much needed anti-bacterial and hyperpigmentation lightening depending on the acids or other added ingredients in the peel formula. There are so many peel combinations and I love that you can target multiple conditions based on the ingredients.

So which method do I use to clear up my clients?

Hands down, I prefer chemical peels to microdermabrasion. I like that I can use peels on both inflamed and non-inflamed acne, especially since most people tend to have a combination of both types. I also like that I can get more benefits besides just exfoliation, such as anti-bacterial action and hyperpigmentation lightening.

The bottom line though is that that whether you pick chemical peels or microdermabrasion, these methods will only be effective if you have the proper homecare routine to use in between your treatment sessions. So make sure that you are following the recommendations of your esthetician in between each treatment to get the best results.

icon_color_pngLeave A Comment!

  • Have you tried any professional treatments for your acne? Did it help?
  • Have an idea for a blog post topic? Leave a comment below!

icon_color_pngWatch Carmen’s Video Version Of This Post: Microdermabrasion or Chemical Peels for Acne? 

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