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Acne Skin Care Treatment

Adult Dehyration Acne Syndrome

Also See Teenage Acne Below

Most people think that just because they have a pimple they have “oily skin” and they immediately begin a new skin care routine using oil removing products that strip the skin of any oil and oil free moisturisers.

Guess what???

They have actually got dehydrated skin and the little bit of shine is normal oil needed to keep the skin functioning properly with a correct acidic pH and moisture content. We at Images Beauty Therapy have developed a facial / skincare routine that addresses this problem.

It requires a commitment to following our recommendations that may seem totally odd and different from what you would expect.

Cause of Dehydration Acne Syndrome

In today’s life style we exist in a variety of environments from slightly humid to extreme desert due to air conditioners in our shops, meeting places, offices, cars and homes. It has become extremely rare to find a truly oily skin with most people believing a slight sheen of oil after a long day indicates oily skin. Most teenagers and adults today have been brainwashed by major over the counter or supermarket skin care companies that they have oily skin if they have a pimple and then they convince every one that they have to use harsh cleansing foams and scrubs and oil free moisturisers to get rid of pimples and ACNE.

The reality it that by using these very products you actually perpetuate the very pimples you are trying to get rid of.

Lets look at what has happened!

  1. Our environment has dehydrated our skin, causing the cells that make up our skin to DRY OUT and deflate like balloons.
  2. We are lazy beings, and initially we do very little to care for our skin, our skin is lucky if it sees a splash of water in the shower.
  3. Our sebaceous glands make a small amount of oil, mixed with some water and other molecules that create an acidic solution that is gently secreted on to the surface of our skin to act as our natural moisturiser and bacterial control solution. (Creating “The Skin’s Acid Mantle“)
  4. All is fine until maybe an extra dry windy day, or you sit too close to the air con at work or in the car. Our skin is NOW DRY!!!!
  5. BUT we ignore it as normal.
  6. After some time the sebum (that oil and water mixture we were making in our skin) becomes thicker inside the little tunnels travelling from the Sebaceous Gland to the surface of the skin.
  7. The skin cells that surround those tunnels are dry and act like little tiny sponges and suck the water out of the sebum, before it has even reached the skin surface.
  8. Now we have a problem, the skin has become congested, the sebum is not reaching the skin surface and the skin is becoming dryer. The signal deeper into the skin is make more sebum – skin is dry.
  9. We now start to get dry flaky bits on the skin surface; you can actually feel them as roughness. But because we are making extra oil, we can see this thin layer of oil on the surface of the skin.
  10. Next we think, okay, shiny equals oily skin, must change to products to strip that oil away.
  11. We think OIL IS BAD!!!
  12. The thick sebum stuck in our pores (tunnels) is getting thicker, harder, larger and more visible.
  13. They are becoming – BLACKHEADS AND WHITEHEADS.
  14. That thick sebum is made of oils that are going slowly rotten and forming– fatty acids – which irritate the surrounding skin cells making them become inflamed and pink and raised. Almost like small volcano’s ready to blow.
  15. Your skin is also developing an Impaired Acid Mantle – the skins pH is becoming alkaline
  16. The inflammation is the beginning of pimples.
  17. And now the acne bacteria gets going, and it likes to eat skin, and our immune system starts a war to try and kill the acne bugs.
  18. But we just help everything get worse because
  19. We use products to dry out our skin
  20. And now we have a big cycle of dry skin getting clogged up and developing more pimples.
  21. Our skin tries to fix it with more sebum, but we just make it dryer.
  22. And then we add insult to every thing and blame the whole problem on our “oily skin”

What does Images suggest?

  1. Start with a good old-fashioned milky cleanser made of oil and water emulsified together just like a moisturiser. If you are really dry, try adding vegetable oil to that cleanser and turn it into “cold cream”, this will easily soften your dry skin and help to dissolve the hardened sebum near the surface of the skin.
  2. Try really softening your skin with moisture rich creams, and masks that soak your skin and really hydrate it. Try dampened tissue left on your skin to allow the water to soak into the skin cells for about 10 to 20 mins.
  3. You will notice as you do this that your sebaceous plugs (blackheads) begin to swell and go a whitish colour and even rise out of the pores.
  4. When and if this happens immediately cleanse again with the above mixture or massage over the swelling pores with a vegetable oil (canola is good) to dissolve the thickened sebum.
  5. Tissue off the oil and dissolving sebum plugs with upward movements moving inwards towards an imaginary central line up the middle of your face. Ask us to demonstrate this procedure.
  6. Afterwards tone and moisturise your skin with a good moisturiser designed for DRY skin.
  7. Over time, repeating this procedure will gradually shrink your pores and blackheads.
  8. Be warned, as you begin this procedure, you will notice that your pores will grow bigger when you start to moisturise your skin, but this means we are doing the correct thing and your skin is starting to clean ITSELF!
  9. It means the sebum is expanding with the extra water content and the surrounding skin cells are filling with water too. The pressure these skin cells exert on the sebum plug push the plug towards the skin surface and gently out of the skin. Your cleansing milk or oil can now dissolve the exposed sebum plug.
  10. Infections are another matter, but because you have started to moisturise your skin, the skin is able to heal itself! Healthy skin functions require good levels of water within and between skin cells allowing the bodies healing “cells” to move about destroy infectious bacteria and repair damaged skin.
  11. You will notice that pimples will start to be less red and swollen as the skins natural healing mechanisms begin to function better and your skin begins to fight the bacteria more efficiently.
  12. You can help it using TONER. Toner is just a solution that makes your skin acidic like conditioner after shampooing and fabric softener after washing clothes. Acne Bacteria don’t like acid conditions.Toner corrects the Skin’s Acid Mantle.
  13. Cleansing, toning and moisturising your skin night and morning is also important, because as you work through the day your skin picks up all manner of dirt and pollution plus a build up of dead skin cells and excretions. During your sleep your skin is actually active and regenerating itself, therefore it is necessary to clear away debris again before the start of a new day.
  14. Moisturiser is very important as this acts just like your natural sebum – it is an emulsion (mixture) of oil and water. Moisturisers or an application of an oil every day acts like a protective layer that prevents dehydration and the evaporation of your skins water (TEWL = trans epidermal water loss). A fine layer of oil acts like Glad wrap over salad or food – stopping evaporation and drying out.
  15. Sun Block (SPF 15 or higher) is an absolute must to protect your newly healing skin from UV damage, and possible hyper-pigmentation (darkening).
  16. Finally, to speed things along, go to your enthusiastic beauty therapist here at Images to have extractions of those lovely blackheads and whiteheads done. What may take months to correct the slow way will only take weeks with the professional help of your friendly beauty terrorist, oops, therapist.

Professional Treatments

We recommend frequent Mini or Deep Cleanse Skin Treatments (we often call them Extraction Facials) starting with every week, then gradually, stretched out to 2, 4 and 6 weeks, and with major improvement longer, which consist of

  • Gentle cleansing with either a sensitive/dry cleanser
  • Often the addition of oil to the above cleanser to more gently soften and cleanse off the dead skin cells trapped on the surface and in the pore openings.
  • Eventually using a deep refining AHA cleanser
  • A gentle exfoliant (not used if there is major inflammation or infection)
  • or AHA Peel to help dissolve the clogged sebum and skin
  • Extractions of Blackheads and Whiteheads
  • Calming face mask to soothe the inflamed skin and begin healing.
  • Finish with a good emollient nourishing moisturiser.
  • And of course a SPF to protect.
  • This Treatment is also available for Back or Chest areas – (Bacial!!!)

We recently added microdermabrasion to our skin care menu. This treatment is a great alternative exfoliation which can help to unblock pores and help reduce the thickened layer of surface skin (dead dry skin cells).

Facial/Skin Treatments:

 Mini Facial (no extractions)  30 minutes  $65.00
 Mini Facial (with some extractions)  30 minutes  $65.00
 Acne Extraction Facial (many extractions)  45 minutes  $75.00
 Micro Dermabrasion   30 minutes  $65.00
 Micro Dermabrasion & Extractions  45 minutes  $75.00
 AHA Peel                      30 minutes  $65.00
 BHA Salicylic Peel  45 minutes  $80.00

Special Note = Teenage Acne

From approximately 11 to 17 the average teenager will experience puberty. During this period the skin goes through some interesting changes. Sweat glands and sebaceous glands become more wide spread and with them an interesting cycle of acne begins. The Skin’s Acid Mantle is an acidic combination of sebum and other secretions of the skin and the resulting ph (acid or alkali) levels become very important in controlling the bacterial growth upon the skin and in its adjacent tissues such as pores. Acne usually results from having an impaired acid mantle, combined with over productive oil glands (sebum).

Skin care becomes an integral part of the teenager’s day, and it is important to get the recipe correct in order to control and eradicate acne.

It is quite usual for teenagers to spend hours in the bathroom, be very zealous with cleansing and squeezing, trying to get rid of their pimples. Equally the lazy teenager can completely neglect their skin and end up with no problems. The skins own natural bacterial control is based primarily on the correct ph of the skin or the correct acid content. Old sweat breaks down to alkaline and soap also tends to be alkaline. Sebum tries to correct this imbalance. The acne bacteria loves these ph changes.

The easiest homecare routine to control acne and pimples is to simply keep the skin clean of dead skin cells, dirt, old sweat and pollution and keep the acidic ph of the acid mantle gently in place with some bonus moisture to keep things happy.

  • The foaming scrubs available over the counter and at the supermarket are basically a soap alternative mainly detergent –sodium laureth sulphate. This makes foam. It also dissolves skin and oil. Also called dishwashing liquid. It dries skin excessively and in our climate and air-conditioned life style this is often too extreme. The more gentle approach is better and less irritating – use a gentle cleansing cream or milk. Gels may also be more refreshing but should not foam. Always check the ingredients list on the back of products and determine if they contain surfactants (soaps).
  • Toners become very important  to teenagers and these are your anti bacterial solutions. They need to be used liberally as they correct the ph gently back to acidic with little or no irritation.
  • At night an acne treatment should be used. Applied only to the eruptions. Most contain benzoyl peroxide (2.5% ideal strength) or salicylic acid to dry out and kill the bacteria. At night the product can be applied and left on for 8 hours during sleep, this means plenty of time for it to work. A nice gentle alternative is old-fashioned calamine lotion, which is anti inflammatory, and anti septic and dries pimples.
  • It is very important to moisturise the skin, to keep the skins natural healing mechanisms working  and for faster healing to occur. See the notes on dehydrated acne as most teenagers suffer with this form of acne too.
  • Finally sun block is a must to protect any healing skin as the pink skin is very sensitive to sun damage and pigmentation.
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