Submit your skincare questions to Dr. Agnes, CEO of Herborium and natural medicine expert
By: Dr. Agnes Olszewski
When trying to understand the etiology (causes) of acne, hormonal imbalance is often cited as one of the most prevailing factors responsible for acne. Fluctuations in hormone levels can result in over production of sebum (skin oil) by the sebaceous glands residing in the skin. This extra sebum tends to clog the pores of the skin the first step in the acne cascade.. It is important to understand that androgens, the male hormones are very potent in stimulating the sebaceous glands.
When most people think of acne, those little red dots on the surface of the skin come to mind, and the most practiced solution for dealing with them is to zap those suckers dry until they disappear completely. But did you know that there’s a certain type of acne that exists below the surface? It’s called cystic acne, and it’s not your average pimple!
For some, acne is a reminder of our younger days, making our teen years, and social lives, that much harder to navigate. For countless others, that problem continues well into adulthood, or begins then, in a condition known as adult acne. Affecting people over the age of 25, this skin condition is common, though rarely talked about, which brings us to the question…
Anyone with acne tends to become somewhat of a skincare expert by necessity. We all know that too much oil can lead to acne breakouts, and many of us have spent countless hours and dollars trying out every acne-fighting ointment under the sun, to varying degrees of success. But did you know that there’s a lot about acne you probably don’t hear about?
Anyone with adult acne is probably well aware of the countless solutions being offered out there, from over the counter topical cleansers, to natural remedies, to prescription drugs. Because we live in a consumer-culture, we’re often directed to throw products, and money, at our problems, whatever they may be. With ads and commercials telling us what we need to do more of, it’s easy to overlook one very important question: what’s not working for my skin?
When you think of pimples and acne, the first image that usually comes to mind is the face of a teenager struggling with zits. A common misperception is that acne usually disappears after puberty. These days, adults with acne have become the norm. In fact, recent statistics reported by the American Dermatology Association suggest that the median age for patients treated for acne has significantly increased over the last decade: from approximately 20.5 to 26.5 years of age. Doctors report that most adults (both men and women) who have experienced acne as teens (with oily skin prone to breakouts) are more likely to experience a reoccurrence in their adult life.
It is not completely understood why or how the changes in the hormone levels occur in woman with Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). PCOS can have a wide spectrum of symptoms due to the diversity of the syndrome. A common denominator however is fluctuations in hormone levels including an increase in testosterone, both known as contributing factors for acne. The ingredients present in AcnEase® are tailored to limit the negative impact of fluctuations in hormone levels and increases in free testosterone on the sebaceous glands that produce sebum (skin oil)
Acne is acne, right? Yes and no. Some types are more mild, while others require more knowledge and treatment in order to experience relief. One such type of acne is called cystic acne.
Approximately 85% of all teens deal with acne - some more severe than others.
The actual cause of teen acne is a hormonal imbalance that causes an overproduction of skin oil called sebum. Excess sebum together with dead skin cells and dirt will clog pores. When you add bacteria to this mix – an inflammation cascade may occur, and the pimples will show up on the face, neck, back, chest, and shoulders.
Acne symptoms may vary from mild to severe and not all of them disappear by them-selves when the individual cross to adulthood.
Unfortunately adult acne is on a rise and, in addition, leaving teen acne untreated may lead not only to chronic adult acne but also to acne scars and marks.
If you have acne, especially moderate to severe acne shaving may aggravate this condition creating both physical discomfort and emotional stress.
In addition for some shaving may also cause so called shaving acne or so called “ razor bumps” Those latest one often result from the use of modern multi-blade razors. When you shave with razor that has many blades the first blades actually lift the hair out of the skin, and the following blades then cut the hair from below the skin line. That’s how you can get that really smoothly shaven feel and more irritation.
During the winter, many of us suffer from drier skin. Against common belief, dry skin is never a sign of healthy skin. Factors that make skin dryer and more sensitive during the winter include cold and windy weather and central heating. The exposure to drastic temperature changes will also affect the skin making it red and almost painful. As dry skin flakes more than oily skin and this "produces" more dead skin cells, those cells may actually clog pores and add to breakouts. In addition, since our skin and body have a "self-protection mechanism," over drying your skin may lead to the onset of sebum production and this of course will lead to more and more frequent breakouts. Sufferers of eczema or acne rosacea and rosacea may experience more intense symptoms in the dry and cold weather.
I understand that when entering menopause, I may have to deal with these unwanted hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings and even bone loss, but acne?? You have got to be kidding!
Unfortunately it’s not a joke, the changes in estrogen and progesterone levels are responsible for many of the symptoms associated with menopause, and are also often culprits in causing women to experience acne break outs during this changing phase.
By: Dr. Agnes P. Olszewski
Acne pimples start to develop in pores that become clogged with excess sebum (skin oil) made by the sebaceous glands. As the pores become clogged with the excess skin oil they also trap dead skins cells that normally rise to the surface of the skin to be sloughed off.
Acne is an external manifestation of an internal imbalance that leads to overproduction of sebum (skin oil) by sebaceous glands. This extra sebum together with dead skin cells creates an ideal condition for bacterial growth which can promote inflammation. The first stage of acne usually starts as oily skin; the next stage is the appearance of comedones (white heads and black heads). If the pore becomes inflamed due to the influx of white blood cells, pustules and papules appear. If the inflammatory response spreads to adjacent tissue, this represents cystic acne.
While we normally associate acne with teenagers, a surprising number of pre-teens suffer from the condition as well. As this younger age group experiences more and more breakouts, pre-teen acne is gaining more attention from pediatricians and dermatologists. For example, a recently published study noted 78% of girls between nine and ten years of age have had acne breakouts (study published by The Cincinnati College of Medicine).
Additionally, in May 2013 the American Acne and Rosacea Society (AARS) published guidelines for the "Diagnosis and Treatment of Pediatric Acne" which was subsequently endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
It is therefore very important to carefully address how to deal with your child's acne even before they become teenagers.
Sweat has a tendency to
attract dirt and debris that can clog pores and set the stage for an acne
breakout, and obviously you'll be doing a lot of sweating as you exercise.
However, if you're smart you can continue to reap the benefits of physical
activity without doing damage to your skin. Here are some tips to remember
before and during your workout, as well as simple post-workout routine that
will nourish and replenish your skin after all that hard work.
While you may need to
relax from time to time, acne never takes a vacation. That's why it's so
important to have a plan of action for maintaining good skin health when you
travel. While treating your breakouts on the go may take a little more effort
than your normal skincare routine, it's well worth the extra work.
Keep in mind that these
travel tips are not going to treat your acne. Unless you're doing something about the primary
causes of your breakouts, this advice won't be very helpful. However, when
used in conjunction with products that address the underlying causes, these five
tips will help ensure that travelling doesn't take a major toll on your skin.
Summer is in full swing,
and if you're like most people, you're spending more time enjoying the great
outdoors. Unfortunately, all this extra time outside puts you at risk for
suntans and sunburns. Using sunscreen may be an easy fix to this problem
but you need to use it right and... you should match your sunscreen with your skin type.
There is also a myth
that sun exposure will treat acne - as tanned skin may make pimples a little
less visible, exposure to UV rays causes inflammation; the last thing that acne
prone skin needs. Therefore, it is important to actually know what criteria
your sunscreen should meet to provide a solution, not a problem, to healthy
acne sufferers try to avoid certain foods under the belief that they are the
cause of their breakouts. While there are some problems with this line of
reasoning, it's definitely true that the things we put into our bodies have an
effect on them, and most people would be wise to more closely consider the
consequences of their diet.
thing that our typical modern diet is loaded with is sugar. From sweets and
breads to pasta sauce, it's difficult to find products that aren't full of the
stuff. Summer happens to be one of those "sweeter" times of year with
sugary drinks, ice creams and even fruits (ex. grapes, cherries and bananas are
loaded with sugar).
Persistent chronic acne is a problem that plagues countless
women worldwide. We typically think of acne as an issue that only affects
teenagers, but in reality, acne affects women (and men) of any age-in fact,
some women don't experience their first acne breakouts until well into their
30s or 40s!
are lots of products and treatments on the market today that claim to quickly
treat acne breakouts among women, but how can you be sure what they're saying
is true? The only way to know how to effectively fight against women's acne is
to take a look at its origins-both what they are and what they aren't.
While lots of women think they know what is causing their acne, the real answer
might surprise them...and you!
By now, we
all know that adult acne is on the rise--for women and men alike. What you
might not know is that as more and more men deal with acne, more and more men are
becoming comfortable not only using acne treatments but also on relying on cosmetic products to conceal
acne and other unwanted skin marks during the time of treatment.
Facebook pole revealed that a number of guys use corrective cosmetics to cover
up their acne breakouts.
All acne is caused
by an overproduction of sebum by the sebaceous glands in your skin. The
fluctuating hormones you experience as a teen can heavily contribute to
this overproduction of sebum. This excess sebum can clog your
pores, and mixed with bacteria and dead skin cells, may lead to
whiteheads, blackheads and finally pimples and cysts.
The fact is, a
healthy sex life has many health benefits including improving the
quality of your skin and actually helping in some instances to fight
As you know, acne
is a manifestation of an internal imbalance, most often an imbalance of
sex hormones (androgens/testosterone, estrogen and progesterone).
For many, the cold clear
days of winter bring more than just a rosy glow to the cheeks. They also bring
uncomfortable dryness to the skin, especially on your face but also on your
hands and feet. For some people, the problem is worse than just a general
tight, dry feeling. Skin can get so dry it results in flaking, cracking, or
even eczema (in which the skin becomes inflamed).
Dry skin is never a sign
of healthy skin. So how do we stop winter skin problems before they even start?
It's New Year's Eve. You might be rocking your festive makeup,
and you're totally pumped about your New Year's resolutions. But
sometimes, after the glitz and glam of New Year's Eve has worn off, the
resolutions we made with the best of intentions and all the motivation
in the world are forgotten or just fade away with the daily rush.
That doesn't have
to happen this year. If you've ever lost sight of a New Year's
resolution, you will benefit from these tips on how to make healthy changes in your life that will help you to achieve clear skin and how to stick with these changes all year long.
As a small appreciation gift to you from us, here are 3 wonderful masks that will help you do just that!
But remember, although these masks will help improve your skin this winter, the very first thing that must be done to break the cycle of acne, marks and scars is to PREVENT acne from forming. AcnEase® prevents pimples from forming and reduces the number of pimples that progress to inflammatory pustules, and in doing so it helps prevent skin damage. By reducing the new damage to skin, your body can work on repairing the skin and reducing scarring.
you found a cleanser over the summer that worked great for you and your acne.
Maybe you plan to keep using it, even as colder weather moves in. Before you
do, ask yourself these questions: