Acne Treatments: What We Can Do for You & Your Skin
When it comes to clearing acne, we recommend a combination of at-home and in-office treatments to combat clogged pores. We want to manage excess oil, encourage regular skin cell turnover, and keep pores supplied with a steady flow of oxygen. Less oil and dead skin cells means fewer clogged pores. Oxygen keeps acne bacteria in check.
The following six topical (i.e., on- the- skin) treatments proactively work together to clear and prevent congested pores and acne.
The Acids: MVP of Acne Wars
Let’s start with the key players in the battle against acne. Alpha- and beta-hydroxy acids—including azelaic, glycolic, lactic, mandelic, salicylic, etc. These active ingredients are so effective, we’ve included them in the formulas for many of our cleansers, toners, masks, peels, and treatment serums. Why? Acids, even in small amounts, help to break up dead skin cells. This decongests pores, prevents clogging, and clears the path for oxygen. Glycolic and mandelic acids can even help fade dark spots left behind after acne heals. And salicylic acid is especially helpful because it is oil-soluble.
Benzoyl Peroxide: Supporting Player
Benzoyl Peroxide is standard-of-care for for a reason. This ingredient purifies pores by killing the bacteria that causes acne (now known as c . acnes, but recently referred to as p. acnes). Use benzoyl peroxide along with acne-safe moisturizers in order to hydrate skin and increase the flow of oxygen. As a result, this can banish bacteria before it causes any problems. Hasta la vista, acne.
But caution: using too much benzoyl peroxide, or using a low-grade product, will simply dry out the top most layer of your skin and allow the bacteria deep inside your pores to thrive. Boo!
LED Light Therapy: Surface Luminary
Just like it sounds, this treatment uses specific wavelengths of light to penetrate skin layers. The light energy targets acne bacteria and also reduces inflammation and excess oil. Read more about LED therapy here.
Retinoid formulas are core to clearing skin, as they prevent clogs from ever forming. They work by increasing skin cell turnover, which in return causes dead skin cells to shed normally rather than sticking around to clog your pores.
Exfoliators: Movers & Shakers
Some skin cells need extra help to leave your skin. Because of this, we use “mechanical” exfoliators and “chemical” exfoliators. An example of a “mechanical” exfoliator is a facial scrub with beads in it. An example of a “chemical” exfoliator is an in-office acid or enzyme peel to more aggressively “decongest” the skin. Further complication: these same “chemical” exfoliators are present as active ingredients in many of your skin care products, just in much lower strength.
Last but not least, once the skin is cleared, microdermabrasion treatments help reduce residual scarring and discoloration. This gentle, in-office exfoliation treatment “sands” away the outer layer of uneven, thicker skin in order to reveal a smooth surface.
At Clinically Clear we know all of this terminology can be confusing and the amount of products and ingredients overwhelming. If you feel lost in regards to skincare, feel like you have hit a wall in your routine, or are even just starting out, know that we are here to help. Schedule your complimentary consultation here in order to learn what we can do for you and your skin.