Your acne-prone skin needs an elimination diet. The truth is that if your skin clogs up with some comedogenic ingredients, it will clog up with most of them! What do comedogenic ingredients do? They create a stickiness within the follicles (pores) that grab on to skin cells, creating the perfect little acne-bacteria incubators. Therefore, if the following common comedogenic ingredients lurk in your skin products and cosmetics, you need to stop using them: Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Polyglyceryl-3 Diisostearate, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Laureth-4 & -7, Stearic Acid, Sorbitan Olivate, Laurel Lysine, Isopropyl Palmitate, and Isopropyl Myristate. Click here for an accurate longer list.
2. You continue to use oils that don't have the right antioxidant profile
Is this you? You try a new facial oil or moisturizer, skin feels amazing, acne lesions heal up nicely... and then, bam! Acne again! I’ll tell you what’s happening here. Skin with acne is deficient in linoleic fatty acid, which is why applying oils with a profile abundant in linoleic fatty acid (i.e. sunflower seed, pumpkin seed, black cumin seed) may fix acne initially. In addition, oils bandaid the skin creating a healing environment. But here’s the problem, acne-prone skin is high needs and requires more antioxidant protection compared to typical skin. Moisturizers need two types of antioxidants--one to keep the products stable in the bottle, and another to keep the product stable on the skin. Once oil touches the skin it will go-off and become comedogenic and feed acne bacteria if the skin is not protected. A quick fix is to go oil free--check out these moisturizers here, here, here, and here.
3. Your products are just too irritating
Common skin irritants include:
Essential oils--Many natural skin products contain essential oils and if you using them morning and night, it will result in cumulative skin irritation... which leads to acne. See irritating constituent list here.
Homemade products--Baking soda, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, clay and spice masks, and bar soap will only dry you out and cause premature aging because these are either too alakline or too acidic. Best to only use products that are closest to our skin natural pH, about 4.7.
4. You’re not using any actives
To heal your skin you need to use actives strategically. Depending on the needs of your skin you can use vitamins and their derivatives to regenerate your skin, like Vitamin C, various Vitamin Bs, and retinoid esters and retinoid alternatives. Acids are another category of actives that will help with treatment of acne, especially lower percentage acids like mandelic, azelaic, and salicylic. Many women try actives and get poor results because they use too high percentage, too frequently, or too infrequently.
5. Your skin is chronically dehydrated
This is a big problem in women’s skin everywhere! Everyone uses oils, but very few uses humectants! When you have enough water in your skin, you age slower, your skin exfoliates better, you scar less, skin is less inflamed, and your products work better... not to mention your skin will look so much better!