A new year nearly always starts with good intentions. Whether it’s resolutions for better health, fitness, mindfulness or something else, there’s always some action you can take to improve your situation. The same applies to your skin, especially if you are someone who suffers from acne breakouts.
While there is no ‘cure’ for acne, its symptoms can be managed, maintained and controlled. So what can you do in 2023 to prevent the formation of acne breakouts?
Debbie Thomas, skin and laser expert at D.Thomas Clinic provides some insight and says that acne management needs to have a multi-pronged approach.
She says: “Minimising breakouts needs a 360 approach, while working to control breakout formations on the surface of the skin with topical products and professional treatments, it’s also important to look at internal factors that could be causing inflammation from within.”
D.Thomas Clinic suggests the following ways to get your acne under control…
Lower your stress levels – stress can exasperate acne, so find ways that suit you to help reduce your stress levels like regular exercise, yoga, hobbies or spending time with friends and family.
Incorporate gentle, regular exfoliation to your skincare routine – regular exfoliation helps to minimise the build-up of dead skin cells and excess oils, but opting for a gentle formula will avoid stripping the skin and protect the skin barrier, maintaining the harmony of natural oil production.
Eat a healthy, balanced diet focused on whole foods – greasy food, fast food and foods that cause insulin spikes (such as refined sugar or fast-releasing carbs) can promote acne. Some people may find that dairy products can make them more prone to breakouts too. Focusing on whole foods to maintain an unprocessed diet can help to maintain insulin levels and minimise inflammation within the body.
Incorporate skin barrier-strengthening ingredients into your skincare routine – a strong, efficient skin barrier will protect and promote your skin’s water levels to keep a healthy balance of moisture and hydration within the skin. This reduces the overproduction of oil that can clog pores and cause acne breakouts.
Explore your hormone levels and work on balancing your hormones – balancing your hormones may take time, but it is worth it to control and reduce inflammation within the body.
Maintain hydration levels in the skin – the skin cannot make its own water content, meaning all skin types still need some amount of assistance to hydrate. Humectant ingredients will help to do that.
Topical products to manage acne
It’s not just taking positive action and introducing good practices into your daily routine that will bring benefits to your skin. There are several different topical ingredients that can help to manage acne breakouts, including:
Retinol – mostly known for its age management benefits, retinol was actually first introduced as an acne management ingredient. It helps unblock pores and increases the turnover of skin cells, making it an effective treatment for acne.
Anti-inflammatory acids – Opt for acids that not only work to gently exfoliate the skin to reduce pore clogging but also have anti-inflammatory properties to reduce inflammation. Options include mild exfoliating azelaic acid; mandelic acid, which helps to regulate sebum production, unclog pores and reduce inflammation: and salicylic acid, which is a BHA, is oil-soluble, and helps to unclog pores and remove dead skin cells.
“Azelaic acid works similarly to AHAs by penetrating the skin and breaking up acne-causing blockages. It isn’t as strong as other chemical exfoliators, so it is much more gentle on the skin and protects the skin from over exfoliation. It also has anti-inflammatory properties,” says Debbie.
Lightweight hydration – in the form of water is actually good for acne troubled skin. “A common misconception amongst acne-prone skins is to skip on hydration, but this can actually exasperate your breakouts. Hydration is essential for skin health and can minimise breakouts by balancing oil production and minimising clogged pores,” says Debbie.
Skin-barrier strengthening – a damaged skin barrier increases skin irritation, reactivity and sensitivity which will exasperate acne breakouts and wound healing. A healthy skin barrier can retain moisture levels and keep irritants out for optimum skin protection.
Professional treatments for your skin
Despite all your good intentions and positive action, your skin could still benefit from professional treatment in 2023 to help to maintain acne breakouts. D.Thomas Clinic offers various treatments that could be beneficial to those looking to manage their acne condition.
Says Debbie: “Acne-prone skins are often overwhelmed with active acne and therefore our comprehensive bespoke DNA Essential Skin Grade 1 is brilliant for declogging pores, clearing the skin and restoring the skin barrier before moving onto stronger laser treatments.”
Other treatment options offered at D.Thomas clinic include LED therapy Byonik, which is specifically focused on restoring your skin barrier with nourishment and hydration, using the healing power of light.
“As a damaged skin barrier cannot effectively manage inflammation, sometimes going back to skin basics and rebuilding your skin’s strength is essential in treating acne-prone skin, “ she adds.
The most popular, versatile treatment, at D.Thomas Clinic is DNA Laser Complete Grade 2 which combines a number of cutting-edge technology available to treat and manage acne symptoms. From IPL blue light targeting porphyrin production to kill acne-associated bacteria, to AdvaTx dual yellow laser that calms inflammation and reduces redness.