Whether you’re currently in your teens or it feels like decades ago, many of us will never forget our teen years and how our changing hormones affected our skin. Teens years, except for those that are lucky, usually include the introduction of acne into our lives, whether it’s mild or severe. For many teens, it can be frustrating and embarrassing and even cause things like anxiety to occur. It may feel like there’s no end in sight, but there are treatments for acne that can help.
First, let’s look into why acne occurs as a teen. For most teens, the age that you hit puberty occurs in your teenage years. Puberty brings about a world of changes for a young person, including physical and emotional changes. One of these changes includes the increase of hormones called androgens occurring in your body. This excess of androgens causes your oil glands located in your pores to become overactive and produce extra oil or sebum in your pores. This extra oil causes the pores where your hair follicles are located to become clogged, and combined with dirt and dead skin cells causes the bacteria Propionibacterium acnes to form. When these pores become infected or inflamed, acne forms.
There are multiple types of acne. When a blocked pore becomes inflamed or infected, it forms a pimple– a raised spot usually with a white center. If the pore clogs and then bulges, it will create a whitehead, small yellow or white bumps. When a pore becomes clogged but stays open and exposed to the air, it forms a blackhead. When a clogged pore is exposed to bacteria, it will create a pustule, leaving the pimple to become red and inflamed. When the inflammation inside of your pore creates a large and often painful bump beneath the surface of the skin, it’s called a cyst.
Now, if you’ve determined you’re suffering from some sort of acne, let’s look into what kinds of treatments are known to help treat and prevent acne. There are a few ingredients that are known and beloved to help treat acne. The first is salicylic acid, a type of beta-hydroxy acid that works to dissolve the bond that keeps dead skin cells together, making it easier to shed these dead cells. CLn’s Acne Cleanser is made with 0.5% salicylic acid to eliminate clogged pores and kill acne-causing bacteria and is a great way to start to incorporate salicylic acid into your routine. The PCA Skin Acne Gel also uses salicylic acid for a more targeted treatment to treat and prevent future breakouts with a higher concentration at 2%. Another great ingredient for acne is benzoyl peroxide, which works to kill bacteria in the skin that can cause acne. Jan Marini makes a Benzoyl Peroxide 2.5% Face Wash and also their Benzoyl Perioxide 5% and Benzoyl Peroxide 10%, which can dramatically clear the appearance of acne lesions, and also prevents P. acnes growth at the beginning of the acne process. Many also swear by sulfur as an ingredient to heal acne- it helps to dry out the surface of the skin and absorb excess oil that may contribute to breakouts. Clearogen also has an Acne Lotion with sulfur created for sensitive skin. It’s enriched with natural sulfur that works to kill bacteria, regulate oil and clear and prevent blemishes. If you’re looking for a different way to incorporate sulfur, you can try Glytone’s Acne Treatment Mask for a more short-term yet effective treatment with sulfur and zinc oxide.
When it comes to using ingredients to clear your acne, remember to hydrate and moisturize your skin consistently, as some of these ingredients can be drying for the skin and lead to irritation. For a more specified acne consultation, please reach out and let us know!