Guest Blog by Renee Rouleau
Q. I still get acne breakouts, yet I’m starting to see the signs of anti-aging. How do I properly address both?
A. You certainly don’t want to treat you skin like a teenager by drying your skin out using harsh acne products as these only make your skin worse by causing dry skin cells which trap the oil and bacteria beneath dead cells resulting in more clogged pores and acne breakouts. And when your skin is dried out, it certainly doesn’t help with lines and wrinkles because your skin needs to be healthy and hydrated to look and act young.
On the other hand, if you choose high-performance anti-aging products these rich formulas can often result in increased clogged pores. The most effective way to treat both wrinkles and acne breakouts is to give your skin the balance it needs with a proper home care routine consisting of non-drying, anti-bacterial products, gentle exfoliants, and oil-free moisturizing formulas.
-Use a cleanser with Salicylic Acid. This beta hydroxy acid (BHA) is famous for its ability for reducing acne-causing bacteria and oil to prevent blemishes, all while penetrating the pores to clear out impurities.
-Use an alcohol-free toner. There’s no better way to give your skin the hydration and water it needs for anti-aging than to use an alcohol-free toner morning and evening after cleansing. But make sure to leave it damp before applying lotion to seal in all the hydrating properties.
-Exfoliate often. Using gentle facial scrubs and chemical exfoliants (glycolic and lactic acids) will remove surface dry skin cells to release the oil and bacteria under the skin resulting in less clogged pores and blemishes. Exfoliants also break down scarred cells (known as post-breakout marks from picking at blemishes) so these also help to keep the skin more clear and even-toned.
-Spot treat blemishes. It’s best to treat blemishes individually as they appear with a drying spot treatment, than to dry out the entire face with harsh acne products (when you may only have one or two blemishes).
-Use SPF daily. The #1 best anti-aging product is a sunscreen used every day, 365 days a year, rain or shine. Look for ones with at least 6% Zinc Oxide as this UV-protecting ingredient won’t clog the pores and will generally dry to a matte finish.
-Get professional help. Deep pore cleansing facials and mild chemical peels can really make a huge improvement in reducing blemishes and keeping the skin looking young.
-Practice self control and don’t pick at the skin. I’ve always said that a blemish itself lasts only 5-7 days where a post-breakout scar from picking at the blemish can last for up to two months.
-Avoid cleansers that make your skin feel tight. More lather, more drying, less lather, less drying. Use sulfate-free cleansing gels that won’t strip the skin and cause unnecessary dry skin cells.
-Use an oil-free moisturizer. Do not skimp on moisturizer thinking that it’s going to cause acne breakouts. If it’s oil-free then it’s giving your skin the water it needs without the oil. Have questions for me? Just ask!