What’s Inflammation Got To Do With Acne?
In the movie in which you annihilate the villain who is regularly lobbing acne grenades at your skin, your chief nemesis is bacteria, right? Think again. In this acne-busting scenario, taking down bacteria means you’ve brought down the pawn and not the kingpin. If your movie is going to have a happy ending, you need to set your sights on the mastermind behind your breakouts. Your mission is to eliminate inflammation.
What’s inflammation got to do with acne? Absolutely everything.
It’s long been accepted that there were two types of acne lesions: inflammatory (cysts, pustules, papules) and non-inflammatory (blackheads, whiteheads). But recent clinical evidence indicates that inflammation is integral to the formation and early development of all acne lesions. Inflammation is not a symptom of acne. It’s a trigger.
It all starts with systemic inflammation; inflammation at the cellular level which creates oxidative stress in the sebum follicle. Oxidized, or damaged, sebum boosts the proliferation of keratinocytes, dead skin cells. This keratolytic over-abundance is what leads to the clogged pores that allow acne bacteria to thrive.
So, if we can reduce inflammation at the cellular level, we can impede the process that leads to red, swollen, bumpy skin.
What causes the cellular inflammation? Things like stress, poor diet including excess sugar, UV damage, harmful chemicals, and smoking are all contributors.
To reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, pay attention to both internal and external factors.
Never pick at blemishes. Picking creates further inflammation and can lead to scarring and hyperpigmentation. Instead, focus your efforts on reducing stress as much as possible, getting good sleep, limiting UV exposure, and eating an antioxidant-rich diet loaded with leafy greens, nuts, colorful fruits and vegetables, healthy fats like those found in salmon, avocados, and olive oil. Avoid sugar, saturated fat, simple carbs, processed meats, artificial sweeteners, and excess alcohol. Some also find dairy and gluten to be a problem.
Finally, make sure that in addition to targeting bacteria, your skin care products include anti-inflammatory and antioxidant ingredients.
A daily correcting serum that combines the cell regenerating and antioxidant properties of vitamin A with the anti-inflammatory potency of niacinamide, kojic acid, lactic acid, and glycine.
Two antioxidant superheroes, plus anti-inflammatory agents niacinamide, glycine and lactic acid to neutralize free radicals and provide a cell supportive, barrier strengthening boost.
A lightweight, non-greasy formula loaded with healing, soothing and protective ingredients including naturally derived allantoin, grape seed oil, oat protein, whole leaf aloe, and zinc peptides for the ultimate anti-inflammatory and antioxidant hydration.
Tone and tame at the same time with these refreshing single use pads steeped in anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory ingredients including mandelic acid, niacinamide, zinc peptides, lactic acid, salicylic acid, and glycine.
And while we’re on the subject of inflammation, check out our recent blog about inflammation-fighting, anti-oxidant, glow-inducing turmeric tonic.