Living with Acne

Living with Acne

Living with Acne

Acne is problem all of us have faced at one point or another in our lives, whether it was an occasional breakout or two or wide spread acne all over the face. One thing I’m sure we can all agree with is that it can be a very frustrating battle. In my experience, I have found that some of our acne flare ups  are due to things that can simply be avoided.

Before I move on, let’s go over the 4 types of acne:

Grade 1:
This describes skin that is beginning to show the typical first signs of acne: greasiness, open blackheads, sometimes in large numbers, and a few spots. There is no inflammation.

Grade 2:
Spots may be larger, usually red and/or filled with pus, with signs of black heads and white heads (comedones). There is slight inflammation of the skin. Breakouts will appear more often and breakout activity is more apparent.

Grade 3:
The skin is now obviously inflamed and reddened. The usual signs of acne, such as red and yellow spots and comedones will be present but far more widespread and inflamed. Papules and pustules appear in larger numbers. Severe acne usually affects other regions, such as the neck, chest, shoulders, and/or upper back, in addition to the face.

Grade 4:
The most serious form of acne, but luckily not very common. The usual signs of acne, such as red and yellow spots and comedones, will be present, but far more widespread and very angry looking. Someone with this type of acne will often have large cysts. A cyst is a pus-filled spot over 5mm in diameter. There are numerous comedones, papules, pustules, and nodules, in addition to cysts. There is a pronounced degree of inflammation and breakouts are severe. Cystic acne is very painful.

While people who suffer from acne grades 3 and 4 will be better off visiting a physician’s office for a more in-depth treatment, I believe all can benefit from these tips I will be sharing.

1. Make an appointment with your skin care specialist.

This is great way to see if you would be a good candidate for a chemical peel. Peels can help dry up the excess oil in the pore, reduce inflammation and help reduce the look of any acne scaring you pickers may have.
There are several types of peels that an acne patient can benefit from so it is very important to see a professional to see what best fits you as an individual.
Deep cleansing facials are also very beneficial to help keep those clogged pores from becoming inflamed.

2. What are you using at home?

This is the place many go wrong. Whether you’re using the wrong products for your skin type or you are simply overdoing it, I have found in my experience as an aesthetician that it’s usually one or the other.

For example, I would say most of my client base is middle-aged women and many of them suffer with acne as an adult. I find many of them go straight for the acne products they would have used or have used as an adolescent. But take in consideration the fact that as a middle-aged individual, your skin is much different from that of a teenager.

As we age, our skin becomes thinner, drier, and odds are, has undergone damage from the sun, pollution and other external factors. Therefore, the aggressive acne cleansers and treatments we used in our teens can simply aggravate our acne.

For an adult, who may have breakouts but areas of dryness as well, try a using a mild foaming cleanser during the day and a salicylic wash at night, this will help to keep the skin clean without overdoing it.

For a teen, who most likely has more oily skin overall, using the salicylic wash both day and night should be fine. Avoid harsh scrubs that can irritate the skin and worsen breakouts.

Using a light moisturizer with an SPF of at least 30, paired with a spot treatment that contains salicylic, benzoyl peroxide or tea tree oil will also help.

Again, I would highly recommend seeing a professional who can evaluate your skin and customize a skin care regimen for you.

Digging deeper …

There are internal factors that can also cause breakouts such as stress, hormone imbalance for example peri-menopause, and even certain medications. All of us have busy lives and to say “don’t stress” is almost like saying don’t blink, its a natural response our body has when under pressure, which for some of us, happens more often than others. However I will say, find what works for you, there are different ways people cope with stress, some by exercising, others with music and still others with simply finding a positive friend to vent to. What ever you decide to do, make time for it. Stress causes harm in so many different levels.

As for the hormone imbalance and medication, that’s way out of my league, lucky for me I work for Dr Mowett who’s expertise is in hormonal balancing and dermatology. This could make a significant improvement in your skin, set an appointment with her to see if this would fit you. When it comes to medications, ask your doctor if there are any side affects that could cause acne flare-ups if so, there may be an alternative treatment.

3. NO PICKING YOUR SKIN OR ANYONE ELSE’!!! (that includes friends, siblings, or partners)

If you develop a pimple or nodule do not pop or squeeze these legions, your skin will take longer to heal. Picking will only cause inflammation resulting in post inflammatory hyperpigmentation (dark spot) and spread bacteria. There is a time and place to get those comedones out and it should be done after exfoliating and applying steam to the skin to soften the pore. The best way to extract (not pick) a black head without breaking the skin and causing a scar is with a simple technique, “spread, rock and roll” the comedone out.

If it doesn’t slide right out after you have exfoliated and applied steam it’s time to make an appointment with your skincare specialist for a deep cleansing treatment.

4. Stay out of the sun.

The sun’s ultraviolet rays can increase inflammation and redness. Some acne medications may make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. Limit your time in the sun, especially between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Whether you have pimples or not, always apply sunblock with SPF 30 or higher at least 20 minutes before sun exposure. Look for “noncomedogenic” on the sunscreen label to make new breakouts less likely.

Although these tips may not solve all your acne concerns, I hope it provides you with a better understanding of acne and acne management. From what I have seen firsthand, they can definitely help. I encourage you to try them and let me know how it went.

Iris Hernandez

How Do I Choose the Right Cleanser for My Skin?

How Do I Choose the Right Cleanser for My Skin?

How Do I Choose the Right Cleanser for My Skin?

We’ve all been there, standing in the skin care isle of our local drug or department store, looking completely confused and frustrated. “I mean, does it really even make a difference what cleanser I use? Will it really help improve my skin?’ Many of you reading this may be thinking,”I’ve tried so many and still have yet to find my perfect, year-round cleanser.

The truth is, there is no “perfect” year-round cleanser. Our skin changes with age, environmental factors and stress. As a result, so will our skin care regimen.

So does it really make the difference? Of course! Choosing the right cleanser for your skin type and condition will help your products penetrate deeper; give you a clean canvas for makeup application and last but not least, aid in our ultimate goal, which is of course, to stay looking beautiful and young FOREVER! Okay maybe not the last part but-hey, a girl can dream. Either way, cleansing can definitely help the aging process come at us in a much more graceful manner.

That having been said, the key to finding the correct cleanser is identifying your skin type and condition and the difference between the two. Your skin type is something that you’re born with. Some skin conditions are caused by external factors like the weather, incorrect products used on the skin, and even certain in-office skin treatments.

Skin Type

Normal skin is hydrated and tends to be clear and even-toned. It also tolerates exfoliation and more aggressive skincare ingredients

Oily skin is caused by overactive oil glands. It has a shiny appearance, enlarged pores, and acne is a primary concern.

Dry skin experiences flaking, itching, and dullness. Dry skin does not produce enough oil. Cold weather and harsh conditions make symptoms worse.

Combination skin, this is when some parts of your face are oily while others are dry or sensitive. You may you have heard of the term T-Zone. This refers to the forehead, nose and chin, the area of the face that is usually oil while the rest of your face may feel dry.

Sensitive skin reacts to products or the environment with redness and itching. It is often experienced from birth. Commonly seen in people with Rosacea.

Common Skin Conditions

Aging Skin: Dry skin and wrinkles are caused by sun exposure and decreased oil production. Signs include enlarged pores, loss of elasticity, wrinkles, and uneven skin tone.

Acne Prone Skin: Excess oil and excessive cell production lead to clogged pores and breakouts.
Acne includes blackheads, whiteheads, cysts, and pimples. Acne can affect all ages but is more common in adolescents.

Hyperpigmentation(dark spots): Sun exposure is the primary cause of pigment changes. Hormone-induced hyperpigmentation causes dark patches on the forehead and cheeks. Past acne and other trauma may result in dark spots.

Rosacea: This condition causes persistent blushing and flushing. Rosacea may lead to broken blood vessels and pimple-like lesions on the cheeks and nose.

Dehydrated Skin: Dehydrated skin is rough, itchy, and flaky.
It does not maintain proper levels of hydration and the lack of moisture makes wrinkles more visible.

Sensitized Skin: Sensitized skin is not something you were born with, rather a condition produced by an internal or external factor. For example, some antibiotics, diseases, and even in-office clinical procedures can cause your skin to be more sensitive. Many times it is red, inflamed, and itchy. Harsh ingredients can also sensitize the skin.

Now that we have covered skin types and conditions, its time to identify where you’re at.

Here is a little “layout” for you to go by when choosing your cleanser.

Oily/Acne: For oily complexions, the best types of cleansers are oil-free options that usually come in gel form. Be sure to look for acne-fighting ingredients like salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide if you’re concerned with breakouts. Avoid harsh scrubs as well.

Combination/Normal: With combination skin, look for cleansers that contain glycolic acid or lactic acid, this will help keep skin hydrated and exfoliated.

Dry Skin/Dehydrated: Dry skin lacks oil. For drier skin types, look for milk, cream, or oil cleansers that will help you wash away impurities without stripping your skin of necessary oils. Dehydrated skin lacks water therefor look for ingredients like hyaluronic acid to help bind moister to your skin.

Rosacea/ Sensitized/ Sensitive: For this skin type, it’s best to lean towards calming and soothing ingredients like aloe, green tea or oatmeal. Stay away from fragrance, and the less ingredients you see, the better.

Aging: Look for cleansers that contain retinoid, glycolic acid and vitamin C to help remove the dead cells that may usually take longer to slough off with aging. Make sure it doesn’t strip your skin and leave it feeling tight though, that’s a sign you have overdone it.

I hope this article helps you on your search for the right facial cleanser. Keep in mind these are just a few of many ingredients you can choose from. Everyone has different skin, and when dealing with skin conditions, I highly recommend to see a Skin Care Specialist as myself get a deeper look. Together we can work to achieve beautiful and radiant skin. Good luck guys!


The information provided is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The Aesthetic & Wellness Center is not responsible or liable for any advice, course of treatment, diagnosis or any other information, services or products that you obtain through this site. After reading articles, watching videos or reading other content from this website, you are encouraged to review the information carefully with your professional healthcare provider or skin care specialist.

Oil is In!

Oil is In!

I know my fellow Floridians, I get it, the thought of applying oil to the face in our hot humid climate is a little scary. But after doing some research and testing it out myself I must say, it just might be exactly what you’ve been looking for.

It turns out there are tons of benefits we can get from these oils. Yes, even you, with oily skin can benefit from them!

Here are just a few we can go over.

Skin Rejuvenation

Argan oil, derived from the fruit of a tree that grows in Morocco, has been dubbed “liquid gold.” This oil is super rich in vitamin E. Leslie S. Baumann, MD, an expert in the area of cosmetic ingredients says, argan oil may improve skin ailments such as eczema, psoriasis, wrinkles, and dry skin. She also recommends olive, safflower, walnut, avocado, and evening primrose oils for dry skin.
Source: WebMD

Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant. When applied topically, it interacts directly with the skin cells, neutralizing free radicals in the skin and preventing many signs of aging, as well as skin cancer risks. As an oil, vitamin E can also help improve skin hydration. Some evidence points to the use of vitamin E to speed cellular regeneration on the skin, which can help the healing process for scars and acne.

***When applying this oil its best to use just a drop before bed and allow a few minutes to absorb.

Acne Prone Skin

Tea Tree Oil is an oil product that has been extracted from the leaves of the Australian Melalauca Alternafolia tree. It contains antiseptic, anti-fungal, antiviral and antibacterial properties which clears all acne present on skin. The product has an active acne-fighting ingredient called terpinen-4-ol which is found naturally in the leaves of the plant. This ingredient suppresses the skin’s natural inflammatory response. It is found in many acne fighting skin care products or simply on its own.

Skin Repair

Black Currant Oil is perfect for skin that has been traumatized in any way, such as after a laser treatment, too much time in the sun or inflamed acne (even the one you get for picking, shame on you!). This reparative treatment is perfect because it’s rich in fatty acids and has anti-inflammatory properties. It even works on eczema!

The oil, produced from black currants by a low heat technique (cold-pressed), is extremely beneficial for the skin. Its antioxidant properties can nourish your dry and damaged skin and restore its natural glow without any adverse effect.
As your cells get nutrients from black currants, they become soft and replenished, reducing the signs of aging.
The anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antioxidant properties of black currants help you fight against a number of skin disorders. Because of this, black currant oil is used topically for healing eczema, psoriasis and atopic dermatitis.
These are just a select few of great oils for the skin. So don’t fear–try it for yourself.

Oh! Another thing… when it comes to oils, I highly recommend using pure and organic products to avoid any toxins being absorbed into the skin.

It’s ok to spend a little more on your skin–remember you get what you pay for. Your face is the first thing people see, invest in it — believe me it’s worth it.

I hope you guys liked my blog, I will be discussing Misconceptions of Chemical Peels on the next so stay tuned!

Love you guys!

The information provided is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The Aesthetic and Wellness Center is not responsible or liable for any advice, course of treatment, diagnosis or any other information, services or products that you obtain through this site. You are encouraged to consult with your doctor. After reading articles, watching videos or reading other content from this website, you are encouraged to review the information carefully with your professional healthcare provider.

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