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When pimples attack then does it mean you have acne?

Often we experience the surfacing of an army of pimples during a more stressful period or before an important event even though the teenage years and the turmoil of hormones are already in our past. That is infuriating and saddening as well as confusing. The scientists have researched the issue several times observing students during the more stressful periods. In the 2003 Stanford University research it became clear that the students’ acne outbreaks increased during the examination time. The 2007 Singapore National University research came to that same conclusion. What is still unclear, is the reason. Themost common belief is that stress increases the production of sebum in the skin and that, in turn, increases the number of clogged pores. We can also state quite boldly that during a more intense period people forget to take good care of their skin.

It is important to emphasize – pimples do not equal acne! That word is overexploited. When you know that an important event takes place soon and the pressure has increased, use more serums, try to remember to use peeling creams to speed up the renewal of skin cells, and in order to shed dead skin cells, moisturize it. Additionally, eat good food and try to sleep more.

It is a common opinion that acne is related to oily skin but in nine out of ten cases, the appearance of a large number of pimples is connected to hormonal changes, food intolerance and wrong skin care, not yet acne. If you suspect the first or the second reason, think whether you have made changes in your lifestyle (workout, food, mindset). Skin problems cause us insecurities and naturally, it doesn’t help to sit around and do nothing, you might want to consult a doctor in case of permanent or recurrent problems.

ACNE is a skin condition that is caused by:

Hormones – connected to women’s monthly cycle and menopause. This can cause adult acne – overproduction of sebum in the skin, and the slower shedding of dead skin cells may cause the formation of inflammatory pimples.
Bacteria – Propionibacterium Acnes is a bacteria that gives this condition its name – the only thing needed for the bacteria to spread is a suitable environment.
Inflammation – caused by stress, poor nutrition or some illness.
Sensitivity – allergies, product response, food/environment response.

Pimples on mature skin may emerge also when the skin feels dry. We could actually dig deeper into the subject, subtract the concept of dry skin and bring in the term dehydrated skin. The difference is big because:
In dehydrated skin, there is a lack of water, and therefore it needs to be moisturized.
In dry skin, there is a lack of sebum, and therefore it needs to be nourished.

More pimples appear when the skin is dehydrated. In this case, oils and oily creams don’t supply the needed effect as they do nourish it but the skin needs extra hydration first. I often meet women who complain that their skin is tight and red, and even the best oils haven’t helped. When you have dehydrated skin, you need substances that attract the water from lower layers to come towards the surface. The best substance to bind moisture is hyaluronic acid or HA. Other good and famous moisture binders are Aloe verahoney, AHA acids and algae extract.

Lately, I have thought much about whether adult acne has become a bigger problem or is there just more information available on the subject? Greater information availability is a fact, no doubt. It is becoming increasingly important to filter information because there are opinions and evidence online from one extreme to the other, concerning every issue there possibly is. More and more images and reviews reach us, and that may make us feel that the problem is greater than it actually is.

But if we presume that nowadays there is more adult acne, it is probably because of the weakening of the skin’s protective barrier resulting from the imbalance of environmental as well as our own inner factors. There is much talk about these inner factors. Multitasking causes us to be more tired and stressed out… and the various distresses unfortunately also affect the skin. My opinion is that the weakening of the skin’s protective barrier is the „mother“ of all skin problems, and because of insufficient skin care, overproduction of sebum caused by skin dehydration, annoying pimples may become your everyday concern. My skin care mantra is a thorough cleaning of the skin, then hyaluronic acid serum and cream with niacinamide (B3 vitamin), hyaluronic acid and long term hydrators.

Niacinamideis a multifunctional component that provides various effects depending on the percentage that is added to the product:

  • 2-3% gives protection against urban pollution and has a moisturizing and soothing effect, it also increases the skin’s overall defense capability.
  • 4% decreases the number of pimples and bumps (in addition to the above-listed benefits).
  • 5% decreases the signs of ageing and unifies the skin tone (in addition to the above-listed benefits).

If pimples are troubling you, make sure that your beauty arsenal doesn’t include products that contain a large amount of shea butter or other heavy oilssilicones and PEG-components, and avoid products with strong scents. Also check that the products you use don’t contain alcohol, especially of low molecular weight. The low molecular weight alcohols (ethanol, alcohol denat., ethyl alcohol, benzyl alcohol, isopropyl alcohol) is a group of easily volatile substances. They bind the water inside the skin and dry extremely fast. The skin remains with a dry surface and a weakened protective barrier. The skin will try to help itself by frantically producing sebum while the surface still remains dry. The outcome is a complete chaos – dry skin with pimples,. According to the myth, the products containing alcohol are suitable for oily and acne prone skin, as the logic says that they dry the pimples out. Please, erase that from your memory! There are many alternatives to combat pimples without harming your skin. BHA acids, for example.

What to do? Everyone’s skin is different but in case you have acne, special attention should be turned to cleaning, moisturizing and exfoliating the skin. Using just cream is not enough. You need to take into use the heavy artillery of skin care products – serums. The fastest way to increase the skin’s moisture level is hyaluronic acid, and you should seek for a product that contains it in different molecular weights. It is super important to also pay attention to your nutrition! There is a lot of information about that subject and you can always consult a nutritionist to find a regime that suits you the best. If the problem gets worse, ask a dermatologist for advice, and if you are prescribed antibiotics, I recommend to take in probiotics for counteraction.

What not to do, under no circumstance? If you find red cysts on your skin, please please please – don’t squeeze them! That doesn’t help and only leaves you scarred. There are special skincare products that help you get rid of the spots.

Don’t put toothpaste or vodka on the zits (horrible…), use a peeling cream! AHA acids (lactic acid, glycolic acid, malic acid, flower acid, etc) and BHA acids (salicylic acid) are all very good. Grainy peeling creams are not. You don’t need to rub the spots and scratch already tender skin.

Author of the article:
Carmen Kibur
D’DIFFERENCE Brand Manager

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