In my last article, I discussed acne and its effect on self-esteem at any age. It’s important to understand that acne is genetic. Once it’s under control, the effective treatment plan and home care must be followed or it will come back.

So how can you or a loved one struggling with acne achieve long-term, clear skin success? There are so many choices and contradicting opinions when it comes to treating breakouts that just knowing where to start can feel overwhelming.

In my opinion, the best course of action is to find a skin therapist who specializes in acne. A skin therapist will help you find effective ingredients, treatments, and services for acne while avoiding the lure of marketing hype from department or drug store brands.

DERMATOLOGIST VS. SKIN THERAPIST

When you believe you’ve lost all hope for clear skin, seeing a skin therapist in conjunction with a dermatologist can definitely enhance results. While dermatologists practice out of medical offices and often prescribe medications, skin therapists typically work in salons, spas, or under the direction of a dermatologist.

Even if prescription medications help clear up acne, many topical or oral drugs can leave skin dry, irritated, and congested. Often, these side effects can be just as uncomfortable as the acne itself. Skin therapists help you balance abrasive prescription solutions with calming and hydrating skin support.

In my experience as an acne skin specialist, prescription medication is only one of many approaches to the healing process. It’s possible clients may even need to quit prescription medications because they’re either ineffective or too harsh on skin.

PRO-ACNE INGREDIENTS & METHODOLOGIES MATTER

Acne-approved ingredients and treatment options are very specific and require an entirely different level of skin knowledge and experience to use effectively.

Skincare ingredients such as fruit acids, benzoyl peroxide, and retinoids create clear skin results but can be drying if not used properly. If, for example, any of the above ingredients are not combined with the correct moisturizer, you will likely experience dry, irritated, and flaky skin. Think you can pick up any old face cream to balance it out? Unfortunately, the answer is no. A common cause of breakouts in mature skin is from moisturizers designed to hydrate but which contain pore-clogging ingredients.

As tempting as it is to try DIY acne products and treatments, a skin therapist specializing in acne will guide you toward educated, acne appropriate solutions so that healing happens faster and with better results.

PASS ON THE POPPING

While it may feel strangely satisfying, squeezing pimples often makes matters worse. Not only does popping pimples lead to larger, redder, and more noticeable imperfections, but it also results in slower healing. In worst case scenarios, popping can also lead to scarring.

Touching pimples may also cause them to multiple. When using incorrect pressure, or squeezing at the wrong angle, you easily disrupt the integrity of your follicles, causing infection to spread to other follicles. This leads to inflammation and, ultimately, more breakouts.

A NOTE TO PARENTS

Admittedly, the teen years are a difficult time to adopt a regimented skincare routine. Parents may think their helpful tips and face wash-nagging will help their child achieve clear skin. Trust me, it doesn’t work—it simply makes them more self-conscious and less likely to try. Let a trained professional teach them how to manage their skin.


For more content like this, check out our Beauty section.

"A common cause of breakouts in mature skin is from moisturizers designed to hydrate but which contain pore-clogging ingredients."