Let's Clear Things Up
Remember that feeling before starting a new school year? You had spent the entire summer prepping your return so you could head back to school with some crisp clothes, fresh notebooks and a whole new attitude. The last thing you wanted to rock while walking down the hall was some untimely acne. Ah, to go back to when dealing with a new pimple was your biggest worry...
First off, it's important to note that acne during your teenage years is completely normal. With an influx of hormones and new environmental stressors, your skin is working through a serious learning curve. In fact, there are many reasons why your skin reacts the way it does. Your genetics plays a key role in how your skin will behave when faced off with Propionibacterium acnes (the most common bacteria that contributes to the inflammation of acne). From clogged pores and blackheads to cysts and pustules, chances are the extent of your acne can be reminiscent of what your parents went through.
Let's dispell one major myth regarding acne and sugar, shall we?
Sugar itself does not cause acne, and eating your 2nd cookie isn't necessarily a surefire way to a flareup. How your body processes the sugar, now that correlates. What's truly causing the pimple is the inflammation the sugar is producing. Sugar, as we know, spikes your insulin levels generating inflammation throughout your body. These constant boosts of insulin production then enhance oil production which occurs in your skin glands. Therefore, potentially contributing to clogged follicles and leading your skin toward a path of unsightly blackheads. You can learn more about clogged pores here.
When choosing a skincare line to help manage acne, you'll want to look for gentle formulas that are infused with these acne-fighting ingredients:
Salicylic acid is a BHA (Beta Hydroxy Acid) with anti-inflammatory and exfoliating properties. It is a go-to ingredient for the treatment of excessive oil and acne and assists in the breakdown of blackheads/whiteheads.
Glycolic acid is an AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acid) that exfoliates the skin, reduces the build-up of dead skin cells, and improves the appearance of sun damage.
Retinol (or retinyl palmitate) is a powerful antioxidant considered to be an important skin-cell regulator. It has also been shown to reduce the appearance of pigmentation and blemishes.
Experimenting with these different ingredients to find the right concoction for you will take some time, so don't get discouraged! When testing out new skincare products, a purging process may occur, almost causing your skin to look worse before improving. We recommend using a product for about a month to truly be able to determine if it's working for you and your needs.