The Acne Cycle
The 4 stages of Acne:
When you see a red bump, whitehead or blackhead on your skin, it’s usually gone through four stages to get there.
is a clogged hair follicle or pore. Your skin cells are constantly renewing and when old cells die off they shed. The result: fresh, new skin about every month or so. However, if you’re acne-prone, these dead cells mix with the oil (aka sebum) on your skin, become sticky and clump together inside the pore. When that happens oil and the bacteria that causes acne (the p. acnes bacteria) gets trapped inside.
in the formation of acne is the overproduction of oil. The question is why are you producing so much it? Basically, androgen hormones stimulate the release of sebum from the sebaceous glands attached to your pores. Things like puberty or emotional stress can increase androgen levels, causing you to produce more oil which leads to more clogged pores..
At this point, the acnes bacteria, which naturally grow on your skin, now have an abundant supply of food (oil and dead skin cells) to feast on. As a result, they start to breed inside the plugged pore. This process is considered Step 3 on the path to breakouts. If the bacteria and sebum stays trapped below the skin surface, a whitehead is formed. If the pore opens up, the sebum, which contains the skin pigment melanin, oxidizes and turns blackish and a blackhead is formed.
Finally, Step #4 occurs because the bacteria continue to feed on your oil. As they do so, they release byproducts your body recognizes as foreign invaders, causing it to produce an immune response. White blood cells rush to the infected area and this causes swelling, redness and inflammation. The end result is a breakout of the throbbing, red, tender bumps you know as pimples (aka papules and pustules).
Many young people think moisturizing can make acne or oily skin worse, but the truth is, your skin needs a certain amount of oil (sebum) to keep it balanced, healthy and soft. Your body already provides natural oils to hydrate your skin and when pores are clear, these oils flow from the inside of the follicle to lubricate your skin’s surface while shedding excess dead skin cells. It’s only when the sebaceous glands make too much sebum that you run the risk of breakouts because excess oil causes dead skin cells to stick together and become trapped inside the pore along with bacteria, resulting in acne. Excess oil can sometimes be the body’s response to skin that is imbalanced or dehydrated so you can see why it’s important to moisturize on a daily basis and to use the right moisturizer for your needs.
In addition to using the right moisturizer, one of the easiest ways to nourish your skin is to drink plenty of water on a daily basis. Staying hydrated on the inside can definitely help hydrate the outside. If you live in a dry climate or environment, using a humidifier can add moisture to the air which, in turn, can help keep your skin soft. Other best practices that will reduce dryness include using water-based makeup, choosing mild, gentle skin cleansers.
Critical for the skin is eating a healthy diet that includes foods which promote healthy, soft skin such as avocado (essential fatty acids), papaya (antioxidants), salmon (omega 3 fatty acids), or nuts (rich in vitamin E). A clear skin diet should exclude foods high on the glycemic index – things like white pasta, rice, bread and sweets – because they spike sugar, which can also increase oil-producing hormones. The best diet for healthy skin includes foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which studies have shown reduce inflammation and help with mood regulation (among other benefits). So make sure to add omega-3-rich foods like salmon, avocado, flaxseed oil and walnuts to your grocery list weekly. Combine these diet and lifestyle tips with a BeMe acne treatment and you’ll be doing your best to clear your skin and keep it free of breakouts.
ACNE DEFINITION AND RECAP
Acne is a complicated skin condition that begins inside the pores
The acne cycle starts weeks before pimples surface
Clogged pores, oil secretion, bacterial overgrowth and inflammation all contribute to acne
BeMe addresses each step of the acne cycle
BeMe attacks existing acne and helps keep you from breaking out in the future
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