Whether you have acne prone skin or not, there are times where breakouts are innevitable! I have put together a great routine that can combat stress or weather induced havoc, sensitized skin, reactive, signs of transepidermal water loss (TEWL), and inflamed.
Homecare Steps: Cleanser, ICE, Toner, Serum, Hydrator, SPF
When sensitivity is present, eliminate sensitivity and inflammation before starting any aggressive treatment. My sensitivity protocol for clients include a Gentle cleanser, moisturizer and sunblock. This should be a go-to sensitivity protocol to fortify your skin barrier and strengthen weak skin. When adding in barrier replenishing ingredients like humectants, peptides, and antioxidants, results can be achieved in 1-6 weeks depending on the level of dysfunction. Once your skin becomes strengthened, you can advance to other goals!
Cleanser: Start them with a nourishing cleanser ( in extremely inflamed cases, a low percentage acid based cleanser). This will allow for a deep cleansing of the pores to loosen oil, dead skin cells, debris, and address bacteria induced acne. Maintain low percentage acids (at your discretion) to maintain effective exfoliation without weakening the skin too much. Consider:
Toner: Hydrating toners and/or some mild forms of acids you want to consider:
Ice: Rub ice directly over entire “affected area” for a few minutes daily prior to applying products. The benefits of using ice cannot be overstated. The vascular constricting effects of the ice, reduces inflammation and redness, which will reduce the chances of acne scarring and new breakouts from surfacing. For treatment of any skin concern it optimizes the performance of products by making it easier for the skin to absorb the products. It is important to stick with this step! You cannot be optimally successful without the other.
Serums: Consider an enzyme, BHA or AHA based formula or a low strength peptide rich retinoid. (prescription strength, choose a gel based water soluble formula). This serum would be used once a day to again to stimulate dermal healing! This is where we can all for the skin’s natural production of collagen to be boosted, hyaluronic acid and elastin to combat scarring, fine lines, wrinkles and thinning skin. This should also contain ingredients that boost the natural hydrating factors:
You want to always your serums as directed, non prescription can be gradually increased to twice a day over a four week span. As tolerated. Example:
Hydrants: Humectants are barrier building! When looking for a product that is a humectant, they are usually quite watery but not all the time. On the label, a humectant near the top of the ingredients list is what you want. Common humectant ingredients include glycerin and hyaluronic acid. This will build upon the hydrating serums in step 4 (serums). Humectant ingredients aregood at holding onto water, a bit like a sponge. Applying a humectant moisturiser essentially means you’ll have a bunch of teeny tiny wet sponges sitting on your skin, keeping it moist.
SPF: Keep it simple and find one that they will use! A physical sunscreen is recommended until skin barrier is strengthened. Zinc has the ability to soothe, heal, minimize redness, and protect skin with antibacterial and antiseptic properties. It also promotes wound-healing, immune system activity, inflammatory control and tissue regeneration. It can also be a blended formula with zinc, antioxidants (of course), and chemical filters.
Let this above routine be the intro to your program, while beginning prescriptive nutraceuticals (Rx, omegas, zinc, probiotics or other supplements) and lifestyle adjustments. If need be, transition to more advanced protocols as barrier function strengthens with your aesthetic professional! Continue with biweekly facials to hydrate, strengthen, and dislodge oil and debris!
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