Skincare is all about diligence and self-love, so Sundays are the perfect time to reset, relax, and revive your skincare routine. Today we’re talking about acne with the help of local skincare pro, Jillian Wright, founder of Jillian Wright Skincare and co-founder of Indie Beauty Expo. Acne is a problem so many women face, and there are endless amounts of myths and false information circulating about dealing with it. We asked Jillian some of our questions about dealing with acne, and she gave us the low down on the best tips for prevention and cures. Here’s what she told us:
So, Jill, what really causes acne? What’s the best way to prevent it?
Acne is a chronic skin disorder that has more layers than an onion. Sherlock Holmes couldn’t even figure out the mystery and grief is causes millions of people of all ages! We constantly hear that touching your face, hormonal changes, stress, genetics and diet are all culprits to acne. What about the stealth bombers? What about the hidden trigger and tripwires that cause acne? Is it just one or a combination of the listed above? Here are a few other instigators that you can control and demystify.
If you notice a constellation-looking breakout on the side of your face, it may be where you hold your phone. A grouping of pimples on one side usually means that something is touching your face like a cell phone, or your hand. Make sure you clean your cell phone daily and try to keep your hands away from your face to minimize redness and breakouts.
Reduce your dairy! Try almond milk instead or eat yogurt. Yogurts fermentation process may reduce some of the growth hormones that trigger acne. I learned that most dairy cows in the US are pregnant, so their milk is full of growth hormones which may boost acne-causing testosterone levels.
Eat tons of green vegetables, which boost your skin and body’s immune system, heals and reduces inflammation.
Opt for fish rich in Omega 3’s not 6’s. 3’s help stop inflammation and 6’s trigger inflammation and oil production. Skip that trip to Shake Shack and enjoy a tin can of sardines, mackerel or wild-caught salmon.
Don’t forget butt acne! With more and more of us living a better lifestyle and exercising more, the butt can suffer from acne. Try workout gear that is breathable and don’t stay in your workout clothes all day.
Change your pillow cases often and invest in good sheets. When you sleep on the same pillow case night after night, oil, dead skin cells, make up (hopefully not), bacteria gravitate to your pillow cases making them occlusive which means your skin can not breathe. Wash them frequently and/or invest in good sheets.
Alcohol and caffeine rob your body of nutrients and also dehydrates you. Drink plenty of water throughout the day and cut down on your debauchery to improve your skin. You will minimize redness, inflammation and bacteria loving oil filled pores.
What advice would you give to someone who is experiencing acne scarring?
Post inflammatory hyper pigmentation is very common and can be addressed after the “pain” or “ soreness” of the lesion goes away and the healing process begins. The best way to do this is with skin brighteners such as AHA’s (glycolic, azelaic acid and lactic acid), plant and fruit based brighteners like licorice, daisy flower extract and vitamin C. It usually takes 2-3 weeks for the redness to minimize. Keep in mind if your acne isn’t under control, new lesions will appear resulting in future redness. If the acne scarring is permanent, you may have to see a dermatologist or a medical aesthetician. Laser resurfacing will improve the skin texture and prevent it from getting worse, but very rarely will it make it go away, just keeps it under control.
How bad is it to keep your makeup on overnight? Will we break out if we skip a night?
Washing your face is equally important at night as it is in the morning. Throughout the day, dead skin cells, dirt, grime, oil, bacteria and make up bake themselves into the pores creating a sludgy mess. When you fall asleep with your make up on, you are essentially giving your skin permission to be a breeding ground for P. acnes bacteria. When you wake up the constellation that should have stayed in the sky appears on your face. A simple solution is to always follow a routine before bed. Take the time to care for your skin and will will wake up with a glow.
How often should we really be washing our faces? How often should we be exfoliating?
The proper amount of times to wash your face is day and night, every day so 14 times a week. Exfoliating varies but 1-3 times a weeks is sufficient.
Are there any specific products you recommend to treat or prevent acne?
To help control acne, I recommend my Jillian Wright Skincare Clarifying Cleanser, Breakout Blocker, Balance Moisturizer, Blemish Buster and Detox Glow Mask. For post inflammatory hyperpigmentation, I recommend my all time favorite Somme Transport Pads.
What’s the biggest myth you hear about acne? What’s one thing you wish more people knew about treating acne?
The biggest myth I hear about acne is that it can’t be treated and there is no hope. People have more control than they think. It takes time and effort to control acne. There is the type of acne that is erroneous and then chronic. The superficial, unnecessary acne is fixable just by paying attention to your lifestyle, actions and what you put in and on your body. Chronic acne is a disease that needs to be treated by a dermatologist. It’s not worth the mental anguish acne can cause by waiting. By partnering with the right doctor, you can get it under control. With unnecessary acne, the process of elimination helps to determine what might be the cause. It is usually a combination of triggers and tripwires, such as stress, diet, exercise, picking, lack of skincare routine, excessive caffeine, salt, sugar, gluten and alcohol, hormonal fluctuations, lack of sleep, or even wearing dirty glasses. Try to figure out what is causing your breakouts and have the mental control to change your habits for beautiful, healthy skin. The answer is usually right there in front of you.