Treating acne is very different from treating the occasional spot or breakout that everyone suffers from. Acne is usually a long term condition, affecting people for years of their lives, and can often mean a dip in self-esteem and confidence. At its very worse, this can lead to depression or other mental anxieties.
Celebrities like Katy Perry, Cameron Diaz and Gwyneth Paltrow have all spoken out about suffering from acne. Diaz swears by LED therapy to calm redness, whereas Paltrow’s incredibly strict diet and lifestyle has her skin glowing. “The focus on looking perfect and blemish free in the Instagram society of today means clients are after incredibly quick fixes that will help both their skin and their self-confidence. We do have a number of effective clinical treatments available for long term suffers, however, I usually recommend patients try out intensive products specifically designed for acne and oily skin types before heading down this route,” says Dr. Alexandrides.
Acid exfoliators are a perfect first step when trying out acne specific skincare. They are a much more skin-friendly alternative to micro-bead physical exfoliators, which can cause micro-tears in the skin leading to irritation and at worse, encourage breakouts and more severe spots. Lactic acid is a popular and effective ingredient in spot targeting products - it penetrates deep into the layers of the skin, cleansing and exfoliating dead skin cells to ensure pores are clear. This means oil does not build up in the pores, which in turn reduces the causes of spots. Products with a combination of acids are even better for severe acne. Using a cocktail of Linoleic Acid and Tartaric Acid, alongside Lactic Acid, encourages cell turnover without stripping the skin of its natural oils and glow.
The two 111SKIN Lift Off Cleansers offer a deep cleansing solution that use these acids to rid the skin of spot causing grime and dirt. Dr Yannis suggests, “The gentler, everyday Lift Off Purifying Cleanser, which contains Lactic Acid, is ideal for combination skin. For a more intense acne treatment, the Lift Off Exfoliating Cleanser uses a potent trio of acids to gently exfoliate and clean the skin.”
Another acne-combatting acid is Salicylic Acid. This is one of the most common use acids in acne treatments. Its larger molecules help break down the pore-blocking dead skin cells, encouraging cell turnover and a fresh complexion. Salicylic Acid can be found in cleansers, toners and moisturisers; the effects of it on acne can be incredibly powerful. “I recommend using a toner with Salicylic Acid to remove all traces of oil and residue. Use after cleansing as an effective spot treatment,” advises Dr Yannis. Our Anti Blemish Tonic is armed with this powerful acid to leave the skin renewed and blemish free. This can also be used after showering on the body if acne appears elsewhere.
Many acne treating regimes disregard after-care as part of the treatment, thinking the skin will be left blemish free once the acne disappears. Sadly, this isn’t always the case and permanent scarring can be just as bad as the breakouts themselves. “When considering acne-targeting skincare, it’s important to try products that aid discolouration and pigmentation issues,” says Dr Yannis.
“The Space Brightening Booster is a serum that can be used alone or added to a night cream. Overnight the active ingredient Kopcinol works to improve the appearance of acne scarring.”
It can be tempting to forgo a moisturiser when the skin feels greasy and oily, but leaving out this integral step in the skincare routine can lead to a dehydrated complexion, in turn making the skin produce even more oil. “I usually suggest a lightweight moisturiser for patients who are worried that hydrating products may make their skin worse. Light formulas that absorb easily into the skin but are still deeply nourishing will do wonders for the complexion, aiding healing and keeping the skin balanced” explains Dr Yannis. The Space Anti Age Day Emulsion is an ideal product that leaves the skin hydrated without a heavy or greasy feeling on the skin. Furthermore, it doesn’t contain parabens, paraffin, silicone, or sulphates to reduce chances of acne aggravation.
“Keeping up this regular routine will calm the skin and re-balance the production of oil, without stripping the complexion. Within a few months, skin breakouts should reduce leaving an even and calm surface,” concludes Dr Yannis.