by Jamie Steros
- What are the beginning stages of a pimple? Symptoms of acne/pimples are different and vary in severity. There are areas of the body that are more effected most commonly in the areas where you have the most oil glands (the face, neck, chest, back, shoulders and upper arms. The early stages of a blemish could be slightly itchy, raised, red and sore. This is a great time to use a topical product to head off some of the swelling and redness.
- What causes a pimple to emerge? There are several causes for pimples, however most pimples are caused by changing hormone levels. During puberty the increase in male hormones can cause the adrenal glands to go into overdrive causing breakouts. Another reason is when the pores on your skin become blocked causing a buildup of oil, dirt and bacteria. Sometimes dead skin cells are not shed. They remain in the pores and get stuck together by sebum causing a blockage in the pore. It then becomes infected and a pimple develops.
- How can you shorten the life cycle? You can either use a spot treatment or something as an all over treatment that will multitask and help in the treatment of breakouts, also helping in the prevention of future pimples. Blemish and Age from SkinCeuticals is a great oil free serum that helps with both blemishes and age defying. This product is a targeted, treatment with a combination of alpha beta- hydroxys and an active ingredient of salicylic acid. This reveals a smoother more even toned complexion all while combating blemishes at the same time.
- What other tips do you have for avoiding pimples? The best way to combat these types of breakouts is to make sure you are using a ph balanced cleanser that is appropriate for your skin. Your cleanser is responsible for removing make-up, dirt and oil. My personal favorite cleanser is simply clean from SkinCeuticals, this cleanser has enzymes that help to dissolve dead cells and oil. I suggest that some clients even do a double cleanse or a toner like conditioning toner from SkinCeuticals with hydroxy acids to ensure that the skin is truly free of buildup. You also need to exfoliate either with a manual exfoliant such as Micro-Exfoliating Scrub designed for congested skin. I would suggest that you use your scrub at least 3 nights per week. Or you can use a retinol that will go to work on the lower levels of the skin to exfoliate into the follicles. This is a preference depending on your skins level of sensitivity. The final step would be to moisturize to maintain proper hydration levels this way the skin does not have to work overtime to produce oil to compensate. Daily Moisture is a great product for combination skin types as the tiny light reflectors minimize the appearance of pores and gives a light weight feeling to the skin.
Jamie Steros, Medical Esthetician