Acne

Discover more about acne and how to fight it!

Causes of acne are multiple. Your trusty cellphone, for example, keeps you close to your friends, but also to your enemies as it’s a propagator of nasty bacteria and dirt. Learn more with us on what causes acne, and pick up quick tips and solutions to help keep it at bay for clear, radiant skin from within.

We’re back with a new #DearPauline post to talk about acne! In our last post, we covered dull and sensitive skin. This week, we address a very common skin concern: managing acne.

Managing acne

But first, an introduction to acne and its causes

Acne affects almost all teenagers. The condition results from hormones reacting with the skin’s oil glands (sebaceous glands). The sebaceous glands make an oily substance called sebum. This empties onto the skin’s surface through the hair follicle opening (pore). The mixture of oil and cells allows bacteria to grow in the follicle openings. Pores thus become clogged and pimples develop.

While there are many causes that contribute to its appearance, e.g. lifestyle and hereditary factors, the more common ones are:

  • Excess oil production
  • Hair follicles clogged by sebum (or oil) and dead skin cells
  • Bacteria (e.g P.acnes bacteria)
  • Hormonal imbalance

Managing acne

Here’s a question from Sunita Pong (@sunitapong):

 


“I’ve been battling hormonal adult cystic acne for half my life, and have tried just about everything and anything under the sun to counter the breakouts.  I haven’t tried targeted facials as I worry they might exacerbate my current skin condition. Are there any solutions to this?

– @sunitapong


…and here’s our answer:

Battling hormonal cystic acne is painful, both physically and emotionally. Acne treatment is our forte and we have dealt with many cases like yours. This requires professional care. Dermatologists typically prescribe topical steroids, retinol (oral or topical), antibiotics, lasers and chemical peels. But we have many clients who want more natural alternatives with less potential side-effects.

Facials can work, but as your skin is extremely delicate, we need to go through a very long process (6 months to 1 year) to help reduce bacterial infections, balance your skin’s pH and improve its resilience. However, we are treating the root of the issue, and this will help significantly reduce acne in the long run. To do this, we use a combination of treatments (with customised frequencies) with a prescribed series for homecare, and we require the client to work really closely with us.

Here are some acne-related posts we’ve done previously which will aid you in your battle:

Acne Busters

https://porcelainfacespa.com/prologue/understanding-acne-some-people-gets-it-and-others-dont/

Best Acne-Fighting Ingredients

 


 

WAIT, WHAT’S #DEARPAULINE?

Think “Aunt Agony”, except “#DearPauline” is our personal beauty column! Like our #BareWithMe campaign, in collaboration with the amazing Wear Oh Where, we meet different women from all walks of life to talk skin. Our first instalment of #DearPauline (with Hanli Hoefer) is up now.

Hanli Hoefer

Image credits: Wear Oh Where

READ MORE STORIES HERE:

Our Very Own Beauty Column! | #DearPauline

Our Beauty Guru On “Skin” | #DearPauline

Is Mid-Day Cleansing Bad for My Skin? | #DearPauline

 

droplet of water

Credits: Eric Didier

If you’ve experienced acne, you’ve most probably come across the word from reading acne-related content. Although we know too much of it causes acne, what exactly is sebum?

 

WHAT ARE YOU, SEBUM?

Sebum, Latin for “fat”, is secreted via sebaceous glands which can be found virtually everywhere on our skin (even in the ear canals!). The only exceptions are our palms and soles (thankfully).

Sebum can be a tricky thing to handle. When you have just the right amount of this filmy, sticky substance, it helps protect your skin. Too much — you’ll probably be combating acne.  Too little? You could end up with dry, cracked skin.

 

SAY HELLO TO YOUR “FRIENEMY”

male toy with freckles

Credits: Scott Webb

Sure, sebum can make your skin appear shinier or oilier, but it can actually be good for it! It keeps your skin healthy and prevents it from losing moisture. Working as a waterproof shield, it not only prevents moisture from going out but also prevents too much of it from getting in.

We’ve mentioned previously that achieving equilibrium is key to naturally smooth and glowing skin. When your skin is out of balance, sebaceous glands tend to overproduce sebum, which clogs up your skin pores and disrupts said flow. Dead skin cells on the surface of your skin, combined with excess sebum from beneath, meet in the pores. This results in clogging and the proliferation of P.acnes bacteria inside. As a result, acne lesions, blackheads, and whiteheads will begin to form on your skin.

 

WHAT CAUSES SEBUM OVERPRODUCTION?

You may be thinking, “I’ll simply wash off the excess oil to prevent breakouts”.

Well, don’t!

Washing your face excessively to remove sebum will only temporarily improve the appearance of the skin. This is due to the production of sebum occurring underneath the skin’s surface, and washing does little or nothing to affect the production of sebum. Even worse, it might stimulate sebum production into overdrive with every wash, as your skin thinks it’s too dry!

“So, how do I control sebum production?”

We hear ye! How much sebum your skin produces is largely dependent on your hormonal production, due to a particular hormone named dihydrotestosterone (DHT). This is why people tend to have more acne problems during puberty. Also, contrary to popular belief, sebum production (or overproduction) has no direct correlation with what you eat. The fats and oils in our diet are broken down in the digestive system, and there isn’t a pathway to your skin.


All hope is not lost. Keep a lookout for our next article for a proper method for washing your face to help control sebum production. In the meantime, keep your pores clean to prevent pesky acne from forming!

‘Til next time!

 

Credits: Toa Hefitba (@heftiba)

 

We’ve all heard the stories and studies about the connection between what you eat and how clear your skin is.

Well, it’s true.

Much of our health can be indicated by our current skin condition. The skin, as the largest organ of our bodies, serves as a barrier that protects our insides and regulates our internal temperature. As such, an unhealthy looking skin can probably be a clear indication that you may be unhealthy internally!

We at Porcelain believe that, as one of our three philosophies, that “good skin is clear and radiant from within.” In addition to getting facial treatments regularly and adhering to a great skincare routine, the capstone to achieving beautiful, healthy-looking skin from the inside out would be to get a healthy diet.

We know, we know –  it’s hard to resist the temptation of all the awesome Christmas goodies but if you want good skin, there are certain foods you probably should steer clear of

Here are 4 foods you should avoid to ensure you #GetYourGlowOn throughout this Christmas season:

 

“Sugar, We’re You’re Goin’ Down”

Credits: Brooke Lark (@cheekykitchen)

Acne is mainly caused by our insulin levels, and too much of insulin stimulates our sebaceous glands to produce more sebum, which clogs our pores to turn your skin into a breeding ground for P. acnes bacteria, which feed on your sebum and spew out inflammatory by-products (yikes).

Foods high in sugar and saturated fats – like white bread, candy fried foods, ice cream, sodas and anything else with a main ingredient of sugar – triggers inflammation and binds to collagen, degrading skin cells. The spikes in your body’s insulin levels that sugar causes further exacerbate inflammation and steep insulin spikes increase the production of skin oils and contribute to the clogging of follicles, which can worsen skin complexion.

Now, this doesn’t mean you have to quit sugar cold turkey. It all comes down to how much sugar you’re eating in a day—particularly at any one time. If you consume a soda and a candy bar, for example, you’re likely spiking your blood sugar levels, and you could break out hours later.

If you suspect sugar could be the cause for your bad skin, try to cut down on the sugary drinks to notice a difference.

 

High Glycemic Foods, or “Bad Carbs”

Credits: Olia Gozha (@oliagozha)

The glycemic index is a way to tell the “good carbs” from the “bad carbs. High glycemic foods can also be understood as foods that are high up on the glycemic index, and that means “bad carbs”. These are foods that break down quickly in the body, triggering an insulin spike and raising blood sugar levels. They also cause your hormones to fluctuate and overall inflammation—both of which encourage acne. Foods like white bread, processed breakfast cereals, white rice, potato chips, cookies and cakes, etc are foods you should cut down on and instead, choose low glycemic-index foods, like vegetables, whole grains, sweet potatoes, and most fruits.

 

Fast Food

Credits: Niklas Rhöse

Despite its great taste, fast food is unhealthy — period. Studies have already shown that fatty greasy fast food not only expands our waistlines, but slow our thinking and even increase inflammation in the body, potentially worsening acne and even asthma symptoms.

Try to reduce the number of visits to a fast food joint, or opt for a salad instead if you do visit one.

 

Milk and Dairy Products

Credits: Frank Luca

Before you leave out a plate of cookies and milk for Santa, include a note to tell him that milk causes acne. No, seriously.

So far we know that there is a correlation between acne and a high glycemic load diet and foods that spike blood sugar can also increase inflammation in the body, causing acne breakouts.

But why milk?

Milk contains an abundance of a hormone called IGF-1, a growth hormone which is really good for calves, but not for humans. IGF-1 in milk is also one of several factors that cause inflammation in humans. The insulin spike you experience when you consume milk and dairy products also causes your liver to produce more IGF-1, worsening your acne.

Peace,

 

 

 

Credit: Jonas Dücker (@jonasduecker)

 

Products containing coconut (or coconut oil, in particular), as an ingredient are a common sight these days, and for good reason. Coconuts have been proven by 1,500 studies to be one of the healthiest foods with diverse health benefits. The best part that makes it so popular? It doesn’t become rancid! Combined with its exceptional healing properties compared to other dietary oils, this makes it an important ingredient in health and skincare products.

Here are five reasons why you should start including coconuts in your daily routine:

View Post

With an endless selection of skin care products available on the market, it’s understandably nerve-wracking to find the right products to develop a skin care routine suitable for your skin. No two skins are the same and no skincare routine is universal, so the routine you pick should definitely be one that’s suited for your skin type. Here’s a simple, step-by-step guide to help you devise an easy and personalised routine for flawless skin.

4 Steps to Flawless Skin | #SkinHacks

 

First off, get to know your skin

The process of building a personalised skin care routine begins with recognising your individual skin type and having a radiant and glowing complexion as the desired outcome, as you’d want your skin to benefit from it and not leave your skin high and dry.

While some skin care products do wonders for your skin, using them in an incorrect sequence or inappropriate regime may end up irritating and agonising your skin.

Here are the four commonly known skin types, as categorised by the cosmetic industry:

  • Normal skin: You have a balanced complexion and your skin appears refined with little to no blemishes. Acne and sensitivity concerns are a rarity to you. To sum it up, this is the skin type we all dream to achieve.
  • Oily skin: Your skin is no stranger to congestion and acne, appears shiny and feels oily throughout the day. While the cause for oily skin can mainly be attributed to genetics, ample hydration of the skin (go for non-comedogenic products!) can keep your sebum production levels in check.
  • Dry skin/Sensitive skin: Your skin appears rough and flaky, and you may find some products to be particularly stinging to your skin. This is due to the skin’s damaged moisture barrier which impedes its ability to lock in moisture, causing your skin to be especially sensitive and more easily inflamed.
  • Combination skin: You would often experience your skin to be oily in some areas, such as the T-zone and dry at the others. Instead of having two different routines for your skin, it may be more useful to find one that consists of different products to target a variety of skin issues.

 

Hey, keep it clean!

Proper cleansing is the first step and foundation of an effective skincare routine. It’s also probably the most important one of all – as this step sets up your skin for the rest of the steps and products that follow after.

Look for an alcohol-free, gentle cleanser that doesn’t contain strip your skin of its natural oils and dry out your skin. Gently wash your skin, then rinse with lukewarm water. Avoid using hot water as it removes the natural oils from your face faster.

Porcelain Recommends: Revive, Makeup Cleanser 

makeup-sq_1024x1024

The Revive, Makeup Cleanser is an oil-free, sulfate-free, and paraben-free cleanser, which also doubles as a pre-cleanser. Invigorate your skin by gently massaging the cleanser into your skin! It melts away impurities and makeup. The antioxidant-rich Orchid extract nourishes and regulates pigmentation while Horse Chestnut extract purifies and prevents further ageing.

 

Remove dead skin cells

Exfoliation helps keep your skin clear and more even as it gets rid of flaky skin cells. Look for chemical exfoliants as they do a better job of dissolving dead skin cells without irritating or damaging the skin. The exfoliator should be applied to damp skin in a gentle, circular motion. And remember: don’t scrub! Scrubbing only aggravates the skin and exacerbates any existing skin issues.

Porcelain Recommends: Revive, Natural Skin Refiner

skinrefiner-sq_1024x1024The Revive, Natural Skin Refiner is a non-abrasive exfoliant, as it makes use of natural enzymes instead of harsh beads that may cause irritation to the skin. With a potent blend of aloe vera and natto extracts, the refiner gently clears congestion and refines pores without drying out your skin. Gently massage in a circular motion to boost micro-circulation and allow its natural enzymes to soften dead skin cells.

 

Toned and ready

One of the most important parts of the daily skin care routine is toning. It balances the skin after cleansing, calms and lowers its pH level. Toning helps prep the skin for any serums that follow, and removes excess oil your cleanser may have missed. Another perk? It shrinks the size of your pores!

Porcelain Recommends: Revive, Glycolic Toner

glycolic-sq_1024x1024An alcohol-free toner formulated with glycolic acid and lactic acid to gently exfoliate dead skin cells, the Revive, Glycolic Acid Toner removes excess sebum, impurities and dead skin cells, to clarify the skin to make way for a brighter, clearer complexion. After cleansing and exfoliation, apply on a cotton pad and gently swipe on your skin. The best part of it all: it doesn’t dry out your skin!

 

Hydration is key

After cleansing, exfoliating and toning your face, it’s time to moisturise your skin. Moisturising is an essential step for your skin as it prevents dryness, flakiness, acne and wrinkles. Don’t skip this step if you’re looking for younger looking skin! Fine lines and wrinkles smoothen out when our skin remains hydrated.

Porcelain Recommends: Balance, Hydraclear Gel

hydraclear_gel-01_1024x1024After cleansing and toning, apply the Hydraclear Gel with a gentle tapping motion to massage into skin. This clear and lightweight gel works hard to keep acne, inflammation, bacteria and excess sebum at bay while keeping your skin moisturised and pH levels balanced.

 

Stay True,

 

 

 

 


 

READ MORE STORIES HERE:

Managing Acne | #SkinHacks

Our Very Own Beauty Column! | #DearPauline

Our Beauty Guru On “Skin” | #DearPauline