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Beauty - TopicalAcne Treatments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Spoton skincare


Often assumed to be a purely teenage problem, Acne Vulgaris or Acne, to use its common name, is also becomingmore prevalent in our adult lives, but in order to treat this condition effectively it’s vital to understand the causes.


“Acne is a dysfunction of the hair follicles where the skin’s natural oils are secreted,” explainsMariga Sheedy, of Skin Essentials byMariga. “Dead skin cells accumulate andmix with slow or stagnant oil flow, resulting in amicrocomedone or tiny lump of wastematter. As this build up continues, the pore becomes enlarged, forming an open comedone (blackhead), or closed comedone (whitehead).”


Mariga continues: “Inside the comedone there is little oxygen and lots of sebum, the perfectmediumfor the Acne bacterium, PropionibacteriumAcnes (P. Acnes), to grow andmultiply. The activity of the bacteria leads in turn to inflammation and irritation and the spots that we see on the surface. Hormonal activity also plays a part in the process, but all this activity is going on under your client’s skin weeks before they see a blemish on the surface.”


“Adult Acne differs significantly fromteen Acne, both in its origins (as it is thought to


be fromhormonal balances triggered by chronic stress) and its requirements for treatment. By definition, adult skin has begun to age. The ageing processmeans that persistent redness and post- inflammatory hyperpigmentationmay linger even after Acne lesions have cleared. And, the products formulated for teen Acnemay be too harsh formore fragile,moremature skin,” adds Sally Penford, TrainingManager for the International Dermal Institute in Ireland and the UK.


A rounded approach


Whatever type of Acne your clients are dealing with, it’s important to encourage themto adopt a rounded approach to their treatment.


“To effectively control Acne it is necessary to address all the causes at the same time. [In the salon] natural exfoliationmust be promoted, oil flow regulated, bacteria controlled and hormonal triggersmanaged. Using thismulti-tasking approach, it is possible to control Acne breakouts using the correct active ingredients daily, in low concentrations, which won’t cause any stress to the skin,” saysMariga.


“You will [also] need to recommend a strict home care regime andmake sure that your client understands that compliance is key in Acne control. As we are always working on


prevention and control, itmust be a daily routine to be effective. Clients need to be aware that improvements will be gradual and can take up to sixmonths to achieve maintainable results,”Mariga adds.


Virginie Claire of Virginie Claire Products Ltd agrees: “Treating Acne Vulgaris takes time and when treating it naturally several months are needed to see a dramatic improvement. [Don’t forget] the condition is also coming fromwithin, be it a hormonal, digestive or other physiological dysfunction, and this needs to be taken into consideration when discussing the desired outcome of any treatment. The skin will improve, [but in order] tomaintain the results the problemshould be addressed internally and home care [applied] topically is important to keep the hygiene of balance of the skin.”


Key ingredients


When it comes to treating Acne in the salon (and then continuing the good work at home), there are a plethora of topical treatments to help ensure your client’s skin gets the right balance of cleansing and care that it needs to recover fromany damage caused by the P. Acnes bacteria. But, whilst the choice can sometimes be a little overwhelming there are some key ingredients to look out for to helpmake your decision that bit easier, asMariga explains:


• “Vitamin A is amust to regulate cell turnover, as are ingredients to control bacteria, sebumproduction and inflammation;


• “Liquorice: anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial;


• “Salicylic Acid: reduces congestion; • “Niacinamide: anti-inflammatory;


• “Green Tea extract: decreases sebum production, helps keep pores open;


• “Yam: antioxidant, anti-inflammatory;


• “WhiteWillow Bark: prevents pore congestion, controls P. Acnes bacteria.”


Of course, this is by nomeans an exhaustive list, and each product house / brand will undoubtedly carry its own unique formulations, all of which will have been researched and developed specifically with Acneic conditions inmind.


So let’s take a look at the following selection of topical Acne products designed to help clear up your clients’ trouble spots…


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