When clients first come see me we sit and discuss our goal. (Basically, everyone wants healthier-looking skin.) Sometimes I am quite fooled thinking the person in front of me has minor issues for me to deal with. You see, the moment of truth happens when I look at their skin under the magnifying lamp and, lo and behold, there lies a different person beneath the lamp! What may have seemed like a relatively clear complexion is now truly exposed and what I see are like little demons hiding under the skin. Often times they are only visible when stretching the skin apart: the sebaceous glands are clogged with thick sebum which can potentially end up infected causing pimples to erupt.
Sebum (skin “oil”) is produced by your sebaceous glands and serves to waterproof, protect and moisturize your skin. One of the factors involved in excess sebum production is the presence of testosterone and other similar hormones. The “oil” turns into “lard.” It begins with puberty, then fluctuating hormone levels and other factors such as diet, stress, (and sometimes lack of hygiene) only add fuel to the fire. Some people are lucky enough to go through a brief period of acne while for others it can be years or what may seem like a life time.
Extractions can be challenging and I have spent countless hours judiciously emptying the clogged pores while taking into consideration other factors of the individual’s skin type. My method of extraction is quite efficacious — not leaving red marks and inflammation — but a few clients here and there have hypersensitive skin and as much as I try to do a good job at post-extraction healing, well.. I end up reminding myself that, unfortunately, I am not a magician, no matter how much I’d like to be!
There are many over-the-counter and prescription acne medications on the market. No doubt some of them help, and facials and chemical peels also help tremendously. However, as I educate myself on the latest medical findings, more and more I am convinced diet plays a huge role in controlling acne.
What has surprised me many times is when I learn they have seen a dermatologist — who has told them they have a mild acne, and who gives them a cleanser or something of the sort just to appease them. I believe if they looked at the skin under a large magnifying lamp (like estheticians do), they might often diagnose and prescribe differently. Having worked for more than one dermatologist, both, as an assistant to the doctor, and as the practice esthetician, I have learned quite a bit about medications and have internally questioned the reasoning behind a certain prescription to the conclusion that the doctor did not inspect the skin appropriately. If they did, they would find the sebaceous glands are clogged with thick sebum which then often times get infected causing pimples to erupt.
jojoba oil to your face regularly. This treatment isn’t scientifically proven (I don’t think it’s been disproven either, but I couldn’t find any actual studies). Alternative medicine practitioners maintain that jojoba so closely matches the composition of the skin’s sebum, that it can “trick” the skin into thinking it’s oily enough, thereby getting the sebaceous glands to slow down production. (I realize that’s an oversimplification, but you get the idea.) Here’s an article about this. I’ve used jojoba oil to treat my own acne – I mix it with a few drops each of tea tree, lavender and bergaptene-free bergamot essential oils – and apply it to my skin about an hour before bed.