I might ruin this title for you, but this is just how my brain works I guess (my fiancé says there is a circus in my brain at all times and this seems to prove him right)... When I thought of this title and any time I say it out loud or in my head I think of Ty Pennington yelling "MOVE THAT BUS!" Anyone else..? Well, maybe you will be now. . . Thats the way my brain says this title... I dunno why; but thats the jingle I hear. It must be the way my brain works with a title like this one.. anyways, welcome to my crazy brain!
Now, I'll share the beautiful parts of my brain, the part you actually want to hear from; all the skincare related goodies! Today, we are talking about HOW TO TREAT YOUR BLEMISHES!
Full disclosure we don't often use the word pimple in our content or when speaking with clients. We (Alicia and I) use blemish or breakout, inflammation or congestion or sometimes even spots. This is just something as a business we have decided to stand on. I used pimple for this title, but can understand that the word pimple can seem triggering or heavy for some! I think pimple serves its purpose in this title but I don't think it serves a purpose in the treat*ment room.
First I want to say how NORMAL it is to have a blemish. No one ENJOYS breaking out... its noone's top choice and yes they seem to happen at the most inconvenient times. Just remember you are human and part of the human experience calls for a blemish or two. Another way to prove that blemishes or breakouts are normal is because this is the number one question I get asked for help with. I get asked to help people of all races, genders, ages, status you name it... there is no "type" of person that breakouts choose and target. Pimples, don't discriminate.
"How do I treat this pimple?" "How can I make the clusters go away?"
"What can I do for my pimples?"
"Im breaking out, what can I do to help my skin?"
"I have a new pimple, what should I do?"
"I have these blemishes appearing and I dont know why, how can I make them go away?"
"I have all his congestion.. what do I do?"
I get asked the same question regularly, although its worded in multiple ways. Just remember to be kind to yourself if you have some congestion or breakouts. (Side plug, Alicia has an episode out about skin anxiety on our podcast that might be of service to you! So Listen Here!) I am NOT disregarding the discomfort, or the confidence depletion or the embarrassment or the upset that you may be experiencing. I hold space for you and I know that to be well and true, I am mindful of your experience. I am very aware of the influence that skin can have psychologically... I simply share the fact that blemishes are normal so that you can learn to meet yourself with a little more grace and a tad more compassion. Blemishes dont mean anything ABOUT you, it just a way our body is trying to talk to us, so its time we listen!
In this blog post and podcast episode I won't go into detail about blemishes or breakouts specifically as to why potentially they are happening (maybe a post to come) but instead today I will help cover how you can treat and heal your breakouts!
Knowing your triggers would be my top advice on how to treat and heal blemishes. I say this time and time again and I will forever more! Knowing what contributes, triggers or exasterbates your blemishes give us data to work with! It helps us understand reasons to why our skin is acting out. I have found this to be so healing! It seems to take away a lot of the "what's wrong with me" mindset and instead we can rationalize and win point easier. "Oh ya, I had sugar alcoholic beverages" "Oh ya, I slept with my makeup on" "Ohh, shoot I haven't cleaned my makeup brushes in a while" "I am getting my period" "I play hockey and its like my chin strap from my helmet" ... See what I mean. Not only can this be helpful and take the pressure off of ourselves it also gives us data to avoid the triggers or minimally work with our skin when we know triggers are soon to be coming (especially ones we cant fully control). Like I had mentioned, I will do another post diving further into what your triggers may be. I think this would be a fun and helpful topic to give some examples as to why your skin may be unhappy!
This tip is for someone who seems to be breaking out often and that the spots last a while. Let's assume you already have a cleansing routine in place, and to add to our assumption we are also going to assume that this cleansing practice is one that is suitable for your skin, meaning you are not under or over cleansing. A great option to have in addition to your daily or "regular" cleanser is a cleanser option that has salicylic acid for example and is formulated to help reduce bacteria in the skin. Lets say your period is one of your triggers. This is a great cleanser to add a few times a week as you are menstruating. Lets say you have a hockey tournament, this would be a great cleanser to pack and use each night after the games. Lets say you had a special event and wore a lot of makeup and indulged in some yummy sweet foods and alcoholic beverages, this is a great cleanser to grab. A cleanser like this can be used as a prevention method and also as a treatment method! The two I am familiar with and have loved are both salicylic acid based (PCA Blemish Control Bar & Arbonne Clear Future). I prefer salicylic acid over benzoyl peroxide in products as as this to play on the safer side. Benzoyl peroxide can work and serve its benefit but can be overdone which causes issues to the skin, I just feel salicylic acid is a tad on the more conservative side. I dont have a link just yet for the PCA Blemish bar but do retail that in clinic, but for easy sake here is a link for the Arbonne Clear future cleanser if you want to shop now!
If cleansing all together is a new concept or a new step in your routine, I highly recommend you adding this in and educating yourself on the importance of cleansing. If you would like you can even book a facial or a consultation here to implement this routine and proper product. Listen here about The Purpose of a Cleanser.
A little more on the obvious side of suggestions, a spot treatment. This is a staple in my routine for those just incase moments, the time of the month or whatever else my skin decides to do. My beloved spot treatment has been my saving grace more times than I can count. This is something you use as you feel a blemish starting to move in and or on those pimples that appear out of no where. A great product to have for those emergency skin disrupters. Your skin may throw a hissy fit on you, but now you have a product to retaliate back! I love, use (personally and in clinic) retail and suggest Arbonnes Clear Future Spot Treatment! Add yours to your routine, Shop today for a less inflammed skin for tomorrow!
I love this spot treatment because its made with clean and sustainable ingredients, it is environment cautious, vegan, gluten free and plant based. I also love this one because its incredibly effective WITHOUT disrupting the healthy tissue around the blemish. Theres nothing more annoying than using a product to help a concern for that product to create its own new issue... you know the dry patchy skin around the now dried out blemish.. I prefer not, thanks! Thats why I love this Spot Treatment option because it never seems to bring forward this issue.
Arbnnes clear future is a great spot treatment and is one I find I can use every night if I needed! It is a target product which of course has its pros and cons. Pro being that it is good at its job, it is a spot treatment and targets blemishes. The con being that... thats really 'all' it can do, and I'm saying 'all' lightly. It's an effective product but not a multiuser product. So, now I introduce to you a product that is magic in many ways. A product that has multiple skin benefits but is also fantastic at treating a blemish or two. The active serum from iS clinical. This serum if you are familiar with it has many many purposes and is so versatile. In all of its wonders it is incredible at treating acne. This can be a product that is used full face or it can be used to target those blemishes! I find it really helpful for those large under the skin blemishes. Quick healing comes along with this power house! Although active serum is formulated to also help with fine lines, texture and so on, it is fantastic at treating existing acne and preventing new lesions. It also is great in healthy healing which means, the likelihood of post inflammatory pigmentation being an issue or concern is less. The Active Serum is something you can implement into your routine to treat that pimple.... but it is also a serum you can add to your routine to support skin health in general and prevent those blemishes so you don't need to treat them in the fist place. You feel me!? With all these benefits you can see that this serum is a great serum for those who are experiencing acne later in life as well!
Moving on with another product remconedations that is incredibly beneficial are detox masks! When choosing a detox mask you can look for a charcoal mask, azelaic acid mask, green tea mask, bentonoite clay, Koalin clay mask to name a few! When you use a detoxifying mask only apply to the ares of concern or that you would like the deep clean. This is commonly nose, chin and then over the areas of where the blemish or congestion appear. I often see and hear of people using these types of mask over their full face when their skin doesn't need it. Even those who have sensitive or dry skin say on their forehead and cheeks are still applying this everywhere! Don't forget skincare is completely customizable so just apply the mask to the areas treated. In fact I love to use my mask as a spot treatment. I will apply it to a freshly cleansed face and put the mask on the congested spots or areas, leave on for 5 or so minutes and remove in the shower and or with a hot compress! It seriously can be this easy! If you shop here, Arbonne has MANY options! They have the charcoal, bamboo and Red Clay which are all great options to consider! Hopefully soon, we will have the online shop for you to purchase the other mask we retail in clinic like the PCA charcoal mask!
My next tip has many benefits for the skin, but when specially referring to blemishes, this tip is great for those painful under the skin cystic like blemishes. This tip that I can tell your on the edge of your seat waiting to hear about, relieves the pain, swelling and redness and is great for those white heads that have come to the surface in full force. This simple tip is to; ICE your blemishes! This can be done for a few minutes off an on, this can be done for a minute before your routine, this can be done for a few minutes after the shower.. this is one to not over complicate! Where's the area of concern? Apply ice. You can move it, you can hold it.. you can do what feels good. You could use ice globe rollers gently (the stainless steel rollers), you could use an ice cube in a baggy or the refillable ice cube roller . My go to is the refillable ice roller that I directly apply the ice to my face. I suggest doing this over the sink as the ice will melt due to room temperature and when the heat from your skin starts to warm up the roller, expect some droplets! Its a beautiful practice and super affordable! Love a good multipurpose suggestion tool!
On the flip side from treating blemishes with cool or cold methods using a warm compress can help with those stubborn whiteheads. Applying a warm compress or letting your skin be treated by the steamy warm shower can help lightly loosen some of the skin providing the skin its own way of healing and pushing bacteria away from the surface! This would be a great time to cleanse and treat the skin. Always always be gentle with the skin; especially when working with blemishes and potentially acne lesions that are easy to break. Don't over complicate taking care of your blemishes. Remember that simple routines such as cleansing or taking a warm shower serve benefit!
Lets integrate those last three suggestions and create one mega tip! Enjoy a warm compress (or warm shower), gently cleanse (twice if you have any makeup on, sweat etc.) ice the blemishes for 3-5 minutes apply spot treatment! Whella, a mega tip that serves your skin well, is a good practice for the soul and doesnt take that much time! You will see and feel the relief in the congestion. Size will decrease, redness will lessen and healing has started.
A modality and tool that again serves multiple benefit but there is no denying that it helps heal and shrink blemishes of all kinds and types; LED! Light therapy! Use blue light to treat and target the skin to reduce inflammation and control oil production. Treating this skin with science and effective meausures. This can be a lovely home routine addition or a professional service! Look into how LED can help serve you! I use the mask option because its so easy! I call it the lazy Susan of skin care! It is so easy to use and upgrade your home routine!Seriously, watch how easy it is! Each light has its own benefit and of course blending them all together can serve you too! Don't forget to use the blue light to treat those blemishes. If you like the two you often see me share about, let me know and we can arrange to get one in your routine! If you are imterested in the ZAQ hand held that has many modalities, here's a link for you to shop with! Don't forget to use code DANIELLE15OFF
On to the next tip! Let's not forget about the importance of hydration and balance! As much as everything we have talked about thus far are great suggestions balance and hydration is also imperative for skin health and proper healing so that the skin does not get dried out. There's always this idea that we want to dry the skin out with acne or blemishes. That god forbid there be any oils or moisture in the skin. Lets ditch this ideology and become properly educated. Hydration is crucial for healthy skin! Dry skin can actually lead to more blemishes, congestion and post inflammatory pigmentation. The skin has a hard time to heal with no moisture and dry skin scars easier. So, treat those blemishes without the disruption! How can we hydrate the skin in the perfect ways when still struggling with acne or blemishes you ask? A soothing hydration mask! The Oat hydration mask from PCA is a lovely option, the over night hyaluronic acid mask is also a chefs kiss! As much as we can add hydrating products to help, it's also important to not over do it with our blemish treatment methods. A hydrated blemish is healthIER blemish.
This suggestion is not just because I want to see you often, although I love when you give me a visit! its because its powerful what we can achieve when we work together in clinic and what you do to maintain your results with your home care! Coming for regular facials or at least even seasonally can help us treat your skin. Yes, its a treat for you but also in terms of skin health. We will focus on where the skin needs some support. If you are breaking out we can work with that, if you experience the odd break out we can wok with that. If you have acne, we can work with that, there is nothing you cant come see us for. In fact we are super passionate about it so we are more than happy to help. If you do have more stubborn acne lesions, regular facials (especially to at least begin with) are important to clean out the skin, change up some routine practices, hopefully change up some products and observe the changes and healing. Start your professional journey today!
I am not a dietician or nutritionist or naturopath, I am a passionate aesthetician who has noticed things that influence the skin that is outside of just skin care topically. I am speaking on behalf of things I have tried, heard from others and have learned throughout the years. For more specific information on what would be recommended, I suggest working with a professional in the field. For this case however, I want to share with you another tip that you can do to treat your blemishes. This suggestion is not one specifically to do to the blemish the moment you see or feel it, this tip is more for the longevity of clear skin and prevention. My suggestion here is to learn and introduce anti-inflammatory foods to your diet. This can help balance your gut! We know a happy gut brings forward a happy body and a happy body often brings forward happy skin. Anti-inflammatory foods is a type of deference and security for the body so that the body doesn't have to work as hard to protect itself. Theres less invasion, less disruption, less irritation, all this as you can imagine means less disruption and less harm to the skin.
Anti-inflammatory diets serve the skin in more than just treating blemishes, it helps with fine lines, dull skin, eczema and psoriasis the list goes on. So this can be something super beneficial for general health and skin health as a whole. Think of it like this. When we eat balanced and we are focused on anti-inflammatory the body is not in a constant state of inflammation. Therefore the body is not constantly trying to work to protect and fight off damage. This as you can imagine, serves more benefit than we can possibly know. Eating well and balanced is not a new phenomena, but the more we understand the importance and have resources to learn more about it, the easier it becomes to implement.
The next one is a popular one and jumping back to a product recommendation. Its one I cannot speak on with experience (yet as I write this blog, but they have been ordered), Ill attach a photo of the ones I ordered! This suggestion is one I hear about from clients and see all over all the social media platforms. So, if you have explored this and trialed and errored some companies, brands and options hit a girl up! Since I'm embarrassingly a newbie in this department; with these products specifically, I would love your feedback on the ones to run to and the ones torn was from! Pimple patches are what we are talking about! Pimple Patches are like a spot treatment for those of you who are not familiar. They look like a little bandaid that go over the blemish and heal it.
They cover the skin which avoids popping and picking (I am a big advocate for this and you can learn more in this episode) The pimple patch is also helpful by lubricating the white head(or blemish) with Hydrocolloid dressings which is a gel-forming agents that is helpful with whiteheads (absorbing oil and bacteria). When you put an acne patch over your skin, it starts to absorb wound fluids and change into a jelly-like mass, gradually turning the patch white. Once the patch has turned white, it is time to take it off and put on a new one if necessary. This is great as a visual to know when it is best to take it off and its important to so that the skin can be exposed to oxygen to continue to healing process. These sound fun! Maybe not the most cost effective as they are definitely a ONE TIME USE product(DO NOT RE USE THESE) and not the beeessssstt for the environment but they do seem to serve a cool purpose!
Let's have a recap, we all love a recap! There was a lot discussed, so always good to have notes for us to remember! Here are the tips explained in this blog!
Learn your triggers
Invest in a prevention or treatment blemish cleanser
Warm Compress / Steamy shower
Blend the detox mask with steamy shower, with the icing method and the spot treatment! One Mega tip
Hydration & Balance
The OCD in me hates that there are 13 tips, but we are going with it! If you can think of 2 more that should be in this blog let me know so we can make it a nice round 15. It just looks and sounds better dont ya think?!
I hope this was helpful and that there are some tips you will use to heal those blemishes safely and smartly! If you want to learn more about this topic or many others here is a link to my podcast. Seriously! There are resources coming out of your wahoo!
Lots of love my fellow reader and listener! Thank you for your support and your trust!
Happy Blemish Treating!