Acne is an inflammatory skin condition that is caused when the hair follicles near to the skin’s surface become blocked. Let’s breakdown what’s happening on the skin’s surface that leads to a breakout:
Hair follicles under the skin’s surface are attached to sebaceous glands, and these sebaceous glands produce sebum. Sebum is a natural oil composed of fatty acids that’s crucial to skin health as it coats, protects and hydrates. In acne-prone skin, there is a combination of overproduction of sebum and a thickening of the inner lining of the hair follicle which causes a blockage of the pores. The body’s immune response then turns this blockage into a spot.
Now that we’ve explored what’s going on up on the skin’s surface… we can begin to dive much deeper:
WHAT’S HAPPENING IN THE BODY?
Acne is an exterior manifestation of multiple bodily functions going on deep under the skin’s surface, such as our hormones, gut, liver and immune system. It can also be influenced by our genetics, lifestyle and environment, what we put on our skin and in our bodies. Hormonal acne is caused by an imbalance in our hormones… but guess what? Hormonal imbalance is also intrinsically linked to our gut, liver and immune system too. So we must look at our body as a whole.
As you can imagine, there sadly isn’t a quick fix solution. (we wish there was!)
Taking one pill, using one cream, or taking one supplement isn’t going to give you clear glowing skin overnight. But we can begin by supporting the body and skin both topically and from within to start healing from the inside out.
At re:lax we have a 3 pronged approach to skin health. We look at treating the skin topically, but more importantly internally and via lifestyle.
Here are 3 key factors (with solutions!) to address when healing the skin:
1. Micronutrient deficiency & Liver support
Coffee, excessive exercise, chemicals in your environment, sleep deprivation, the Pill, and stress all strip your body of key micronutrients that keep your hormones healthy and your skin clear.
Your liver needs enough micronutrients in order to properly detoxify your body. A well-functioning liver boosts your absorption of all vitamins and minerals and prevents deficiencies from developing in the first place.
We’re often experiencing a toxic overload from living in polluted cities, eating foods grown with pesticides, breathing in household cleaners, using products with many toxins on our skin… the list goes on! Your liver has to deal with them all. So, if there’s an imbalance between your toxic load and your liver's ability to deal with it, this can lead to a hormonal imbalance that worsens acne.
Eat lots of liver supporting foods like blueberries, cruciferous veg, green tea
Supplement wisely (supplements should support a balanced diet- please speak to a Nutritionist before supplementing)
We love the TERRANOVA supplements:
2. Your skin's Barrier may have been disrupted
Anyone who has suffered from a skin problem is likely to have spent hundreds on products that not only haven’t worked but have potentially made the skin worse. Harsh cleansers and toners can strip the skin of its crucially important acid mantle, which plays a key role in the skin's barrier function. Overuse of things like acids and stripping cleansers can leave the skin struggling to protect itself. (you can read more about the skin’s barrier here). When treating very sensitive and often sore acne-prone skin, our advice is to simplify - less is more - let you skin heal,
hydrate- keep the skin's barrier nourished, not stripped to promote skin healing and protect- SPF! SPF will prevent your sebum from oxidising and causing clogged pores and also calm inflammation. Your skin will also heal without further damage from the sun.
The Solution - check your cleanser. Does it make your skin feel tight and squeaky clean? If so, this is a sign that your cleanser is stripping. Swap it out for one of these: calming yet nourishing cleansers:
Suitable for all skin types & those not so keen on an oil cleanser. It contains Eucalyptus essential oil, which has antibacterial properties and ideal for helping to fight blemishes.
Halo Cleansing Elixir is a true skincare treat, an everyday cleansing oil to help regulate oil production, soothe inflamed skin and brighten the complexion for a fresh dewy finish.
Washes away with cool or tepid water and a soft face cloth
Mad Hippie Cleansing oil £15 Radiance-boosting blend that softens & smoothes while gently removing impurities & imperfections
Non-comedogenic & perfect for naturally removing makeup!
3. Lifestyle - STRESS!
When you’re stressed, your adrenal glands pump out adrenaline and cortisol, which gets your body ready to either fight or run away from a real or perceived danger in your environment (the fight-or-flight response). This hormonal cascade is a natural process and, in instances of grave danger, an extremely useful one. But when this happens over and over again, triggered by everyday stressors like deadlines instead of life-or-death threats, it depletes your cortisol reserve, leaving your adrenals unable to respond properly to stress.
The Solution: Focus on food, prioritise sleep, get moving, schedule time for self care/time out, regular facials that work on soothing the body and mind as well as the skin.
Our mission is to help people achieve healthy skin by enabling clients to better understand what is happening internally. By identifying the root cause of any skin complaint, we endeavour to provide methods to achieve optimum health naturally from the inside out.
We use a combination of natural products, holistic methods such as https://www.relax-ldn.com/gua-shahttps://www.relax-ldn.com/gua-sha, facial massage, buccal massage and facial reflexology and high-performance methods such as led light therapy, high frequency and cosmetic acupuncture to create the perfect experience for you and your skin.
LED light therapy reduces inflammation, promotes healing, promotes collagen and elastin production all helping to strengthen the skin's barrier, it also kills the bacteria that causes breakouts! We love LED - just 10 minutes under the light will totally soothe the skin.
High Frequency is an electrical tool that was first developed for wound healing! It stimulates cell renewal by warming and oxygenating the skin. It helps reduce redness, inflammation and breakouts due to its anti-bacterial properties.
All of our treatments are super relaxing, containing lots of lovely face, head, neck, shoulder and foot massage to help you de-stress, switch off and reduce those cortisol levels, soothing the body, skin and mind.