from the blog:
| BY: Stephanie | filed under:
BY: Stephanie | filed under:
I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve done all sorts of crazy things to my skin to treat my acne. Acne is something I’ve struggled with for years and I’m not alone. Over 85% people between 12-24 experience acne, how crazy is that! Luckily, I had the opportunity to attend the Be Clear Bootcamp with La Roche-Posay where I learned about what causes acne and how to treat it from Dr. Tamara Lazic, a board-certified dermatologist. I took plenty of notes so read more for a science-based comprehensive guide on dealing with acne!
Acne is caused by increased oil or sebum production in a clogged pore. This provides the perfect environment for the growth of P. acnes bacteria, which in turn causes inflammation of the skin.
There are two different types of acne, non-inflammatory and inflammatory. Non-inflammatory acne includes whiteheads and blackheads. (P.S. I learned that blackheads are just whiteheads that have oxidized due to exposure to oxygen.) Inflammatory acne includes the painful pimples we hate.
According to Dr. Lazic, acne is multi-factorial. Genetics, hormones, menstruation, emotional stress and even medications can all be a factor. I’ve always wondered why stress causes acne and it is because stress increases the hormone levels that increase the level of sebum. Adult acne is most frequently caused by hormonal imbalance or stress. Increased testosterone increases sebum production! Lack of sleep increases a stress hormone called cortisol that has also been linked to acne.
While more research still needs to be done, there are some findings that suggest that Western diet worsens acne. Foods with high glycemic load like white grains and sweets have been shown to cause acne. Low fat and skim milk has been shown to as well! I’ve always wondered why these foods caused acne and according to Dr. Lazic, it has to do with insulin.
The million dollar question – what is the best solution for getting rid of acne? Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all approach that works for everyone. It’s most likely a combination of acne treatment products and lifestyle changes.
Acne treatment product wise, La Roche-Posay has a line called Effaclar which is specifically created for acne-prone skin. The Effaclar Acne Treatment System won the Allure Best of Beauty Award for Best Acne Treatment!
During my one on one consultation with Dr. Lazic at the Be Clear Bootcamp, I talked about how I get really painful cystic acne. Basically, they’re huge pimples underneath the skin that last for weeks at a time. It is honestly the worst because they take forever to go away and when you finally think it’s over they keep coming back in the same spot!!! For me, I get them the most between my eyebrows and on my chin. To treat this, Dr. Lazic recommended using products with micronized benzoyl peroxide like the Effaclar Duo Acne Spot Treatment to target those pesky cysts. The micronized benzoyl peroxide penetrates deeper into the skin to help with the clogged pores.
Besides being consistent with applying acne treatment, reducing stress, getting enough sleep and eating less refined sugars are all important. It’s also important to remove your makeup every night and not overstrip the skin with harsh cleansers. It’s always helpful to get acne advice from a dermatologist because I read so many acne tips and articles online but it’s hard to know what is credible.
The Be Clear Bootcamp itself was the best experience!! Basically, a group of influencers and I spent the day with the La Roche-Posay team learning from a dermatologist on the science behind acne, which is where I got all of the notes for this post. We even got to make our own skincare! (Hence the lab coat and safety goggles.) I have no shame in admitting that I’ve always been a science nerd, ever since elementary school. Thank you Katya for snapping the pic of me in front of the balloons, you’re the best.