It’s estimated that acne affects more than 90% of the global population. But no matter how prevalent those pesky pimples are, acne often is associated with feelings of embarrassment, shame and isolation. But we all have it, in many different varieties and forms, and it’s absolutely nothing to be ashamed of or angry about. Instead, we need to understand it. As a society, we are taught to embrace and love our differences. But what if we dared to celebrate our “flawed” commonalities? The parts of us we all collectively try to cover up and hide from each other. Understanding your acne is the key to learning how to take care of it, and in turn, yourself.
Arguably the most common form of acne, Comedonal acne consists of clogged pores resulting in whiteheads and blackheads. Whiteheads (closed comedones) occur when pores are completely clogged and closed, creating that little white bump on the skin. Blackheads (open comedones) also consist of clogged pores, but the pore itself remains open. Clogged pores can happen for a variety of reasons, from oil buildup to hormones to stress. Try using face oils that closely mimic human sebum like Jojoba - an ingredient you'll find in our Luminous Brightening Elixir.
Pustules are usually very red, bulging and sometimes have a white or yellowish center (but they are not the same as a whitehead!). Pustules are due to infected clogged pores and hormones, and contain pus. Popping them may cause the bacteria to spread, causing more breakouts.
Fungal acne consists of tiny small bumps that are pink or red, sometimes itchy, and all follow a similar shape and size. They are most prevalent on the chest, back, forehead/along the hairline or areas covered by hats or masks (hello, mask-ne!). They tend to appear all at once or in big clusters, like a little party of super tiny pimples. One cause of Fungal acne is sweat, so be sure to change out of that sweaty top after a workout or avoid wearing hats that suffocate your forehead.
You know those inflamed, super sore, under the skin zits? Those are called cysts. Cystic acne is an infection deep within the skin, so these pus-filled cysts are impossible to pop. Any popping or picking will only lead to an angrier, more red and painful cyst that takes longer to heal.
While there isn’t a magic or universal cure for these forms of acne, drinking water, eating your leafy greens and berries, using a chemical exfoliant and ensuring skin is hydrated and balanced are foolproof ways to calm any acne flare-ups. But above all else, resist the urge to pop or squeeze - no matter how popable or squeezable they may seem! And remember: Acne is not a flaw, and taking care of yourself from the inside out is key to a happy and healthy life as well as happy and healthy skin.
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