Cystic Acne and How To Stop It
A few days ago, I posted my review of Glossier's Solution and my battle with cystic acne. A bunch of people slid into my DMs to ask what cystic acne even was. Now that we're older we're dealing with breakouts and aging? WTF. Here's the blemish breakdown:
The term acne refers to the result of an oil gland on the body becoming clogged. This may cause blackheads, whiteheads, cysts, or a slew of other types of breakouts. All of these fall under the umbrella of "acne".
What's more is that acne doesn't stop being a problem when you are out of your teens. A surge of people, women specifically, find that they are having breakouts in their 20s and beyond, even if they never had a zit before in their lives.
This is because, as we grow and change, our hormones grow and change. That coupled with the fact that there's more pollution than ever and you probably did not swear a secret oath to your skincare routine, means people are getting acne at every age.
I have always suffered from blackheads on my nose. This is when the pores become clogged and the gunk (yes, technical terms here people!) becomes oxides when it's exposed to air. This causes that clogged up pore to look like you've been sleeping in a coal mine.
When the pore is not open and exposed to oxygen, the thin layer of skin over the clogged debris shows up in it's virginal white color and not as dense. This is the obvious whitehead, the one that we all pick at but definitely shouldn't.
Then there is cystic acne. This bad boy is the Cadillac of pain-in-the-ass breakouts. The gunk that you can try to pick at or squeeze is deep under the surface of the skin. The result? An inactive volcano.
Cystic acne results in painful raised bumps that live so deep in the skin that you should not even attempt to pop them. Not only will this fucking hurt but you will only scratch your skin, making yourself susceptible to scarring.
Don't fucking do it!
NYC dermatologist and skin product master, Dr. Dennis Gross believes that "the best treatment for acne is prevention of the acne". Rather than spot treating your breakouts, use products on your whole face that will keep your pores healthy so that you nip that breakout before it hits.
Try Alpha Beta Extra Strength Daily Peel from Dr. Dennis Gross to prevent aging and breakouts.
Psst...it comes in a gentle version for sensitive skin.
Joanna Vargas, skin guru to the stars, is a fan of using LED light therapy on acne to help with breakouts. She states that “blue LED light is awesome for killing bacteria underneath the skin". The wavelengths of blue light have been shown to help penetrate the skin to kill the bacteria that causes acne. What's more is that regular exposure to this light may regulate oil production, decrease pore size, and promote healthy skin cell growth.
This isn't the same blue light that is keeping you awake when you are on Insta at 3AM. This strong LED can provide a targeted and strong regeneration to prevent future breakouts and get you closer to that perfect skin. Double this with cleansing your skin properly and it's a home run.
For those looking for a less intense and time consuming solution, there is a face oil that is the holy grail.
Face oil? Won't that make my breakouts worse? Not if you get the right kind of oil. Oils can be good vessels of carrying gentle acids, which can help exfoliate and tame your textured skin. Adding oil to your skin while exfoliating can also help to regulate oil production. What? Yes. Add oil to produce less of it on your own.
With salicylic acid and tea tree oil suspended in cucumber seed oil, Sunday Riley's UFO Ultra-Clarifying Face Oil is the stuff of legends. I pat this on after I tone in the evening and get to sleep off my acne while it penetrates my pores. Much like a hangover.
Decided you can't deal with it anymore? Personally, my life changed when I saw a dermatologist, which is what I recommend for you. While you can take the advice of everyone you know and try every product you can get your hands on, there is something about a clinical professional telling you what kinds of acids and oils you need in your routine that makes total sense. It also started my love of skincare. #nerdalert