Why does my skin break out when I'm hormonal?
Hormones called andogens cause an increase in sebum production. An increase in sebum production clogs the pores and drives the p.acnes bacteria into the sebum-rich, low-oxygen environment where an inflammatory response kicks off, leading to red, painful breakouts.
Do we all have p. acnes bacteria on our skin?
Yes, we do. However, there are different strains of the bacteria and some are more aggressive.
Why do I break out and my friend/sister/neighbor doesn't?
This is a difficult one to answer and science is always discovering more. However, we do know a few things:
You may be more prone to acne if you have more aggressive forms of the p. acnes bacteria than your friend with clearer skin.
You may produce more sebum or your sebum may be thicker and stickier, providing a better environment for the p. acnes bacteria to grow.
You may have certain genes that make you more susceptible to acne.
You may not be treating your skin properly.
I don't have oily skin. Why do I still breakout?
Sebum plays a critical role in acne, and people with excess oil may be more prone to larger pores and breakouts. However, everyone can get a clogged pore. We are always shedding dead skin cells and if these are not properly washed and cleared away, pores will get clogged. On top of that, you may have more aggressive strains of p.acnes bacteria, meaning that you are prone to inflammatory acne under the right conditions.
What is purging?
In simple terms, purging happens when the gunk clogging your pores (microcomedones) comes to the surface and "purges" out of your skin, usually due to using a retinoid or BHA. Essentially purging is speeding up the exit (and possible severity) of your future breakouts, making you one step closer to clearer skin.
If you are using a retinoid, AHA, or BHA (salicylic acid) product, you could experience some light purging. If you don't like how fast your skin is removing the congested waste in your pores, the quickest and easiest answer is to slow down your use of the purging product. Apply 3 nights a week and work your way up.
Am I purging or is this product breaking me out?
It can be hard to tell if you are purging or if a new product is breaking you out, but there are a few telltale signs: purging may look like a regular breakout cycle, but it usually clears up faster. If you are using a new retinoid, AHA, or BHA, it is likely to be purging. If it is a new product like a sunscreen or shampoo, it is likely to be a reactive breakout.
Can I use an oil if I have oily/acne-prone skin?
Contrary to popular belief, a well formulated face oil does not cause excess sebum buildup on the skin. As a matter of fact, it can help! Face oils should have a "dry touch" finish, meaning they sink in and disappear. UFO Acne Treatment Face Oil is a medicated dry oil with 1.5% salicylic acid, to fight breakouts without disrupting the natural moisture barrier (which can lead to inflammation and further breakouts).
Can I just scrub away the p. acnes bacteria?
Not likely. P. Acnes bacteria forms biofilms, meaning that they are pretty good at clustering together and sticking to your skin. Plus, the p.acnes bacteria that are already inside of your closed comedones won't get scrubbed away by a physical exfoliant. It's best to exfoliate with an AHA (alpha hydroxy acid), like Good Genes, to remove the dead skin cells, and use a BHA (beta hydroxy acid), like UFO, to gently dissolve the sebum buildup.
SUGGESTED REGIMEN FOR ACNE-PRONE SKIN
AM: After cleansing and toning, clear away your pore-clogging, dead skin cells and reveal smoother texture with our global bestselling, AHA exfoliating treatment, Good Genes (lactic acid or glycolic acid). Use 2-3 pumps on dry skin and massage in well.
Follow with an oil-free moisturizer, like Tidal Brightening Enzyme Water Cream (if you need added hydration). Don't forget your SPF!
PM: Retinoids are considered the gold standard. In the evening, after cleansing and toning, apply 2-3 pumps of A+ High Dose Retinoid Serum, to clean, dry skin.
To unclog your pores, follow with 1.5% salicylic-acid infused U.F.O. Acne Treatment Face Oil. Massage 3-4 drops into the skin. Don't be afraid of using an oil if you have oily skin. Hate surface redness? So does hexylresorcinol, a key ingredient in U.F.O.
SPOT TREATMENT MASK: The sun can help temporarily dry out your acne, but long term it can cause it to get worse. A better way to dry out your acne? A 10% sulfur spot treatment mask like Saturn Sulfur Spot Treatment Mask. Use this up to 3 times per week. Leave on for 20-30 minutes, then rinse off. Follow with U.F.O. Acne Treatment Face Oil.
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Disclaimer: Results may vary depending on multiple factors: skin type and condition, age, health history, concomitant products used, gender, location, lifestyle, and diet. Unretouched photos.