Treating Acne

(Article from Rhonda Allison Blog post)

Acne is one of the most prevalent skin issues in the U.S., and it’s on the rise. Today, nearly 60 million Americans have active acne and 20 million are at risk of developing scar tissue as a result. And it’s not just teens and pre-teens who battle acne. Over the past 10 years, the average age of an acne sufferer has increased from approximately 20 years old to 26 years old, and nearly 25 percent of adult men and 50 percent of adult women still experience acne.

Thus, there is a tremendous need –– and it only continues to grow –– to help clients treat acne and bring skin back to optimal health. Beyond the skin, acne is also often linked to self-esteem, depression and anxiety –– another reason to help clients achieve healthy, smooth skin.

RA clinical approach to acne treatment

When it comes to acne conditions, it’s important to catch it at the first signs of lesions to help prevent scarring and restore the skin to optimum health. At Rhonda Allison, our Acne Remedies line has been formulated to target all types of acne and comprises formulations that deliver on our three-step approach for clear, healthy skin:

  • reduce bacteria and inflammation
  • increase cellular exfoliation
  • support proper wound repair

This approach not only supports restoring the health of acne skin, it also reduces scarring and reoccurrence.

Reduce. Bacteria leads to the formation of acne lesions, which increases inflammation in the skin and the potential of infection. To support in reducing bacteria and inflammation in acne skin, look to ingredients such as salicylic acid, green tea extract and totarol. Find these ingredients in the Beta Green Tea Cleanser and the All Purpose Cleansing Pads.

Increase. Boosting exfoliation and cellular turnover in acne skin will help reduce buildup and increase oxygenation to further inhibit bacteria growth. Look to enzymes, scrubs and acid formulas, like the Pumpkin Parfait Enzyme or the Perfection Clay Mask.

Support. Acne lesions are cellular wounds, and if left untreated, the wound may become a breeding ground for bacteria and increase the risk of permanent scarring. Ingredients like epidermal growth factors and vitamin E will support in rebuilding and repairing skin. Find these ingredients the Growth Factor Gel and the Therapy E Serum.

Working with specific types of acne

There are many different types of acne and understanding the root cause and how each displays in the skin will help you diagnose which type you are working with. In some cases, it will be clear cut, but other times it may be a process of elimination. The primary types include:

  • Hormonal acne (acne vulgaris) – the most common type of acne, primarily among adolescents. It is characterized by comedones, papules, pustules, nodules, cysts, and sequelae – such as pitted or hypertrophic scars. Acne vulgaris is caused by propionibacterium acnes, also known as p. acnes (bacteria). It typically allows for good extractions, however the right enzymes, AHA’s and other exfoliating ingredients can help do most of the work. Rhonda Allison’s Skin Smoothing Gel is perfect for hormonal skin as it combines two AHAs, L-lactic and glycolic acids, to breakdown cellular build up and reduce excessive sebum production.
  • Cystic acne – this type is typically triggered from an excess build-up of sebum along with dead skin cells. This combination blocks oxygen from getting to the cells and increases the p. acne bacteria. In some cases, due to the tightness of the keratin, it will start to grow underneath the skin. Typically, these lesions are not extractable and forcing this can lead to scarring, which is why using ingredients that help draw bacteria to the surface are recommended. Clays, like Perfection Clay, are a great partner with cystic acne. Exfoliation a few times per week and professional treatments are crucial to achieving results.
  • Acne cosmetica – acne caused or stimulated by cosmetics. These are usually non-inflammatory indicated by small, slightly raised red lesions, whiteheads and occasional pustules. Today, this type of acne is not as common as cosmetics have improved significantly, and now many products are labeled as “non-comedogenic.” It’s still important, however, to know every product your client is using to rule this out. This can usually be corrected by eliminating the acne-producing cosmetic and replacing it with a home regimen focused on cleansing and protecting. The Citrus Gel Cleanser is a great choice for this type of acne as it purifies breakout-prone skin, traps and removes toxins, leaving the skin pure and clean.
  • Acne mechanica – acne that forms because of friction and constant pressure, or repetitive physical trauma to the skin such as rubbing from hats or other materials, phones, sunglasses, etc. Professional enzyme treatments, like the Pumpkin Parfait Enzyme, and a home-care regimen that includes a blemish serumand all-purpose cleansing pads will help restore the skin to health.
  • Acne rosacea – this primarily impacts adults and is more predominant in women than men. It is characterized by erythema with telangiectasia (small, dilated blood vessels near the surface of the skin). Lesions tend to follow the blood vessel dilation with papules and pustules forming in the center of the face, cheeks and chin. They are typically large and painful. Acne rosacea is genetic, chronic and progressive. Eliminating irritants such as excessive spicy foods, caffeine, tobacco, alcohol, saunas, and stress will support the healing of this type of acne. Professional peel treatments and consistent home care are also essential. The Sensitive Skin Complex is well suited for both rosacea- and acne-prone skin types.
  • Pseudofolliculitis barbae – this is more common in men and occurs when coarse, curved hair penetrates into the skin before it leaves the follicle (also known as ingrown hairs). Salicylic acid is a key ingredient to help prevent the formation of this type acne. Mandelic acid, which can be found in the Mandelic Perfecting Polish, is also a great alternative for a gentler approach. For treatment, focus on exfoliation – both physical and chemical.

Continue the care at home

Naturally, home care is vital to achieving results with acne skin. And with compromised skin, it’s best to keep it simple, incorporating ingredients such as green tea, epidermal growth factors, and mandelic acid to manage bacteria and inflammation, gently exfoliate, and repair wounded, damaged skin.

  • For keeping bacteria at bay, the Beta Green Tea Cleanser gently and therapeutically reduces surface oils and provides a deep-pore cleanse to support in reducing inflammation, bacteria and cellular buildup. All Purpose Cleansing Pads may also be recommended for quick, in-between clean ups.
  • To increase exfoliation and eliminate buildup, mandelic acid is ideal for acneic skin as it is not as acidic as other acids, but still provides good rejuvenation, as well as antibacterial and antiseptic support. The Rhonda Allison Mandelic Arginine Serum blends mandelic acid with amino acids and antioxidants to support the elimination of bacteria and cellular buildup while also helping to repair the skin.
  • To support in wound repair, an epidermal growth factor such as the Rhonda Allison Growth Factor Gel is essential for acne clients to use in any daily program. It will calm inflamed, irritated skin, while stimulating cellular repair and the growth of new, healthy cells.

When it comes to skin, there is no one-size-fits all. We must take a customized approach with every client, particularly our clients with acne conditions. While this three-step acne management system is a good place to start for home care, keep in mind, effective acne management starts with proper diagnosis and frequent check-ins with your client to ensure proper management and effective treatment.