February 02, 2022
Ever wonder why your best friend, who shares your love for sweet chilli fries and chocolate milkshakes NEVER gets pimples, yet your skin is breaking all sorts of havoc? Whilst it's easy to say 'we are all different', the truth really does lie in the genes. When it comes to inheriting great skin from our grandmother, it can be just as common (and painful) to see a re-occurring pattern through generations in a family when it comes to acne lesions.
Acne, for anyone, is an uncomfortable, unpleasant and at times saddening condition. Some people (men and women) will choose to 'hide' their complexion under copious amounts of makeup and concealer, which might I add can be a very effective tool in aiding ones confidence and allowing them to not focus so much on what parts of their skin they don't like. Alas, that is neither a choice for everyone, nor does it resolve the root cause.
And root cause, what is it? Well, in an acne prone skin there are quite a few factors to consider. Dysfunction is a key word in this story also. To get to the nitty gritty, or the real 'sciency bit' a person suffering with acne, particularly genetic acne, has a lower percentage of a certain transcription factor known as FOX01. In simple terms, consider this as a 'brake pad'. To be able to address the root cause, let's look at what is actually going on in an acne skin.
Firstly, everything is going way too fast. Sebum (oil) production and the skin cell growth are out of control. Why? This is because FOX01 is malfunctioning. Remember, brake pads? Well, they aren't working properly, so it's mayhem in there! Hormones - yes, they most definitely feature in acne. The enzyme activity in the skin that is responsible for converting Testosterone into Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is called 5-Alpha (5A) Reductase. The acne skin reacts to the DHT - a strong androgen that causes faster oil flow, hinders separation of dead skin cells, and slows down healing. Those suffering this kind of skin condition have a much stronger inflammatory response to other skin functions though, which undoubtedly creates that vicious circle and painful breakouts.
With all this inflammation, there are high levels of cortisol (i.e. stress). Greater amounts of cortisol impacts negatively on insulin, leading to insulin resistance. This resistance causes the pancreas to pump out more insulin, leading to greater amounts of sugar and Insulin-Like-Growth Factors (IGF1) circulating the bloodstream. IGF1 increases sebum (oil), skin cell growth and causes heightened sensitivity to androgens (DHT). Furthermore insulin reduces the function of FOX01 (the break pads).
Are you still with me? And are you seeing the links where each dysfunction keeps the other one going round on repeat? When I talk to my clients about the impact stress and diet have on their skin, I'm really serious.
So, with all this in mind, how do we 'put the brakes back on'? Well, as I will advise all my acne clients there is no overnight cure, or one cream to resolve this. We need to work on improving the function of the skin at a cellular level as well as repair the barrier. With all the dysfunction taking place in the lower layers of the skin, water is being lost and the surface barrier becomes compromised. Optimum water levels are also imperative for a healthy operating skin. We want to slow things down yes, but we also want to prevent the breakouts reoccurring. This can only happen if we address more than just what we see on the skin surface. By this I mean lets address the problem with well-rounded holistic approach, starting with dietary choices. Eliminating or at the very least reducing trigger foods; namely Dairy, Gluten and Sugar.
All those lovely sandwiches, those carbs...they convert into sugar. What's inside that milk or yogurt? Growth hormones. And it is not just the obvious sweeties or spoonful of white dust in your coffee you need worry about, but if you are not already aware those tasty sauces and healthy 'fat free' options are full of sugar. It is with all these nasties that the speedy race inside the skin continues and it just gets messy.
My personal and professional first choice when treating an acne skin is to support inner health with dietary advice and introducing multi-vitamins, in particular Zinc ( a 5-A reductase inhibitor) and Essential Fatty Acids as a means to regulate the endocrine system. I've seen first hand the impact EFAs have on the skins ability to recover from acne, as they work to fill the skin up with water and waterproof it, repair ALL cell membranes, aid hormonal fluctuations and change the quality of oil the skin produces. There is absolutely no point in embarking on a skin revision program unless we are actively working to make a change in the functionality of the skin. Otherwise, the same poor quality oil will get stuck, the same poor quality cells will remain dysfunctional and when they don't work optimally it will not matter if you massage active acne-fighting ingredients onto the skin. The ingredients go nowhere if the little cells aren't capable of doing their jobs. Hence, many people feel certain products didn't work for them. Really, it is likely their skin is not working optimally and they have not approached it with the right treatment.
And can we do all this at Callan Cove? Yes, absolutely. Through my clinic treatments on a regular basis I can instigate a change in the function of your skin, by treating the root cause of such skin ailments and then we support this daily regulation with the use of your homecare prescription products - purposefully designed to match our body chemistry for cellular repair.
It can be a painful journey for some, and in some cases the skin might seem 'worse before it gets better'. However, I can assure my clients by working on the function of the skin, rather than just topically, we can aid longer term results and a much healthier happier skin inside and out.
The key however, is ALWAYS consistency!
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