The Definitive DIY Guide To Stop Acne Breakouts: Part 2
It’s been 2 weeks since you started your home DIY acne regimen. At this point you may be noticing a reduction in the frequency and severity of breakouts. If you haven’t noticed any change in the condition of your skin, don’t worry – we’re just getting started.
Some skin types respond quickly to change and improvement happens right away, while others are slower to respond. Usually this means you need to stay the course for a little while longer. It isn’t unusual for the skin to need a full cycle of cellular turnover before you see improvement. Did you know your skin sheds and completely replaces the cells every 28 days? That means you have a new layer of fresh skin on the surface about every month or so. Long story short- give it time.
Let’s review our check list and see how well we have been following the program. Ask yourself these questions:
1) Are you using a gentle cleanser and toner 2x a day?
2) Are you using a light weight “noncomedogenic” moisturizer 1x a day?
3) Have you been using a clay or charcoal masque 2x a week? PRO TIP- Do not use more than 2x a week because you risk drying out the skin. This can lead to more breakouts instead of less.
4) Have you been using a clean towel each time you cleanse your face?
5) Have you been changing your pillow case at least 2x a week?
If the answer to all these questions is- YES! I am very proud of you. Stick with it and you will be rewarded with clear skin!
If you answered NO to any of the questions above that’s okay. Just correct the step that needs attention. But, then we have to restart the clock. Remember to post the “twice daily routine” to your mirror or add it to your daily calendar.
Continue this routine for two more weeks. At the end of your fourth week you should be able to assess your progress definitively. Some types of acne are more stubborn than others. Sometimes even a high quality, consistent regimen is not enough to control acne. If this is you- don’t worry there are additional steps you can add to your DIY regimen to stop stubborn acne in its tracks.
What are the best treatments to end breakouts?
Not all acne breakouts are equal, and neither are all treatments. Some cases of acne are more severe than others and the treatment prescribed generally varies from person to person.
Dermatologists typically start treatment with a combination of oral antibiotics to kill acne causing bacteria and a topical product to unclog pores like Retinoids. There’s a lot of debate about using oral antibiotics because of resistance. And Retinal makes the skin sensitive and dry.
In some cases of female hormonal acne oral contraceptives (the pill) are very effective at controlling breakouts because they stabilize the body’s hormonal activity. Women and teenagers who experience increased acne breakouts during menstrual cycle are likely to benefit the most from taking the pill.
But, oral contraceptives take time to work. Studies have shown that it can take up three months to see an improvement. Oral contraception has other side effects that should be carefully considered before committing to this option.
When the combination punch of antibiotics and Retinoids haven’t worked doctors typically turn to the last option- Isotretinoin. Most of us know it as Accuntane. While this therapy can be very effective for severe acne and those who have failed with other treatments, the risk profile is very high. One of the biggest drawbacks is that Accutane impairs wound healing, so if a client with severe inflammation starts using Accutane they are almost guaranteed to heal with scars.
That is why doctors only use Accutane as a last resort. Side effects can include liver damage, depression and serious stomach problems. Pregnant women and women trying to get pregnant should not use Accutane as it can cause birth defects.
Laser Light Therapy
Until recently Accutane was the option for people with serious acne. For those clients they had to decide between living with acne or living with the possibility of all those side effects wreaking havoc on their bodies. Today we have laser light therapy. More specifically, we have Isolaz.
All acne treatments work by reducing and controlling the production of oil. This is what makes laser therapy so revolutionary. Isolaz treats breakouts right at the source with a combination of vacuum to unclog pores and remove excess oil. Broadband light kills bacteria and reduces the activity of the oil gland.
Isolaz is painless and has very few side effects. These side effects include mild redness immediately after the treatment in some cases. Redness resolves within an hour or two. Thanks to the fact that Isolaz is a light based treatment it doesn’t dry the skin like oral and topical medications.
Our clients have seen amazing results with our acne memberships which include Isolaz and a boatload of other facials, peels and light therapy options. Many doctors’ offices in New York City offer Isolaz, but at Skin Bar NYC our service is much more inclusive.
Typical Isolaz treatment takes about thirty minutes. The steps include: cleansing the face, then performing two passes of laser treatment and finishing with a moisturizer.
At Skin Bar our Isolaz treatment takes one hour. The steps include: cleansing the face followed with steam and extractions. Then we perform two passes of laser treatment and apply a bacteria killing masque. We finish with a light moisturizer and SPF.
Results can be seen within twenty-four to forty-eight hours after the first treatment. Treatments should be done every two weeks for the first three months. Then at least once a month to maintain results.
Just Stick With It.
Because your acne will get better. Unlike an infection you might get from a cut, taking one dose of antibiotics will not end your acne problem. Acne is a condition that requires consistent care and treatment. So, even if you found your DIY regimen to have done the trick alone you have to stick to the regimen long after your four week trial period is over.
Many times clients make the mistake of treating acne and when it is under control stopping maintenance only to begin breaking out after a couple of months. So, if you find a therapy that works for you stick to it. It will be worth the investment in the long run.