So on Friday morning I asked my social media followers to ‘Ask Me Anything’ with the promise that I would compiled all the answers into one blog post for you all to enjoy. Turns out, there were quite a few questions and I’ve had to split it into two separate blog posts! So, in this post we’re covering more of the skin care/scarring type questions whereas the other post is more focussed on the root causes of acne; digestion, blood sugar and hormonal imbalances. This blog post will cover the following topics:
- body acne
- hyper pigmentation
- rolling scars
- sun lotion
- salon facials
- benzoyl peroxide
I just wanted to say thank you all so much for being such an incredibly engaging bunch of people – I always think that no ones going to respond when I do these call outs so thank you so much for getting involved! I’d love to know if any of advice has been useful to you so please let me know in my comment box below! 🙂 Anyway, enough of the chit chat, here come the questions…!
do you have any tips for bacne? sweat pimples troll my lower back!
@lililindsaysworld on Instagram asked about tips for body acne. Back acne, otherwise known as ‘bacne’ can be so confident crushing, not to mention painful at times! If you’re suffering with regular acne on your back then the easiest thing you can do is switch to breathable clothing. Avoid synthetic fabrics as this is like wrapping your skin in cling film so pores become clogged and more probe to breakouts! The same goes for butt acne – switch to cotton or bamboo undies to reduce breakouts in the bottom department! Other topical treatments you can try is switching to an SLS-free body wash (SLS is highly comedogenic) and gentle exfoliating the area 3 times a week to reduce the build up of dead skin cells, therefore blogged pores. Internally though, acne on the back, shoulders and butt is often the sign of high androgens. The best way to treat overactive androgens is to cut the carbs and reduce your sugar intake.
Head over the this blog post for more information about how a low carb/high fat diet can improve acne.
how do you get rid of red scarring from old breakouts?
@fighting_foryears, @menina_lynette on Instagram and Shonna on Facebook both asked about dark/red marks left behind after acne. The marks are known as hyper pigmentation and the good thing is that they WILL fade. Depending on your skin and the depth of the blemish, that can take up to a year to completely fade but there are some skin care tricks you can implement to see quicker improvement. Two of my favourite ingredients for fading scars are topical antioxidants vitamin B3 and C so keep an eye out for these in your skin care. Personally, I adore the Apoterra Neroli Facial Mist and Nourish Balance Refining Mist – this contains vitamin B3, C and Green Tea so it is an amazing all round skin healer. I like to apply 2-3 fine layers of this mist morning and evening, tapping each layer into the skin before applying the next. Then I apply a thicker vitamin C serum like the one from Youth To The People, or Mad Hippie before finishing with 2-3 drops of organic Rosehip oil!
what’s the best treatment for rolling scars?
@laurennie88 on Instagram asked about the next way to get rid of rolling scars. Rolling scars are common for those who have suffered from inflammatory acne in the same place for a prolonged period of time. They’re more common on the cheeks and tend to become more pronounced as the skin ages and starts to loose its elasticity. The best treatment for these types of scars is to focus on stimulating collagen production via treatments such as microneedling or red light therapy along side topical products that contain vitamin C and B3 (see answer above!) I explain more about how micro needling and red light therapy work in this blog post here.
You can purchase at-home red light devices like this one from Light Stim which stimulates collagen production in the skin to improve rolling scars and skin healing. For more invasive procedures like micro needling I would definitely recommend getting a professional treatment done to start with, then maybe do some research into at-home micro-needling using a high quality derma roller (no bigger than a 0.5mm to be used once every 2 weeks). I had a 6 salon treatments of derma-rolling last year then decided to carry on the treatments at home – I buy my derma rollers from Derma Roller Store.
how do you use a facial sun lotion during the summer months?
Katrine from Facebook wanted to know about sun care during the summer. It really depends on your skin type but I usually recommend going for a sun lotion that also doubles up as a moisturiser – this way you won’t overload your skin with too many products or reducing the SPF by not applying enough because your face already feels moisturised enough. Acne safe facial sunscreens (non pore clogging) are hard to come by but there are a few suggestions in this blog post that you may find useful!
Read more about sun care for acne here.
is spf20 strong enough for those with hyper pigmentation?
@thewildflight on Instagram wanted to know more info on acne scarring and SPF. Despite the huge myth that an SPF50 is double the protection of an SPF25, there’s actually little difference between the two. An SPF25 sun lotion will protect you from 96% of UVB rays and SPF50 protects you from 98% of UVB rays, so there’s really only a 2% different. An SPF20 filters out about 94% of UVB rays and an SPF30 is 97%. The most important factor to consider is that it’s a broad-spectrum sun lotion as you don’t just need UVB protection, you also need UVA protection as these are the UV rays that cause long term damage to the skin (pigmentation, cancer etc). Zinc Oxide is the top broad spectrum sun filter and is found in most natural sunscreens.
Read more about sun care for acne here.
does micro needling help with active spots?
@drool09 from Instagram wants to know if micro needling can help with active spots. The answer is definitely not, in fact, it can make acne worse. Micro needling uses tiny needles to puncture the skin to increase collagen production and speed up healing, however needling the skin around active acne can cause bacteria to spread into other pores and cause further damage. I highly advise clearing acne first and only using derma needles on scarring.
have you used a retinol cream that gave you noticeable results?
Katrine from Facebook wants to know if expensive retinol creams are as effective as cheaper ones. In particular, we’re talking about the Marie Veronique Treatment Retinol Serum and the more affordable MyChelle Remarkable Retinal Serum. From my research into scientific studies on topical retinoids for acne, I believe that the cheaper MyChelle product contains a much more effective derivative of Retinoic acid than the Marie Veronique one. However, the Marie Veronique serum is jam-packed full of other acne clearing ingredients where the MyChelle doesn’t… so both have their pros and cons. I’ve used both of these and love using them both but I do prefer the texture and feel of the MyChelle serum and I get around the lack of other acne-fighting ingredients by using the Apoterra Neroli Facial Mist that contains Green Tea and vitamins B3 and C to boost skin healing!
Read this post for more info on topical retinoids for acne.
are expensive facial treatments at a salon necessary?
@myskinwoes from Instagram has spent thousands of £££ on facials, peels and other treatments with little success so are salon treatments worth it? It totally depends, I’m going to say generally no, but there are some amazing therapists that specialise in acne – but these ladies often have a more holistic approach so will be offering dietary advice as well as performing topical treatments. The reason why salon treatments aren’t always effective is due to the main reason that they don’t address the root cause of acne which is often blood sugar imbalance, gut issues and hormones! The only salon treatment that I recommend investing in is a course of derma needling/micro needling because if you struggle with deep acne scars then this is an excellent way to smooth out the skin. However, this isn’t a treatment for acne – it’s a treatment for scarring. The only way to heal acne is by addressing this root cause, no topical treatments or products are going to produce miracles.
help! why does my skin go crazy when i come off benzoyl peroxide?
@melanie_mels wants advice on alternatives to benzoyl peroxide or how to come off benzoyl peroxide without breaking out like crazy. So, there’s two reasons why your skin is addicted to benzoyl peroxide. 1) It suppresses oil production (which is why it prevents acne) but the problem is as soon as you stop applying it, your skin is left dry and dehydrated so it produces even MORE oil to compensate. 2) It damages your skin barrier and leaves it prone to inflammation – aka spots! This inflammation and damaged skin barrier function means that your pores are more likely to rupture and spots will be bigger, redder and take a lot longer to heal. There are some natural alternatives to benzoyl peroxide like Tea Tree and Thyme Linalool but personally, having struggled with painful cysts, neither of these treatments are really effective. If you want to come off BP, you would start by repairing your skin by using the oil cleansing method (read about this here). I know using oil to cleanse your face may sound scary but by using skin friendly oils, such as hemp and black cumin seed oil, you can help repair you skin barrier AND your skin won’t produce as much sebum as it already thinks it has enough, unlike on benzoyl peroxide where your skin is so dehydrated so it produces a tonne of excess oil and leaves you prone to breakouts. As well as oils I recommend using some sort of hydrating product to increase moisture in the skin and further strengthen the skin barrier – I’ve mentioned a couple of facial mists already in this post that I love, this one particularly! Try this new routine for a month or so while still using BP as normal then slowly start going down to once a day instead of twice, or once every other day and see how your skin gets on. It’s also important to remember that the only way to stop acne completely is to fix the root cause; whether it be digestive issues or blood sugar and hormone imbalances.
Thank you all again so much for getting involved with this Q&A, I hope you find the information really informative! Don’t forget you can always book in for a consultation if you need further support on clearing your skin naturally! See my acne packages with prices from just £25 here.
This has been really successful so I may try to do this sort of thing once a month or something? Let me know what you think!
Peace, Love & Clear Skin,