A Clinical Approach to Healing Acne at Home

Feb 09

A big focus for us this year is helping solve the growing acne problem. Last month we wrote about why acne has grown in prevalence, the types of acne and how to work with certain conditions in the treatment room. But beyond managing acne, how do you manage client expectations and set them up for success with the right homecare system? 

First, we need to get a full picture of the client and their skin to understand what’s happening beneath the surface. With that level of insight, you’ll be able to build the best treatment and home care plan for their skin, as well as help them avoid common culprits that could be causing acne to persist.  

Getting a clear picture

In building a homecare system, we first have to look at the internal and external factors that could be impacting their skin. For instance, where are they in their lifecycle? Puberty, pregnancy and menopause commonly aggravate acne conditions as these important life stages and events tend to stimulate testosterone production, and thus the development of sebaceous follicles and oil glands. Another important factor to look at is how prone the client is to cellular buildup, in which case, ingredients like salicylic acid will support surface exfoliation. 

For external factors, ask if they are involved in any sports or high-intensity training, as that can aggravate, and in some cases, cause acne. This is primarily due to sweat becoming trapped in the pores, along with bacteria that can accumulate in hats and helmets. Also talk to clients about regularly washing and changing out pillow cases as these can become a hotbed for bacteria. They should also avoid touching their skin or picking at blemishes. It spreads bacteria and slows the healing process.

For more on common acne triggers, see “How to Heal the Growing Acne Market.” 

Clinical care at home

Home care is vital to achieving results with acne 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. As you begin with a few simple steps you will be able to determine progress and add to the regimen appropriately as time goes on. 

Sometimes when working with acne skin purging can occur. This can be an important process to help eliminate acne and other toxins in the skin, however, it should not continue for more than three to four weeks. Also, not every acne skin will go through purging but it is valuable for you to understand and inform clients so the expectation is clear.  

Two ideal starter formulas are the Blemish Serum and Mandelic Arginine Serum. Both formulas offer antibacterial support, but also the important wound healing benefits that are key to ridding the skin of acne. Masks and enzymes are another great addition to an acne regimen. The combination of stimulating Wasabi Mask and Derma Peel can be beneficial to help eliminate P. Acne bacteria and bring healing to the skin.  The Wasabi Mask combines important ingredients such as green tea and wasabi root to provide antibacterial and antioxidant support, and stimulate blood flow. 

Another key concern with acne clients is the make-up choices, which many times can irritate and worsen the skin. Our IllumiColour mineral line offers a loose powder and a Matte Crème that will provide UV protection and give the skin antioxidant support while covering blemishes. Not all mineral lines are created equally, you will want to look into the purity of the minerals as well as the full ingredient deck to determine possible irritants and skin aggravators like synthetic fragrances, parabens, formaldehyde and petroleum distillates. 

Beyond the home care regimen, it’s a good idea to send clients home with a tip sheet. You might include:

  • A healthy eating guide – consuming antioxidants and avoiding things like dairy, sugary drinks alcohol, caffeine and foods with iodides
  • Tips for stress management
  • A step-by-step on proper cleansing ––and reminding them to cleanse every morning and night and to never go to sleep with makeup on
  • A guide on what to avoid: picking at blemishes, touching the skin, using products that dry their skin out, etc. 

This tip sheet might also have a few notes on what they can expect on their journey to healthy skin, such as the stages they may experience and how long it typically takes to restore their skin to optimal health.

For more information about treating acne, check out these resources:

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Rhonda Allison, the founder and CEO of Rhonda Allison Clinical Enterprises, is a highly respected speaker, author, and educator who has worked behind the aesthetic chair for 30 years.