As sufferers of acne will know, it's not simple to diagnose – or treat. When do spots and blemishes become actual acne? And when is it a 'skin condition' as opposed to 'that time of the month' merely showing on your face? Facialist Boldijarre Koronczay is the president of Éminence Organic Skincare, the natural beauty brand that has a fan base boasting A-list's most picture-perfect from Jessica Biel to Taylor Swift. While he's hailed as LA's skin god – we have his top tips right here for a universal complexion concern: acne – because Hollywood or not, spots don't discriminate.
WHAT IS HORMONAL ACNE?
Boldijarre explains that hormonal acne comes as a direct result of the body's estrogen, testosterone, and androgen hormone levels. "These hormones fluctuate naturally throughout a 30-day cycle. When there is an increase of testosterone and decrease in estrogen, the skin responds by producing more oil. This overproduction of oil creates congestion, (usually around the mouth, chin and jawline) which then creates acne-causing bacteria." These hormonal breakouts occur in women (and fellas) of all ages, hence why it didn't stop when we turned 16.
But just because your skin is producing oil, doesn't mean you can't use it on your face. In fact, it can help balance your natural oil production. Try applying an easily-absorbed face oil like the Goodness Certified Organic Chia Seed Oil at night. By doing this, your skin will feel protected and nourished, and it will help send a message to your sebaceous glands to slow down their oil production as you've already got some on your skin.
Tips to treat hormonal acne:
1. Hormone balancing
"Because of the specific cause of hormonal acne, a specific treatment is needed. Generic acne products may not work because the cause is systemic, rather than external, therefore it is best to seek out products with hormone balancing ingredients."
2. So look for phytoestrogens
"One safe way to topically treat hormonal acne is to incorporate products with phytoestrogens into your skincare regimen. Phytoestrogens are naturally occurring, plant-based hormones that safely treat hormonal acne breakouts without entering the bloodstream. Phytoestrogens bring balance back to the skin, regulating oil production and eliminating bacteria."
3. And go natural
"For your skincare routine, seek out natural and organic products (with phytoestrogens) to ensure the purest ingredients possible. Extracts of organic red clover and yucca both of which are found in the Éminence Eight Greens Phyto Masque, are two powerful phytoestrogens that provide a healthy boost of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory benefits as well."
WHAT IS CYSTIC ACNE?
Cystic acne is less straightforward. Boldijarre says, "it may be related to hormonal changes, but can also be caused by genetics, humidity, and pore-clogging cosmetics, cleansers, and lotions." He explains, "this type of acne occurs when acne bacteria inflames below the skin's surface, leading to the rupture of nearby hair follicles. This creates a chain reaction in the skin, triggering wider inflammation, spreading of more acne bacteria and more breakouts."
Tips to treat cystic acne:
In addition to two gentle cleanses per day, Boldijarre says there are a variety of insider tips that you can follow to help treat cystic acne.
1) Regular exfoliation
"Gently exfoliate every other day with a rice-based powder exfoliant (try the Éminence Organic Strawberry Rhubarb Dermafoliant. This physical exfoliation helps to buff away bacteria without over drying the skin."
Why not try Dermalogica's daily microfoliant?
2) Get in the sun (with SPF)
"Spend a few minutes in the sun each day, as long as you're wearing a non-comedogenic SPF, like an organic mineral powder (try bareMinerals SPF30 Natural Sunscreen). The sun's UV light helps kill bacteria."
Why not try bareMinerals SPF15 Foundation?
3) Find probiotic skincare
"Help to balance the body by incorporating probiotics into your routine. Look for cleansers, masques, and moisturisers that contain probiotics (try the Éminence Organic Clear Skin Probiotic Cleanser, Clear Skin Probiotic Masque, and Clear Skin Probiotic Moisturiser. Using these products will regulate bacteria levels at and below the skin's surface."
4) And take probiotics internally
"Add another layer of protection by taking probiotics internally to help regulate bacterial levels throughout the body." Try Swisse Ultiboost Inner Balance Probiotic Fridge Free 30 capsules.
5) Use cold water
"Lastly, wash your face with cold water. The cold water helps to calm inflammation and redness."