La Roche-Posay has created the #BoardOfAcne to help you get educated, get inspired and get clear about acne, from trigger to treatment

Board-certified dermatologists and skincare experts have worked with us to provide you with all the right information you need to know about acne.

But you too can help others! Write your advice or a positive message on a whiteboard or whitepaper for anyone who struggles with acne.
Take a picture and share it on Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #BoardOfAcne and it will get posted right here.
To Thank you, submit your email address and we'll provide you with a $5 coupon for your next purchase.

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  • Expert-Advice
  • Brand Ambassador Chelsea Lettieri ‘s Top 8 Tips for Clear(er) Skin!
    by Chelsea Lettieri

    #BeClearBootcamp
    Skin

    As you may or may not know, dermatology is one of my passions. For this reason, I decided to write about my top 8 tips for clear (or clearer) skin. I have struggled with moderate acne in the past, so I understand how frustrating it can be to find a solution. Here are some tips that I have found helpful in my skin care journey and as a La Roche-Posay Be Clear Ambassador.

    1. Less is more! Less really is more when it comes to skin care, especially if you have acne or sensitive skin. If you use a ton of products, it will just irritate your skin further and cause more breakouts. Make sure to use a gentle cleanser (NOT Cetaphil as it tends to cause breakouts for many) and avoid physical exfoliators (scrubs).

    2. Be an ingredient detective. Look at the ingredient lists of skin care and makeup products before purchasing. There are websites you can visit which will rate ingredients on comedogenicity and irritancy. These are not fullproof, as some ingredients that are rated high on the scales may not break you out or vice versa, but it’s a good starting point. Some people also break out from silicones, such as cyclopentasiloxane, which is not rated comedogenic.

    3. Check your hair products and toothpaste. If you have acne around your hair line and forehead, it may be caused by your hair products. Washing your face, chest, and back after using shampoo and conditioner can help reduce breakouts caused by hair products. If you are breaking out around your mouth and chin, your toothpaste may be to blame. Try switching to an SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate) and SLES (sodium laureth sulfate) free toothpaste, such as Sensodyne ProNamel.

    4. Don't use fabric softeners or dryer sheets. They leave residue on sheets and towels that can cause breakouts. Also be sure to only use free and clear/fragrance-free laundry detergents.

    5. Hands off! I know it is extremely hard, but try your best to avoid touching your skin or picking at pimples. It will only cause more breakouts and scarring.

    6. Clean your cell phone and change your pillowcases often! Make sure to disinfect your cell phone daily, so that it won't contribute to breakouts on the sides of your face. Dirty pillowcases and sheets can also contribute to acne on the sides of your face. Try to change your pillowcase every other day and change your sheets once a week.

    7. Make dietary changes. If your acne is hormonal, certain foods may be causing or contributing to your acne. Dairy and high glycemic foods, such as complex carbohydrates, can affect hormones and cause breakouts. In general, eating a healthy diet, rich in antioxidants, contributes to good overall skin health.

    8. Keep a skin care journal. Keep track of products you are using and any dietary changes you have made, so that you will know what is helping or hurting your skin. Make sure to only make one change at a time and give it at least 2 weeks before making another change. If you make too many changes at once, it will be hard to figure out which product or change made a difference in your skin (whether it be a positive or negative one).

    I hope you found these tips helpful! If you try all of these out and are still having issues with acne, I recommend seeing a dermatologist.

    Chelsea is a Be Clear Bootcamp Ambassador and La Roche-Posay has provided her free products to sample.

    To read more on Chelsea’s Blog: http://thepapursuit.blogspot.com/

    Get Clear on Acne with #BeClearBootcamp in Paris

    #BeClearBootcamp
    Skin
    We gathered top influencers from around the world for our 3-day Be Clear Bootcamp in Paris to clear things up about skincare! Watch our Effaclar Ambassador, Sonya Esman, learn acne insights from French Dermatologist, Dr. Beaulieu, and share her experience with acne.
    WATCH NOW

    Get Expert Advice on Acne | Be Clear Bootcamp Live Q&A Summary

    #BeClearBootcamp
    Skin

    La Roche-Posay partnered with Dr. Kristel Polder to answer your questions about acne for 1 hour during a Live Q&A session on Facebook on August 29th.If you couldn’t join, we’ve summarized some of the top questions answered by Dr. Polder.

    Facebook User
    Is oral isotretinoin a safe option? I hear mixed things. I have EXTREMELY oily skin and I have been battling acne for years. And what can I do to help with my acne and my pink/red spots that are left over from it?

    Dr. Polder Hi - when under the guidance of a board certified dermatologist, prescription oral isotretinoin is a safe option. It requires monthly follow-ups with your dermatologist to conduct tests to ensure the treatment is going properly. For visible dark spots that can be left over from acne, I recommend using products with retinol such as La Roche-Posay's Redermic R and adding sunscreen to your routine. Dr. Polder.

    Facebook User
    I'm 26 years old and I still have acne problems. I eat healthy most of times and I have a daily routine of cleaning and moisturizing my skin. If I spend one only night without cleaning my face before I go to bed, there it goes, acne shows up on my face by the next morning. I really don't know any more what to do. I need help.

    Dr. Polder Hi - acne affects all age groups and we see more and more adult patients with acne. You might want to consider adding additional steps in your regimen that can help gently exfoliate like a Retinol cream or a Glycolic Acid serum. I would recommend La Roche-Posay's Redermic R for Retinol of Effaclar Serum for Glycolic Acid. These products contain ingredients that have anti-aging properties. Also I would recommend visiting your local dermatologist. There are oral prescriptions that work great for adult acne and can supplement your regimen. Dr. Polder.

    Facebook User
    Hi! I was wondering, what causes acne if you have dry skin? And what is the best way to treat acne if you have dry skin?

    Dr. Polder Hi - there are lots of factors that can lead to acne even if you have dry skin. For instance hormonal imbalance, inflammation etc... Acne is not necessarily linked to oily skin! The best way to treat acne when you have dry skin is to choose products designed to be hydrating and suitable for sensitive skin. The Effaclar Acne System is a good option as it is tested for sensitive skin, and the leave on treatment Effaclar Duo contains moisturizing agents. Adding a gentle moisturizer to your acne regimen can also be recommended. I would recommend La Roche-Posay's Toleriane moisturizers as a good option. Dr. Polder.

    Facebook User
    I have the worst issue with acne near my nose on my cheeks, what is the root cause of this and how do I defeat it? And also scarring, what is the best method to get rid of that?

    Dr. Polder Hi - the nose area is a classic location for acne. This is usually where blackheads and whiteheads start and can lead to the appearance of inflammatory acne. There isn't one specific root cause - acne in general is multi-factorial: hormones, oil production, inflammation, and lifestyle are all factors that can lead to acne. Because it is multi-factorial, we always recommend using a regimen combining multiple ingredients like Benzoyl Peroxide and Salicylic Acid as each targets a different cause. Start with a medicated cleanser like the Effaclar Medicated Cleanser (Salicylic Acid + Lipo-Hydroxy acid). If that's not enough, I would recommend building on a full routine like the Effaclar Acne System that contains not only the cleanser but a toner and a leave-on treatment that contain complementary ingredients. As for scars, do you mean discoloration that acne left behind or is it a depression? If it's the former, I recommend using products with retinol such as La Roche-Posay's Redermic R and adding sunscreen to your routine. If it's the latter, that will require prescription retinoid or a collagen boosting procedure like laser resurfacing or chemical peel. I hope this helps! Dr. Polder

    Facebook User
    Hello! At my age 40 I have occasional acne and oily in the T zone of my face. Which product is right for me?

    Dr. Polder Hi - it is not unusual for women in their 40s to get acne. I get plenty of older patients that come in for acne treatments. I recommend La Roche-Posay’s Effaclar Medicated Cleanser, which contains Salicylic Acid that targets excess oil, pimples, blackheads and whiteheads. For your occasional acne breakouts, use Effaclar Duo in the morning as a spot treatment. It has Benzoyl Peroxide and micro-exfoliating Lipo-Hydroxy Acid. If you want to take an extra skincare step, try Effaclar Serum on full face at night to refine pores and smooth skin. Hope this helps! Dr. Polder

    Facebook User
    Dr. Polder. How does methamphetamine use affect your face and what can you do to stop the breakouts and scarring?

    Dr. Polder Hi - welcome to the chat. Methamphetamine use has been shown to be linked to many skin conditions, including acne. Many patients who are on a chronic Methamphetamine treatment, prescribed by a doctor, have difficulty adhering to a skin care regimen due to these issues. Some Methamphetamine patients have been shown to pick at the skin, so being careful not to pick at any acne lesions that develop is very important. Effaclar DUO can help while you are undergoing treatment, but if you have scarring post treatment, I would recommend seeing a doctor for laser resurfacing or a series of chemical peels.

    Facebook User
    Can you provide more information on the role of androgen hormones and acne? I've read there's a correlation. Thanks!

    Dr. Polder Hi - and thanks for your question! There is indeed a correlation between androgen hormone changes throughout life and acne, more specifically cystic acne. There are many times in a woman's life where the androgen hormone balances shift (like puberty, pregnancy, menopause etc...) that can lead to the appearance of acne. There are specific anti-androgen prescription treatments that work very well for this type of acne. I would recommend you visit your local dermatologist if you think your acne is related to hormones as the treatment requires a prescription. Dr. Polder.

    All I Learned About Acne at the #BeClearBootcamp in Paris

    #BeClearBootcamp
    Skin
    by Sonya Esman
    La Roche-Posay treated beauty and lifestyle vlogger, Sonya Esman to a free three days in Paris, where she attended the La Roche-Posay #BeClearBootcamp hosted by Dermatologist Dr Beaulieu.
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    Your Top Acne Questions, ANSWERED: The Difference Between Back and Facial Acne.

    #BeClearBootcamp
    Skin
    We sent beauty and lifestyle vlogger, Sonya Esman, to our first #BeClearBootcamp in Paris to learn the facts about acne from Dermatologist, Dr. Beaulieu. This week, they discuss the difference between back and facial acne.
    WATCH NOW

    Get Expert Advice on Acne | Be Clear Bootcamp Live Q&A Summary

    #BeClearBootcamp
    Skin

    La Roche-Posay partnered with Dr. Kristel Polder to answer your questions about acne for 1 hour during a Live Q&A session on Facebook on April 25th.If you couldn’t join, we’ve summarized some of the top questions answered by Dr. Polder.


    Facebook User
    What causes cystic acne?

    La Roche-Posay Hi, thanks for joining! Cystic acne manifests from inflammation deep within the follicle proliferated by clogged pores. In order to treat cystic acne, I recommend you visit a dermatologist for treatment. If it's an isolated cyst they may do a steroid injection into the cyst which can clear it within 24 hours. However, if it's persistent they may recommend oral therapy. Dr. Polder.

    Facebook User
    What are the factors that can make acne worse?

    La Roche-PosayHi, there are a lot of factors that can make acne worse. There can be a mechanical component to acne especially in athletes - for instance football players get acne under where their helmet rests. Diet can also worsen acne. Studies show that dairy or high sugar diets are linked to worsening of acne. Dr. Polder.

    Facebook User
    I have small bumps on several areas of my face. I don't think that most people notice them, but it bothers me that they are there. What can I do to reduce and/or eliminate them?

    La Roche-Posay Hi, to properly evaluate what is causing the bumps, we recommend that you visit your local board-certified dermatologist. There are many benign lesions that can be easily treated in a dermatologist office with minimal discomfort. You can find a local board-certified dermatologist by visiting aad.org. American Academy of Dermatology | American Academy of Dermatology Learn more about American Academy of Dermatology at aad.org

    Facebook User
    I have combo skin. I have issues on my t-zone especially on the nose and under my chin, but I have dry skin on my cheeks. The nose area gets really oily and the pores get so congested that sometimes they turn into pimples. Sometimes it even turns into blackhead or whiteheads. Is there product(s) that I can use that would clear up the problem area without making my non-oily area dry? In addition, I'm starting to notice a lot of brown spots on my cheekbone area and there is a white spot near the bottom of my face - are those normal?

    La Roche-Posay Hi - for brown and white spots, this can be caused by many different factors and would need a live consultation. I recommend you consult your local dermatologist for these. For blackheads and whiteheads I would recommend using an acne-medicated cleanser daily. The best way to manage combination skin is to use different products on your cheeks and on your T-Zone. I would recommend choosing salicylic acid and/or glycolic acid for your T-Zone. This will help with large pores. Effaclar Serum from La Roche-Posay is a good option! For your cheeks choose a moisturizer formulated for oily skin. It will keep your skin hydrated while being light enough for your skin type. I would recommend Effaclar MAT. Your dermatologist can also offer a facial or a light chemical peel - this type of procedure will help reduce pore size and acne. There are newer facial techniques now available that have shown great results! Dr. Polder.

    Facebook User
    I have two sons who are experiencing problems with acne; do you recommend your products for them? If so, which ones?

    La Roche-Posay Hi, thanks for joining! There are many types of acne, if theirs is severe they should visit a board certified dermatologist who can evaluate and recommend a treatment. However, if their acne is mild or moderate, they can start with an OTC regimen, such as the Effaclar Dermatological Kit, which cleanses, tones and treats acne. Dr. Polder

    Facebook User
    I have crohn's. My acne has gotten a lot worse. My t-zone is constantly oily and I have big pores on my nose. But the rest of my face can still get dry. I also have bags underneath my eyes and a lot of dark acne spots and red spots.

    La Roche-Posay Hi, thanks for your question. I recommend using medicated cleanser and toner every day. For your morning routine, try Effaclar Mat oil-free mattifying moisturizer after a toner, and make sure you wear sunscreen. For your night routine, I recommend Effaclar Duo, which has Benzoyl Peroxide, after a toner. In regards to your dark and red spots, try Effaclar BB Blur, which visibly blurs the look of pores and covers blemishes. If you are still bothered by discoloration after 4 weeks of regimen, you should see a dermatologist for an in-depth evaluation. I hope this helps! Dr. Polder

    Facebook User
    Are non-prescriptive or over the counter acne medications effective?

    La Roche-Posay Hi! Thank you for joining today. Over-the-counter or OTC medications are effective when used consistently, however, if after 4 to 6 weeks your condition is not getting better you should visit a board-certified dermatologist to determine if other factors can be evaluated. The main ingredients in OTC products that treat acne are Salicylic Acid and Benzoyl Peroxide.

    Facebook User
    Hi, I cannot seem to get my skin clear of breakouts and as a result I have acne scars/dark spots on my face. I have spent so much on different products and nothing seems to work. I had great skin in my teens and now as an adult it seems like I am breaking out like a teenager! Plus at my age I also have to take care of wrinkles. What AM and PM routine and what foundation would work best for my type of skin (combination)? Please help and thank you in advance!

    La Roche-Posay Hello! Thanks for your question. AM and PM, I recommend you use a cleanser specifically formulated for oily skin or for acne. Within the La Roche-Posay Effaclar products I would recommend the Purifying Foaming Gel or the Medicated Gel Cleanser if you prefer an acne-medicated option. For foundation make sure to also choose one made specifically for oily-skin. Look for non-comedogenic formulas to avoid worsening your acne. I personally love the Effaclar BB Blur. It helps cover imperfections and is great for combination and oily skin. As for wrinkles, salicylic acid and glycolic acid are good choices for the morning - they help smooth skin and visibly reduce lines, while also helping with combination skin. Effaclar Serum could be a good option for your morning routine! Make sure to wear SPF daily too. For night I would recommend a Retinol containing product, like La Roche-Posay's Redermic R. Hope this answers your question. Dr. Polder.

    Facebook User
    My daughter is 16 and she has acne mostly on her back, but a few on her face. How do you treat back acne?

    La Roche-Posay Hello. I usually recommend the same products for face and for back so an acne wash and an acne toner would be good solutions for back acne as well. I also recommend Benzoyl Peroxide treatments for the back but be aware that due to the nature of this ingredient there is a risk of bleaching on clothing or sheets - so if you use Benzoyl Peroxide, choose white clothes and sheets to avoid the potential bleaching. Within the La Roche-Posay product range the Effaclar Medicated Gel Cleanser and the Clarifying Solution would be a great start. If acne persists, you can also use Effaclar Duo treatment - this one has Benzoyl Peroxide. And because back acne is sometimes the sign of a more severe type of acne, make sure to take your daughter to a dermatologist for a complete diagnosis as oral medication might be necessary! Dr. Polder.

    Facebook User
    I am on my fifth month of Isotretinoin. My skin is finally clearing up but I'm left with a lot of scarring. What do you think is the best way to get rid of scars? They are mostly on my cheeks, and are mostly ice pic scars. Thanks! Sad

    La Roche-Posay Hi, thanks for being with us today! While you're under acne prescription I would not recommend any procedure for scars as your skin may be further irritated by a procedure. However while you're under treatment, sun protection is very important so make sure to use broad spectrum sunscreen every morning. After your treatment you can consider Retinol as a good ingredient to help. La Roche-Posay carries a good sunscreen line called Anthelios. As for Retinol, you can try their Redermic R cream. About 6 months after the end your prescription treatment your dermatologist could also offer resurfacing laser or TCA peels to help reduce the appearance of scars. The technology is not perfect but it will make your skin better, just not exactly the way it used to be. Hope this helps! Dr. Polder.

    Facebook User
    Dr. Polder, my biggest issue is with acne marks and uneven skin tone. I have combination skin (very oily in the t-zone area). I was wondering if you have any advice on how to combat acne/dark spots and even out my skin tone. Plus, what would a good nighttime skin care routine consist of? Thank you!

    La Roche-Posay Hi! Thanks for your question. The most important step is going to be sun protection. I recommend using broad spectrum SPF30 or higher, daily. For acne and oiliness, look for products that have salicylic acid and/or glycolic acid. Within the La Roche-Posay line I would recommend AM: wash with Effaclar Medicated Gel Cleanser, Tone with Effaclar Clarifying Solution and protect with Anthelios AOX. PM: use the same wash, same toner and use Effaclar Serum after toning. This would be a good routine based on what you described. I would also recommend you consult your dermatologist. According to the severity of your acne and dark spots they can also recommend prescription-grade treatments. Hope this answers your question! Dr. Polder.

    Facebook User
    Are you supposed to apply sunscreen (Anthelios) underneath the Effaclar BB Blur? Like

    La Roche-Posay Hi, Yes you can apply a sunscreen under Effaclar BB Blur. In that case choose a very light texture that absorbs quickly into skin so it's then even easier to apply Effaclar. If you use Anthelios, the Anthelios 60 Ultra-Light Sunscreen Fluid is a good option! Dr. Polder.

    Facebook User
    Does the SEROZINC face mist help with acne?

    La Roche-Posay Hi, I know Serozinc is used a lot in Europe for oily and acne-prone skin but I have to say this is a newer product here in the US and I have not used it yet so I am not too familiar with it! Dr. Polder.

    Under Cover: 5 Steps To Camouflaging Acne

    LRP Staff Insights
    Skin
    The best acne treatment starts with clearing—not concealing. But, what can you do to help hide the acne you have while undergoing acne treatment? Our friends at Dermablend have mastered the art of covering up: so much that their name is synonymous with the trending topic “best concealer for acne.” What follows are their tips for concealing acne without triggering future breakouts.

    • • Skin that breaks out with pimples and acne tends to have more texture (i.e.; it’s more bumpy and rough than smooth to the touch). For this reason, Dermablend recommends formulas that have a liquid base that will melt over skin regardless of its texture.

    • • Products like Smooth Liquid Camo, Quick-Fix Concealer and Smooth Indulgence Redness Concealer apply seamlessly to skin while flawlessly camouflaging concerns for a soft, natural finish.

    • • Follow our step-by-step tips for camouflaging acne with Smooth Liquid Camo:


    • STEP 1: Apply Smooth Liquid Camo using either fingertips, makeup sponge or foundation brush.

    • STEP 2: Work from the inside of face outward using light strokes.

    • STEP 3: If more coverage is needed, dab more products onto the desired area and blend outward.

    • STEP 4: Always set each layer of foundation with Dermablend Setting Powder.

    • STEP 5: Apply a generous amount of Setting Powder. Allow to set for 2 minutes then brush off excess powder with a brush.

    Dermblend Professional was created by a dermatologist and is the #1 dermatologist recommended camouflage brand with formulas that go beyond coverage to camouflage. No wonder they know what they are talking about when it comes to camouflaging acne flawlessly!

    My Acne Story + Tips & Ingredients for Treating Acne

    Acne Education
    Skin
    We sent Mom + Vlogger Rachel Talbott to a dermatologist to learn about what causes acne and how to best treat acne-prone skin. She shared with us her acne story.
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    Toners: What Are They, and Do I Need One?

    Product Spotlight
    Skin
    Toners may be the most misunderstood skin care product on the market. But when used right, they play a powerful role in the effectiveness of your regimen. A high-quality toner for your skin type can set the stage for clearer, smoother, hydrated skin..

    What Is a Toner?

    A toner is a liquid product, usually lightweight and transparent in texture. Whether it’s a liquid dispensed onto a cotton ball or a toner in a spray-on form, it’s positioning in your regimen is key. Toners should be applied after cleansing both in the morning and at night, as they sweep away any residual cleanser and debris while prepping the skin for treatment from serums, specific treatments, and moisturizers. Some toners can even be misted over skin throughout the day to refresh, revitalize, and give a hydrating boost. Depending on your skin type and the ingredients in the formula, a toner can:

    • • Impart a cool, refreshing sensation on the skin.
    • • Provide astringent properties that help minimize excess oils on the skin’s surface.
    • • Help exfoliate and sweep away pore-clogging debris.
    • • Helps soothe, refine the look of pores, improve hydration by acting as a moisture magnet, and even deliver anti-aging antioxidants to skin.

    Should I Use a Toner?

    Quite simply, yes!

    It’s important to recognize that toners are not one size fits all. Toners should complement your skin type and skin regimen. For example, if you’re using products that target oily skin and enlarged pores, a toner with oil-controlling properties will deliver critical hydration plus oil-controlling benefits. Knowing your skin type is key when choosing a toner. A dermatologist can be instrumental in diagnosing your skin type and recommending a toner that addresses your needs.

    Recommended Products:

    EFFACLAR Clarifying Solution – For acne prone skin, removes pore-clogging debris

    EFFACLAR Toner – Micro-Exfoliant toner to help visibly reduce pore size

    Your Top Acne Questions, ANSWERED: How to Treat Blackheads.

    #BeClearBootcamp
    Skin
    We sent beauty and lifestyle vlogger, Sonya Esman, to our #BeClearBootcamp in Paris to learn the facts about acne from Dermatologist, Dr. Beaulieu. This week, they discuss how to best treat blackheads.
    WATCH NOW

    Get Expert Advice on Acne | Be Clear Bootcamp Live Q&A Summary

    #BeClearBootcamp
    Skin

    La Roche-Posay partnered with Dr. Kristel Polder on May 16th for a 1 hour Q&A on acne. She shared new insight into what causes adult acne and then answered your top questions. If you couldn’t join, we’ve summarized some of the top questions below.

    Acne- A Fresh Take on an Old Problem
    by, Kristel Polder, M.D.

    Acne is an inflammatory skin disease which is characterized by increased oil production, clogging of the pores, bacterial overgrowth, and resulting inflammation. All of these processes contribute to blackheads, whiteheads, and larger bumps. It’s a vicious cycle that is a daily struggle for millions of adults and teens.

    In the last few years, we have learned a few new things about acne. For example, your diet could be playing a role in your breakouts, as high-sugar diets have been linked. Also- dairy has been linked to acne. We now also know that sleep can affect your skin, and not getting enough sleep causes the release of a stress-hormone which promotes breakouts. While some believe the sun ‘dries out’ their pimples, we now know that while it may seem the sun is helping the skin, it is actually causing more harm than good. UVA and UVB rays suppress the natural immune system in the skin which in the short term calms down pimples, but in the long run- can lead to skin cancer and aging skin.

    A popular myth is that you will grow out of acne. Patients of all age ranges suffer with acne. Do not wait to ‘grow’ out of acne. Patients who wait to treat their acne may end up with scars.

    Facebook User
    I'm 34 and battle with acne. I think it's mainly because I have terribly oily skin! I would've thought that after my hysterectomy 4 years ago, that I wouldn't have acne or oily skin anymore. But now I'm in hormone replacement therapy. I still have the same problems. Can you tell me what I can do to get rid of the oil? I believe if I can solve that problem, it will cure the acne problem.

    La Roche-Posay Hi, thanks for the question! I would start with a medicated cleanser, such as the LRP Effaclar cleanser, and then tone the skin with a toner. Consider BB Blur because it absorbs oil. There are also other over-the-counter mattifying gels you could try. I would use a retinol or prescription retinoid at night, followed by a light moisturizer. The purpose of the moisturizer is to counteract some of the body's production of oil. If the skin dries too much, the body can overcompensate and overproduce oil. It sounds as if much of your oil problem may be related to hormones. There are prescription options which help oil production as well that you can discuss with your dermatologist. Lastly, oral isotretinoin also seems to have a lasting effect on oil glands/oil production, but that route is extreme and should be supervised by a board-certified dermatologist. Dr. Polder

    Facebook User
    What are your recommendations for unsightly brown spots and discoloration?

    La Roche-Posay Hi, are you asking about brown spots and discoloration due to acne? I would recommend using a broad spectrum sunscreen as the key step in your daily regimen. To help cover discoloration, Effaclar BB Blur is a good choice. Glycolic Acid can also help with discoloration as it exfoliates the upper layers of skin. Effaclar Serum would be a good option. There are also peels and lasers that your dermatologist could recommend and that are efficacious to reduce discoloration. However I recommend avoiding procedures during the summertime because your skin can react and temporarily make your skin more sensitive to the sun. Also I tend to stay away from procedures for darker skin tones in the summer months as darker skin can actually react to procedures by increased discoloration. Dr. Polder.

    Facebook User
    How does Effaclar stand apart from other over-the-counter acne products?

    La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo has some specific ingredients, such as micronized Benzoyl Peroxide and micro-exfoliating Lipo-Hydroxy Acid, which are proven to be effective on acne but are gentle on skin. Dr. Polder.

    Facebook User
    What's the difference between cystic acne and pimples? What products would be good for this? How long would it take to clear up with La Roche-Posay products?

    La Roche-Posay Hi, Cystic lesions are different than pimples because they sit deeper into skin. Because they are deeper, they are also more painful and it takes more time to treat and reduce them. It is also harder for any treatment applied directly to the skin to penetrate deep enough to treat so for cystic acne, I would recommend an oral treatment rather than topical. For pimples however, over-the-counter acne treatments are effective. Effaclar Duo acne treatment would be a good choice to treat pimples. Dr. Polder.

    Facebook User
    How can I prevent/stop my acne breakouts? I love to eat a lot of cookies and cream candy bars. I don't have a lot of breakouts but sometimes they occur around my cycle.

    La Roche-Posay Hi, thank you for joining! High-sugar foods have been shown to promote acne, so changing your diet could help clear your skin. For hormonal breakouts, there are treatments that can help, but those require a prescription from your dermatologist or an OBGYN. If your breakouts are more periodic, you can also try using Effaclar DUO as a topical treatment. Dr. Polder.

    Facebook User
    Do any of the products make me more sun sensitive?

    La Roche-Posay Hi, Prescription retinoids which are often used for acne treatment can make skin more sensitive to the sun. Similarly, retinol can also make skin more sun-sensitive. I always recommend using a broad spectrum sunscreen when under an acne treatment. Even though the Effaclar line of products doesn't contain retinol, I would recommend using a sunscreen still. Let me know if there are specific products you were wondering about. Thanks! Dr. Polder.

    Facebook User
    If I have acne breakouts on my shoulders, can I use the same products designed for the face?

    La Roche-Posay Yes absolutely. However be careful with Benzoyl Peroxide (which is in Effaclar Duo as in many other acne treatments) as it is known to cause bleaching on clothing. If used on the shoulders, allow a few minutes to absorb before getting dressed and ideally select white clothes and white sheets to prevent the bleaching. Dr. Polder.

    Facebook User
    I seem to breakout more when my skin is not properly moisturized. Why would this happen?

    La Roche-Posay Hi, thank you for joining! When you're not consistent with moisturizing your body can over-produce oil to compensate, creating a cycle that can cause blackheads and whiteheads, so following a routine is very important. In the morning you should cleanse, tone, moisturize and finish with sunscreen. At night, cleanse to remove the debris and oil from the day, then complete with a toner and moisturizer. Dr. Polder

    Facebook User
    What's the best product recommended to use to get rid of acne scars on my face?

    La Roche-Posay Hi, thanks for submitting your question. When you say 'acne scars', do you mean discoloration that acne left behind or is it a depression? If it's the former, I recommend using products with retinol such as La Roche-Posay's Redermic R and adding sunscreen to your routine. If it's the latter, that will require prescription retinoid, collagen and/ or laser resurfacing or chemical peel. I hope this helps! Dr. Polder

    Facebook User
    My skin has been breaking out since I was 16 and hasn't stopped yet. I have scarring now, and acne... is this hormonal acne? It is around my chin and neck.

    La Roche-Posay Hi, Thanks for joining! Usually acne on the chin and neck would suggest a hormonal cause. However, if you are seeing scars from acne, it is important that you visit a dermatologist because prescription medication could be required. If it's truly hormonal, your OBGYN can also prescribe you mediation that could help. Dr. Polder.

    Your Top Acne Questions, ANSWERED: The Impact of Genetics and Lifestyle on Acne.

    #BeClearBootcamp
    Skin
    We sent beauty and lifestyle vlogger, Sonya Esman, to our #BeClearBootcamp in Paris to learn the facts about acne from Dermatologist, Dr. Beaulieu. This week, they discuss how genetics and lifestyle impacts acne.
    WATCH NOW

    Discover what the #BeClearBootcamp is all about

    #BeClearBootcamp
    Skin
    La Roche-Posay has created the Be Clear Bootcamp to help anyone who struggles with acne. Why a Bootcamp? Because to develop this training ground we have partnered with expert dermatologists to provide you with condensed content to get you all the facts you need to know about acne. Connect with us regularly to:

    • • Discover new articles to answer you more frequent acne questions
    • • Find out dates of upcoming live chats with dermatologists
    • • Apply to become an ambassador and receive a 1-year supply of EFFACLAR products
    • • And much more!

  • Acne Education & Tips
  • What does non-comedogenic mean and why is it important for those with acne-prone skin?

    Acne Education
    Skin
    Non-comedogenic is a word that is increasingly appearing on skincare labels, usually listed alongside assurances that a product is paraben free and allergy tested. So what exactly does non-comedogenic mean, and why is it important for those with acne-prone skin?

    What it means?

    The word comedo, or plural comedones, refers to a type of imperfection that forms on the skin. These blemishes are a result of clogged pores and are considered one of the milder forms of acne that can evolve into a pimple.

    What are pores?

    Pores are simply small openings in the skin, for some people they are enlarged, for others you have to look very closely to be able to see them. When excess sebum (a natural skin oil) is produced it mixes with dead skin cells and can clog a pore causing a comedo.

    So what does non-comedogenic mean?

    Non-comedogenic indicates that a product has been formulated and tested to avoid clogging pores. Often times, non-comedogenic products will be oil-free. It is important to note however that while these products do not claim to cure or treat acne-prone skin, they make sure the formulations won’t block your pores which can be one of the main causes of acne, making it an ideal formulation in the quest to prevent acne from occurring in the first place or aggravating it.

    Comedogenic products and acne-prone skin

    While ingredients used in cosmetics are safe, everyone’s skin is different and those with acne-prone skin sometimes need to be stricter with what they use. Avoiding comedogenic formulations could help to cut down the amount of oil that sits on the surface of your skin. While oils are necessary for the skin, if you already have oily skin it’s probably a good idea to look for an oil-free formulation. This will help to manage your skin’s needs.

    Recommended Products:

    EFFACLAR MAT – Oil-Free Mattifying Moisturizer

    EFFACLAR BB BLUR – Instant Oil-Absorbing Coverage Cream Mousse

    How blackheads form and what you can do to banish them!

    Acne Education
    Skin
    Blackheads that appear in the center of your face, often around the nose, are some of the most difficult to manage. Widely considered the most stubborn of all spots, these black spots are the dreaded, and obvious, blemishes we’re all looking to get rid of or avoid. Unfortunately they can seem to be incredibly persistent, which is why it’s important to know exactly what they are and how best to treat them.

    What are they?

    Blackheads are (annoyingly) easy to spot on the skin, they are dark in color and slightly raised. Unlike some other spots they are not inflamed, so will not be painful if touched. While they are a mild type of acne, blackheads can sometimes cause sufferers more psychological stress than other spots due to their obvious color and difficulty to remove. In addition to their unfavorable appearance, blackheads can spring up on the back, chest, neck, arms and shoulders, as well as the face.

    What causes blackheads?

    Blackheads come about due to clogged hair follicles. Follicles contain hair and a sebaceous gland, which produces sebum to help keep the skin soft. Dead skin cells and sebum collect and form a ‘plug’, which turns a blackish color because it is in contact with outside air, oxidizing it.

    Blackheads are formed differently than other blemishes, rather than being a result of bacteria, they are simply a build-up of sebum. As a result, our bodies really couldn’t care less that blackheads are on our skin because they don’t threaten us in any way. Having said that, it is absolutely possible to treat blackheads, it may just take a little longer than some other blemishes. Patience is paramount in blackhead treatment!

    Sun exposure makes acne worse (contrary to popular belief)

    Everyone loves a sunny day, but UV light does no favors for the skin. And if you still believe that a bit of sun is a great way to help dry up blemishes, you’re wrong. Yes, a tan may make your complexion appear more even for the short-term, the drying effect of the sun actually prompts your skin to produce more oil. Combine this extra oil with dead cells lingering on the skin’s surface and blemishes will return with a vengeance.

    Treatments

    Targeting Ingredients

    Some products that claim to be targeted at blackheads will contain alcohol, menthol and eucalyptus. These should be avoided as they will essentially increase oil production and exacerbate the problem. Ingredient-wise salicylic acid is your best friend. The acid will unclog your pores and also deal with the problem of dead cell build up by promoting healthy skin-cell turnover. Salicylic acid can be found in a range of products such as face wash, creams, and gels.

    Regular exfoliation

    Another blackhead pitfall we have probably all fallen in is treating the skin as though it is dirty. Blackheads may resemble tiny specks of dirt but they are not formed because your skin in unclean, so quit scrubbing your face so hard! Scrubbing may in fact stimulate the nerve endings, which leads to a release of hormones that increase oil production. The introduction of a healthy skincare regime with gentle, non-excessive exfoliation is important when trying to remove dead skin cells.

    For the most persistent of pimples

    If a combination of salicylic acid and gentle exfoliation do not work, a trip to the dermatologist is advisable. They may feel that a stronger treatment is the best thing or if someone with blackheads feels particularly affected by their blemishes there is a manual removal method. A dermatologist will use a round loop extractor to remove the plug.

    Armed with this information, a little patience, and some perseverance, you will see your blackheads start to fade.

    Dermatologists Tips for Washing Your Face

    Dermatologist Insights
    Skin
    by Shirley Chi, M.D.
    How many times a day should I wash my face? Should I using exfoliators such as peach scrub or mechanical face brushes? These are two questions I often get from patients.

    I tell my patients with acne to wash their face twice a day, using an acne face wash (such as Effaclar Medicated Gel Cleanser) to remove all the oils that have accumulated on the face overnight. Follow with a light acne treatment moisturizer before applying sunscreen and make-up. In the evening it is important to remove the day’s make-up, dirt, and pollutants, all of which can exacerbate acne and premature aging. I recommend Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel as a nighttime oily removing cleanser. It delivers a deep clean without over stripping skin. For my own skin, I cleanse and gently exfoliate with Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel paired with a soft washcloth that I can slip onto my hand like a glove (a habit I picked up in France). I prefer this method for daily cleansing, and I recommend that patients stay away from exfoliating scrubs or mechanic face brushes more than once a week. Anything more could irritate the skin and worsen acne.

    Recommended Products:

    EFFACLAR Medicated Cleansing Gel

    EFFACLAR Purifying Foaming Gel Cleanser

    Acne in the City: How Sun, Stress and Pollution Affect Your Skin

    Acne Education
    Skin
    Too much stress and too little sleep go hand in hand with city life, as does a dull, lackluster complexion. And for those prone to acne, urban life can make matters worse. Sun, smog and a hectic lifestyle set the stage for breakouts, but these tips can help prevent their effects from taking a toll on your skin.

    Pollution particles can penetrate skin

    If you’re a city dweller, there’s no way to escape pollution. Beyond car exhaust and noxious fumes, the urban jungle is teeming with tiny dust particles that penetrate the skin. These particles start a chain reaction that causes blackheads, increased oil production and a buildup of dead cells—essentially creating a recipe for acne.

    The bottom line: Blackheads become more visible and new blemishes can appear.

    So what’s the skincare solution for pollution? There are a variety of anti-pollution products that are formulated with unique textures that help prevent particles from sticking to—and entering—the skin.

    Sun exposure makes acne worse (contrary to popular belief)

    Everyone loves a sunny day, but UV light does no favors for the skin. And if you still believe that a bit of sun is a great way to help dry up blemishes, you’re wrong. Yes, a tan may make your complexion appear more even for the short-term, the drying effect of the sun actually prompts your skin to produce more oil. Combine this extra oil with dead cells lingering on the skin’s surface and blemishes will return with a vengeance.

    The bottom line: Don’t use the sun as an acne treatment.

    To keep skin clear and healthy, sun protection is a must. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen to shield skin from UVA and UVB rays, and look for an oil-free, non-comedogenic, lightweight fluid formulation.

    Stress aggravates blemish-prone skin

    It’s not a coincidence that a new pimple pops up when you have a deadline, exam or personal problem—and you’re not alone. Scientific research has proven a link between high stress levels and acne severity. (1) Doctors haven’t completely figured out this “stress effect,” but the culprit seems to be stress-related hormones that kick oil glands into high gear, which in turn increases the chances of breaking out.

    The bottom line: Stress is a genuine acne trigger, but relaxing can help clear your mind—and your skin. Spending time with friends, hitting the gym, minimizing screen time or anything that helps reduce your stress level with benefit your complexion and overall well-being.

    Recommended Products:

    ANTHELIOS AOX - SPF 50 + Antioxidant

    EFFACLAR DUO

    (1) Acta Derm Venereol. 2007;87(2):135-9. Study of psychological stress, sebum production and acne vulgaris in adolescents. Yosipovitch G, Tang M, Dawn AG, Chen M, Goh CL, Huak Y, Seng LF.

    Why Your Acne Treatment Regimen Isn’t Working.

    Dermatologist Insights
    Skin
    by Shirley Chi, M.D.
    Whether your acne treatment is an over-the-counter system or a dermatologist-prescribed regimen, the first thing I do when patients ask me why their skin isn’t improving is to go over their routine step by step. Quite often I find that patients are skipping steps in their regimen, or only following a regimen for a couple of weeks then giving up because they don’t see an improvement. Treating any skin concern can take up to 6 or 8 weeks to take effect, because that’s how long cell turnover and skin renewal takes. For this reason, I generally like to see my patients back in the office for a follow-up visit approximately 6-8 weeks after their initial consultation, and I let them know during their first visit that results may not be evident until I see them at the follow-up appointment. I give the same advice to those who wish to try over-the-counter medications first: If you are sticking with your over-the-counter regimen and you aren’t seeing a significant improvement after 6 to 8 weeks, then it is time to make an appointment with your local board certified dermatologist.

    Recommended Products:

    EFFACLAR Dermatological 3-Step Acne System

    EFFACLAR DUO

    Fact or Fiction: Can Food Cause or Cure Your Acne?

    Acne Education
    Skin
    There’s no doubt that the food we put into our bodies can have an impact our skin. But when it comes to acne, there are plenty of myths and misinformation. Understanding the relationship between your diet and breakouts is key for keeping skin clear, so read on to separate the facts from the fiction.

    True or false? Dairy causes acne.

    TRUE.
    Quite a few studies have looked at whether dairy can trigger breakouts, and there is some evidence that higher milk and cheese intake leads to an increase in acne. Doctors haven’t quite figured out why just yet, but it’s believed that the hormones found in dairy may be the culprit. Try cutting back on the milk and cheese and see how your skin reacts—and remember to keep an eye on potential hidden sources of dairy, such as smoothies and protein shakes.

    True or false: Chocolate causes acne.

    FALSE.
    There is no solid evidence that chocolate has an effect on acne, and dark chocolate is actually packed with good-for-your-skin antioxidants. The caveat: Sugar can trigger breakouts (read on), so it’s best to satisfy your sweet tooth with chocolate that contains high levels of cacao. And if you are eating milk chocolate, the dairy can also trigger breakouts.

    True or false: Baked goods and candy cause acne.

    TRUE.
    Recent studies have shown that high glycemic index foods—the ones that cause blood sugar levels to spike—can make acne worse. We know it’s easier said than done, but try to stick to high-fiber foods like whole grains and legumes instead of simple sugars and white flour.

    True or false: Water can help flush away acne.

    FALSE.
    Proper hydration is essential for good overall health and your skin is no exception, but extra trips to the water cooler are not going to clean out your pores.

    True or false: Fish can help improve acne.

    TRUE.
    Oily fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids that help fight inflammation in all of the body´s systems, including our largest organ, the skin. You can up your intake with a few servings of salmon or tuna every week. If fish isn’t for you, walnuts and supplements can give you a good dose of these fatty acids.

    True or false: Vitamin and mineral supplements improve most cases of acne.

    FALSE.
    Hormones are the primary cause of acne, not vitamin or mineral deficiencies. However, a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables helps provide the skin with the essential nutrients it needs to heal pimples. A “rainbow on your plate” is a good rule of thumb, as colored fruit and vegetables are naturally high in antioxidants that help keep skin inflammation in check.

    Fact or fiction: Greasy foods like pizza and fries feed acne.

    FALSE.
    A common acne myth is that grease on your plate translates to more oil in your pores, but there is no scientific evidence that there’s a direct link between the two. However, a diet high in saturated fat can fuel micro-inflammation throughout the body, including the skin. In short, pizza and chips won’t cause acne, but moderation is the best policy for overall health.

    Fact or fiction: Alcohol can bring on breakouts.

    FALSE.
    There is no convincing evidence that alcohol has any impact on acne. However, it does lead to facial redness by causing blood vessels in the skin to dilate. Alcohol is also dehydrating, so always drink in moderation.

    The Best Way to Pop a Pimple.

    Dermatologist Insights
    Skin
    by Shirley Chi, M.D.
    “Popping” your own pimples is generally discouraged, as it could cause the area to become infected, slow the healing process, and leave a discolored spot or even an indented scar. However, a dermatologist can successfully “extract” a pimple if the pimple meets certain requirements. Before I describe the process, it’s important to note that I don’t squeeze, pick, or pinch the pimple with my fingers. This is where a lot of patients get in trouble when they try to clear their own pimples by “popping” them.

    If a patient asks me to clear a pimple, I first make sure that the pimple has become a white-topped bump (called a pustule) and that the area around it is no longer red. I clean the area with alcohol then use a sterile needle to prick the pustule until it opens. I either use gauze to press down on the area around the pustule gently and with equal pressure all around the pimple, or I use an instrument called a comedone extractor to remove all the pimple’s contents. I finish by dabbing an antibiotic ointment to the area to prevent infection.

    A Closer Look at Birth Control and Your Skin

    Acne Education
    Skin
    “The Pill” helps you call the shots when it comes to pregnancy, but did you know it can also help control hormonally caused acne? But all oral contraceptives aren’t created equal—especially when it comes to the skin—and research has shown that a pill that combines estrogen with a medication called cyproterone acetate is your best bet for preventing pregnancy and pimples.

    How the pill stops acne

    The root cause of acne is hormones, and your complexion is affected as their levels go up and down throughout your monthly cycle. The male hormone testosterone (yes, women have it, too!) tells the skin to produce more oil, which increases the chances of clogged pores and breakouts. The estrogen found in most birth control pills counteracts the oil-stimulating effect of testosterone, in turn minimizing hormonal acne.

    Why your prescription might change

    Since the debut of oral birth control in 1960, we’ve seen four distinct generations of pills with different hormone variations and combinations. Recent studies have shown that the second-generation oral contraceptive is actually safer than more recent versions, especially when it comes to the risk of clot formation in the legs. But keep in mind that this potential side effect is very rare regardless of the specific birth control you take, but doctors have become more cautious in recent years so don’t be surprised if your physician recommends you switch.

    What can I expect if I switch pills?

    Fourth generation birth control pills that combine estrogen and cyproterone acetate have a stronger anti-acne effect, so it’s common to experience a worsening of acne before it gets better. If you’re trading a third or fourth generation pill for a safer second generation version, you’re unlikely to experience an acne flare-up as your body acclimates.

    What if the pill’s off-limits?

    If the pill isn’t for you, whether for medical reasons or personal preference, talk to your doctor about alternative anti-acne strategies, there are many ways to win the battle against blemishes!

    5 Sources of Adult Acne

    Acne Education
    Skin
    by Mona Gohara, M.D.
    Acne is synonymous with pubescent teenage years. But, dermatologists are spotting a growing trend: adult acne. 35% of women in their 30s, 26% in their 40s, and 15% of women age 50+ find that pimples are a problem. Patients fall into two different categories: Those who had acne in adolescence and carried the condition into adulthood, or those who experience acne for the first time as adults. The question becomes “What causes adult acne?” Here are some answers.

    • 1. Hormones: Around puberty, hormones are bouncing around, but then they even out and equilibrate. Adults, and in particular adult women, are more likely to have fluctuating levels of hormones. This may be due to menstruation, pregnancy, birth control pills and other forms of contraception, polycystic ovarian syndrome, peri-menopause and menopause. Chin acne and acne along the jaw line coupled with coarse facial hair may hint to a hormonal cause of acne.

    • 2. Genetics: Having a first-degree relative (that means mom, dad, brother, or sister) with acne is a predisposition to both adolescent acne and adult acne.

    • 3. Stress: Stress can compromise other organs such as brain, heart, and lungs, so why not the skin? With daily stressors such as balancing family and work, small amounts of a hormone called cortisol get released and cause inflammation in the skin, sometimes in the form of acne. While doctors can prescribe the best acne products, it is just as important to find your zen, weather in the form of exercise, meditation, reading, or engaging with friends. A few minutes of down time each day can be the best natural acne treatment, and can go a long way for your overall health and complexion.

    • 4. Medications: With age comes the higher potential for diseases that require medication. Medication can certainly be the culprit for new onset adult acne. Some common medication acne triggers include testosterone, progesterone, steroids (both topically and in pill form), lithium and other mood stabilizers, phenytoin, isoniazid, vitamins B2, B6, and B12, halogens, and epidermal growth factor inhibitors (as may be used with some cancer treatments).

    • 5. Cosmetics: Attempts to turn back the hands of time with heavy creams and salves can lead to clogged pores. To avoid blemishes, choose light serums and lotions specifically labeled oil-free or non-comedogenic.

    Unless there is a hormonal cause that can be reversed or a culprit medication, most adult acne is treated with traditional topicals such a salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, retinols, azelaic acid, and clindamycin. Oral medications such as low dose antibiotics, sprinolactone, and isotretinoin can also be very effective.

    8 Weird Things I Put on my Face to Clear My Acne

    LRP Staff Insights
    Skin
    by Emma W, LRP Editor
    “8 home remedies to get rid of cystic acne!” Once upon a time, headlines like these gave me a glimmer of hope that I could finally be breakout free. I was desperate to make my breakouts disappear for good, and the thought that my kitchen pantry, refrigerator, and spice rack held the answer to clear skin seemed easier -- and more like a natural acne treatment -- than visiting a dermatologist.

    After concocting crazy tinctures in my bathroom-turned-lab only to see zero results, I finally gave up. I had severe acne, and needed an expert. Low and behold, it was a visit to a dermatologist, a prescription, and proper skin care that ultimately cleared my acne. I lived, I learned, and can now laugh about some of the things I put on my skin…let’s not try to hide anything here: you’ve probably tried some of these weird things, too.

    • 1. Toothpaste: The obvious one. Everyone and their mother have tried this, yet no one (including me) can really say that it did anything more than dry their skin out.

    • 2. Turmeric: Supposedly this natural acne treatment has been around for hundreds of years. While rubbing turmeric all over my face successfully turned my skin the color of curry, it did little to clear my zits.

    • 3. Honey: Message boards tout this sticky stuff as a cure-all miracle. Here’s the recipe: simply slather honey on your skin and let it sit for a while. The positive side effects are not only clear skin, but radiant skin! My results? I still had acne, but I did smell like honey for a really long time (I can’t say that this was a terrible side effect…).

    • 4. Potatoes: Grate a potato, rub it all over your face in circular motions, let it sit for 30 minutes and say hello to clear skin! No, root vegetables will not cure your acne breakouts either. I love potatoes just as much as the next American, but not in my skincare routine.

    • 5. Lemon Juice: Something about the acidity and reducing redness…? I don’t know. If I remember correctly, I cut a lemon in half and sat with it on my face for a half hour while watching Friends. By the end of the show, my acne was still there..

    • 6. Apple Cider Vinegar: I know I’m not the only person who has tried this. Drinking it, applying it, bathing in it…Apple Cider Vinegar and skin go together like peanut butter and jelly. Sadly, this was another natural acne treatment fail. I’m pretty sure my skin was very mad at me after I tried this one, too.

    • 7. Yogurt: Not just for breakfast anymore! This food turned face mask for acne felt like moisturizer on my skin and I was intrigued. Then it started to smell strange and I had to take it off. Check that one off the list.

    • 8. Baking Soda: Another DIY facial that was a bust. Mixed with water, I created a white paste that did nothing but make my face tingle. Like the yogurt facial, I had to take it off – fast.

    Will Facials Help Clear My Skin?

    Dermatologist Insights
    Skin
    by Dr. Shirley Chi
    Many clients try facials to get rid of acne rather than seeing a dermatologist. This often just leads to more frustration, as facials don’t always help clear the skin. Quite frankly, facials performed at a medi-spa or by an aesthetician cannot get to the root cause of acne. In fact, acne facials that include steam treatments, pore extractions, and exfoliating scrubs or creams can often irritate the skin and exacerbate redness and acne lesions. This can lead to discoloration and scarring.

    If you’ve noticed that facials are irritating your skin or causing a worsening of your acne, you aren’t alone. Skip the facials and see a dermatologist instead. Dermatologists are able to go after the root cause of acne -- overactive oil glands, skin bacteria, and clogged pores -- and can help clear acne, prevent acne from coming back, and prevent acne scarring.

    3 Tips I Wish I Could Give to My 15-Year-Old Self About Acne

    LRP Staff Insights
    Skin
    by Adrien D, LRP Editor
    Of the many things I was told as a teenager I would be wiser about when an adult, acne was never on the list. Thanks to my career in skincare, I am now much smarter when it comes to caring for my complexion, and wish I could go back in time to share them with my younger self to make my struggle with acne a lot less dramatic. I may not be able to turn back time, but I can hopefully help make a difference for anyone out there dealing with the frustrations of being a teen with acne.

    1. Go to a dermatologist today. Not tomorrow, not next week, now!

    Don't get to the frustrating point of “I’ve tried everything” before you go to a dermatologist. Using an internet search as your skincare guru, self-treating with the wrong products, and letting acne persist for months will only make it harder to treat now and may cause permanent marks or scars in the future. The sooner you see a professional, the greater your chances of clearing acne quickly.

    2. Scrubbing your face off won't erase acne.

    Scrubs might give you an instant clean feeling in the short term, but they may very well make your acne worse over the long-term. There is no such thing as gentle scrubbing particles -- they are very likely to aggravate your acne and strip your skin, leading to increased inflammation and oil production: 2 of the major causes of acne.

    3. Don't pick. Really -- don't pick.

    Would you rather go through one day with a breakout or a lifetime with a scar on your face? If you're picking your breakouts, you're potentially creating life-long scar at the same time. Don’t give acne power over the future of your skin. Whether you’re a guy or a girl, reach for a medicated acne concealer instead of attacking that breakout with your fingers. This will simultaneously conceal and treat your breakout to get you through the day while minimizing permanent scarring.

    New Discoveries in Acne Formation

    Dermatologist Insights
    Skin
    by Adam Friedman, MD, FAAD
    Acne may be an exceedingly common condition, but the factors that contribute to its formation remain a bit of a mystery. Despite all we know about acne, scientists are still uncovering new evidence that identifies major factors in the formation of the dreaded acne lesion. This gives dermatologists and skincare specialists more insight into the clinical course, and helps identify new avenues for treatment.

    The most recent discovery is the role of the inflammasome, a multi-protein complex found inside cells which, together, help set inflammation into motion (keep in mind that acne, at its simplest description, is extra, inappropriate inflammation).

    For almost 20 years, dermatologists have known that inflammation in the skin can precede the whitehead or blackhead, and likely plays a major role in their ultimate formation. Certain receptors on the skin surface (named toll-like receptors) recognize the bacterium P. acnes and in turn, bring on the inflammation, but there was something missing. This is where the discovery of a particular inflammasome comes into play: While toll-like receptors sit on the surface of the cell, this complex is inside the cell, and has now been linked specifically to acne and all the inflammation that goes along with it.

    So, what does this mean for the people who struggle daily with acne-prone skin? Scientists and dermatologists hope that new, more advanced medications can help target this pathway in addition to acne’s other triggers including increased skin turnover, oil production, and bacteria. In the meantime, those who struggle with acne already have inflammation throughout their skin long before acne is visible on the surface. This is why good skincare practices are of the utmost importance. Simple acts such as keeping the skin hydrated by applying an oil-free moisturizer to damp skin, protecting skin by using sunscreen daily, and even making conscious food choices can help control inflammation that contributes to acne, and subsequently contributes to the development of other skin issues such as dark marks and scars.

    3 Common triggers of Adult Acne

    Acne Education
    Skin
    by Shirley Chi, M.D
    I get this question every day: “Why am I still breaking out in my 30s?” Adult acne is more common than ever before. While the real reasons why are still a mystery, dermatologists recognize three common triggers that could be causing skin to act up.

    When’s the last time you went “off the grid”? Has your smartphone made you available to work anytime, anywhere…even on vacation? Our around-the-clock accessibility stimulates constant stress, and stress is a major trigger for oil production that can trigger acne. Simply put, our increasingly busy and high-pressure lives are a definite factor in the rise of adult acne.

    Did you know we are exposed to more oil-clogging toxins in our everyday lives than our grandparents’ generation? Pollution could also play a role in the increase in adult acne cases seen by dermatologists.

    Finally, our modern diets, heavy with refined sugars and hormone-laden meats and dairy could be another adult acne trigger. People who live in agrarian societies (those that subsist mostly on grains and vegetables) have much lower rates of acne in both teenagers and adults.

    To help my adult clients take control of their acne, I recommend a 3-pronged approach: make more time for de-stressing activities (this is as simple as deep breathing exercises or going for a 10-minute walk), modify your diet to minimize sugar and hormone intake, and treat with products that are powerful and effective, yet take into consideration the sensitivities and needs of our adult skin so as not to increase the inflammation and redness of adult acne.

    The acne products we used as teenagers may be fine for oilier, hardy skin types such as those of an adolescent, but on certain adult skin types may cause burning, redness, and even worsening of the acne. The same goes for those rough “acne facials” that consist of steaming your face, poking and prodding your skin with instruments, and scrubbing with exfoliating beads or harsh chemicals.

    Adult acne requires a very light touch, and I tell my patients that less is more in this regard. I generally don’t recommend facials, but professional treatments such as Blue or Red light, microdermabrasion, and certain lasers such as the Smoothbeam laser can help calm breakouts. Of course, there are also prescription medications that can help, so if what you’re doing isn’t working after 6-8 weeks, enlist the help of a board-certified dermatologist who can assess your skin’s needs.

    Can Food REALLY Cause Acne?

    Dermatologist Insights
    Skin
    by Mona Gohara, M.D.
    Acne is the most common skin condition in the United States. And, dermatologists can all agree on what causes it: a hormonal spike causes an increase in oil production, which subsequently clogs pores and creates a perfect opportunity for P. acnes bacteria that lives on our skin natural to settle in and cause the inflammation. This inflammation is what we see on skin as pimples. In addition to hormones, oils and bacteria, genetics, and emotional stress are also key factors in one’s tendency towards acne flares.

    An acne trigger that has always been in question is that of diet: do the foods we choose ultimately show up on our skin? Does that one piece of chocolate really spiral your skin into a pimply frenzy? Data published in the late 60s debunked the idea that diet could play a role in acne development. But, new research within the last decade is debunking this finding.

    Recent studies show that foods with a high Glycemic Index (GI) -- such as chips, cookies, cake, soda, white bread, pasta, rice, and other carbohydrates -- can cause acne to flare. It is the high spike of insulin levels in the blood that follows consumption of these foods that is thought to cause the breakout. One study was able to mark improvement in acne with a shift in diet from high to low GI. To help regulate blood sugar and insulin levels we recommend that patients:

    • 1. Eat small, healthy meals often (every 2-3 hours).

    • 2. Eat vegetables that are a wide range of deep, bright colors each day to help inflammation and oxidative damage.

    • 3. Eat a balanced diet with very limited amounts of simple carbohydrates.

    There is also new evidence suggesting a link between dairy and acne, and the hormonal content of skim milk has been targeted as potential acne trigger. Although more studies are needed to confirm a correlation, dermatologists may ask about your daily dairy consumption during your visit. It is not a good idea to try elimination diets as dairy has obvious health benefits, but if it is identified as a possible trigger, reducing daily intake may be suggested as part of the treatment plan.

    In general, a good rule of thumb to remember is that the skin is your largest organ, and so it is important to treat it as such. Protect it and nourish it well with healthy foods. If it’s not good for your heart or brain, it won’t be good for your skin, either.

    ACNE 101: What College Can’t Teach You About Acne

    LRP Staff Insights
    Skin
    by Jackie M, LRP Editor
    Going off to college is a milestone in life; a rite of passage. It marks a time of growth, independence, and ultimately learning to care for yourself. When I left for college, acne was the last thing on my mind—I would get an occasional breakout as a teen, but it was never too serious, so I figured any potential for acne was far behind me.

    I was certainly wrong about that.

    My acne developed slowly, with small white bumps developing all over my forehead followed by red pimples around my chin. I couldn’t figure out why I was breaking out. I tried everything from tanning to layering far too many strong over-the-counter treatments on my already inflamed skin, which only made my breakouts worse. Stressing about it seemed to make it worse. It was embarrassing that at 18 years old, when I was trying to make new friends, that I was breaking out—it felt like all anyone could see about me was my skin!

    Fast-forward to winter break and heading home for the holidays. My mom couldn’t stand to see me suffering, so she made an appointment with a dermatologist. His diagnosis was quick: After sitting with him for less than 15 minutes, he told me that my skin was a reflection of my health and all the changes brought on my college, such as sleeping less, eating unhealthy, processed foods (the college diet of pizza and French fries at 2 AM…), and stress were all leading to breakouts. Then, he prescribed a topical treatment and a gentle cleanser. Most importantly, I made the commitment to undo some of the unhealthy habits I had acquired at school. By the end of my freshman year, my skin had improved significantly.

    College is a time of change…and that change can greatly impact your skin. Even though college equates to freedom from you parents, you should still heed their advice: eat your vegetables, get your 8 hours of sleep, drink lots of water, and exercise. It could be the best thing you do for your skin, and your self-esteem.

    3 Types of acne, 5 golden rules to fight them

    Acne Education
    Skin
    Acne manifests itself in blackheads and spots. It can take several forms. In all cases, to combat acne, the use of specific oil control treatments is essential

    Symptoms
    From retentional acne to inflammatory acne there are different forms of acne. It can first of all appear as comedones (blackheads and whiteheads), which is retentional acne. But acne can also be accompanied by spots and larger lesions. In an oxygen-deprived environment, bacteria naturally present in the skin (called P.acnes) can proliferate and create inflammatory substances which spread in the underlying layers. This is inflammatory acne. Generally, these 2 forms coexist, and this is known as mixed acne, which affects almost 60% of acne patients.

    Origins
    Acne: a problem with a variety of causes.

    Several factors contribute to the appearance of acne lesions. It is mainly due to hormonal disorder (puberty, premenstrual syndrome, pregnancy, etc.) but also stress and fatigue, which can lead to an overproduction of sebum and bacterial proliferation. When the sebum can no longer flow normally, pores can become blocked. Blackheads and spots then appear.

    Treatments
    So how do you get rid of acne? It requires a gentle approach and a few essential daily rules also need to be followed:

    • 1. Thoroughly cleanse the skin with a product specifically formulated for oily skin.

    • 2. Use a medicated acne treatment every day.

    • 3. If using make-up, look for non-comedogenic products.

    • 4. Protect the skin from the sun, which contrary to popular belief, is a false-friend to acne.

    • 5. Don't squeeze blemishes.

    In addition to these measures, a dermatologist may also prescribe the best acne treatment for your acne. Don’t hesitate to talk to her about it.

    The Emotional Scars of Acne

    Dermatologist Insights
    Skin
    by Mona Gohara, M.D.
    According to the American Academy of Dermatology, approximately 50 million Americans have had acne. Even though some may have such severe acne that it may result in permanent scarring, only 11% of those affected seek treatment. That means that the majority of people with pimples just handle it on their own—which can be risky both to their skin, and to their emotional well-being.

    Although acne does not pose a threat to physical health, it can have a significant impact on our emotional state if it is left untreated. Because facial skin is so readily seen, any blemish or imperfection can lead to feelings of vulnerability and insecurity.

    Acne’s emotional impact isn’t just observation or speculation; it is based on actual science. Many studies show that those affected by acne have significantly more depressive symptoms and feelings of uselessness when compared to those who do not. They also have lower feelings of self-worth, pride, and body satisfaction. However, research also shows that successful treatment of acne results in increased self-esteem, quality of life, and an overall better performance at work or school. The treatment plan during this study was a simple one: only topical medications were used, showing that a little care and attention goes a long way.

    For years dermatologists have recognized the relationship between acne treatment and the improvement in mental health. That’s why we encourage these basic skin habits that help maintain a clear complexion and enhance emotional well-being.

    • 1. To eliminate oil, pollutants, bacteria, and dirt, cleanse morning and evening with lukewarm water and a mild, non-soap, pH-neutral cleanser to protect the hydrating ceramides and free fatty acids that create our skin barrier.

    • 2. Gently exfoliate once or twice a week to clear out clogged pores.

    • 3. If you do break out, choose a mild, over-the-counter benzoyl peroxide product to help control blemishes before they get bigger and more inflamed.

    • 4. Be sure to hydrate with a moisturizer and protect against acne-induced skin discoloration by using a broad spectrum SPF of 30 or higher daily.

    It is important to encourage both teenagers and adults to seek treatment if affected by acne. By following a simple plan, early in the course, often times both physical and mental scarring can be completely avoided.

    The 4 Don'ts That Can Prevent Acne Scarring

    Acne Education
    Skin
    by Adam Friedman, MD, FAAD
    “Why are acne scars more likely to form if acne is left untreated?” “What behaviors aggravate the risk of scarring?” “Is my skin more prone to scarring?” “How to get rid of acne scares?”

    Questions about acne scars are as common as questions about acne clearing. Acne at its simplest is inappropriately turned on inflammation in the skin. And, the inflammation exists even before the distinguishing "pimple" rises to the surface – not only visibly disrupting your flawless skin routine, but also doing serious damage to the key foundational support structures of healthy skin. As the pimple progresses (gets bigger), more and more damage occurs, which can have a permanent effect in the form of a persistent red mark, dark mark, or scar.

    How you treat the pimple now impacts how long it lingers into your skin’s future. Supposed “quick fixes” like picking and over-scrubbing can intensify the already present inflammation and increase the chance for scarring.

    Just like how everyone's skin is different (think skin type and skin tones), its ability to heal or the severity of inflammation associated with someone's acne means the likelihood of scarring is different for each individual. The appearance of "acne left-overs" will vary broadly -- even between different skin tones -- with a greater likelihood for discoloration in darker skin and persistent red marks in lighter skin.

    Like all skin issues, the best treatment is prevention:

    • 1. Don't pick.

    • 2. Don't over wash or over-scrub with harsh physical abrasives.

    • 3. Don’t skimp on moisturizer. Apply an oil-free moisturizer to damp skin, as hydration helps balance skin and maintain a healthy skin barrier.

    • 4. Don’t skimp on SPF because you think it’s greasy or clogs pores. Apply a mattifying, non-comedogenic sunscreen DAILY to protect against UV radiation that can worsen the appearance of scars and dark marks.

    If you’re already struggling with signs of scarring, see a dermatologist to talk to him or her about acne scar treatment. He or she will likely recommend a topical vitamin A derivative (known as a retinoid), which has been shown to help visibly reduce the appearance of post-acne scarring. Facial peels using a combination of alpha hydroxy acids (such as glycolic acid) and beta hydroxy acids (such as salicylic acid), as well as laser resurfacing treatments have demonstrated some success in evening skin tone and diffusing the appearance of acne scars. For pitted, depressed acne scars, cosmetic fillers are an option that help smooth and even the skin’s surface.

    Clean Up Your Workout Routine – How to prevent acne at the gym

    Lifestyle Tips
    Skin
    by Diane Z, LRP Editor
    I love the feeling of accomplishment after a good workout. I know I did something good for my body, my mind…and even my skin. Increased blood flow helps flush skin-clogging debris from our system, and exercise’s stress relieving powers can help relieve stress hormones, which is a known trigger for adult acne, premature skin aging, and more.

    Unfortunately, hitting the gym and keeping my skin breakout free has clashed over the years. That’s why I follow a few simple routines that let me get my sweat on anytime without compromising a clear complexion.

    Morning Workout Warriors: Skip the cleanse! One of the hardest but most worthwhile adjustments I made was resisting the urge to cleanse before my morning workout. I needed that squeaky-clean feeling to help wake me up, but it was over-drying my skin. Now, I simply splash my face with water and save cleansing for after my workout.

    Lunchtime Crunch: Pack your towelets! This is the easiest way to help clear your skin of pore-clogging make-up while simultaneously changing into yoga pants for your 12:15 barre class.

    Evening Gym Junkies: If you’re going from the office to the studio or gym in rush hour traffic, rely on a gentle cleanser that can be wiped off with tissue. This helps remove the oil, dirt, and pollution that have built up throughout the day. Follow with an oil-free moisturizer that won’t clog your pores.

    The Craziest Ways We’ve Covered a Breakout

    Staff Insights
    Skin
    by LRP Staff Writer
    Working in the skincare business, we naturally get to talk to a lot of people about their skin. One thing we can say for sure is that almost EVERYONE will get acne at some point in their lives. In fact, it's a fact. According to leading dermatology publications', 95% of people will experience acne. It’s not the only thing we all have in common: with acne comes an almost innate response to go to any extreme to hide it. Here's our top 10 list of the silliest and most obsessive things we've heard people do to cover bad acne. Remember, we’ve ALL been there…

    • 10. Cancelled a date.

    • 9. Spent a 30-minute lunch break in the bathroom squeezing that sucker only to make it bigger, redder, and grosser than it was when you started.

    • 8. Decided that wearing a Band-Aid on your face was less embarrassing.

    • 7. Dabbed a little toothpaste on it, which did nothing but give it a little brightening polish.

    • 6. Camouflaged forehead acne with a forehead side part so big, you could only see out of one eye.

    • 5. Drank apple cider vinegar. Not delicious.

    • 4. Ate raw garlic. It didn’t clear your skin, but it did upset your stomach.

    • 3. Submerged your face in a bowl of iced lemon water, making your eyes the only thing redder than your breakout.

    • 1. Donned a scarf on the hottest, sweatiest summer day.

    (1) Cordian L et al.Arch Dermatol.2002;138(12):1584-1590

    Pimples: To Pop or Not to Pop?

    Acne Education
    Skin
    Imagine this scenario… It’s the day you’ve been waiting for, whether you have a big date, a party or a job interview. You jump in the shower to start getting ready, and something catches your eye in the mirror. There it is: A red, raised blemish that’s ready to pop—right on the tip of your nose.

    Your first thought? I’m going to squeeze you into oblivion! Many people would react the same way, despite the fact that dermatologists have been telling their patients to keep their hands off pimples for decades. So just why is it so wrong to attack blemishes with your fingertips? We asked dermatologist Dr. Philippe Beaulieu for his expert advice.

    “I always recommend that patients resist the desire to pop blemishes. It may seem like a quick fix, but in reality you are likely to make the problem worse.”

    Here’s why… When you squeeze a pimple, you are literally bursting the skin. This can damage the infected hair follicle and increase inflammation. That’s what dermatologists fear most, because intense inflammation causes acne scars. Popping can also spread the original infection into neighboring areas of skin, or even introduce a new infection with your fingernails.

    “The truth is, popping zits is a harmful habit, and should be avoided at all costs.”

    So there you have it. Sometimes a little willpower and patience pays off, and in this case a small blemish is better than a big scab or scar. And remember that effective anti-acne products are as close as your local supermarket or drugstore, so you can take acne treatment matters into your own hands—just not literally.

    Dermatologist Tips to Making Pores Look Smaller

    Dermatologist Insights
    Skin
    by Shirley Chi, M.D.
    The size of your pores is genetically determined, but there are a few ways you can visibly diminish the appearance of pores on the face. First, make sure that you aren’t using products that irritate your skin, as they can make your pores inflamed and more prominent. Second, use a topical retinol cream (a good over-the-counter retinol cream is Redermic R) to keep your pores clear and build collagen in your face which can help visibly diminish their appearance. And finally, there are new lasers available at dermatologists’ offices that use fractionated laser beams to stimulate collagen production and tighten the pores on the face. I generally recommend 2-3 treatments spaced several weeks apart, my patients often tell me that they can see an improvement with just one treatment!
     
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