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Acne VS Congestion - Is it the same thing?

When clients book in for facials quite often you will be asked what your biggest skin concern is and what you’d like us to concentrate on. A popular response is ‘My Acne’. Now I can literally hear the eye rolls of Therapists everywhere. Why?

Acne is a form of inflammation and irritation that effects the WHOLE skin – right down to the dermis layers where your all-important epidermis (Skin we can see) forms. Acne can be formed for many reason but the most common has to do with an over production of the Sebaceous (oil) Gland. Our skin naturally excretes sebaceous fluid to strengthen and protect our Acid mantle (Skin protection barrier) to stop nasty things like bacteria entering and causing infections. When Acne is formed your body is reproducing sebaceous fluid to fast to absorb so the left over oil sits on the surface of the epidermis. This mixes with dead skin cells, Make up, Tan – whatever you may have on the surface of the skin and forms a plug on top of your pore. When this happens your Sebaceous Oil gland is still excreting into that now clogged pore creating a full Acne pustule. Generally this fluid becomes infected as the skin plug carries multiple bacteria and mixes with the newly excreted oil. Because this oil can no longer escape and flush out bacteria naturally, it becomes more and more infected as the bacteria multiply. This however is not the same as normal congestion. Acne caused by this particular method usually is caused by a skin or body condition such as; an over productive sebaceous gland, a slow natural desquamation process (Skin Exfoliation), Thickened skin, Dietary requirements (lactose intolerant, celiac etc) or even hormones. Using correct products to counter act the cause, Acne can be tamed and reduced significantly. Congestion is what we have ALL seen on our skins. It is usually caused by poor skin health, poor diet and lifestyle choices or for some women hormonal break out. Congestion is identified as topical and an excretion of body toxins. It originates in the epidermis and are quite common. They are not cystic but usually blocked pores which with the right skin care and gentle squeezing can be completely gone in a few days.

If you have a few blocked pores and few non consistent breakouts you do not have Acne. You have congestion and need to simply exfoliate the matter that is blocking your pore and revise your skin care regime. If you have consistent breakouts that spread, deep redness, soreness and irritation, Cystic, pustular or combination of both breakouts particularly in your oily skin zones – you may have some form of Acne and need to talk to your dermatologist about treatment options.

Hopefully this has helped give an insight into what is actually classified as Acne and Congestion. Remember your therapist is a

walking talking book of knowledge when it comes to skin health. Don’t forget to ask your questions so we can help you better your skin – we all deserve flawless results!

Sarah, Beauty Matters.

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