I remember when I was 16 and started to see an increase in pimples, not just on my face, but on my chest and back. I was super stressed about it because my sister had had issues with acne and my brother was going to skin specialists for his acne.
To prevent me from going through the same thing I started to do a tonne of research about what I could do in my skincare routine that would prevent me from having issues like my siblings. There were a few things I found out.
The four main factors that cause acne are:
Excess oil production
Hair follicles clogged by oil and dead skin cells
Excess activity of a type of hormone (androgens)
I also found out that the reason I was seeing the pimples start to appear on my back and chest was due to the skin having the most oil (sebaceous) glands in these areas. With this information in hand, I addressed some of the issues
1. Excess Oil Production There are a lot of reasons why our bodies produce excess oil. One of those reasons is because the skin is trying to compensate for dry skin. I noticed I would get a T zone of very oily skin and have normal skin everywhere else on my face. So, I decided I needed to moisturize with a light moisturizer to prevent the excess oil production
2. Hair Follicles clogged by oil and dead skin cells This is a big one. While I could go popping all those pimples, I would have been doing more damage to my skin so I needed to find a gentle way to open up those blocked pores. This is where I welcomed a gentle exfoliator into my life
3. Bacteria Bacteria was a major issue for me (it is the main factor in why when you pop a pimple you end up with more pimples developing around the area). I needed a product that was going to combat the bacteria on my face a prevent more pimples developing. I also needed something to soothe my already red and raw face from all the pimple development that had been going on prior to starting a good skin routine
4. Excess activity of hormone (androgens) Without the help of drugs, this one was not going to be something I could address unless I went to a specialist and that was exactly what I was hoping to avoid, so I was hoping that what I did to combat the other reasons for acne would be enough for my face. The other thing I didn’t want to do was add a whole heap of products to my face as I was 16 and I had no time for a mega skincare routine. I looked to natural ingredients that would benefit me in a number of ways.
My lifeline: Aloe Vera. Aloe Vera gel contains 75 health-giving nutrients, including amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. Aloe Vera is anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, is an antioxidant, anti-pruritic (relieves itching), anti-fungal, anti-viral, keratolytic (removes dead skin), an astringent (tones the skin), cools and soothes.
Plunkett’s have a high potency Aloe Vera Moisturizer that contains 90% pure Aloe Vera, which includes moisturising Shea Butter and other soothing ingredients. This means you can use this lightweight moisturiser on your face and body to address issues 1 and 3 of the reasons people are prone to acne. The other really great thing about this moisturiser is there is no perfume, colour or parabens which can irritate already irritated skin. Finally, add in a gentle exfoliator (once the skin has started to repair itself).
With Aloe Vera as my savior, I ended up being the only child in the family with the least issue of pimples!!
There are cases where people will still need to see their skin specialist (particularly for the excess activity of hormones - androgens), however, most of us should be able to get through the teenage years with good skin by addressing the main acne producing issues.
Written by Alana Barton