THE THREE BEST INGREDIENTS FOR HEALING ACNE AND FIGHTING BREAKOUTS
I still remember my very first pimple. It was on the tip of my nose and I was nine years old. Part of me was proud; it was a sign that I was almost a teenager - how cool! Part of me was astonished that my once smooth, even, invincible skin had changed, and part of me - the biggest part - was horrified.
When I was eighteen I went on Accutane to heal an aggressive outbreak that lasted months and strangely resembled a cartoon beard. Once that had healed I thought I was out of the woods. I was almost in my twenties, no longer a teenager. And acne only really happens to hormonal teenagers, right?
Over the next few decades my skin has battled with these painful, inflamed, complexion ruining monsters we call zits. Thus incited my years-long journey towards understanding the cause and finding the solutions to heal and mitigate breakouts.
What I discovered is that there are a plethora of things that affect our skin, from sleep to stress to hormones to nutrition to environment to what we’re putting on our skin. These factors are varying, but there is one common denominator: inflammation.
While I do encourage you to look at ways you can reduce inflammation by improving your diet, sleep, and mental wellness, for the purpose of this article I am going to focus on reducing inflammation topically.
A lot of the inflammation we experience on our skin is a result of harsh, skin barrier-damaging products that strip, dehydrate, and aggravate our skin - like sodium lauryl sulphate and phenoxyethanol. Check out Part One and Part Two of our recent two part series on Toxic Chemicals To Avoid for all the gory details on these barrier-damaging ingredients and more.
When your skin barrier is compromised, it not only causes inflammation, but it also synthetically dehydrates it, which confuses your skin - making it believe that it needs more moisture, which sends your skin’s oil production into overdrive and results in… you guessed it: decongested pores and breakouts.
Now you’ve got a rash of blackheads, excess oil, and a host of painful pimples. What do you do? Attack! Use more of those harsh, barrier-stripping products to dry your skin out in hopes of eradicating the excess oil and acne.
This ends up creating more harm than good, and fuels the vicious cycle.
That's the bad news, the good news is that there are natural, plant-based oils that can help balance your skin’s oil production, calm inflammation, and help reduce the redness breakouts like to offer.
Here are the best oils to heal acne:
1) Willow Bark
Willow bark, derived from the bark of willow trees, is a natural source of salicin aka salicylic acid, which is a powerful acne-fighting ingredient.
It also offers potent antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, and is also high in tannins, flavonoids, phenolic acids, and other antioxidants that help heal and calm breakouts, irritation, and reduce redness.
The tannins in willow bark are also effective in reducing the appearance of pores and balancing your skin’s natural oil production. Salicin also helps promote gentle exfoliation which can help decongest pores and encourage cell turnover.
We use a a standardized willow bark extract in our Gloss Clarifying Serum to ensure a consistent delivery of the optimal dosage of salicylic acid.
2) Argan Oil
This super popular oil, known for its moisturizing and nourishing benefits, is also surprisingly effective at combating acne and balancing your skin’s oil production. Not only is it super high in vitamin E and other free radical-fighting antioxidants, but it is also rich in oleic and linoleic acid.
These fatty acids are fantastic for soothing irritated skin and due to their potent anti-inflammatory properties, they makes argan oil very effective in treating acne-prone skin.
Argan oil also helps control your skin’s oil production by balancing out your sebum levels, which leads to fewer breakouts and less irritation. Plus its array of antioxidants, including polyphenols, are known to help fade scars. So there’s that too.
3) Blue Tansy
Oh the holy grail of acne fighting, inflammation calming, and oil balancing ingredients. Blue tansy is an essential oil derived from Moroccan flowers in the chamomile family. It has an intense indigo color and smells like literal heaven - which, if you’re using Gloss Clarifying Serum, you are very familiar with.
What makes this oil a serious acne fighting powerhouse is its unique anti-inflammatory compounds including chamazulene and myrcene, which help decrease redness, swelling, and even help repair a damaged skin barrier.
Blue tansy is also amazing at clearing away bacteria lingering on the skin, and balancing your skin’s oil production. Plus, it also helps lock in moisture and maintain a healthy moisture barrier.
Now, the question is - where can you access these magical and magnificent ingredients?
Well, the good news is we utilize each of them at optimal dosages in Gloss Clarifying serum, along with other powerful skin clarifying ingredients like licorice root extract and sea buckthorn oil, to give you the clear, healthy, and glowing skin you deserve.
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While you can’t halt or prevent acne caused by things like hormones, you can take a holistic approach by prioritizing your mental health, making your nighttime routine sacred to ensure optimal sleep hygiene, practicing intuitive eating to combat poor eating habits, and using skin barrier nourishing and anti-inflammatory skincare products like Gloss.