I have been dealing with a client for some time who has been suffering moderate acne. We have the acne under control now, next we need to treat the scarring. What I have learned is that when dealing with acne, it is critical to get rid of the infection and reduce the inflammation as soon as possible. The longer the infection is there it festers, created inflammation which damages the surrounding tissue. Extractions are really important but have to be done so gently that it does not result in breaking the skin or causing bruising. If the skin scabs or bruises after, it's doing more harm than good and can result in scarring.
Acne Products We Tried - Reviews
When my client hit puberty 3 years ago, she started to experience breakouts. We treated the skin with natural, soothing products in the beginning when the acne was only mild with good success. Antibacterial and anti-inflammatory ingredients such as salicylic acid, allantoin, Centella Asiatica, zinc, liquorice extract, glycerrhetinic acid, vitamin B3, and tea tree essential oil are critical to reducing the infection and inflammation. Regular deep cleansing treatments and mild glycolic/salicylic peels really helped to boost results. We mainly used the Sothys Paris range in the beginning.
Two years ago the acne began to get worse. We determined there were a number of factors at play, stress, hormones, dairy and gluten intolerance. My client experienced a breakout every time she had dairy or foods that contained gluten or when she was under a lot of stress at school. We saw breakouts with hormonal fluctuations as well. She began working on her diet and managing stress and we found results were very much dependant on her ability to avoid the acne triggers.
A year ago my client decided to get help from her local GP. She was prescribed oral antibiotics and topical treatments including antibiotics and benzoyl peroxide. However, after 6-8 months, the acne was not improving, it actually became worse. The client decided to go off the medication as it was very drying and causing the skin to be photosensitive. She has also been prescribed the pill about 6 months ago. There has been no improvement in the beginning, but it may finally be kicking in.
About 6 weeks ago, my client started using the Level 2 Acne Bootcamp Starter Kit by Dr Neal’s Acne Bootcamp and found improvement and results from day one. However, the products contain benzoyl peroxide and have been extremely drying and sensitizing, making her skin feel very uncomfortable. She was advised to use smaller amounts and less frequently. As the acne continued to clear, she gradually weaned off using the Step 1 Acne Cleanser and Step 3 Acne Lotion, but has continued to use the Step 2 Gentle Oil Absorbing Blend as a spot treatment on new breakouts and existing clogging and congestion which continues to be effective. The Nutrient Moisture Gel that came with the kit was not moisturising enough so we put her on the soothing and moisturising range below.
She has now found the perfect combination of product that are clearing her acne and keeping her skin feeling hydrated and comfortable. It had been a balancing act, keeping the skin hydrated and comfortable and balancing excess oil, reducing clogging, congestion, and acne. While she was using the program, her doctor advised to reduce the frequency and amount of products she used to limit side effects. So when her skin became too dry from the topical treatments, we suspended treatment for a day, rehydrated and moisturised, then restarted when the skin was comfortable again. The Sothys Soothing Melting fluid during the day and Natio Pure 100% Jojoba oil at night has been brilliant to help restore the skin moisture and calm the irritation. The Soothing Melting fluid has a number of ingredients that moisturises, calms inflammation and promotes healing. Jojoba oil is also moisturising and healing and perfectly fine for oily skin as it's non-comedogenic.
Treating the Acne Scarring
My client is pretty consistent with her diet now and is on a dairy free and gluten free diet which has made a massive difference. Now that the acne is under control, we have begun working on the scarring. The client has red/purple type scars and indented scars. There is still inflammation in the tissues of the skin, which means that the skin can still get damaged further and the scars could deepen. So for now, the goal is to reduce the inflammation.
The client is using the Sothys Purifying Gel Cleanser, Clarity Lotion (anti-inflammatory toner), Sothys SOS Soothing serum and Soothing Melting Fluid during the day. At night she is applying the Natio Jojoba oil all over the face with Dr Neal’s Acne Bootcamp Step 2 Gentle Oil Absorbing Blend spot treatment product over the top on the odd breakout and to on the clogging and congestion. We have also introduced the Sothys Calm Redness Rebalancing Ampoules two days ago to get that inflammation down fast. Using it morning and night right after cleansing and toning on affected areas.
We have begun a course of Red LED treatments and have seen very good results two days after the first treatment. Ideally, we would like to do this twice a week, but time permits only once a week. I have the client use a calming mask (Sothys Nutri-soothing Mask) once a week at home instead.
Here are two set of photos, the first about 6 weeks ago when the acne was at it's worst. The second photo about a week ago, just before we began the LED treatments. I'll include progressive photos later so that you can see the results as the skin improves. In the first photos, there are a lot of "bumps" raised lesions, papules, pustules, cysts, clogging and congestion. In the second set of photos the skin is flat, minimal acne lesions, but still a lot of inflammation even though it's looking calmer.
What Worked, What Didn't Work
It has been an interesting two years but we are both excited to see her acne finally clear. For this client, keeping off dairy, avoiding gluten, managing stress and balancing the hormones with the pill helped prevent further breakouts. Treating the acne when it was at it's worst, we found the usually prescribed oral antibiotics and topical treatments work for a little while then the skin became resistant and got worse. We finally had a breakthrough with the Dr Neil's Acne Bootcamp but found we had to manage it well because the products were very drying on my client's skin. Balancing it out with the Sothys Soothing range, Sothys Calm Redness rebalancing Ampoules and Natio's Pure Jojoba oil is the perfect combination of products for my client.
The plan for the future is, repairing the skin with RA Regenerative Ampoules, and once the inflammation is down and the skin is healthy and strong, we will commence with Fractional RF treatments to treat the depressed boxed and pitted scarring. I can't wait to see her skin smooth, clear and healthy again. Watching my client's confidence return has been a life-changing experience. Say tuned.