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Beneath the surface: Acne

Updated: Jan 10


In this edition of our blog series, Beneath the Surface, which analyses different skin types, we are exploring Acne, what causes acne, other common concerns associated with acne, and our top product recommendations and in-clinic treatments to manage and improve the appearance of the skin. 

What is Acne?Acne is a very common, chronic skin condition and the cause can vary from person to person. Acne commonly affects the face but can also affect other body parts such as the back and chest. There are a range of spots which contribute to acne including blackheads, papules, pustules and cysts which often make the skin pink, hot and painful to touch. Acne can be treated very effectively with both at home systems/skincare and in-clinic treatments. 

What causes Acne?Acne can be caused by a variety of factors, most commonly this is due to excess sebum production, problematic or reduced cell turnover, bacteria and inflammation. Sebaceous glands are tiny glands found near the surface of your skin. The glands are attached to hair follicles, which are small holes in your skin that an individual hair grows out of. Sebaceous glands lubricate the hair and the skin to stop it drying out. They do this through the production of sebum. With acne, the glands produce too much sebum which mixes with dead skin cells and forms a plug in the follicle forming spots. Acne is often categorised into three main types; mild, moderate and severe which are defined by the types of spots (known as lesions) that are present. Lesions can include blackheads (open comedones), whiteheads (closed comedones), papules, pustules, nodules and cysts. The milder the type of acne, the less persistent and painful the lesions are and will likely respond quickly to the right skincare products. Severe acne can take much longer to treat and may need prescription strength products to treat.

What are the symptoms of Acne?Acne signs vary depending on the severity of your condition and can include:

  • Whiteheads (closed plugged pores)

  • Blackheads (open plugged pores)

  • Small red, tender bumps (papules)

  • Pimples (pustules), which are papules with pus at their tips

  • Large, solid, painful lumps under the skin (nodules)

  • Painful, pus-filled lumps under the skin (cystic lesions)

Other conditions have similar symptoms to acne and therefore, can be misdiagnosed and treatment will not be effective. Rosacea is commonly confused with acne as it presents with redness, papules and uneven skin texture. Another condition is perioral dermatitis which features with red, bumpy or scaly rash. It is important to get the diagnosis correct prior to treating the condition to make sure the treatment will be effective. 

Key ingredients for Acne

If acne is mild, skincare products that contain Glycolic Acid (an AHA) as an excellent exfoliator. it helps to regulate cell turnover and keep pores clear. 

If acne is moderate to severe, skincare products that contain Salicylic Acid (a BHA) would be most beneficial. This can penetrate deeper into the pores than Glycolic Acid can, to counter excess sebum and remove dead skin cells. Salicylic Acid is also antibacterial and anti-inflammatory to calm and soothe the skin. 

What No.109 can do for Acne 

Hydrafacial with Murad Clarifying Booster: HydraFacial is the only hydradermabrasion procedure that combines cleansing, exfoliation, extraction, hydration and antioxidant protection simultaneously, resulting in clearer, more beautiful skin with little-to-no downtime. The treatment is soothing, moisturizing, non-invasive and generally non-irritating. Utilising the Murad Clarifying Booster, cleanses the skin and reduces excess oil, purifying the pores and the skin is brightened and smoothed. Key ingredients include Salicylic Acid which helps to improve the appearance of acne and Green Tea Extract helps to soothe any irritation. As part of the treatment, LED (with blue Lightwave) will be utilised to target the bacteria that causes acne and help prevent future breakouts. 

LED with SkinCeuticals regime to address bacteria causing Acne: The treatment has eight steps with pre-cleanse, cleanse, tone, treat, prevent, mask, correct and protect with different products being used at each stage. For those with active acne, the SkinCeuticals clarifying and retexturizing products would be used to rebalance the skin and improve surface texture. These products will help to reduce excess sebum production, exfoliate the outermost layer of the skin to improve texture and minimise post-blemish discolouration. Our Opatra LED pro will also be used during treatment, the Blue Lightwave’s are ideal for oily and acne-prone skin, blue light therapy balances and clarifies the skin by eliminating the bacteria that causes acne. The skin texture appears more refined and smoother with regular use.

Obagi Blue Peel Radiance: This treatment is a medical-grade superficial salicylic acid-based facial peel that exfoliates and helps improve overall complexion. This chemical peel with remove a uniform thickness or the uppermost layer of the skin (stratum corneum) to remove dead skin and unblock clogged pores. This stimulates the body’s own wound healing process and new skin cells to surface, resulting in tighter, smoother, brighter-looking and rejuvenated skin. This peel is suitable for those with active acne or those with redness from previous acne breakouts.

Obagi Cleziderm System: Obagi CLENZIderm System is prescription-strength and designed to combat adult acne. It works to unclog pores and banish blemishes, and is clinically proven to visibly clear skin in as little as 2 weeks.

The system includes:

Daily Care Foaming Cleanser

A light, foaming cleanser with 2% salicylic acid and cooling menthol to wash away impurities, leaving skin feeling clean and refreshed. 

Obagi Clenziderm Pore Therapy

Obagi Clenziderm Pore Therapy unclogs pores and clears away dead skin with 2% salicylic acid, helping to remove acne-causing bacteria at the source. While leaving a refreshed feel to the skin, Pore Therapy prepares the skin for the next step in the acne treatment regimen.Theraputic lotionThe moisturising element of the system, and final step, is a lightweight lotion formulated BHAs to assist in the clearing of acne. Its light texture helps prevent clogged pores, and the addition of squalene deeply nourishes skin to prevent dryness.

SkinCeuticals Blemish and Age: This range from SkinCeuticals decongests and refines pores, minimises blemishes, reduce excess sebum production, exfoliate dead skin cells and brighten the skin. The Blemish and Age Range uses a combination of potent cleansing agents and exfoliating ingredients to improve overall skin clarity. 

La Roche Effaclar Duo +: Specifically formulated for oily, blemish and acne-prone skin in adults and teenagers. A dual action daily gel moisturiser that reduces the appearance of spots and blackheads, controls shine and helps to reduce inflammation in order to prevent red and brown coloured marks that are often left by spots. Provides immediate protection from UVA and UVB rays with [ACTIVE SHIELD XL PROTECT] with SPF 30, PPD (UVA protection). Also, helps protect the skin from the effects of pollution and infrared with Carnosine preventing damage to skin. 

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