Is it hormonal acne? Run-of-the-mill acne? Or is it even acne at all?
It’s all a bit of a puzzle, really.
With so many different types of acne, no wonder we’re all confused over what products to use and what lifestyle adjustments need be made in order to acquire a radiant, zit-free complexion.
Let us (and the help of several skincare experts) decipher the different types of acne and show you how to treat them effectively.
Hormonal acne is linked to a fluctuation in your hormones and can repeatedly return as a result.
“The hormones that cause this type of acne are fluctuations of estrogen and progesterone, which both vary widely throughout the menstrual cycle month,” explains S. Manjula Jegasothy, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist and founder of Miami Skin Institute. “In addition, the ratio of each of these hormones to each other can also affect women’s testosterone levels, and can also be causative in hormonal acne.” Cortisol, otherwise known as the stress hormone, can also trigger breakouts.
These hormones cause an influx of oil in your skin, leading to clogged pores, which results in acne.
How to Treat: You have several options when it comes to treating hormonal acne. First off, stick to a daily cleansing routine to remove dirt and prevent future breakouts. Second, add in retinoids like Truly’s Purple Rain Facial Oil or Starface Jelly Sleep Mask.
“Even if you have moderate acne, retinoids help by eliminating dead skin cells off your face, and they work at a steady rate so that the dead skin cells don’t stick together and cause blockage,” says board-certified dermatologist Dr. Michele Green.
It’s also important to recognize that if you’re suffering with hormonal acne, there may be an underlying issue that needs to be addressed. Speak to your doctor about your symptoms, so that they can prescribe you the best topical or oral treatment.
Try Truly’s Pore-Shrinking Kit to keep your skin breakout-free.
Fungal acne looks a lot like regular acne, only this type is caused by yeast that inflames the hair follicles on your skin, leading to zit-like bumps. As is its scientific name, Malassezia folliculitis usually appears as uniform bumps and pustules on the back, chest, and upper arms. It doesn’t seem to occur as often on the face. Another key difference between fungal acne and bacterial acne – the bumps from Malassezia tend to be itchy and don’t normally come to heads.
While overuse of antibiotics can be responsible for the development of fungal acne, sometimes other lifestyle habits are to blame. For example, wearing tight, sweaty workout clothes for too long is practically a recipe for fungal acne. As is re-wearing those clothes the next day without washing them.
How to Treat: For starters, change out of those grimy clothes and jump in the shower ASAP after working out. It’s a simple lifestyle change that can promote a huge improvement in your fungal acne.
Meanwhile, celebrity dermatologist Dr. Dendy Engelman recommends adding anti-dandruff products into your skincare regimen.
“It sounds strange, but many dandruff shampoos contain selenium, which also treats fungal acne,” says Dr. Engelman. “Apply the shampoo to the affected area on your body and leave it on for five minutes before washing it off in the shower.”
Experts also recommend including products with ingredients like witch hazel and tea tree oil into your skincare routine. Both of these ingredients are naturally antimicrobial which inhibits the overgrowth of yeast. Try Truly’s Black Jelly Blemish Treatment Body Serum for a boost of witch hazel and tea tree.
If red, angry-looking pimples are staring back at you in the mirror, there’s a good chance it’s bacterial acne. Filled with white or yellow liquid, these pustules are the result of inflammation caused by bacteria.
How to Treat: Your best bet is to stock up on salicylic acid which destroys bacteria. A acne-formulated treatment like Truly’s Hemp Jelly Anti-Blemish Facial Cleanser should work wonders. And, no matter how much you want to, resist the urge to pick or pop your pimples. This will only lead to scarring. Take the skin-friendly route and pop a Hemp Acne Patch over any visible pimples to speed up the healing process.
Acne mechanica is another form of acne that people often confuse with regular acne. That’s because it varies in appearance, from small comedones to angry, inflamed papules. It can also simply take form as rough, bumpy skin. However, as acne mechanica progresses, these miniature breakouts can turn into bigger, more obvious blemishes.
The biggest trigger of acne mechanica is friction. Friction from athletic equipment, straps from bags, hats and headbands, and even snug-fitting clothes. Anything that rubs, puts pressure on the skin, or traps heat against the body for a prolonged period of time can cause acne mechanica. Even talking on the phone regularly can cause breakouts on the face.
How to Treat: Acne mechanica generally responds well to salicylic acid, glycolic acid or benzoyl peroxide treatments. Try using a face cleanser or toner that contains one of these ingredients like Truly’s CBD Jelly Toning Solution to ease your symptoms.
Also, be sure to use the proper technique when washing your face. Avoid rubbing or scrubbing your skin, as this will only cause friction which can worsen breakouts. Use Truly’s gentle cotton Face Towel for a gentle exfoliation without irritating the skin.
Whenever possible, wear natural, breathable fabrics like cotton to reduce the amount of friction on the skin.
There are many different types of acne. The secret to treating yours is identifying which type you have. Once you know that, you’ll be able to follow the right treatment plan for a clear, smooth, blemish-free future.
If you notice your skin not improving after several weeks of following an acne routine, visit your dermatologist. There could be an underlying health problem that needs to be addressed.