What Causes Acne?

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    We probably all know that hormones are part of it, but surprisingly for many, your hormone levels don’t change. In fact, for 100% of male acne sufferers and for around 70% of female acne sufferers, hormone levels are the same before, during and after acne. The other 30% of women who do suffer from acne have hormonal changes, due to Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.

    The true start of acne is the physiological changes which make our skin more sensitive to our hormones, particularly a form of the male (androgen) testosterone hormone called DHT (Dihydrotestosterone).

    Dihydrotestosterone is a hormone that stimulates the development of male characteristics (an androgen). It is made through the conversion of the more commonly known androgen, testosterone. This skin sensitisation to hormones leads to a depletion of lipids and fatty acids in the skin which leach out of the skin and fall off alongside our dead skin cells. These ‘fats’ help to control the rate that water escapes from the skin, which is known as trans-epidermal water loss, or TEWL, and is critically important in the development or exacerbation of many skin conditions.

    Therefore, it is true that acne is caused by a hormonally triggered loss in the skin’s ability to control water loss.

Hydratime® & Nutritime® Plus rebuild your skin’s barrier function for a healthy, hydrated skin environment

    If water is escaping too fast from the skin, the living skin cells start to suffer and so the skin has to respond; new skin cell production increases which causes thickening of the epidermis in an effort to normalise water loss. Also, more keratin (the waxy protein substance that makes your nails hard) is deposited in the upper skin cells called keratinocytes and this also slows down water loss. The skin becomes harder or ‘hornier’ with increased keratinisation. The skin’s sebaceous glands then increase the production of sebum (oil) which flows out of the hair follicle duct onto the skin. This liquid oil also slows down water loss.

    The problem is that, although the skin is thickening upwards, the top layer of the skin also lines the neck of the hair follicle duct, so this thickening narrows the duct and can close it totally. This is exacerbated by the increased number of dead skin cells and oil all combining to help block the duct.

Synchrovit® Retinol A Cream normalises skin cell turnover, reducing the risk of hair follicle blockages

    Right now, such a skin would not have acne, but it would have blackheads and whiteheads (closed and open comedones), and therefore a ‘congested skin’.

    Many bacteria live on our skin and feed on the oil (sebum) we produce; one such one is known as p. acnes. It doesn’t particularly like living on our skin in a high oxygen environment as it prefers a low oxygen environment. However, it survives on our skin feeding on the oil by secreting enzymes onto the skin and breaking the oil down to glycerol, which is sucked back up by the bacteria as food. What’s left on the skin, as in free fatty acids, just fall off with our dead skin.

    Once the hair follicle duct is blocked, the bacteria’s food source is cut off, so the bacteria migrate under the plug to find the oil. However, it also finds a lower oxygen environment which it prefers, so it starts to reproduce and many new bacterial cells colonise the hair follicle duct. Now the free fatty acids produced from the bacterial enzyme break down, build up under the plug and trigger the body’s immune response which leads to inflammation. This can also lead to the breakdown of the hair follicle duct walls and the bacteria invade the surrounding area, which can result in scarring.

    When the bacteria are attacked by antibiotics and other treatments, as well as by the body’s immune system, the bacteria protect themselves by grouping together in a colony where they share their protective slimy protein coating. This becomes one shared coating with the bacteria inside it, called a biofilm and it protects the bacteria from immune attack and also from antibiotics which cannot penetrate the biofilm. This is why antibiotics can take so long – if at all – to work on acne. Benzoyl peroxide can be used to break open the biofilm which releases some of them to be attacked by the antibiotics and killed. However, due to benzoyl peroxide only having a short-term effect, the biofilm forms again. This means the antibiotic again cannot penetrate and the surviving bacteria are those less sensitive to the antibiotic, which over repeated exposures become more resistant to the antibiotics.

What can be done?

    If you don’t get the blockage, you don’t get the spot.

    Using exfoliating agents and benzoyl peroxide tends to thin the skin which accelerates water loss again and can make the situation worse. Using active ingredients like salicylic acid can help to soften and dislodge plugs blocking the duct, but too much can again be exfoliating, and using it on a twice-daily basis can lead to increased water loss and the skin thickening cycle getting worse. Also, if the walls of the hair follicle duct have actually thickened to the point where they meet and the duct is blocked but there is no oily plug, it can be a struggle to resolve.

Aknicare® Cleanser exfoliates and reduces bacterial levels, deeply cleaning the skin, removing debris and surface oil, and unblocking pores 

    If you can increase fixed ‘fats’ in the skin, cell production slows, keratin deposition reduces and oil production slows. Hydratime and Nutritime Plus Face Creams can restore TEWL control and the Aknicare range has a unique way of destroying the invading p. acnes (96% in a study), as well as all of the antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Also, by increasing TEWL control, through Aknicare inputting linoleic acid into the pilosebaceous duct, you make the skin less sensitive to the DHT hormone, which is a key initiator of the acne development process.

However the key is Hydratime and Nutritime, with its 50% ceramide mix of the key nine ceramide groups in the exact proportions the skin needs, combined with its 25% of free fatty acids and 25% cholesterol, which mirrors the skins actual make-up and helps restore TEWL control; so the skin does not need to thicken to control water loss, so the closure of the hair follicle duct doesn’t happen, meaning the duct stays open, and no blockage means not spot.

That’s one thing to help, but what about the rest?

    Another system is to find a way to kill the bacteria in the biofilm. We have a fast, unique, patented way of doing this that does not use antibiotics, benzoyl peroxide, or even retinol.

    Aknicare ingredients get below the blockage, and into the biofilm where the bacteria are feeding and reproducing. The bacterial enzymes are preferentially drawn to these ingredients and break them down instead of oil.

This means three things:

  1. Intact sebum maintained (oil) means no glycerol food for the bacteria
  2. Free inflammatory fatty acids from sebum breakdown are much reduced, as the triglycerides within the sebum remain intact, as the bacterial enzyme breakdown of the sebum is reduced and therefore inflammatory byproducts are also reduced.
  3. Now instead, the bacterial enzyme breaks down the Tebiskin Triethyl Citrate ingredient to release lots of citric acid, making the environment within the biofilm very acidic and killing the bacteria.

But what about the biofilm?

    There is another ingredient which opens up the channels into the biofilm and allows the citric acid producing ingredient in. This means we kill 96% of the bacteria while in the biofilm; think of the biofilm, rather than protecting the bacteria, becoming their ‘coffin’.

Aknicare® is medically licensed for the treatment of acne and clinically proven to deliver positive results to 85% of long-term sufferers

These results have been supported and tested by top specialists throughout Europe and published in peer-reviewed journals and these ingredients have been accepted in prescribing lists.

SkinMed® provide clinically proven skin solutions, which, unlike cosmetic brands, are medically licensed in the treatment of many skin conditions and suitable for almost all skin types, with thousands of successful users across the UK and Europe.

The products were created through decades of experience, in collaboration with top dermatologists from all around Europe. Professor Tony Chu, President of the Acne and Rosacea Association UK (ARA UK), endorses and prescribes the products for his patients – you can be certain you’re in the right hands.

If you would like to find out where your local SkinMed® accredited clinic near you, all you need to do is get in touch. We have hundreds of clinics country-wide and our dedicated team will be more than happy to point you in the right direction.

We are also offering free skin consultations at many of our clinics for all our loyal customers. If this sounds like something you would be interested in, please let us know and we can find the nearest clinic to you offering a consultation free of charge.

Contact Us:

Phone: 0333 247 2474 – Email: info@skinmed.co.uk – Live Chat: www.theskinmedshop.com

The Secret to Glowing Holiday Skin!

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Once upon a time, you’d have to go away on a long exotic holiday to get that gorgeous, healthy-looking glow that everyone is after today. But now, with the like of Instagram and SnapChat, everyone needs that glow before they go away, so they can be photo ready for snaps by the pool, on the beach, by the bar…you know, anything to make the folks back home green with envy!

This week on #SkinTheKnow, we’re giving you the inside scoop on how to get perfect summer skin before your next big trip, so that you can be ready for anything.

Introducing the EnerPeel® MA

Mandelic Acid is a slow-absorbing, gently exfoliating alpha hydroxy acid. It is originally isolated from almonds, but perfected in a lab, meaning that people with nut allergies can still benefit from treating themselves to an MA. In almonds, mandelic acid protects the nut from viruses, bacteria and fungi, a feature that can also be a great help to our skin too, keeping you free from pre-holiday ‘break-outs’. Its ability to control the hyperdilation of surface blood vessels also makes it ideal for those suffering from rosacea, and as we all know, UV can be a serious trigger for rosacea flare-ups, making EnerPeel® the perfect choice for rosacea sufferers or those prone to reddening.

Almonds

Remember, it’s the fact that it’s perfected in a lab that gives it amazing results – just rubbing almonds on your face will not do your skin any good!

Acne TripleLock® – All-encompassing acne solution, offering 85% success rates even amongst difficult to treat patients

Rosacea TripleLock® – Targeting all causes and symptoms of rosacea in just 8 weeks.

A lot of people are wary, or warn against, getting a chemical peel in the build-up to Summer due to fear of the effect of the sun on the freshly peeled skin, but EnerPeel® is not your average peel! Its rejuvenating effects are almost instant, delivering fresher, smoother skin with almost no downtime, meaning that with a high SPF sunscreen – which by the way, you should already be wearing every day, see our previous article for more details – you’ll be good to go and enjoy the summer sun. It’s even been called the Lunchtime Peel; that’s how little time it takes!

The beauty of EnerPeel® is that is also increases your skin’s absorbability, meaning that the SPF sunscreen you use will soak deeper into the skin for more even tanning, and the smoother texture of your skin means that your makeup will adhere so much better – and you won’t even need to wear as much because your skin will already look fab! That’s one less thing to worry about while you’re away!

Sunwards® SPF 30 Face Cream – Ultimate sun protection from but UVa and UVb rays, without irritation from chemical sun filters.

Rosacure Intensive SPF 30 – Rosacea targeting ingredients, combined with Factor 30 sun protection

Now we all know that holidays tend to be times when we let ourselves go a little and leave the diet at the airport to pick up again when you get home. And why shouldn’t you? Holidays are a time to treat yourself, live a little, and maybe have one too many cocktails at the hotel bar. The drawback is the hit that this can take on your immune system, which can often show on your face, potentially ruining your otherwise gorgeous holiday snaps. EnerPeel® MA will prevent these little holiday ‘break-outs’, keeping your skin clear and smooth, while you still get to push the boat out.

Cocktails

Disclaimer: Other side-effects caused by drinking too many cocktails cannot be prevented by having an EnerPeel before you go!

So, to sum up…

It gives you fresh, younger-looking skin, that will better absorb your sunscreen and tan more evenly.

It’s perfect for helping to control rosacea in time for your next summer holiday, and, with the right aftercare, can provide outstanding results to manage your rosacea symptoms long-term.

It prevents holiday break-outs from eating – and drinking! – too much and can be combined with an acne protocol to control acne by fighting all causes and symptoms.

The treatment lasts around ten minutes or less – a perfect little luxury to indulge in on your lunch break before your next sunny getaway.

Your skin will be cleansed, refreshed, brighter, incredibly smooth and soft to the touch, making it the ideal treatment prior to a garden party, holiday or a summers evening ‘get together’.

EnerPeel MA

Your ticket to gorgeous, glowing, summer skin

In short, it’s the perfect all-around chemical peel for summer, to give your skin that extra holiday glow, and that’s only after one treatment! A course of up to four treatments will also offer you the outstanding anti-ageing benefits of using MA, increasing collagen and elastin deposition, smoothing fine lines and tightening skin.

The EnerPeel® range is available from SkinMed® accredited clinics all across the country; to find your nearest clinic or for any further information, simply give us a call on 0333 247 2474, and a member of our dedicated clinical team will be able to point you in the right direction.

Top Tips for Keeping SkinFit this Winter

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We at SkinMed know how easy it is to start the year with good intentions, and that making New Year’s Resolutions is all well and good – it’s sticking to those resolutions that can be difficult.

A common resolution is to exercise more, which is fantastic for you both physically and mentally, with many of us now hitting the gym to undo the effects of burning the candle at both ends over Christmas. It can, however, have its drawbacks, from exacerbating the symptoms of acne and rosacea, to exposing yourself to excess free radical damage.

No need to cancel your gym membership though!

This week on SkinTheKnow, we’re offering our top tips on how to make the most of the New Year’s Resolution to stay fit and healthy and still get the best from your skin…

1. If you suffer from acne, remove all makeup and cleanse your skin before you exercise. This allows your skin to breath and sweat naturally, and clears away the dead skin cells and excess oil that can lead to blocked pores – no blockage, no spot!

2. Taking your exercise session outside can also make a huge difference, as it allows your skin a greater supply of fresh oxygen, which inhibits the anaerobic acne-causing bacteria that thrive in sealed rooms with recycled air.

Aknicare Gentle Cleansing Gel calms angry, acne-prone skin, reduces oil and prevents spots from appearing

3. Because your skin loses moisture as you exercise, it’s vitally important you stay hydrated inside and out. Skin can overcompensate for this moisture loss by thickening and producing more oil, to prevent water from escaping the skin, which can then lead to spots and blackheads. Using a moisturiser that both hydrates and strengthens the skin’s barrier slows down this process, keeping your skin clear and healthy.

Hydratime and Nutritime Ceramide Boosting Creams provide ultimate hydration and contain all 9 key ceramides

4. Exercise can also cause a problem for rosacea sufferers, as strenuous aerobic activity can cause a flare-up. Make sure you’re properly prepared for the gym with a fast-acting rosacea treatment to bring down redness and irritation while short-circuiting the flushing process.

Sensicure Cream Gel has a powerful soothing and desensitising effect to prevent redness, burning and stinging sensations

5. Finally, as always, to get the best from your skin, make sure you are sticking to your skin routine, twice a day, every day. This ensures the level of key ingredients in your skin stays high, to maximise your results.

We like to think of it as retraining you skin, and if you’re a regular gym goer you’ll know that they better you do the reps, the better the results.

Of course, it’s not actually as much effort as going to the gym.

To start your journey to clear skin, visit the SkinMed website, or for advice on how to get the best results from your skin, don’t hesitate to get in touch and a member of our dedicated team would be happy to help you.

Contact us:

Call: 0333 247 2474

Email: info@skinmed.co.uk

Chat: www.theskinmedshop.com

What Your Skin Is Trying to Tell You this Winter…

Why does you acne get worse in Winter?

For some, the Autumnal months are considered some of the most beautiful and scenic of the year, the landscape littered with beautiful orange and red leaves and the chance to wear your favourite snuggly jumpers that have been left in the cupboard all summer. Most of us  are reaching for the central heating thermostat or gathering a heap of logs for the fire – in short, summer’s definitely been and gone.

But the cold weather can affect more than just your clothes…

Some of you are probably thinking “Why does my skin get worse during winter?” as the drop in temperature starts to take effect. While everyone’s skin is different, there are some common causes that are usually at the root of people’s winter skin troubles, particularly those who suffer from acne.

With central heating switching on, your sebaceous glands will respond and oil production will increase. The cooler temperatures mean you’ll be wrapping up against the cold weather to keep warm, and houses nowadays are much more energy efficient than they used to be and are often hermetically sealed to keep the heat in. This means that the air indoors becomes stale much more quickly.

The result is that there is less oxygen available when you spend time indoors, but also less oxygen getting to your skin through thicker clothes when you go outside, providing a perfect breeding ground for acne bacteria to colonise your skin. Combining increased oil production with acne bacteria breeding more easily and you have a recipe for exacerbated acne symptoms and acne becoming even harder to treat.

Winter Clothing

Wrapping up in winter clothing deprives your skin of oxygen, creating an environment for acne to thriveThe solution:

So how do we get the best from our skin this winter without freezing?

For those with acne, winter can be the worse time of year; to combat this, we recommend our all-encompassing acne protocol.

Months of research and decades of skin experience has led to the creation of a revolutionary acne treatment targeting all underlying causes of acne; we call it TripleLock®.

Acne TripleLock

our all-encompassing acne solution can be found here

 

Step 1: Cleanse

Aknicare® Cleanser exfoliates and reduces bacterial levels, deeply cleaning the skin, removing debris and surface oil. If you have younger or more delicate skin, consider the Aknicare® Gentle Cleansing Gel, which calms angry skin while gently cleansing and toning with non-irritating ingredients

Step 2: Treat

Aknicare® Lotion is the main active acne-reducing solution, dramatically reducing oil production and skin thickening, controlling bacteria and inflammation to ensure spots just don’t happen.

Aknicare® Cream helps to change the skin from within to cure acne and stop spots. It has immense hydrating properties and provides an alternate moisture barrier, to reduce oil production, skin thickening and stopping new spots appearing. Aknicare® Cream also contains anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory agents.

Synchrovit® Face is rapid acting Retinol A containing cream which helps normalise cell production and reduces the risk of blockages. Synchrovit® A/E should be used after Aknicare® Lotion and before Aknicare® Cream.

Step 3: Protect

Hydratime® and Nutritime® provide the whole range of 9 ceramides which counteracts the hormonally induced loss of lipids and oils that cause increased Trans Epidermal Water Loss (TEWL), triggering the skin thickening process that blocks hair follicle ducts. Replenishing these is critical in controlling skin water loss.

In conclusion…

There you have it; not only understanding how winter can affect you acne but, more importantly, what to do about it!

SkinMed® provide clinically proven skin solutions, which, unlike cosmetic brands, are medically licensed in the treatment of many skin conditions and suitable for almost all skin types, with thousands of successful users across the UK and Europe.

The products were created through decades of experience, in collaboration with top dermatologists from all around Europe. Professor Tony Chu, President of the Acne and Rosacea Association UK (ARA UK), endorses and prescribes the products for his patients – you can be certain you’re in the right hands.

If you would like to find out where your local SkinMed® accredited clinic near you, all you need to do is get in touch. We have hundreds of clinics country-wide and our dedicated team will be more than happy to point you in the right direction.

We are also offering free skin consultations at many of our clinics for all our loyal customers. If this sounds like something you would be interested in, please let us know and we can find the nearest clinic to you offering a consultation free of charge.

Contact Us:

Phone: 0333 247 2474 – Email: info@skinmed.co.uk – Live Chat: www.theskinmedshop.com

Ceramides – Understanding these Wonder Molecules

A healthy, hydrated skin with internal moisture control doesn’t need moisturisers, but for those who suffer from dry or oily skin, it is vitally important to address the rate at which water escapes from our skin, otherwise known as Trans-Epidermal Water Loss or TEWL.

Water loss is normal, but can be excessive in people with skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and ichthyosis. Losing the ability to control moisture levels in the skin is often an underpinning cause for a myriad of other skin conditions, including acne and rosacea, as well as contributing to the signs of skin ageing by leaving the skin dull and lifeless. That’s why skin hydration and water control management are vital to maintaining a healthy skin environment, and should play an integral role in every skin treatment protocol.

Essentially, most skin troubles have more moisture control as a common denominator.

Rosacure 3 Product Set: Take back control of your Rosacea this Winter

The Science

Moisture

Did you know that keeping house plants ensures your skin has a fresh supply of oxygen and can help improve your skin?

The skin is made up of two key layers, the Dermis and the Epidermis. The top layer of the skin is the Epidermis, and the top layer of the Epidermis is the Stratum Corneum. Despite being incredibly thin, the Stratum Corneum acts as the skin’s main barrier, stopping chemicals we come into contact with from getting inside the body, and controlling the rate at which moisture is able to leak out.

Skin lipid structure is critical in the moisture retaining functionality of the skin. The Stratum Corneum contains three types of lipids that have different chemical compositions and functions throughout the body; cholesterol, free fatty acids, and key nine ceramides, numbered 1 to 9, which account for 40-50% of the lipids in this outermost layer.

Ceramides are important to maintaining a healthy skin environment because they assist in controlling both cellular and skin water loss. This helps to prevent dehydration, impaired cellular function and hastened cell death. Skin that can’t increase skin lipid structure usually reacts in one of two ways; in some the skin will become dry and will crack, whereas in others, oil and skin cell production increase in an attempt to slow the rate at which moisture is leaving the skin. This results in thickened, oily skin that can lead to acne, or an exacerbation of acne symptoms – yes, believe it or not, oily skin is often a consequence of a lack of skin moisture.

Aknicare Ultimate Acne Solution (LINK): Medically licensed to target all causes and symptoms of acne

Controlling TEWL is therefore vital to any skin routine that want to encourage a healthy environment; if the skin can control the rate of moisture loss, it won’t end up drying out, or over-compensating with oil and skin production. In short, it’s important to address your skin issues at the root.

The Solution

Hydratime and Nutritime

Now only £5 with any SkinMed Product Set!

The good news is that recent studies have shown that lipids can be replaced with topical preparations. Interestingly, all three lipids (ceramides, cholesterol, fatty acids) have to be replaced at a certain ratio to restore the barrier function of the skin; if the incorrect balance of lipids is applied, it actually takes longer for the skin to heal.

This is what we have created in our creams.

Hydratime® and Nutritime® contain a balanced blend of all 9 key Ceramindes, improving skin barrier functions to slow TEWL and restore a healthy environment. Unlike most moisturisers, we don’t simply smear a water-blocking layer on the surface, ignoring deficient water levels deeper in the skin. Instead we improve skin structures from within, controlling moisture in all layers of the skin, so that you can achieve the best possible results from your treatments this winter.

Hydratime® and Nutritime® Plus Face Creams are currently available for just £5 with any SkinMed® product set. Visit our website (LINK) and use Promo Codes HYDRA or NUTRI to get yours