Though it’s most common in teenagers and young adults, acne can affect anyone at almost any age.
Because it can be caused by so many different things, fighting it can at times seem hopeless. Pinpointing the exact causes and focusing your efforts to combat them is exceedingly difficult for some people.
From genetics to diet to hygiene to stress, the source of your acne can be an agglomeration of issues. While you may be doing everything you can to combat one issue, another may be just as detrimental to the health of your skin.
Any completely successful acne treatment recognizes that each individual’s acne is caused by a unique set of issues—it is therefore necessary to custom tailor the treatment to the individual.
However, despite the varying causes of acne, the mechanisms by which it occurs remain the same. Combinations of dead skin cells, oils, dirt, and bacteria in the pores of your skin create cocktails that irritate the skin. Most of these things pile up when your skin doesn’t exfoliate properly.
Dead cells, overproduced oils, and foreign contaminates can mix inside of pores, causing them to become clogged. When your pores become clogged, the results are the all-too-familiar whiteheads and blackheads. Inflammation and irritation are only exacerbated by bacteria, making unsightly blemishes stand out even more.
Developing a Skin Care Regimen that Works
Dr. Zein Obagi has dealt with his fair share of acne cases. Dr. Obagi says that the treatments you can commonly find in drug stores “can actually perpetuate the condition.” Supposedly ‘oil-free’ cleansers can contain synthetic oils that do more to damage your skin than they help repair it, depending on your case. Similarly, moisturizers often have pore-clogging agents that actually trigger acne.
Creating a regimen from products you find in the drug store can be exceedingly difficult—you may never find the right combination of products that works for your skin. However, that doesn’t mean you have to go get a prescription, according to Dr. Obagi. “With the right regimen,” he says, “many people can clear up their skin without a prescription.”
That’s where Dr. Obagi’s line of skin care products comes in. ZO® Skin Health by Zein Obagi MD is designed to break the cycle of acne, healing your blemishes and preventing new ones from forming. The Acne Prevention +Treatment Program offers three acne-fighting products alongside a Bio-Sulfur Masque.
Cleansing your skin of dead skin cells is a critically important part of any acne treatment regimen. Offects Exfoliating Cleanser targets these dead cells specifically, reduces excess oils, and neutralizes free radicals. Micro beads inside the cleanser exfoliate your skin, leaving it smooth, soft, and clear.
Despite your best efforts to cleanse your skin on a regular basis, the relentless buildup of dead skin cells can continue. Keeping dead skin cells from building up is the key to keeping your skin healthy and blemish free. Offects Exfoliating Polish is used twice a week, helping to remove that buildup of dead cells and promote the skin’s healing process. The polish works through the gentle and powerful exfoliating properties of round magnesium crystals, leaving your skin clean and refreshed.
Dead skin cells may be one of the key issues in acne prevention, but they’re not the only culprit. Reducing the excess oil found on the surface of your skin can be a huge help in reducing the prevalence of acne. Offects TE-Pads are used twice daily to clear away both excess oil and dead skin cells that aren’t removed through normal cleansing. The pads contain 2% salicylic acid, which is an effective tool in reducing the oiliness of your skin. Dr. Obagi explains that the pads also increase the effectiveness of the other Offects products, allowing you to “prep skin for future treatments.”
ZO® Skin Health Bio-Sulfur Masque
The Bio-Sulfur Masque is a powerful tool in the system’s arsenal, further preventing the buildup of excess sebum. The masque is only to be used once per week, providing the skin with calming chemicals that help fight the appearance of acne. This masque is available exclusively in the ZO® Skin Health Acne Prevention + Treatment Program.