Why do I have ance skin?
Pollution, stress and eating habits are factors that influence the appearance of oiliness on the skin and cause not only adolescents but also adults to present this problem.
Oily skin is due to the disorganization of the epidermis on two levels:
- Irregular sebum synthesis: more fat is produced than normal and in a non-homogeneous way, mainly on the forehead, nose and perioral area.
- Poor skin renewal (dyskeratosis): dead cells from the stratum corneum are not shed properly. In addition, there is an accelerated and abnormal proliferation of the keratinocytes of the sebaceous glands, which thus plug the entrance to the pore, forming microcomedones.
These two are the main reasons why oily skin has brighter areas (due to excess sebum), enlarged pores and an uneven skin texture (due to epidermal disorganization or dyskeratosis).
Oily skin can generate a major dermatological problem, which is acne. This alteration presents a series of characteristic signs:
- Increased sebum production
- Increased bacterial activity on the skin.
- Skin inflammation.
These reasons cause acne skin to manifest itself with macules, papules, pustules, and even nodules and cysts.
Keyword for Acne: The sebaceous gland
The sebaceous glands are spread over the skin of the human body, except on the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet. The size of the sebaceous glands varies according to their location. The areas of the body where the glands are largest and most numerous are the face, especially the forehead, and the upper part of the back. Most of the sebaceous glands in these areas are related to a hair follicle, giving rise to the pilosebaceous follicle.
In the sebaceous gland we find three types of cells: undifferentiated, differentiated and mature. Next to the basement membrane are undifferentiated cells, which are pushed into the exit duct, becoming differentiated cells that contain lipids. As they mature, the cells are loaded with lipids inside, eventually disintegrating and expelling the acellular sebaceous secretion outside the duct. Enzymes, such as acid hydrolases, play a very important role in the final autolysis.
Skin problems caused by Acne
The deficient cellular renewal of the stratum corneum, together with the excess production of fat, means that these lipids cannot go to the outside in their entirety and accumulate inside the pilosebaceous follicle, producing an irregular relief on the skin.
The enlarged pore can occur in all skin types, but it is more characteristic of oily acne-prone skin. As excess sebum is produced in this type of skin, the walls of the pilosebaceous follicle are deformed. Therefore, the result is skin with very open pores, mainly on the cheeks, nose and forehead.
The localized shine on the face is directly associated with an excess of lipid production in the pilosebaceous follicle. This excess fat that rises to the skin's surface generates a shiny appearance in the so-called T zone: forehead and nose.
In oily acne-prone skin we frequently find this imperfection: the excess fat produced does not come out entirely to the outside of the pilosebaceous follicle, but part of it remains residual in the outermost part of the duct, forming a plug and obstructing the pore. This is how the basic lesion called comedo is formed, a small inflammation of the pore that houses sebum in the follicle. The characteristic black color of the comedo is not due to dirt, as is sometimes believed, but to the accumulation of melanin. Another theory postulates that air oxidizes the lipids that make up this fatty plug, thus turning it into a dark brown color. This comedo is commonly called a "black spot." The manifestation of comedones on the face determines that it is a non-inflammatory acne.
Redness is the manifestation of skin inflammation. The reddish appearance in a certain area of the skin can be associated with a future pimple. Sometimes all the skin is slightly reddened and this may be because excess synthesized lipids can be irritating.
The obstruction of the duct of the hair follicle closed by an accumulation of sebum and corneocytes becomes a perfect breeding ground for fungi and bacteria that normally inhabit the skin, such as Sthaphylococcus epidermis , Pityrosporum ovale , Pityrosporum orbiculare and Propionebacterium acnes . The latter is the most abundant and a habitual resident of the follicle.
Which ingredients are helpful for Acne skin?
- Actives regulating sebum
- This group includes: Sulfur molecules, amino acids or derivatives that regulate excessive sebaceous secretion: thioxolone, cysteine, s-carboxymethyl cysteine, thiazolidine carboxylic acid, etc.
- Zinc salts are also used because they control the sebaceous hypersecretion of oily or pre-acne skin.
- Mixtures of plant extracts with antiseborrheic and astringent properties such as Arnica montana , Betuna alba , Cupresus sempervirens , CBD, Rosmarinus officinalis , Urtica ureas , juniper, etc.
- Vegetable oils enriched with linoleic acid (type of omega-6 fatty acid) such as sunflower, safflower and evening primrose seed oil, hemp seed oil, etc. Check more about linoleic acid from our posting HERE.
- Pumpkin seed oil extract, Cucurbita pepo , which contains 80% unsaturated fats. It blocks the dihydrotestosterone receptors in the cells of the sebaceous glands, preventing the formation of sebum.
- Active ingredients that prevent the obstruction of the follicle
- They are active ingredients that balance the development of keratin that clogs the pores in the follicles, prevent the formation of new comedones and help to drain the existing ones, thus also preventing inflammation:
- Sulfur, resorcinol and salicylic acid are frequently used as keratolytics at low concentrations, as they are not very irritating to oily skin, since they favor superficial desquamation and prevent the obstruction of the follicular canal, improving the drainage of excess sebum to the outside of the follicle.
- Some cosmetics are formulated with abrasive actives, to improve skin renewal without sensitizing the skin.
- Salicylic acid solubilizes the intercellular cement, performing a keratoregulatory action; It is miscible with the sebaceous substances accumulated in the follicle and favors their expulsion to the outside.
- Alpha hydroxy acids --glycolic, lactic, pyruvic, malic acid, etc. - decrease the cohesion of the keratinocytes of the stratum corneum, stimulate cell renewal and improve skin hydration. The most widely used is glycolic acid.
- Derivatives of vitamin A, such as retinaldehyde, regulate keratinization abnormalities due to their retinoid function and fight against the proliferation of P. acnes , thanks to their radical aldehyde. Therefore, they act by preventing the obstruction of the follicle and possible infection. In other cosmetics we have found vitamin A palmitate.
- Moderators of bacterial proliferation
- They are substances that reduce the number of bacteria within the follicles through various chemical processes: Octopyrox / glycacil association. It is effective in the fight against bacterial proliferation.
- Benzoyl peroxide. It is one of the most used assets in acne. It has antibacterial, keratolytic and anti-inflammatory properties. It works by forming oxygen ions toxic to germs. The disadvantage of this molecule is its irritative and exfoliative potential, which can cause irritation, flaking and even dermatitis in the patient. Therefore, it is usually advisable to start treatment with a low dose and increase it as these side effects are tolerated.
- Azelaic acid. It is an organic acid, called dicarboxylic, that slows the growth of infectious agents such as Staphylococcus aureus and P. acnes . It also inhibits 5alpha reductase activity, thus regulating the synthesis of skin fat. In addition, it alters the differentiation of keratinocytes.
- Nicotinamide, niacinamide, or vitamin PP. It inhibits the chemotacticism of neutrophils and the degranulation of mast cells, therefore it has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory action.
- It inhibits the activity of P. acnes and P. ovale , in addition to having anti-inflammatory properties.
- Cetrimonium chloride. It acts as an antibacterial agent.
- This group includes: Zinc gluconate. It inhibits the secretion of lipases by P. acnes and also inhibits the chemotacticism of neutrophils, avoiding the inflammatory process.
- It has bactericidal, emollient and anti-inflammatory properties.
Skincare routine for Acne skin
The treatments aimed at correcting facial seborrhea should be aimed in the first place at establishing a daily cleansing habit, which removes excess oil from the skin.
In oily skin, the habit of cleaning with a specific cosmetic is essential, since in this way the accumulation of sebum on the skin surface is prevented.
Facial cleansing of oily skin is based on the use of cosmetics with a low percentage of fat. It should be borne in mind that some lipids are comedogenic and have high detergency.
For cleaning oily skin, both synthetic soaps and hydroalcoholic gels are used, since their texture is pleasant and very refreshing. It is important to clean the skin morning and night by removing the cleansing cosmetic with plenty of water.
It is very important that from the pharmacy office we insist on the hydration of oily or acneic skin, since many clients have the misconception that oily skin does not need hydration. The synthesis of excess fat has no direct relationship with the hydration of the skin, we can even find dehydrated oily skin. Therefore, we recommend a moisturizer with a very low lipid content, so that the optimal level of skin hydration is maintained.
Likewise, we will remember that it is not necessary to scratch, touch or rub the lesions.
In & out balance
Since there is not one and only cause for the Acne skin such as hormonal, exposure to extreme climates, stress, endocrine alterations, certain tumors and the use of certain medications, it is important to find a skin balance through in & out balance.
Protect from the sun
It is essential to sunbathe with adequate sun protection, looking for low-lipid formulations. The sun tends to improve acne, although in certain cases the lesions get worse after a while after exposure. This is because the sun increases the thickness of the stratum corneum and the fat does not go to the outside. When the skin stops receiving solar radiation, the stratum corneum thins, returns to its normal thickness and all the fat accumulated during the summer comes out. This phenomenon is often referred to as "post-vacation rebound acne."
In this type of skin, it is advisable to use an exfoliating cosmetic at least once a week, since they eliminate the most superficial dead cells of the stratum corneum and dirt from the pores, avoiding the formation of pimples or blackheads.