Cosmeceuticals and Acne

“Once you have acne past the age of twenty-five, it’s highly likely you’ll have acne until you’re forty-five,” states Dr. Hillary Baldwin, Medical Director of the Acne Treatment and Research Center in Morristown, N.J.

Her words resonate with many people who struggle with acne on an occasional or daily basis. In regards to treatment, several options including prescription-based and over-the-counter therapies are popularly recommended. But which option is right for your skin? Research reveals that women in particular are longtime veterans of cosmeceuticals. Perhaps it is the feeling of control–as though they are taking action every day with a new miracle cream or serum to improve their skin. However, “There are few studies performed on cosmeceuticals to reveal biological function,” says Dr. Baldwin, “…and the research that does exist tends to be weak.” Why then, are cosmeceuticals, one of the top leading industries?

“The one thing we know for sure is that patients may be able to more easily use acne medication if the barrier of their skin is repaired,” Dr. Baldwin continues. Example products that repair the skin’s barrier are sunscreen and moisturizer–both cosmeceuticals and both essential for healthier, stronger skin. According to Dr. Baldwin, these products reduce inflammation, provide sun protection, and improve the appearance of hyperpigmentation (dark spots). Your dermatologist should regularly broach the subject of cosmeceuticals with you at appointments. The better prepared your skin is before and during application of acne medications, the more effective those medications are for reducing acne break outs. “No dermatology visit is complete without a discussion of skincare,” declares Dr. Baldwin.

In terms of acne, cosmeceuticals hold the potential for eliminating acne through the following mechanisms:

  • Reduction of post inflammatory hyperpigmentation: i.e., using SkinMedica’s Lytera Brightening Complex for discolorations
  • Exfoliation: i.e., using Lira Clinical’s Pro Exfoliating Cleanser (face wash), SkinMedica’s AHA BHA brightener (exfoliate), SkinMedica’s Retinol (for skin cell turnover) and the Mia Clarisonic (sonic cleansing brush).
  • Boosting sun protection: i.e., using EltaMD sunscreen to eliminate UVA and UVB sun damage
  • Moisturizing: i.e., using SkinMedica’s HA5 Hydrator (for smoothing and moisturizing) and Lira’s Ice Balancing Lotion (moisturizer).

Schedule an acne evaluation with Dr. Greene to discuss your options for treatment. For more information on acne and other skin conditions visit the SERVICES tab on the homepage of our website.

SOURCES: Dr. Hilary E. Baldwin and Randy Dotinga–Staff Correspondent

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