Do facials work for cystic acne and hormonal acne?

Cystic acne and hormonal acne

Acne is a frustrating skin condition that affects many people, influencing their confidence and comfort in their skin. Among the various forms of acne, cystic acne and hormonal acne are particularly challenging due to their persistence and pain they cause. In searching for various solutions, you might wonder if facials can help.

In this article we’ll examine just what role facials can play in your anti-acne skin regimen while also exploring more intensive treatment options.

What is Cystic Acne and What is Hormonal Acne?

Cystic acne

Cystic acne is the most severe form of acne. It develops when oil and dead skin cells clog the hair follicles, leading to infections deep within the skin. This type of acne is characterised by large, red, and painful breakouts that form cysts. These cysts are pus-filled lumps beneath the skin’s surface and can be tender to the touch.

Several factors contribute to the development of cystic acne:

  • Hormonal Changes: Fluctuations in hormones, particularly during puberty, can lead to increased oil production, which contributes to clogged pores and cyst formation.
  • Genetics: There is a significant genetic component to cystic acne. If one or both parents had severe acne, there is a higher likelihood of their children experiencing it as well.
  • Bacteria: The bacteria Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes) naturally reside on the skin but can multiply excessively within clogged pores, leading to infection and inflammation.
  • Lifestyle Factors: High stress levels, a diet high in refined sugars and dairy products, and certain medications can also contribute to the development and severity of cystic acne.

Cystic acne often requires medical treatment due to its severity. Over-the-counter products are typically insufficient, and professional intervention such as prescription medications or specialised treatments is often necessary to manage this condition effectively.

Hormonal acne

Hormonal acne typically affects women due to the hormonal changes associated with menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause. Hormonal acne tends to appear on the lower part of the face, including the jawline, chin, and neck, although it can also affect other areas.

Key factors contributing to hormonal acne include:

  • Androgens: These male hormones, which are present in both men and women, can increase during puberty and other times of hormonal imbalance. Higher levels of androgens can cause the sebaceous glands to produce more oil, leading to clogged pores and acne.
  • Menstrual Cycle: Many women experience breakouts around their menstrual cycle due to fluctuating hormone levels.
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS): A condition that causes hormonal imbalances in women, often leading to acne.
  • Stress: Stress can trigger the release of cortisol, a hormone that can increase oil production and exacerbate acne.
  • Diet: Foods that cause rapid spikes in blood sugar levels, such as refined sugars and processed foods, can influence hormone levels and contribute to acne.

Hormonal acne can vary in severity from mild to severe and may present as blackheads, whiteheads, or inflamed lesions. Unlike cystic acne, which is deeply embedded within the skin, hormonal acne often appears more superficially but can still cause significant distress and discomfort.

How Facials Help with Cystic Acne

Acne facial treatments are a popular skincare treatment that can provide several benefits for the skin. When it comes to cystic acne, certain facial techniques can support the skin and help manage some of the symptoms associated with this condition.

Deep Cleaning: Removing Excess Oil and Dead Skin Cells

One of the primary benefits of facials for cystic acne is deep cleaning. Professional facials often include thorough cleansing procedures that can effectively remove excess oil, dirt, and dead skin cells from the surface of the skin and within the pores. This deep cleaning can help prevent the clogging of pores, which is a contributing factor to the formation of acne cysts. By maintaining cleaner skin, the likelihood of new cysts forming may be reduced.

During a facial, a trained therapist may use specialised cleansers, exfoliants, and tools to ensure that the skin is properly cleaned. This process can also help to remove the buildup of sebum, the oily substance produced by sebaceous glands, which can exacerbate cystic acne if not managed properly.

Reducing Inflammation and Redness

Facials can also reduce the inflammation and redness associated with cystic acne. Many facial treatments include the application of anti-inflammatory ingredients like aloe vera, green tea extracts, and chamomile. These ingredients can soothe irritated skin and reduce the appearance of redness, making the skin look calmer and less inflamed.

Additionally, facials may incorporate technology that can further alleviate inflammation. One facial we recommend in particular for acne is LDM Triple. 

LDM utilises three different ultrasound frequencies to control proteins that cause inflammation, thereby repairing skin cells and improving acne. It is suitable for all skin types including sensitive skin. Read more about LDM Triple and the conditions it can treat here

While facials alone are not a cure for cystic acne, these treatments can provide a supportive role in managing some of the more visible and uncomfortable symptoms.

How Facials Help with Hormonal Acne

Hormonal acne presents its own set of challenges, often linked to the body’s internal processes. However, facials can still play a supportive role in managing hormonal acne through various techniques that address the skin’s surface condition and overall health.

Regulating Oil Production

When it comes to hormonal acne, one of the key benefits of facials is the ability to help regulate oil production. Hormonal fluctuations often lead to an overproduction of sebum, which tends to clog pores and contribute to severe acne breakouts. In these cases, facials that include specific treatments aimed at keeping oil production in balance can be particularly beneficial for those who suffer from hormonal acne.

In such cases, aestheticians may use products containing salicylic acid or other ingredients that help to control oil levels on the skin. Additionally, certain other facial procedures, such as chemical peels or microdermabrasion, can remove excess oil and dead skin cells, promoting a clearer complexion. Regular facials can help to maintain a balanced oil production, reducing the frequency and severity of hormonal acne breakouts.

Indirect Benefits: Stress Reduction

Another important aspect of facials is their potential to reduce stress, which can indirectly benefit those with hormonal acne. Cortisol production from daily stressors is known to exacerbate acne by triggering hormonal changes that increase oil production. The relaxing and pampering nature of facials can provide a much-needed break from daily stressors, promoting overall well-being by reducing cortisol production.

The process of a facial typically includes calming elements such as aromatherapy, gentle massage, and a serene environment. These components can help reduce stress levels, which in turn can have a positive impact on hormonal balance and skin health. While facials are not a direct treatment for hormonal acne, their stress-reducing benefits should not be underestimated as part of a holistic approach to managing the condition.

If you need help with managing stress, our sister brand The Lifestyle Medical Clinic offers professional stress management programs that come with structured solutions.

More Intensive Treatment Options

While facials can provide supportive care for cystic and hormonal acne, more intensive treatment options are often necessary for significant improvement. For those seeking comprehensive solutions, visiting a professional skincare clinic can offer advanced treatments tailored to individual needs. At our sister brand SL Clinic we offer a range of specialised treatments for acne.

Laser Treatments: Laser therapies are great for supporting acne treatments because of their ability to specifically target acne-causing bacteria and reduce inflammation. This promotes clearer skin by reducing the possibility of further infection and limiting any damage to the skin. Laser treatments can be a particularly effective option for stubborn acne that does not respond to traditional methods.

Chemical Peels: Chemical peels involve the application of a solution that exfoliates the skin, killing bacteria, removing dead skin cells and promoting the growth of new, healthy skin. Besides removing dead skin cells, this is also beneficial for reducing acne scars and preventing future breakouts.

Microneedling: This procedure uses fine needles to create micro-injuries in the skin, stimulating collagen production and enhancing skin texture. While not a direct cure for acne, microneedling can help reduce the appearance of acne scars and improve overall skin tone.

If you are dealing with cystic or hormonal acne, it is crucial to consult with a dermatologist or a qualified healthcare professional for a personalised treatment plan. While facials can provide supportive care, they are not a substitute for professional medical treatments. A combination of appropriate skincare, lifestyle adjustments, and medical interventions will offer the best chances for managing these challenging skin conditions effectively.

Looking for acne facials in Singapore?

Cystic and hormonal acne are some of the most challenging forms of acne to deal with. While they are not a direct cure, acne facials can make these conditions easier to deal with. At SkinLab, our therapists can help you pick and customise treatment options, as well as recommend safe and effective skincare products to keep your skin looking clean and clear.

Book a consultation today.

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