02 Oct This Is How You Can Finally Beat Adult Acne
The best part of my 20s was my skin (and metabolism). I never wore makeup because it only made me look less fresh. Now, I don’t wear coverage because it makes me break out. I thought I was through my battle with acne when I graduated from puberty, but here I am, 30 and struggling with comedones (non-inflamed bumps and blemishes)!
I have a cleaner diet than most, I don’t take common inflammatory causes like dairy, white sugar, alcohol, and processed foods. I drink celery juice regularly in the morning, workout often, sleep more than I can afford and meditate to manage my stress. It did not make sense that I would have problems with acne now when I have not suffered a zit outside the occasional period blemish, up until I was 29 years old.
But I did and blame two uncontrollable factors: Ageing and pollution.
Turning 30 confused my hormones and for a full year they were yo-yo: I was breaking out, was constantly bloated and often felt sad-happy-mad and so on. I did every intervention short of popping kidney-lethal acne medication; from expensive facials, laser, masks, acupuncture, taking progesterone for three months and to be fair, it did help but not completely. Resigned, I just decided to ignore my woes and shifted to reciting a lot of inner beauty quotes.
Thankfully, after some months, my skin self-corrected. I don’t know if its because of the effect of everything I did or me finally leaving my face alone that did it, whatever it is, I’m happy. I still can’t YOLO the way I did in my 20s so now I have a skincare routine that includes deep cleansing using a Foreo sonic facial cleansing brush, clay masks (I swear by the Aztec Healing Clay), oil-free moisturiser, and invest in dermatological procedures like Ionta facial and Revlite laser at Dr. CRB, as well as also Vitamin C infusions.
I met Dr. Cecille Bernard of Dr. CRB through my good friend, fitness celebrity Angel Jones. I was whining about pre-mature ageing and she decided to get me my very own fairy-god-mother to cast away any reflection of worry on my face. What I love about Dr. CRB is how personal their approach is to every patient, Dr. Bernard and her daughter May, who runs their marketing are candid on their advise but didn’t make me feel insecure for not measuring up to their poster girl, Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach. I was also grateful that their rates are friendly for their league of expertise, it makes committing to regular treatments realistic for someone like me who has to work for everything.
Some of my go-to intervention at Dr. CRB includes:
Iontophoresis is the process of delivering topical medication deeper into the skin through an electric current. The electric field also increases the permeability of the skin, which makes absorption of the topical medication better. At Dr. CRB, the whole Iontophoresis treatment starts with cleansing the skin and massaging it, to better prepare the skin. The treatment gel, which is their proprietary blend of acne and brightening medication, is applied all over the face. The patient is then asked to hold a rod, which closes the electric circuit. The other end of the circuit is placed on the face and moves all over the treatment area for 10-15 minutes. This procedure helps dry out acne, lighten acne scars and minimise pores.
Duration: 30-45 minutes
Can be done up to twice a week but typically once a week for those with active acne and once a month as part of maintenance facials.
IPL, or Intense Pulsed Light, is an effective treatment for inflammatory acne as the light addresses both the bacteria in the acne and the pigment in the acne scars. The treatment area is cleansed, after which a gel is applied before administering several shots of IPL to the area. Patients can feel a warm sensation during each pulse but there is typically no no pain or downtime afterwards. Ideal number of sessions ranges from three to six.
Duration: 15-20 minutes
Can be done once or twice a month. Can also be done together with iontophoresis, typically this is done after.
This is LED light therapy, which has many other benefits depending on the light colors—such as collagen production for red light. Dr. CRB uses the blue light for acne as it is anti-bacterial and calms inflammation and is ideal after acne facials or as an add-on to other treatments. An LED light mask will be placed on top of the face and patients must keep their eyes closed for the duration of the treatment.
Price: 1,000 as an add on to a facial.
Duration: 10 minutes
Can be done on top of any facial, up to once a week.
Revlite is a Q-switch laser which specializes in targeting pores, pigmentation and fine lines. While this is not a treatment for active acne and Dr. CRB often advises against it with dealing with pimples, Revlite is ideal for lightening flat acne scars. The laser targets the pigment and breaks it apart until the particles are small enough for the body to even out by metabolising it.
Expert skincare home remedies by Dr. CRB
1. Eat more alkaline food such as fresh fruits and vegetables and avoid inflammatory and acid foods especially if they are oily, deep-fried, processed, too sugary. Cut out dairy as it worsens the mucous production which leads to acne.
- 2. Drink at least two litters of infused water a day: Steep water in Lemon, Calamansi or even add grated ginger, cucumber slices, and tonic herbs on it to add vitamins and minerals as well as making it a lot more fun to drink.
- 3. Sleep 7-9 hours every night.
- 4. Give up bangs or hairstyles that constantly puts your hair in contact with your face.
- 5. Cleanse right after workouts, dust and dirt exposure.
- 6. Minimize sun exposure, use natural sunblock.
- 7. Moisturize with a lightweight moisturizer in water-based serum or gel.
- 8. Use less makeup to avoid clogging your pores.
- 9. Exfoliate at least once a week with a facial scrub like the silk pouches in Ritual or an electronic facial scrubber like Foreo.
- 10. Use Apple Cider Vinegar—you can dilute it in water and apply onto the acne with a pad to minimise swelling and clear bacteria. Apple cider vinegar can also be mixed with Aztec clay masks. It is very effective, just be careful if you have sensitive skin, if so, lower the prescribed time from 20 mins to 10-12mins.
- 11. Use Witch Hazel toner– very good in minimising pores and reducing oil.
- 12. Tea tree oil or melaleuca essential oil as a spot treatment or diluted in water as a toner.
- 13. Green Tea – boil green tea, let it cool, and apply tea bag on the face. This is anti bacterial as well.
- 14. Aloe vera relieves burns and redness. Many of us have aloe gel in the fridge for sunburn relief, you can apply a small amount on active acne to reduce inflammation.
- 15. Lemon or Calamansi acts as disinfectants and are also common ingredients in acne toners.
Pro-tip: With all home remedies, always spot check first: Try on one area and check for adverse reactions before proceeding with the whole face. Also remember, home remedies requires more patience and vigilance, they don’t always work on everyone so it is still best to consult with a dermatologist before testing them out.
DR. CRB is located at Trade & Financial Tower 32nd St. corner 7th Ave. Bonifacio Global City. Follow them at Instagram : @drcrb
Weizel Gulfan is a certified plant-based nutritionist. She is trained as a chef for macrobiotics and raw food culinary nutrition in the USA, Japan and recently Bali. When not consulting for wellness, she shares expert advise and simple recipes on how to eat clean and live well on her Instagram : @weizelgulfan