According to the American Academy of Dermatology, acne is the most common skin condition in the U.S., affecting up to 50 million Americans annually. Approximately 85 percent of people between the ages of 12 and 24 experience at least minor acne. What’s more, acne can continue into the 30s and 40s, and adult acne is increasing, affecting up to 15 percent of women. Needless to say, acne is a skincare concern for clients of all ages that continues to pop up at spas. “Acne can affect anyone of any age or gender,” says Kelsey Duque, licensed esthetician and manager of onboarding and training at Face Reality Skincare. “At its core, acne is not any one person’s fault for any one reason, as it is a heredity disorder of the pores. More and more professionals are seeing acne clients in their business, making it important for skincare professionals to be educated on the causes of acne.”
According to Duque, acne is caused mainly by retention hyperkeratosis, which is a hereditary disorder of the pores. “This disorder is defined by accelerated shedding of skin cells within the pore—where normal pores shed one layer a day, acne-prone pores shed up to five layers a day,” she says. “This accelerated shedding paired with the cohesive nature of sebum creates a microcomedome. This is typically where all acne begins, with the addition of the p.acnes bacteria or inflammation at the cellular level.” Acne can also be trigged by excessive oil production, bacteria, and dead skin cells, as well as other external factors. “A person may be more susceptible to acne due to internal factors, such as hormone imbalances, stress, and eating foods that are inflammatory,” says Marsha Clark, senior aesthetic educator at GlyMed Plus. “Furthermore, there are external factors, such as the use of cosmetics that clog pores and picking at acne lesions.”
Make it Clear
Here are several ingredients that are highly effective in treating and preventing acne:
Alpine Willow Herb: Calms and soothes the skin.
Azelaic Acid: Reduces inflammation and clears pores.
Bentonite: Detoxifies skin and reduces inflammation.
Benzoyl Peroxide: Kills bacteria that causes acne, removes oil, and exfoliates the skin.
Chamomile Extract: Calms the skin, cleanses pores, and reduces the appearance of inflammation.
Cinnamon Extract: Fights acne-causing bacteria.
Glycolic Acid: Exfoliates skin and promotes cell regeneration.
Hyaluronic Acid: Reduces the occurrence of blackheads and breakouts.
Mandelic Acid: Treats existing acne and prevents future breakouts.
Resorcinol: Exfoliates the skin while stimulating new cell production.
Retinol: Helps to maintain a healthy stratumn corneaum, reduce clogging of the pores, and encourage healing.
Salicylic Acid: Increases moisture in the skin and unclogs pores.
Sulfur: Unclogs pores.
On the Spot
Kelsey Duque, licensed esthetician and manager of onboarding and training at Face Reality Skincare, offers the dos and don’ts of treating clients with acne.
DO properly identify acne type and provide an appropriate homecare routine.
DO provide further education on what the client’s acne triggers may be and how to manage them.
DO take a holistic approach, looking at all aspects of your client, including acne type, skin type, and lifestyle.
DO create a safe space for your clients as they start their journey to clear skin. Acne isn’t just skin deep—many clients will experience a range of emotions in relation to acne.
DON’T treat all acne the same.
DON’T encourage dieting for your skin. Provide the information and let your clients make decisions that are best for them.
DON’T judge your clients who experience acne.
DON’T allow your clients to dictate their treatment plans or pressure you into anything that makes your feel uncomfortable.
Discover some of the services available at spas today to help treat acne.
Lavender Beauty Spa at Spa Castle (Carrollton, TX) offers Back Facials ($80, 30 minutes) that can help cleanse the back of clogged pores, back acne, and dehydrated skin. This treatment incorporates deep cleansing, extractions, and purifying masks.
The Deep Cleansing Acne Facial ($170, 50 minutes) at The Spa at The Equinox Golf Resort & Spa (Manchester Village, VT) helps reduce the severity of breakouts, minimizes the appearance of pores, and calms inflammation.
The Rescue Facial ($165, 50 minutes; $235, 80 minutes) at Rush Creek Spa at Rush Creek Lodge & Spa (Groveland, CA) is a deep-cleansing and corrective facial that helps to treat and repair imperfections, unwanted acne, and scarring over time. The treatment also includes extractions and a facial massage.