In the quest to find a treatment for acne, many people flounder through a world of endless, harsh acne treatment products that don’t work or prescription drugs that come with negative side effects. We see this all too often.
So to help you understand natural acne treatment we’ve created this guide. We’ll take you through what acne is, the various forms of acne, its causes, acne scars, and how a holistic skincare and supplement routine addresses both acne and your general wellbeing - so you can have a healthier, more fulfilling life. And yes, we really do need to mention some of the not-so-great habits we see too!
Next, we’ll outline how a highly effective, three-step holistic acne control system can work and create radiant, long term skin solutions.
What is Acne?
Acne is a common skin condition that occurs when hair follicles under the skin become clogged, creating a great environment for bacteria proliferation.
The Skin Institute states that there are two different types of acne: inflammatory acne and non-inflammatory acne.
- Whiteheads – white bumps that occur when oil and dead skin close off hair follicles or sebaceous glands (oil glands) and form a closed bump on your skin.
- Blackheads – blocked follicles that reach the surface, turning dark when it reacts with the air.
- Papules – inflamed swollen lesions that appear as raised pink bumps what contain pus and can be tender to touch.
- Nodules or cysts – large painful lesions buried deep within the skin.
Why Does Acne Occur?
Our skin naturally produces oil called sebum to keep it from drying out. Our skin also naturally dies off, producing dead skin cells before regenerating.
When dead skin cells fail to be removed, a mixture of these cells and excess sebum block skin pores and allow bacteria that normally live on our skin to overgrow. This leads to inflammation – swelling, redness, pus and sometimes pain.
Who Does Acne Affect?
Acne affects 85% of Australians aged between 15 and 24 years. Adolescent acne is more common in males. Incidences of adult acne are rising, with 85% of cases displayed in women.
Both adolescent and adult acne are linked to hormones. Adolescents produce surges of androgens or sex hormones, and women produce surges in estrogen and progesterone before ovulation and during pregnancy.
Fluctuating hormones trigger an excess production of sebum, creating the perfect opportunity for acne to develop.
The Emotional Impact of Acne
While acne can be physically painful, sometimes it’s the pain that we cannot see, the emotional pain that is hardest to deal with. The emotional impact is often the driving factor behind people seeking acne treatment products and plans.
SkinB5 founder Judy Cheung-Wood understands this situation only too well.
“I founded SkinB5 after a long journey to healing my own skin,” Judy says. “As a teenager I had acne. I understand how living with acne can eat away at your confidence. It makes you feel that you want to hide from the world, which then can make you feel anxious and depressed. And then, of course, it continues into a vicious cycle.
“When I simply couldn’t find an effective natural solution for acne removal that was effective on an ongoing basis, I developed one. This is what prompted me to create SkinB5.
“Because I had tried everything, I knew about the side effects of what was commonly available for treating acne. I am extremely fortunate to have had a grandfather who was a chemist with in-depth alternative medicine knowledge due to herbalist family history. From a young age, I grew up learning so much from him.”
“I’ve now made it my life’s work to create a holistic and safe acne control system that works with the body (not against it) with lasting benefits. Based on vitamin B5 supplementation at a higher potency, this helps the skin to heal and repair as well as supporting overall wellbeing,” Judy says.
SkinB5 conducted research to identify a tangible link between acne and negative emotional impacts. Our research was carried out on a national representative sample of 2,010 Australians aged 18 and over in January 2022. Our methodology and data sample were weighted against ABS data for age, gender and location using an online survey that is independently conducted and verified.
We found that a huge 80% of Generation Z feel self-conscious about acne. More than half of 18–24 year-olds have felt judged because of a breakout and a quarter of those under 35 years have been bullied due to their skin.
The ever-increasing use of social media has the potential to exacerbate negative emotions. Almost two-thirds of young Australians claim social media influences how they feel about their skin with 43% claiming their skin causes them to feel depressed.
These feelings transfer to very real impacts on developmental issues regarding body image, socialisation and sexuality.
The emotional impact of acne and the ensuing stress often creates a cycle in which increased anxiety then aggravates the skin condition, which in turn causes further anxiety.
Adult acne is often referred to as hormonal acne as it largely affects women and is related to fluctuations in hormones in women’s cycles.
The emotional impact of adult acne is very real. Forty-one percent of Australians aged 25-35 believe that having pimples makes them look less professional. This can result in changed behaviours and passing up potential job opportunities due to a lack of confidence.
Adult acne is also exacerbated by factors such as:
- Diet, alcohol consumption and stress
- Reduced rate of cellular turnover. This means that we aren’t as effective at shedding skin cells
- Skincare products and makeup that are comedogenic (cause blockages in our pores)
“We hear from our community how so many of the acne treatments and coverups used are not only failing to control acne but damaging skin and causing a slew of other side effects,” says Judy. “My goal in creating SkinB5 was for everyone to feel confident and well because they have healthy, acne-free skin.”
What Are Acne Scars?
Acne scars tend to fall into one of three categories:
- Atrophic scars – the most common, these are pits or depressed areas of damaged tissue that form when not enough collagen is released when a wound is healing.
- Hypertrophic scars – scars that stand above the surrounding skin and are formed when too much collagen is produced during healing.
- Discolouration – technically not a scar, discolouration is a change in pigmentation of the skin due to tissue damage.
Even after acne is healed, and there’s no obvious evidence of acne problems, we’re often left wondering how to get rid of acne scars?
There are several dermatological treatments available to treat acne scars including:
- Intense Pulse Light and LED Light Therapy – only works on discolouration but can help reduce inflammation and kill bacteria.
- Micro-needling – stimulates collagen to help the body heal, however is not recommended when you have active acne.
“I have countless emails and messages from clients telling me that SkinB5 has been ‘life changing’ in terms of not only healing active acne but also helping to diminish acne scars and pigmentation with ongoing intake,” Judy adds.
Pimple Popping and Should I Do It?
We’ve all done it, right? But here’s the thing, popping or squeezing a pimple breaks the skin, can cause infection which leads to bigger, sorer pimples and this can lead to acne scars.
If it’s not so great, why do dermatologists do it? The medical extraction a dermatologist performs is far from any DIY popping that’s done at home.
Dermatologists use special equipment and techniques and only usually perform extractions on severe, painful cystic acne.
So why are pimple popping videos so popular online today? There are multiple reasons:
- We know we shouldn’t do it, so there is a sense of thrill in watching others do it.
- Some people get a sense of control and satisfaction.
- The ‘benign masochism’ effect – which illustrates how we are attracted to experiences that produce undesirable emotions such as fear, in the case of watching horror movies, or disgust when watching a pimple popping video.
- We have a fascination about what lies beneath our skin.
The search for the right acne treatment, one that doesn't have nasty side effects, can feel quite overwhelming, not to mention time-consuming and expensive. There are different types of acne and a seemingly endless variety of treatments all promising the same thing. So here’s a brief overview of what’s generally available:
Types of Acne Treatments
- Prescription Treatments – medication that temporarily dries up oil production but can have harsh side effects that range from uncomfortable, even painful, dry lips, irritated skin, increased anxiety and depression.
- Antibiotics – medication aimed to suppress infection in pimples. Sometimes there are side effects predominantly on the digestive system: vomiting, nausea, diarrhoea, bloating and abdominal pain.
- Contraceptive Pill – women are often prescribed ‘the pill’ to help regulate hormones but this can also entail a challenge with mood swings and weight gain.
- Topical Creams – many acne skin care products include a series of harsh chemicals such as benzoyl peroxide, parabens, SLS, SLES, synthetic fragrances, petrochemicals, silicones, DEA, animal products and nanoparticles.
SkinB5 Founder Judy Cheung-Wood says that many of the chemicals found in today’s topical acne treatment products can harm the integrity of the skin barrier with ongoing use, short lived benefits aside it leads to skin sensitivity and can exacerbate the problem.
“If you’re using a cleanser that bleaches the colour out of your towel when you dry your face, odds are it has chemicals in it like benzoyl peroxide,” she says.
“Imagine the damage that stripping action is doing to your skin?
“Other harsh chemicals are much better hidden but are equally as impactful for your skin and overall health and wellbeing.
“Many of these ingredients irritated my skin. That’s why I began the journey to develop an acne management system that addresses not just the skin’s symptoms but the internal, biological needs of a person living with acne.
“My inside-out approach has broken new ground in the use of vitamin B5 because it focuses on the root causes and factors that lead to acne. In this way, we can create tangible, long term results,” Judy said.
“Best of all, it is a holistic acne control system that harnesses the biology of natural substances and is safe and science-based, which helps to grow confidence.”
The Power of B5
Vitamin B5, also known as Pantothenic Acid, has long been a significant player in the skincare industry thanks to its natural anti-inflammatory and moisturising properties.
However, Vitamin B5 is at its most effective when it's taken orally. SkinB5 combines a potent mix of natural vitamin supplements with Vitamin B starring as the hero, in our acne management skincare.
This approach is both holistic and helps to break the cycle that causes acne at a cellular and skin level, resulting in more healthy skin.
SkinB5 acne management system works with the root cause of acne without drying and irritating side effects by harnessing the healing power of vitamin B5, vitamin B3, zinc, copper, folic acid, silica and vitamin A, in our patented SB5-BIOTRx™
When these unique combinations of acne vitamins and skincare formulations are used regularly, as part of a daily routine, they:
- Actively reduce skin congestion
- Reduce skin inflammation
- Enhance immunity
- Reduce symptoms of stress
- Promote skin repair
- Promote daily skin health
In this way SkinB5 addresses all forms of acne, helping to heal acne scars and create better overall skin health.
The Three-Step Acne Treatment For Success
SkinB5 products are built around a holistic, complete skin health system that’s delivered in three simple steps.
Oral supplements address the biochemical needs of those living with acne by supporting healthy sebum metabolism, production of healthy hormones, improving immunity, reducing symptoms of stress and promoting healing and regeneration. In this way, a diverse range of acne-related issues - blackheads, whiteheads, scarring and pigmentation - can be treated.
Cleansing should be deep but also non-drying and gentle. Harsh scrubs and chemical-based cleansers can cause micro-tears, damage the skin’s barrier, and dry the skin so much they trigger excess production of sebum and worsen acne.
Moisturising is all about hydrating, balancing and renewing the skin for optimum healing, radiance and glow.
The best acne treatments focus on restoring healthy skin functions both inside and out which has a bonus side effect of also promoting healthy hair and nails!
To be effective, it’s really helpful to have a long term mindset for acne treatment one that’s holistic and based on implementing a consistent, sustainable acne skin care routine to deliver results. In short, a new ‘care habit’.
Contrary to the popular belief that blackheads are dirt lodged in the skin, they are in fact simply sebum (an oily and slightly waxy substance found on the skin) that has made its way to the surface of the follicle and then reacted with the air to become a dark colour.
What this usually means is that excessive cleansing with harsh chemicals and textured scrubs won’t remove blackheads, but can actually cause damage to the skin surface, by allowing bacteria to enter and cause inflamed acne.
The ideal approach for targeting blackheads is the same as treating any form of acne - target the root causes from inside with a combination of nutritional supplements then support healthy skin with a targeted acne control skincare routine.
Face Wash for Acne
SkinB5 cleansers or face washes utilise anti-acne natural extracts and are scientifically formulated for optimal effectiveness.
We offer two cleansing options. Our Acne Control Cleansing Mousse deeply cleanses and unclog pores with a non-drying, scientific formula made for all skin types. Our Acne Control Australian Botanicals Cleansing Mousse is an advanced formula that uses eight highly active botanical extracts that are acne-busting and Vitamin C rich, formulated especially for acne prone skin.
The super active natural extracts, include:
- Kangaroo flower
- Tasmanian blue gum and five more Australian native extracts
- Vitamin B5
- Vitamin B5
- Green tea
- Aloe vera
- Perfect balance of salicylic acid to remove excess oil and dead skin cells
Face Masks for Acne
Face masks with clays are a big part of natural acne treatments by providing a deeper, detoxifying clean. Keeping skin clean and encouraging its natural ability to shed dead skin cells is vital to preventing pores and follicles from becoming blocked.
SkinB5’s Skin Purifying Mask uses French green clay, kaolin, mineral salt, vitamin B5 and 13 other natural extracts to purify and then soothe the skin.
It leaves the skin feeling soft and looking radiant.
Our mask has some very clever additional uses, including:
- An overnight spot treatment to reduce the visibility of pimples
- An anti-acne matte makeup that will not melt when mixed with a liquid foundation
Supplements and Diet
Optimal cleansing is an intrinsic component in an acne skin care routine, but cleansing isn’t the first step.
While SkinB5 advises that gentle cleansing be done regularly, acne treatments are at their most effective when skin is prepared and empowered at a biochemical level, thus better enabling the control of the causes of acne.
In the first Control step we target the multiple causes of acne with a multi-pronged approach that begins inside the body, on a cellular level.
Supplements can boost the body’s natural acne fighting defences by:
- Promoting effective sebum metabolism, hence preventing skin congestions
- Improving immunity
- Reducing skin inflammation
- Reducing symptoms of stress
- Promoting skin healing and renewal
Extra Strength Acne Control Vitamins also have the additional benefit of improving general wellbeing as well as skin health.
We recommend taking the vitamins for at least three months to support optimum long-lasting results.
While some experts agree that diet doesn't cause acne, we know that it can exacerbate the condition.
Diets that are high in sugar and complex carbohydrates cause spikes in blood sugar. When blood sugar spikes it increases inflammation and can cause surges in hormones.
This means an overstimulation of sebum and larger, redder, sorer pimples.
A low-glycaemic diet based on wholefoods naturally reduces inflammation and maintains a more consistent production of blood sugar and hormones. This is not only important for acne treatment but improves general wellbeing.
SkinB5’s Clear Skin Superfood Booster employs marine collagen, probiotics, organic hemp protein, enzymes, Vitamin C rich superfruits, harmonising herbs and B5 to:
- Plump and hydrate skin
- Optimise skin cellular renewal
- Improve gut health and immunity
- Nourish the body and skin
- Promote inner balance
These supplements and boosters are part of a holistic acne control system and they work together to address all causes of acne at their root for life changing results.
The Inside Way
“When we treat the surface of the skin alone, we get skin-deep, short-term results,” says Judy. “When we use harsh chemicals or prescription medications, often these come with unwanted side effects.
“When we work with the body and treat the root causes of acne, inside and out, we can better support having healthy, radiant skin, with the added bonus of feeling better and more confident,” Judy said.
Holistic, scientifically formulated skin care delivers lasting life changing results, without any nasties.
SkinB5’s entirely unique acne skin care routine offers a three step way to treat acne:
1. Control – supporting your body’s natural abilities to fight all forms of blemishes and acne with Extra Strength Acne Control Vitamins.
2. Cleanse – deeply clean your skin, unclogging pores and remove dead skin cells without drying or damage with our Acne Control Cleansing Mousse or Acne Control Australian Botanicals Cleansing Mousse. Give yourself a purification boost with the Skin Purifying Mask once or twice a week.
3. Moisturise – Hydrate, balance and renew your skin with our Acne Control Moisturiser or Acne Control Australian Botanicals Hydration essence. Empower your body and skin from within with our convenient all-in-one nutrient rich Superfood Booster.
“SkinB5 offers a nature and science-based acne management system. When acne is treated from the inside as well as on the skin, we have much better results - and more wellness,” Judy adds.
“True success and confidence come from treating both the symptoms and the cause the holistic way.”