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Conventional Topical VS Natural acne treatment? Which option is better for your skin?

Do you feel frustrated with the lack of lasting results with your current acne treatment? For many years, conventional (medicated) topical treatments were the standard protocol for treating acne, where one would just go to the doctors and walk away with a prescription hoping to clear their blemishes. However, with all the advancements in skincare ingredients today, conventional topical treatments aren’t the only option for achieving clear, blemish free healthy skin. First of all, let us help you understand how each acne treatment option works so you can make an educated choice. Acne occurs when the hair follicles (pores) of the skin become clogged with sebum, bacteria and dead skin cells. The skin then becomes thick and sticky and as a result, they stick together and clog the hair follicles. This then creates the perfect breeding ground for bacteria known as Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes), which have inflammatory factors that cause acne. So, treating acne with conventional topical products or medicine isn’t enough as it does not affect sebum production or the way the skin follicle cells are shed, and when you stop using it, the acne comes back.

Conventional topical acne treatments

Topical treatments are the most convenient way to deliver active ingredients to your acne. However, most active ingredients used in conventional topical acne treatments can also be harmful to your skin. For many decades the standard for treating acne has been the use of benzoyl peroxide (also a bleaching agent). Benzoyl peroxide is one of the most common ingredients in conventional acne treatments and found in many prescriptions and over the counter medications. Though it is one of the most popular treatments many people aren’t aware of the risks and side effects benzoyl peroxide has. Benzoyl peroxide acne treatments essentially work by burning and drying the surface of the skin to eliminate that bacteria that lead to acne, and side effects include redness, burning, and irritation, and can bleach fabrics like face towels and bed linen that benzoyl peroxide users use. Since benzoyl peroxide also strips natural oil (sebum) from your skin, it could result in other skin issues. It is worth knowing that your body naturally produces skin oil to moisturise and create a healthy barrier to protect the skin. So, you can imagine if you consistently strip too much of this important protective layer by using harsh stripping agent like benzoyl peroxide, overtime, it will make your skin vulnerable to dryness, hypersensitivity, sun damage and pre-mature aging. Remember that healthy skin should not be too dry or too oily, and your body has an innate to repair and rebalance itself and skin will not be able to heal if the barrier function becomes damaged.

Can cause sun sensitivity

If you choose to use conventional acne treatments, it is very important to know that benzoyl peroxide and many other prescription acne medications can cause photosensitivity, which makes your skin particularly sensitive to exposure to sunlight, even just for a few minutes. Without the use of any sunscreen (best to use SPF30+), your skin can become prone to sunburns.

Not as effective on persistent acne

If your acne breakouts are persistent and tend to be more severe, then using topical treatment alone will be ineffectual as acne is caused by a cascade of different and interrelated underlying factors. For example, conventional topical acne treatments will not be able to address hormonal imbalances and other internal body chemistries, such as excessive skin oil production, that leads to or aggravates acne breakouts. And if you have sensitive skin you could potentially damage your skin with long term usage.

How to treat acne naturally

Although there are more natural options to treat your acne, many people are just starting to discover that certain vitamins and minerals (dietary supplements) are highly effective in treating acne naturally without side effects, delivery lasting results while supporting skin and body wellness. And many people don’t know that certain nutrients can also help reduce scarring through promote cell regeneration and collagen production!

Ingestibles (Nutrition)

Acne presents itself on the surface, but the true cause of it lies deeper in our bodies. The best way (and first step) to clear skin congestion and breakouts (and by the way, blackheads and whiteheads are a form of acne) is to correct the root causes and internal body imbalances by feeding your body with powerful nutrients that promote clear skin and good health. The skinB5 vitamins are formulated using a potent dosage of selected vitamin Bs (B5, B3, folic acid, biotin), vitamin A, zinc and copper. Silica is also added to boost the repair and regeneration of skin cells (which turnover every 28 days) as well as promoting collagen production to rebuild a smoother skin surface. Certain herbs like vitex and nettle have proven acne-clearing powers. Vitex is shown to support hormonal balance, and nettle leaf has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. If you eat clean and eat well, you should also be consuming enough of the other essential vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fatty acids and omegas to get naturally clear and glowing skin. Vitamin C, in addition to the nutrients, mentioned already, is super helpful because it supports collagen synthesis and strengthens your immunity, as well as skin repair. But if you struggle to eat well, then consider taking a well-rounded and high-quality superfood. The key concept here is understanding the underlying causes that lead to acne breakouts, and then supplying your body with nutrients that are essential to healthy skin functions to help your body overcome acne. Remember, your body is designed to heal itself, but sometimes it does need your assistance to consume the right nutrients to get there, just like if you want to build a strong sturdy house, you need to use good bricks and mortar!

Skincare

While super nutrients are working their magic inside your body, on the outside it is important to choose gentle and non-stripping topical skincare products that contain natural soothers like anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial botanical extracts that help heal and protect the natural skin barrier. Natural extracts such as aloe vera and jojoba are very helpful for blemish-prone skin, which is the reason why we included these in skinB5’s topical products. For those who want to experience the exotic healing powers of the Australian landscape, then the Australian Botanicals Cleansing Mousse and Hydration Essence is the natural answer. Both products contain vitamin B5 plus 8 powerful, true-to-nature Phyto-actives: Kangaroo Flower, Tasmanian Blue Gum, Snowflower, Silky Oil Grass, Mountain Pepper Berry, Kakadu Plum, Davidson Plum, and Quandong. These innovative extracts are naturally multifunctional, just as they exist in nature: potent, active, synergistic and bio-available. The main takeaway here is that nature provides an abundance of natural healers that we can harness to help reduce the severity and overcome a wide range of skin conditions, including acne which is by far the most common skin problem. Try SkinB5 vitamins and skincare for yourself.

About the Author: Judy Cheung-Wood

SkinB5™ was founded in 2006 by Australian entrepreneur, Judy Cheung-Wood. Growing up, Judy spent endless time with her grandfather who was a chemist and skincare manufacturer. Even as a young girl, she shared his passion for natural ingredients – and always dreamed of developing a natural skincare range in his honour. First launched as an online only business, skinB5™ is now widely available in retail and dermatology channels in Australia and globally. Judy is very passionate about skincare and love sharing her expert knowledge with others.

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