Meet Frankie, you’re new friend in the skin care business, giving you the confidence to bare your beauty and love the skin you are in.
Loving the skin you are in can be challenging when the face staring back at you in the mirror has been affected by acne. While living with red inflamed blemishes can feel very isolating, understand that acne is the most common skin condition in the world. 85% of adolescents and young adults between the ages of 12 and 24 will suffer at some point from the effects of acne. If your reflection triggers embarrassment and frustration, you are experiencing an emotional trauma with a real psychological impact that can last long after the physical scars fade.
Acne is commonly caused by spikes in androgen hormone levels, which cause the sebaceous glands found in the skin’s hair follicles to produce an excess of sebum. Sebum is a waxy substance that the body produces to keep skin soft and moisturized. However, when hormone changes cause an increase in sebum production, the pores can become clogged. This sticky substance can collect dead cells as your skin naturally sheds. As these dead skin cells clump together inside the pore with the sticky sebum, the pore becomes plugged. The now trapped debris then becomes an abundant source of food for bacteria to multiply. As the bacteria multiply, pressure builds up inside the blocked pore causing your body to produce an immune response. As white blood cells rush to the now infected area, this causes the red, inflamed, painful bumps we call acne. Blackheads, whiteheads, and infected pustules all begin this same way. Since puberty and menstrual cycles are the most common causes of hormone spikes, adolescents and young women are most commonly plagued by acne.
Understanding the biological causes of acne is the first step in your battle, but other factors such as stress, lack of proper sleep, diet, exercise, environmental factors, personal habits, and use of cosmetics are all external factors that can cause hormone spikes and complicate your fight against acne.
The body’s natural defense against stress, in its many forms, is a hormone called cortisol. You may have noticed that you have more breakouts during periods that you feel stress. This is because cortisol prompts the skin’s sebaceous glands to produce more sebum, which we have learned can result in clogged pores and lead to bacterial infections. To support your best skin, identify the causes of stress and anxiety in your life and confront them. Develop a support group to regularly share your feelings and plan relaxing stress-relieving activities to promote a healthy spirit. Knowing that hormone spikes can trigger acne, stay away from dairy and meat products, which contain commercially added hormones. Also avoid foods with a high glycemic index, such as white bread pasta, rice, and sweets, because they spike blood sugar, which can increase oil-producing hormones.
The best skin-healthy foods to reduce inflammation and oil production include omega-3 rich foods like salmon, avocado, and walnuts.
Pimples hurt because the pus that forms from the growing infection creates pressure that builds inside the pore. When you squeeze a pimple, to relieve the pressure, you can inadvertently force bacteria from the infected pore deeper into the hair follicle. That can cause the follicle wall to rupture, spreading bacteria deeper into your skin, which makes for a huge, seriously ugly cyst that will take weeks to heal and will likely cause a scar. Rule of thumb, if you make a scab, you’ve made a scar.
The most important step in any skin care routine is a regular morning and night washing of your face with a gentle sulfate free, professionally formulated facial cleanser. Makeup, sunscreen, and hair products can all clog pores and make acne worse. While foundation can help you feel more secure, you are likely complicating the problem with regular application. Remember to regularly clean your makeup brushes and sponges with alcohol. Dirty applicators hold harmful bacteria and can work those bacteria deep into your pores where they cause the most damage. Always look for a “non-comedogenic” label on your cosmetics, meaning they are specially formulated to not clog pores and are safer for acne-prone skin.
The inspiration for Frankie’s life long passion with skin was triggered in 1990, when while working as a sales person at the cosmetics counter at Nordstrom, her supervisor recommended an esthetician to help treat her own troublesome acne. The confidence that that came from learning to love baring her own skin became a gift that Frankie yearned to share. Licensed as an esthetician in 1991, Frankie honed her skills in the capital of beauty and glamour, and is regarded as one of the most sought after skin care professionals in Hollywood. From her many years of hands-on trials, Frankie’s signature 3-step sequence of deeply cleaning pores, exfoliating dull lifeless cells, and nourishing the skin with the nutrients needed for healthy regrowth, has become her secret to delivering camera-ready skin. Today with studios in Beverly Hills and Hollywood California, Frankie’s incredible treatments are praised for creating consistent compliment-worthy complexions.
Benzoyl peroxide, known for its ability to kill bacteria, has been used to treat skin infections since the 1890s. A synthetic chemical that is distilled from petroleum, this old school chemical remains the most widely used over the counter acne medication in the United States and continues to be the primary active ingredient in many of the most advertised acne brands. The side effects of benzoyl peroxide continue to be the culprit responsible for the fear many have of acne treatment and the reason that the European Union has banned the chemical from all over the counter skin care products. Benzoyl peroxide causes the familiar “red face” during the first 6-8 weeks of treatment, as the top layer of skin is literally burned away. Benzoyl peroxide cannot discern between eradicating the healthy bacteria and the acne causing bacteria, so it attacks all bacteria equally. Elimination of the good bacteria, and drying the skin to the point of being raw from peeling and flaking leaves skin vulnerable to secondary infections.
Your skin is the body’s largest organ and quickly absorbs whatever chemical or compound placed upon it directly into the bloodstream. With modern plant derived acne treatments offering safe and effective alternatives to old school industrial chemicals, why would anyone continue to place petroleum distillates on their skin?