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Harley Street News Issue 1: 2006

“Acne: a problem that is more than skin deep”
Acne may be considered insignificant when comparing it to some other health issues, but when it happens to you, it’s as if you’ve had a large part of your armour against the world removed. You feel exposed, embarrassed, unconfident, depressed. Sometimes you are able to forget about it for a while – that is until you have to meet a new client, meet your new classmates, go to that end of year ball all your friends are going to or just catch a glimpse of your reflection while passing a mirror.

My experience with two separate and very different bouts of adult acne, led me to search high and low for answers. I wanted a natural alternative to antibiotics and the harsh topical creams that left my skin looking like a piece of raw meat. However I also wanted a solution that was based on scientific research, not some mumbo jumbo that could cause more harm than good.

After much searching and even more researching I teamed up with a manufacturer who had the experience I was looking for, and the result is a range of skin care products called Mignon.

Through my research, experiences and interacting with clients, I have leant a few things that may or may not prove helpful to you:

Diet

Whilst there is no real connection between particular food types and acne, the one thing that I’ve found helps is a balanced diet. In my opinion the best approach is to eat the widest variety of fruit and vegetables you possibly can. Nuts and sprouts are also fabulous – (avoiding roasted nuts, as sadly you aren’t going to get the benefits…) Of course water is also important, in keeping the system clean – so drink plenty of it!

Diet is exceptionally important as it gives your body the tools to operate at optimal efficiency. Without the correct nutrients it will just do the best it can with the resources it has. One of the major benefits of a healthy body is the ability of the immune system to resist inflammation and infections. Ever noticed how when you are ill and run down, that your skin gets worse? Your immune system is fully occupied with more important things and can’t focus only on the skin.

Another important function of the body is the regeneration process. It is miraculous what the body can do when given the correct raw materials!

Does having acne mean Oily Skin?

Whilst the cause of Acne vulgaris is generally hormonal changes that stimulate the sebaceous gland, which in turn causes more sebum to be produced – this doesn’t always mean that the acne sufferer has oily skin. Dead and damaged skin cells build up and block the sebum and the bacteria present in the skin cause infections to occur. Thus outwardly, the person may have very dry skin, but STILL suffers from spots. This leads to the next question:

What products should you use if you have acne?

Unfortunately many of the products available for acne are extremely harsh – as I found out. In fact even with my olive-skinned, Mediterranean complexion, the topical agents prescribed were way too severe, to the point of leaving my skin “raw”. What effect these would have on the typical English or Irish complexion, baffles the mind!

Unfortunately this dilemma has two potentially dreadful outcomes:

Firstly: harsh products dry out skin even more, and flaky dead and damaged skin cells can continue to stick to the surface of the skin, causing the very condition they are seeking to alleviate i.e. blocking pores and trapping the sebum causing infection.

In addition consistent use of harsh products can in itself cause sensitivities, as if having acne on its own isn’t bad enough!

What products should you choose?

Firstly: choose products that are appropriate to your skin type. One size does not fit all in relation to acne.

As explained above, cleansers should always be gentle; you don’t want to strip your skin entirely. Be sure to use a good quality cleanser. People with dry skins can even use light cleansing milks.

We recommend use of our toner - but are warned it is no conventional toner. It is a product that targets dead and damaged cells. It is a very concentrated product that is introduced very slowly, so as not to cause any inflammation. Obviously, once again, you choose the product appropriate to your skin type.

Should people with acne moisturise?

The simple answer is yes. This doesn’t mean that you have to pack it on - with good quality products only a small amount is necessary. These products often contain ingredients that will protect your skin from the usual daily assaults. In addition a good night cream will provide nutrients to assist with regeneration, as it is generally accepted that the skin, hair & nails are the last to receive an allocation of these precious resources!

Mignon Cristofoli
www.mignonskincare.co.uk