Hello, believers. Today, I'm here to talk about something that’s a personal topic for me: cystic acne. As some of you know, my experience with this type of acne is what led me to my career as an esthetician and ultimately to founding BeautyGrass.
Acne is deeply upsetting and often misunderstood. We'll dive deep into what cystic acne is and what to look for in a cystic acne mask that can help you conquer this formidable foe.
What Is Cystic Acne?
Cystic acne is like that uninvited guest who arrives unannounced and overstays their welcome. It's the type of acne that goes beyond surface-level pimples; it's those painful, deep-seated bumps that seem to have a life of their own. They're the ones that can linger for weeks.
At its core, cystic acne occurs when hair follicles become clogged with oil and dead skin cells. Unlike other types of acne, cystic acne forms deep within the skin, leading to painful inflammation, redness, and sometimes even scarring. It's often caused by hormonal imbalances, genetics, or other factors that trigger excess oil production. It can also can be food or diet related. Ultimately, cystic acne is a sign of inflammation in the body—and that is usually related to the gut.
What to Look for in a Cystic Acne Mask or Product
Cystic acne can feel impossible but I’m here as personal evidence that it’s not.
A great exfoliating mask can do a lot. But honestly what’s below applies to everything you put on your skin for cystic acne.
What to look for in acne products
As a firm believer in clean skincare, I can't stress this enough. Look for a mask that's free from harsh chemicals, parabens, and synthetic fragrances. Opt for natural ingredients like tea tree oil, witch hazel, and clay, known for their acne-fighting and soothing properties.
Cystic acne is often accompanied by painful inflammation. Your ideal mask should be packed with anti-inflammatory ingredients like honey and turmeric, which can help calm irritated skin. Honey and turmeric are big heroes for fighting acne. Raw honey has antimicrobial activity in due to the enzymatic production of hydrogen peroxide. (Both ingredients can be found in our RadicalSeeker honey mask). I also love clays to calm acne inflammation. My favorite choice is the gentle non-drying kaolin clay. This clay can soothe and calm signs of irritation.
"Honey and turmeric are big heroes for fighting acne."
Since excess oil plays a significant role in the formation of cystic acne, choose a mask that helps regulate oil production. Ingredients like kaolin clay or CBD can be incredibly effective in this regard. Now oil control does not mean ‘no oil’. Oil is not bad we just want to rebalance the skin. 2014 study found that cannabidiol can help prevent breakouts by regulating oil production. CBD can help reduce certain types of acne because of its ability to adjust how the body creates oil.
While being gentle with your skin is crucial and aid in shedding dead skin cells that might contribute to clogged pores. I recommend BHA for acne prone skin. BHA is oil soluble so it has the ability to work deep inside the pore—making this my top choice for oily prone or clogged, broken-out skin. It's gentle and has calming properties.
Even though you're battling acne, it's essential to keep your skin hydrated. Look for masks that won't strip your skin of its natural moisture. Pro tip: Hydrate with whole leaf aloe. It is 99 % water and contains 75 beneficial compounds including amino acids, vitamins, enzymes, minerals, sugar and natural salicylic acid. Snip a leaf off from your garden and massage into the skin. Leave on as a serum for beautiful, balanced skin.
"Pro tip: Hydrate with whole leaf aloe."
Lastly, consistency is key when dealing with cystic acne. Choose a mask that you can incorporate into your skincare routine without causing excessive dryness or irritation.
Remember, skincare is a journey, and healing cystic acne takes time. Be patient, stay committed to your clean skincare routine, and consult a dermatologist or great esthetician if needed.
"My secret weapon is apple cider vinegar. ACV is packed with so many skin benefits including lactic acid, malic acid and vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, C and E. Add some to your bath tub, or any clay mask. ACV can balance the skin and bring it back to proper pH. Remember though, always dilute 50% with natural spring water or rose water."
Stay glowing, stay confident, and most importantly, believe—things will get better.