What is acne and how can we help?

Natural acne treatments: Lavender

Acne is a common skin condition a person gets in at least one point in life. While there are many solutions for acne available, the acne-causing bacteria are developing resistance to them. Discovering natural acne treatments has become the focus for many researchers because of this.

What is acne?

It is estimated that between 85-100% of humans experience acne during puberty, 64% well into their 20s, and 43% into their 30s (1). But what is acne, and how can we help? It is a skin condition in which bacteria or fungi buildup and cause inflammation, or even infection, in the skin (1). There are two types of acne, both of which involve these key components. These are Acne Vulgaris and Fungal Acne.

Acne on cheeks, magnifying glass, what are natural acne treatments

What kind do I have?

Acne Vulgaris (AV), aka regular acne, comprises the majority (>70%) of all acne on the skin’s surface. AV includes common ailments such as blackheads, whiteheads, and cysts. If you’re experiencing breakouts and zits, it’s most likely AV.

AV occurs when cells in the skin’s outer layer flake away and result in clogged pores. Within these pores, oils in the skin begin to buildup and eventually cause an outbreak of acne-forming bacteria (2). These bacteria cause the skin to become inflamed, resulting in skin bumps (papules), skin bumps filled with pus (pustules), or white and black heads (comedones) (3). The presence of these bacteria is what sets AV apart from fungal acne.

But what about fungal acne?

Fungal acne (Pityrosporum folliculitis) appears very similar to AV, however, it does not consist of whiteheads and blackheads. FA is often misdiagnosed as AV, but after aggressive treatment for AV, inflammation and outbreaks persist.

Fungal acne (FA) is an infection within the hair follicle caused by strains of yeast, Malassezia furfur, in the fungal kingdom (1). This yeast thrives in oily environments, so when blocked hair follicles rupture beneath the skin, overgrowth of yeast can occur. This triggers inflammation beneath the skin’s surface that can spread to other follicles and lead to severe outbreaks.

Natural acne treatments for acne on forehead

Fungal acne can occur on any part of the skin where oil buildup occurs. Oily areas such as the forehead, hairline, and across the upper back are the most common.

Treatments and Remedies?

Clinical acne treatments include benzoyl peroxide, retinoids, isotretinoin, alpha-hydroxy acids (glycolic and lactic acid), and beta-hydroxy acids (salicylic acid) (3). These treatments can be effective for treating acne, however determining dosage can be difficult, and many treatments may also have adverse side effects. Extensive use of clinical treatments can also cause bacteria and fungi to build up resistance, and result in severe breakouts with additional side effects.

Many people suffering with acne are making the switch to holistic acne remedies like medicinal plants. This is due to fewer side effects, higher patient tolerance, lower costs, and fewer cases of bacterial and fungal resistance associated with herbal remedies (3). 

Herbal Medicine for Acne, Lavender Essential Oil, Cream

Many medicinal plants have been researched for their potential to combat bacteria and fungi associated with breakouts. Some of these include chamomile, marigold, witch hazel, Labrador tea, aloe, tea tree, lavender, eucalyptus, echinacea, and cannabis (3). Other herbal remedies use chaga to reduce inflammation, and detox, regenerate, and protect the skin (4; 5). Grapefruit extract is also a common treatment for fighting bacterial and microbial outbreaks (6).

What products at Can Have Today fight acne?

Sparkling Rain

Sparkling Rain New Product Photo
Sparkling Rain New Product Photo

To soothe stubborn AV we recommend using our Sparkling Rain moisturizer, a natural acne treatment packed with compounds such as chaga, grapefruit extract, and aloe. We put these ingredients together as a powerful acne-fighting force that can detox the skin, eliminate acne-causing bacteria, and reduce redness and inflammation.

Sparkling Rain also moisturizes and rejuvenates skin with soothing ingredients such as shea butter, mango seed butter, and avocado oil, to name a few. It is packed with Vitamin E to reduce blemishes, speed the healing of tricky breakouts, and reduce acne scars. 

Soothing Juggernaut

Soothing Juggernaut New Product Photo

To combat pesky FA we recommend our Soothing Juggernaut cream. This natural acne treatment brings together arnica, frankincense, tea tree, and lavender to reduce inflammation, redness, pain, and swelling. It fights to even skin tone and eliminate harmful fungus associated with aches and pains, and even acne!

Aloe and chamomile work overtime to soothe skin, reduce inflammation, and promote healing deep beneath the skin’s surface. Like Sparkling Rain, Soothing Juggernaut contains a number of moisturizing ingredients such as jojoba oil, sunflower seed oil, and beeswax. These compounds keep skin soft and supple while fighting off pain and infection.

A quick note: These products contain Sodium borate. The government of Canada does not recommend the use of products containing Sodium borate on open wounds, cuts, or abrasions.

Product Application

Applying cream to face

Due to their formulations, the natural acne treatments Sparkling Rain and Soothing Juggernaut can easily become part of your everyday skincare routine! If you have oily or combination skin, I recommend using our lightweight Sparkling Rain as a facial moisturizer. Use it twice a day as the last step in your skincare routine, or prior to SPF application.

For recurring outbreaks of hormonal acne or spontaneous acne inflammation, incorporate both Sparkling Rain and Soothing Juggernaut into your daily skin care skincare routine. Try Sparkling Rain in the morning for a burst of freshness! And use Soothing Juggernaut in the evening to combat breakouts while you sleep. Or for a lighter application, use Soothing Juggernaut as a spot treatment to target affected areas on the skin.

To fight more intense breakouts, or skin experiencing fungal or cystic acne, I recommend Soothing Juggernaut. Use it twice daily as the last step in your skincare routine, or before SPF application. Its thick formula leaves the skin feeling refreshed, hydrated, and dewy. Soothing Juggernaut gives you the confidence to take on the world!

Sources:

1)    Pityrosporum Folliculitis Versus Acne Vulgaris: What Is Fungal Acne? | LearnSkin

2)    Cassandra Bankson – Causes & Treatments for Cystic Acne, Whiteheads & Blackheads. Skin Science Ep. https://youtu.be/8LicvE0Xe_E

3)    Medicinal Plants for the Treatment of Acne Vulgaris: A Review of Recent Evidences – PMC (nih.gov)

4)    Antimicrobial, Antioxidant and Antiproliferative Secondary Metabolites from Inonotus nidus-pici – PubMed (nih.gov)

5)    Chaga mushroom (Inonotus obliquus) polysaccharides exhibit genoprotective effects in UVB-exposed embryonic zebrafish (Danio rerio) through coordinated expression of DNA repair genes: Heliyon (cell.com)

6)    The effect of essential oils on methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus using a dressing model – PubMed (nih.gov)), The effectiveness of processed grapefruit-seed extract as an antibacterial agent: II. Mechanism of action and in vitro toxicity – PubMed (nih.gov)

FAQ

What causes acne?

Acne is primarily caused by a combination of factors, including excessive production of oil, clogged hair pores, bacterial infection, and hormonal changes.

How to prevent acne?

To help prevent acne, maintain a skin care routine, keep your face clean, and avoid touching your face.

Can I use essential oils for acne?

Essential oils that have antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties like tea tree oil can help fight acne and its symptoms.