Understanding your skin is the first step and is essential to clear acne, pimples and breakouts.
Like most people you’re probably sick of not getting results with problem skin, you’ve probably tried every product out there and nothing has worked. Well that stops here! Below is the information you need to arm yourself with, so you can stop making mistakes and start seeing results.
Your skin has a unique protective system called the ‘Acid Mantle Barrier’. This barrier is made up of oils, fatty acids, lactic acid, amino acids and your skin’s own natural moisturising factor, which creates a protective barrier on your skin, sealing in moisture and protecting your skin against pimple causing bacteria and infection.
Your acid mantle, being slightly acidic as the name suggests, is easily upset or stripped away and can take anywhere from 15 mins to 14 hours to restore itself.
When you strip acne skin with harsh cleansers (that contain ingredients like benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid) you are stripping the natural oil off the surface of your skin. This tells the oil gland that it’s not doing its job (protecting the skin) well enough. As a result, the oil gland is sent into overdrive to compensate. In other words, although you are trying to fix your skin, you’re actually making it worse; one step forward, 3 steps back.
THE 3 LAYERS OF SKIN
- The Epidermis - Outermost layer of the skin.
- The Dermis – Middle layer.
- The Subcutaneous layer - Deepest layer.
Each layer is made up of individual skin cells that play a role in keeping your skin clear, healthy and strong.
1st layer: Epidermis
There are 3 main groups of skin cells in the epidermis.
- Keratinocytes (skin cells).
- Melanocytes (pigment cells).
- Langerhans cells (immune cells).
95% of the epidermis is made up of keratinocyte cells, which develop at the bottom layer of the Epidermis. Moving upward over a period of about four weeks towards the outer surface, where it is then shed.
The other 5% are made up of melanin and langerhans cells. Melanin gives your skin its colour; the darker your skin, the more melanin it has. When you go out into the sun, these cells produce extra melanin to protect you from getting burned by the sun's ultraviolet, or UV, rays. Uneven melanin results in pigmentation. Langerhans cells are specialised immune cells that are an important part of the body’s immune response. You may not realise this, but every time you go out, your skin is exposed to all sorts of airborne bacteria, dirt, free radicals and other pollutants and infections. Langerhans cells help to protect your skin against these external factors.
Every minute of the day we lose approximately 30,000 to 40,000 dead skin cells off the surface of our skin. So, in the time it took you to read this far, you've probably already lost about 40,000 cells. That's almost 4 kilograms of cells each year.
2nd layer: Dermis
The dermis lies beneath the epidermis and is 20 to 30 times thicker than the epidermis, it contains nerve endings, oil glands, sweat glands, collagen and elastin and blood vessels. The tiny blood vessels in your dermis keep your skin cells healthy by bringing them fresh nutrients and oxygen, and flush toxins away.
The oil gland (also known as the sebaceous glands), produces oil (sebum), which is your skin's own natural oil. It rises to the surface of your epidermis via the hair follicle to keep your skin protected.
Even though you can't feel it, you actually sweat a tiny bit all the time via your sweat gland. The sweat is excreted through your pores (tiny openings in the skin). It’s when sweat meets sebum, that they form a protective film called the Acid Mantle Barrier.
3rd layer: Subcutaneous layer
This is a specialised area under the dermis, which contains a network of collagen fibres and fat cells (adipocytes). It protects the body from external trauma and insulates the body from the cold. This layer is where you'll find the root of the hair follicle. Each hair on your body grows out of a tiny tube in the skin called a follicle.
SO, WHAT’S ACTUALLY HAPPENING IN ACNE SKIN?
- Over-active oil glands - Typically in acne skin, the oil gland is over-active resulting in an excess of oil being excreted onto the surface of the skin.
- Inflammation - There is a particular bacteria called the Propionibacterium bacteria (P acnes) that lives in the pore of the skin and causes swelling, tenderness and inflammation.
- Excess dead skin cells - Acne-prone skin sheds up to 5x more layers of dead skin cells per day, which then become trapped along with oil in the pore of the skin to cause acne.
It's a combination of these 3 factors that causes acne to develop.
Be careful of products that advertise 'promotes cell renewal or cell turnover’ as it's the exact opposite of how you should treat acne skin – run far, run fast! Your skin is already over-producing cells. Peels are a real trap for this; your skin may feel nice for 3 days after a peel, but then your skin becomes even more oily, rough and you think “Oh, l need another peel!”. No, no, no. You need to stabilise your skin, calm it down, not stimulate an already overstimulated skin.
“For so long we have been treating acne in the wrong way, I just can’t believe it. Using harsh products that are designed to strip your skin, not only stimulates your oil glands into producing more oil, but also stimulates excess skin cell production. This is the perfect environment for acne to thrive.” – Ebony, Founder, real-u Skincare.
HOW REAL-U HELPS ACNE SKIN
- Helps reduce the oils on your skin
- Helps soothes inflammation
- Works with your skin to balance skin cell production
It’s with a deep understanding of skin that we have developed our innovative formula to work with your skin’s natural functions, not against it. Based on breakthrough Australian technology that has revolutionised the way we deal with pimples, acne and oily skin, our range makes taking care of your skin easy.
The secret to clear, healthy skin lies in our 3-Step Program. And our results speak for themselves!