Finally navigating your acne seemed like a good idea until you were 100 Google searches deep and left feeling confused and in serious need of a dictionary (and a dermatology degree). Enter our skin clearing glossary! Your cheat sheet to understanding and managing acne, we’ve worked our way through the alphabet to explain key skin clearing terms, ingredients and products to leave you feeling empowered and in control of our skin. This is the one you’ll definitely want to bookmark for later.
A is for Activated Charcoal
A deep cleaning ingredient for your skin. Activated Charcoal acts as a magnet to oil and dirt within the skin and absorbs it. Often found in skin clearing masks and cleansers.
B is for Blackhead
The result of sebum (oil in the skin) becoming blocked by dead skin cells, dirt and debris. When exposed to air, it darkens and becomes the blackhead we know (and hate) them for.
C is for Cystic Acne
A severe form of acne that results in sore, pus-filled breakouts that severely impact the walls of our pores and spread to the surrounding tissue. Often tougher to treat and painful to manage.
D is for Double Cleanse
The holy grail of evening cleanses to tackle oil, dirt, impurities and makeup. Often beginning with an oil-based cleanser to melt away makeup and spf, followed by a gel or hydrating cleanser.
E is for Epidermis
Your skin’s top layer. It is where fresh new skin cells begin their journey and the layer we need to protect the most.
F is for Fruit Enzymes
A form of exfoliation often derived from papaya, pumpkin and pineapple. Fruit enzymes offer a gentler form of exfoliation, free from scrubbing, as they eat away at dead skin cells.
G is for Glycolic Acid
An alpha hydroxy acid, or chemical exfoliant, that is derived from sugar cane. Glycolic Acid can travel deep within the pores to unclog pores, manage oil production and kickstart collagen and elastin production to improve your skin’s texture, especially where acne scarring may reside.
H is for Hyaluronic Acid
One of the most well-known skincare ingredients. It is a molecule that is found naturally within the skin and holds 1,000 times its weight in water! Brilliant for retaining skin moisture and preventing water loss.
I is for Injestable Beauty
Clear skin comes from within. In conjunction with proper skincare, Injestable Beauty such as beauty powders, supplements and vitamins can support a healthy gut for healthy skin.
J is for Jojoba Oil
An incredibly unique oil that can mimic the natural oil in our skin. This means it can penetrate deeper into the skin to hydrate, soothe inflammation and manage acne-causing oil flow.
K is for Kaolin Clay
A clay rich in a mineral called Kaolinite. It is a natural detoxifier and exfoliant that is attracted to dirt, pollution and bacteria without clogging the pores. It is uniquely soothing and calming too!
L is for Lactic Acid
An alpha hydroxy acid, a chemical exfoliant, that works on refining skin texture such as acne scarring and pigmentation. It has a larger molecular weight than Glycolic Acid which means it focusses more on the surface of the skin and is kinder to sensitive and compromised skins.
M is for Microneedling
A dream for those experiencing acne scarring. Microneedling is an advanced skin treatment that is an absolute boss at regenerating new tissue, stimulating collagen and elastin production and diminishing the appearance of acne scarring.
N is for Niacinamide
A form of Vitamin B that is loaded with anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties. It’s a very gentle vitamin that you’ll often find in the form of a serum that delivers exceptional skin benefits including the regulation of oil production, redness reduction and barrier strengthening.
O is for Omega-3
Remember how we said clear skin comes from within? Essentially fatty acids, like Omega-3, play a big role here! Our body doesn’t naturally produce this, so we need to supplement it and support calming inflammation internally for clearer and calmer skin externally.
P is for Pores
Small openings in the skin that release our oil and sweat. They’re also connected to your hair follicles which is where blockages and disruptions in the skin originate. Many say you can shrink them but actually, you can’t permanently change the size of your pores, just their appearance!
Q is for Questions
The solution to your acne confusion? Asking questions. Don’t be afraid to consult your skin therapist, dermatologist or doctor with your acne questions to get the clarification and support you need.
R is for Retinoids
A derivative of Vitamin A, this is a high strength ingredient that promotes cell turnover. It’s a vitamin recommended to start slow with and build your way up. It keeps dead skin cells regularly moving which aids to maintain clear and open pores and allow other skin clearing products to penetrate more effectively.
S is for Salicylic Acid
At the top of the skin clearing list. A beta hydroxy acid, a chemical exfoliant, that can travel into the pores of the skin much deeper than other acids. It breaks down the “glue” between the skin cells, dissolves the debris that is clogging pores (and causing breakouts) and soothes the inflammation that comes with breakouts.
T is for Toothpaste
One of the many things we don’t want you to put on your acne, please. The internet is filled with skin clearing “hacks” that often leave your skin inflamed and even more compromised. Just don’t do it.
U is for UVA/UVB
Think A for ageing and B for burning, UVA and UVB are the two forms of UV rays produced by the sun. UVA penetrates much deeper and is responsible for pigmentation, sun damage and ageing. UVB is what’s behind sun burn. The harmful UV rays stimulates inflammation and can aggravate your acne.
V is for Vitamins
Just like this glossary, there’s a A-z of vitamins out there with all uniquely wonderful benefits. Get to know the vitamins in your skincare, food and supplements to ensure you’re covering the right bases.
W is for Water
Hydration is key for EVERY skin type and condition. Dry and dehydrated skin can trigger the overproduction of oil and contribute to unwanted breakouts.
X is for seriously; we’ve got no clue. Moving on!
Y is for Your Skin Therapist
Your knight in skincare armour. If you’re experiencing breakouts that you can’t seem to take control of, it’s time to leave it to the pros. A Skin Therapist is your expert in skin clearing and can point you in the right direction of products and treatments to kick your skin goals.
Z is for Zinc Oxide
You may have heard of a physical sunscreen before. Unlike a chemical sunscreen, a physical one is crafted with Zinc Oxide. Not only does it provide exceptional sun protection, but this ingredient is anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial which makes it a leading choice for acne sufferers.
Congratulations for making your way through the alphabet! We hope that our skin clearing glossary has helped you understand some of the most common skincare terms and left you feeling informed and in control of your skin clearing journey.