Handy tips for: Breakouts

a girl looking worriedly at her reflection

Acne, pimples, spots – it doesn’t really matter what you call them, skin breakouts are never a welcome addition to your face. So, what can be done about them? Lovoir Beauty explains all.

Causes of pimples

A multitude of different things can be responsible for clogged pores – the precursor to breakouts. It stands to reason, therefore, that in order to both prevent and control the skin condition, we first outline exactly what it is we’re dealing with.

  • Excess oil production
  • Bacteria
  • Hormonal changes – not just in teenagers, either!
  • Dead skin cells
  • Ingrown hairs

Due to the abundance of oil-producing glands on the forehead, nose and chin (T-Zone), breakouts are most common in these areas.

Types of acne

grade of acne severity in cartoon

Image: solar22/Shutterstock

Noninflammatory

These include:

  • Who hasn’t suffered with those pesky dark spots at one point? Caused by a combination of sebum (oil) and dead skin cells clogging pores, they get their characteristic blackness by staying open at the top.
  • Differs only from blackheads in that the top of the pore closes up, resulting in small bumps protruding from the skin. Unsurprisingly, these can be more difficult to treat.

Inflammatory

What do you get when you add bacteria to sebum and dead skin cells? That’s right, angry, red and swollen pimples, thanks to the infection embedded deep below the skin’s surface. They include:

  • A breakdown of the surrounding walls around your pores, resulting in hard, clogged spots that are tender to touch.
  • In case the name didn’t already give it away, these are identical to papules bar one vital difference – they are also filled with pus. The yellow and white heads are usually a giveaway.
  • Embedded further into the skin so much more difficult to treat.
  • Even deeper than nodules, these large red or white bumps are the largest form of acne and often painful to touch. They usually come about from a severe infection and are most likely to scar.

rubbing cream on face

How to prevent pimples

Clean your face

Easy enough in theory, but sometimes the last thing you can be bothered to do first thing in the morning and before bed. Removing excess dirt and oil from the skin by washing it regularly, however, is the first line of defence, so do try and build it into your daily routine. Whilst exfoliation is beneficial, don’t be tempted to scrub aggressively – this can irritate the skin and cause inflammation. Instead, use clean hands or a soft brush intended for use on the face.

Moisturise daily

When using the right products, they should help balance the water level in your skin – not oil. As a result, your skin won’t feel the need to overcompensate with excess sebum.

Clean your products …

Makeup sponges and brushes should be cleaned regularly with soap and water to prevent a build-up of bacteria. Same goes for your face towel, too, as well as your phone screen (we don’t even want to think about how much of our day is spent attached to that thing!). Keeping alcohol wipes to hand is always a good idea.

… your hands …

Especially before touching your face or applying any products to it.

… your glasses/sunglasses …

You want to keep excess oil and dirt away from your eyes and nose.

… and your pillowcases!

Unwashed sheets can lead to cross contamination, inviting unwanted bacteria to snuggle down alongside you at night.

Wash your hair

What’s worse than greasy hair? Excess oil from your locks making its way to the skin! Kill two birds with one stone by washing your hair regularly – paying particular attention to the hairline. Use a gentle shampoo and conditioner whilst making sure that hair products, such as gel or spray, don’t cross-contaminate with your face as they can also clog pores.

Change your diet

A growing body of research suggests that certain foods may be linked to acne. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, sugary, high-in-carb foods may trigger breakouts – or make an existing breakout worse. Greasy foods are another big no-no, whilst dairy foods may also contribute to the problem. Increasing the amount of antioxidant-fuelled fruits, vegetables and wholegrains into your diet – as well as pumping the amount of water you’re drinking into your body – is always going to be beneficial, too. Other skin boosting superfoods include eggs, nuts and quinoa. Read more about the importance of diet on your skin here.

Exercise more – but without makeup

Sweat is released through the glands, but if makeup is in the way, it can lead to clogged pores – the perfect breeding ground for acne. Always wash your face post-workout, too.

Re-assess your vices

Don’t shoot the messenger, but too much alcohol may contribute to breakouts. There’s also a good amount of scientific evidence linking smoking with acne.

Sleep more!

Studies have suggested that a lack of sleep could release inflammatory compounds into the body. You should aim for between seven to nine hours a night.

Wear sunscreen – and reapply regularly

You should never leave the house without protection – especially in sunny New Zealand – as sunburn may lead to an overproduction of oil which can make acne worse. We’re proud to sell sunscreen with an SPF of 30 right here at Lovoir Beauty.

See what else we have on offer here

Avoid oil-based skincare products

For obvious reasons. Always choose non-comedogenic products – meaning they won’t clog your pores. Water-based products are also good as they rely on gel, not oil.

Keep calm …

Stress can lead to inflammation. (Not quite as catchy as the meme but definitely more valuable!)

woman having a facial

How to treat breakouts

But what when it’s too late for prevention and your face has already been taken over by an army of spots? It can be so, so tempting to throw money at the latest products promising to rid you off your acne in the comfort of your home. The problem with this is that using too many products at once can lead to dry skin, causing your skin to overcompensate by producing more sebum. The result? A vicious, pus-filled cycle. Treating acne also requires patience – something which may be hard to come by when you’re after a quick fix.

So, what do we recommend instead?

  • A professional skin consultation service. Simply the only way to receive a full, accurate and reliable diagnosis. Luckily for you, we offer that right here, ensuring you leave us with the right routine, using only the best ingredients and supplements! Book now. If you suffer from serious acne, a visit to your doctor/dermatologist may be necessary.
  • Don’t pop! Just … don’t, unless you want to inflict further trauma on your poor skin, sending even more nasties back into it.
  • Ice can bring relief to painful spots and reduce swelling.
  • Minimise makeup and make sure all traces are removed at the end of each day.
  • Over-the-counter treatments, such as salicylic acid (to reduce inflammation and unclog pores), benzoyl peroxide (to decrease bacteria) or products containing Vitamin A, but only when advised by a professional.
  • IPL, laser, peels, facials, Dermapen-led microneedling … these are all things that can help clear up breakouts – and all offered by us!

Book now!

Featured image: metamorworks/Shutterstock

What is Microdermabrasion?

a woman being treated with microdermabrasion

Another week, another long, impressive-sounding beauty treatment to explore. You may have heard of the cosmetic sensation sweeping the beauty world but not quite sure what it is? Worry not, we’re here to tell you all you need to know.

In short, Microdermabrasion is an instant pick-me-up that leaves your skin glowing, refreshed and vibrant. But there’s a lot more to it than that.

a woman examining her skin in the mirror
Image: Good Free Photos

So, what exactly does it do?

A non-chemical, non-invasive, non-surgical skin resurfacing cosmetic treatment with minimal downtime, Microdermabrasion is the ultimate in exfoliation, helping to combat congestion for awesomely flawless skin.

How does it do this? First, a bit of science.

Skin grows from the inside out, with cells born healthy and plump. Over time, they migrate outwards, reaching the surface of the skin where they have then become empty flakes. The older we get, the slower the shedding process, resulting in dead cell build up. Which is where this fabulous treatment comes in.

Through the quick, gentle and relatively painless removal of dead matter, achieved by a diamond head Microdermabrasion machine, it not only removes these dead skin cells but simultaneously stimulates your skin’s circulation, nutrient delivery and cell turnover which – in turn – boosts its elasticity, collagen production and natural rejuvenation process.

A polish and buff for my skin? Yes please!

Best bit of all? It’s safe and suitable for almost all skin types. Yay!

rubbing cream on face

Microdermabrasion facial benefits

  • Deep cleans
  • Brightens skin
  • Softens fine lines and wrinkles
  • Promotes a more even skin tone and texture
  • Controls acne, pores and blackheads
  • Reduces acne scars
  • Slows premature ageing
  • Minimises hyperpigmentation, sunspots, stretch marks and scars
  • Helps control dry skin

An added positive is that after undergoing a Microdermabrasion treatment your skin care products will be better penetrated by up to 50%, not to mention the application of makeup which will give you an airbrushed finish. What’s not to love?

Side effects?

You may experience slight swelling, redness, burning, bruising or increased sensitivity to light for a few days afterwards, but – as with everything else – these risks are minimal and extremely rare when carried out by a trained therapist. We also always recommend speaking to a professional before undergoing the treatment, to make sure it’s right for you and your skin.

So, is Microdermabrasion at home a big no-no then?

Can you buy an at-home Microdermabrasion machine? Absolutely. Is it as powerful or penetration-rich as those used in-salon, by a professional? Absolutely not. Not to mention the enhanced risk of side-effects. In short, this is not something we would ever recommend.

Anyone who’s not suitable for the treatment?

If you’ve taken medication for acne over the last six months it’s probably best to avoid it as this might increase the risk of scarring. It’s also not recommended for those with sensitive skin conditions such as rosacea, eczema, active sunburn, herpes, lupus, psoriasis or broken capillaries. It may also not be the best treatment for darker skin as it can result in scarring or discolouration, so always make sure you undertake a patch test first before committing.

Before and aftercare?

You may be told to avoid sun exposure, tanning treatments and waxing a week before and exfoliating creams and masks three days before the treatment. You may also be advised to wear sun cream afterwards, while your skin is extra sensitive.

microdermabrasion before and after

Image: Andrey Popov, Shutterstock

Anything else I need to know?

One of the best things about the treatment is its gentle, non-aggressive approach. Because of this, however, it should be viewed as a progressive treatment, meaning treating yourself to a one-off is not really going to give you the long-term benefits you could otherwise enjoy if you committed to regular sessions. Initial results are generally seen after the fourth session but trust us when we say that it’s definitely something worth investing in! We recommend monthly maintenance and have lots of before and after photos we can show you to illustrate the benefits real people are experiencing all the time!

Want to join our gallery of glowing faces?

Book now!

Featured image: Johanna van Lieshout Veenstra, Pixabay

 

 

What’s the deal with … Microneedling and scars?

young woman squeezing a spot in the mirror

Can the Dermapen cause scarring?

It’s no secret that we’re pretty obsessed with the Dermapen here at Lovoir Beauty. But it would be dishonest of us to ignore the very real concern (at least, if Google search results are to be believed), around whether it can cause scarring.

First, the good news.

two plasters in the shape of an x

Treating scars

One of its most popular uses is to actually treat scars. And there’s a good reason for that.

Let’s first explain the biology behind scars.

Every wound, unless very minor, results in some degree of scarring, which – despite being made up of the same tissue it replaces – is formed very differently. Quite simply, instead of forming like a basket weave, the collagen in scar tissue is aligned in a single direction, resulting in a raised, thicker appearance. What’s more, if left untreated, scars can thicken over time.

So, how can it help?

Microneedling breaks up uneven fibres and encourages the growth of new tissue by pricking your skin with fine needles to promote the production of new collagen, with positive results produced by clinical studies overall. As a result, new, healthy collagen helps smooth out the skin’s appearance.

It should come as no surprise, therefore, to hear that acne scars – which are caused by excessive oils blocking skin follicles (or picking at your spots – we won’t judge) – are such a popular candidate for this treatment.

Causing scars?

And now for the … equally good news.

You see, whilst there are possible side effects associated with almost any cosmetic procedure, the Dermapen is as far removed from these as one could possibly hope for.

Allow us to explain.

Microneedling, as an umbrella cosmetic term, does carry with it various – if minor – risks. You wouldn’t expect anything different, really, seeing as it uses needles to make fresh wounds in your skin! It is even possible to experience acne breakouts immediately afterwards but, if left alone, should be mild and will clear up on its own.

Depending on how severe your acne is, therefore, microneedling may – or may not – be the best treatment. The general consensus is that when it comes to acne grades 3 or 4, microneedling isn’t advisable. You may also want to speak to a doctor beforehand if you get keloid scars, as it may not be the best option for you, either. However, acne grades 1 and 2 can respond incredibly well to microneedling – especially when treated with the Dermapen.

Read more about microneedling here

Either way, practitioners everywhere will recommend avoiding sun exposure, exfoliants and alcohol-based skin products for a few days after the procedure. There are many other recommendations too, such as drinking plenty of water in the days leading up to the treatment and giving your skin a short detox from makeup. Vitamin C – taken with a collagen supplement – is another holy grail which therapists are advising to combine with the treatment – especially when treating acne scars – thanks to its collagen-producing properties.

However, when viewed in the context of other skin therapies, such as laser, the risks associated with microneedling are really rather tiny. It doesn’t damage or remove the outer layer of skin, and is even considered safe for thin, sensitive and darker skin, too – as well as being more effective than more aggressive methods to treat acne scars.

dermapen 4 in use on female

Reduced risk

What’s more, when conducted using the Dermapen, these risks almost disappear entirely.

That’s because it works on the same principle as the Dermaroller – a mechanical device which rolls microneedles all over the skin – but in a more precise, targeted way.

Instead of rolling the needles haphazardly over the skin, which often fails to reach small or curved areas, such as around the eyes, nose and upper lip, the Dermapen moves the needles in and out about 1920 puncture channels per second, targeting only the affected areas in the quickest way possible.

Furthermore, whilst the Dermaroller works on a single depth, the Dermapen boasts an adjustable needle depth to allow different penetration levels for different areas of the face. Finally, the needles penetrate the skin vertically, as opposed to those in the Dermaroller which do so at an angle, leading to a much lower risk of unwanted side effects.

As a result, studies have found that those treated with the Dermapen found the procedure much less painful than those with the Dermaroller, also experiencing a significantly shorter downtime. What’s more, they felt the results to their acne scarring were far better than those that had been treated with the Dermaroller.

In short, it causes even less damage to the epidermis than the Dermaroller, making an almost already side-effect friendly procedure virtually risk-free. Is it any wonder that Dermapen reviews are so great?

So, what are you waiting for?

Book an appointment now!

Featured image: Evgeny Atamanenko, 123 rf

DermaPen review: Can it be used on any skin colour?

dermapen 4

When it comes to microneedling procedures, not all are created equal. You might be better acquainted with the Dermaroller – which has its own benefits – but here at Lovoir Beauty, we favour the DermaPen – not least because of its impressive versatility. And just because we love a good spoiler here, the answer to whether or not it can be used on any skin colour is a resounding ‘hell yeah’! Allow us to explain:

a cross-section diagram of the skin (epidermis)

Because the procedure is a non-ablative one (meaning it doesn’t need to remove the epidermis in order to help create a new layer of skin), it is perfectly safe on all skin colours. This makes it a particular win for dark skin, due to the high levels of melanin which can cause scarring, hyperpigmentation and infection when other heat or chemical-based methods are used (think IPL and lasers – more on this later.). What’s more, its results are exactly the same, no matter what the skin colour.

So how exactly does the DermaPen benefit darker skin?

A DermaPen treatment takes microneedling – especially on darker skin – to the next level, thanks to its ability to kick-start the skin’s collagen production mechanism. How exactly does it do this? By effortlessly making micro wounds via a cartridge of 16 needles which then activate the skin’s healing process (sounds worse than it is – we promise!). Vitally, it’s one of the safest treatment options out there for darker skin, thanks to its gentle approach to pigmentation. As a side note, we are proud to be using the latest model from Dermapenworld – setting a new standard in microneedling by boasting 16 needles to its predecessors’ 12 and a unique scar treatment function.

Have we tempted you yet? Book an appointment with our expert therapist, Teresa

 

three different skin tones - from dark to light

Image by: Piyamas Dulmunsumphun

What exactly is its ‘gentle approach’ to pigmentation?

Pigmentation is the excessive production of melanin in the skin, which can cause various skin conditions such as Melasma – a popular reason in itself for microneedling. Microneedling is also a far safer and more effective skin treatment than many of its heat-based counterparts, which can inadvertently cause pigmentation as a side effect of other skin treatments. In other words, not only does it reverse the effects of pigmentation, it also prevents it.

It stands to reason, therefore, that, its use in darker-skinned patients – and, indeed, all Fitzpatrick skin types and ethnicities – is the only choice when it comes to tackling a whole host of conditions, from the removal of scars to getting back a youthful glow. But don’t just take our word for it, as studies have found a “30% incidence of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation in darker skin types” after laser treatments and other more abrasive, heat-based methods.

What are its most common uses in darker skin?

Quite simply, it is the best choice when it comes to treating a whole host of dermatological conditions, especially those which are more common in darker skin, such as:

  • Melasma (pigmentation)
  • Periorbital Melanosis (dark circles around the eyes)
  • Actinic Keratosis (rough patches of skin caused by years of sun damage)

There’s a reason it remains the most widely used microneedling system in the world. Will you join the revolution?

Book now!

The Benefits of Collagen Induction Therapy for Scars

dermapen 4 in use on female

The thing about scars is that they not only represent the physical trauma that created them in the first place, but can also come to embody a psychological pain, too. It may be no wonder, therefore, that one of the most popular cosmetic searches these days hinges on how to get rid of them.

When we talk about scars, we’re really focusing on two main areas of contention: Acne and stretch marks. So, without further ado, let’s delve into the pain points of both and explore how our Dermal CIT (collagen induction therapy) can help!

Acne scars are a popular reason for collagen induction therapy

Image by Kjerstin Michaela Haraldsen from Pixabay

Acne

The long battle with acne – usually peaking at the teenage years (arguably one of the worst possible times!) – is made that much harder by the very real possibility that it will leave a battlefield of scars afterwards to tell the tale. Reports within the last three years state that acne is the biggest skin concern after ageing in New Zealand, so finding an effective treatment is as important as ever.

Thank goodness, then, for collagen induction therapy – also known as microneedling. Working to stimulate collagen and elastin, it does, quite simply, what it says on the tin – inducing the substances that keep your skin healthy, firm and smooth. Fighting fire with fire, the tiny needles contained in the DermaPen – our weapon of choice – create fresh, tiny wounds on the area where the scars are most prevalent, kick-starting your skin into its natural healing process and subsequent release of collagen, elastin and new skin cells, as well as stimulating your blood supply and improving circulation.

According to a journal in the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), needles are also thought to “break collagen bundles in the superficial layer of the dermis that are responsible for scars” – win-win!

microneedling with the dermapen

The benefits? Reducing the appearance of acne scars whilst simultaneously improving the texture of your skin, leaving you blemish-free and without any sign of the long battle you and your face were once embroiled in. Best of all? It’s a simpler, safer and more cost-effective alternative to surgery! Like any battle worth winning, however, we must add that patience here is a virtue; it can take between two to six weeks before you start noticing results, whilst three to six months is the usual indicator that skin has completely repaired.

Disclaimer: The severity of the acne and skin type can play a major part in how exactly to address the elimination of scars, so it is vital to always seek advice from the professionals. Luckily for you, Teresa – our expert therapist who is a trained samurai with the DermaPen – will be on hand to help you every step of the way.

Pregnancy stretch marks are a popular reason for collagen induction therapy

Stretch marks

Unarguably a much happier reminder, stretch marks are usually associated with pregnancy. Yet however happy the memories are, many women feel their living, breathing offspring is enough of a positive recollection – without their body carrying a constant nod to the pressure it was under for nine months. It would be remiss of us to ignore the fact that stretch marks can also come about for a variety of other reasons, such as sudden growth spurts, rapid weight loss and certain adrenal gland disorders which cause the body to produce more cortisone (a natural hormone that reduces the skin’s elasticity), and can impact men as well as women – no matter how healthy or how long is spent at the gym!

Ultimately, when our bodies are stretched too far, the body’s natural production of collagen fibers are torn from the dermis up, resulting in the fine scar-like lines otherwise known as stretch marks. And no matter how or why they’ve occurred, as well as causing a serious dent to your skin they can cause an equally damaging dent to your self-confidence, too.

Due to the nature of these indented scars, which are different in colour to the skin (thanks to the deeper layers of skin and blood vessels that peek through), collagen induction therapy for stretch marks is a winning choice, thanks to its ability to remodel the skin, smooth out uneven textures and reduce the discoloration that occurs with pigmentation. And because the treatment relies solely on the body’s own natural healing mechanism, it’s perfectly safe for new and/or nursing mothers, too. If only dealing with a new baby was as easy, eh?

Bottom line

Collagen induction therapy results – especially in the treatment of scars – speak for themselves. Will you take the next step in saying goodbye to your battle wounds forever? Our cutting-edge professional team – led by skin supremo, Teresa – is ready and waiting to banish your blemishes forever.

Book now!

Getting to the point of Microneedling

microneedling with the dermapen

Like Millennials, dentists and cheesy 90’s music, needles have got an unfairly notorious reputation. Sure, the thought of piercing your skin may seem torturous, but if you think about it, most of the time they serve a vital purpose. Vaccinations, acupuncture – even tattoos, according to those loyal to them.

Step forward Microneedling: A minimally invasive cosmetic practice that has been steadily growing in popularity ever since its first recorded use in 1905 by a German dermatologist (true story!). The holy grail of skin rejuvenation, the microscopic punctures made as part of the treatment offer maximum benefits. Vitally, the pin-pricks – which we make using an innovative pen called the Dermapen – are not only tiny but also only penetrate the surface level of the skin, resulting in a ‘trauma’ which causes the dermal layer to rebuild and renew. That means – you guessed it – less pain, lots of gain.

Tell me more!

Determining the right solution for your skin in a world where beauty treatments are everywhere can be like finding a needle in a haystack – pun very much intended. And although we strongly believe in the impressiveness of Microneedling results, we wouldn’t be doing our Dermal CIT treatment justice without delving into its plethora of benefits. So, without further ado, here is your guide to the hottest ticket in skin rejuvenation today:

dermal cit

Uses of Microneedling

1. Improving skin elasticity

Probably the most popular reason for the treatment, it does wonders for the skin as during the repair phase it triggers the production of collagen and elastin – great for both treating and preventing those pesky signs of aging. An added benefit is that the resulting plumping of the skin also makes pores appear smaller, too – win-win! But don’t just take our word for it – a study from 2008 found that four sessions spaced one month apart produced up to a 400% increase in both collagen and elastin six months after treatment was completed. Say goodbye to fine lines and wrinkles, instead welcoming a youthful, firm, toned, smooth and stretchy texture? Yes please!

In case you needed more reasons to invest in your face, it’s also said to improve the absorption of skin care products (which, with a reported tiny 4-8% of your expensive serum penetrating your face, clearly needs all the help it can get!).

2. Treating acne scarring

It’s bad enough having to suffer from acne as a teenager – living with the scars afterwards is just adding insult to injury. Unsurprisingly, therefore, Microneedling for acne scars is another much- loved use of the treatment – especially as it can signify the difference between hiding away at home and living your best life. A 2009 study resulted in almost 100% of the subjects reporting a marked improvement in the visibility of their acne scars – sounds good to us! It also works on most other types of scarring, too, such as stretch marks.

3. Other skin conditions

From melasma (skin damage) to rosacea, it’s also a promising treatment for various conditions of the skin.

Important aftercare is key. Image by Luke Lehrfeld on Flickr

Separating fact from fiction

Like most cosmetic procedures, there is a ton of information out there – not all of it accurate. So, here’s what you need to know before taking the next step:

Microneedling is safe. Absolutely true – when left to the experts.

I can do it at home. While yes, you can do this in theory, it’s not a practice we recommend. Aside from the risks that can accompany any at-home medical device, the cheaper DIY alternatives have shorter, blunter needles, do not fully penetrate the skin – meaning limited results, are difficult to clean and can increase the risk of side effects.

I can have it done as much as I like. Again, you can do whatever you want – in theory – but indulging in Microneedling treatment too frequently can lead to broken capillaries and give you that undesirable plasticky look. Just another reason why it’s best to leave it to the experts (luckily for you, we know just the people!).

It’s a quick fix! Absolutely not. Like most things in life, good things are worth waiting for, and because the procedure relies on the growth of new skin, it can take several months before you see the full benefits.

Anyone can have it. Unfortunately not, and we wouldn’t be doing our jobs properly if we treated certain people, such as those who are pregnant or those with an active skin infection, active acne or keloid scarring. Once again, the beauty – and importance – of having this done by the professionals is the wealth of information and guidance that comes with it.

It’s great for those with dark skin. Very true, due to the fact that it doesn’t involve peels or lasers, which can cause pigmentation.

There can be side effects. True – like with any cosmetic procedure. You may experience swelling, discomfort, redness, bruising and dry skin. Bleeding is uncommon but more of a risk in those with bleeding disorders, which is why it’s always important to disclose any medical history to our qualified Dermal Therapists before undertaking any treatment.

I must treat my skin gently afterwards. Ding ding ding! Gentle but powerful products are the way forward here (you may even want to check that what you use has been specially formulated with Microneedling aftercare in mind.). Sunscreen is another absolute must as your skin will be more sensitive to the sun.

Recovery time is minimal. Fortunately, thanks to the non-surgical nature of the treatment, most people require very little recovery time – if any at all.

Virtually painless, incredibly effective and with a whole host of benefits – BOOK NOW!