Some of you may know by now that the d’still Collection was created by Ula Blocksage as a result of years of learning to care for reactive, hormonal, acne prone skin. Ula wanted to create a range of skincare that could be enjoyed by all skin types but one that could also be used by those with problematic skin conditions without the worry of causing breakouts and inflammatory reactions. One that focussed on healing the skin whilst looking after the self holistically through rituals, breath work, slowing down and reconnecting.
Ula was recently interviewed by Danielle Collins on the Face Yoga Expert Podcast on how to reduce and prevent hormonal acne and we thought we would share some of the golden nuggets Ula shared in the interview here for anyone who is currently caring for acne prone, inflamed skin.
So here are Ula’s top tips to help individuals reduce and prevent hormonal acne.
1. Identify the root cause of your acne and what type of acne you have
This will allow you to treat the root cause of the acne and not just the symptoms. In order to do this you are most likely going to need to run a series of different tests. If you do not want to go down the root of working with a GP or a dermatologist, there are other options such as working with a functional medicine practitioner or a nutritional therapist that specialises in hormonal health. These practitioners can order the tests you need to confirm your suspicions and then help you with a treatment plan that will address the root cause of the acne. They can run stool tests, look at the health of your gut, search for any intolerances you may have, check for candida overgrowth and they will also look at your lifestyle, your diet, sleep, stress levels etc… So it is a really holistic approach to healing the skin.
2. Check in with your lifestyle
- Get Enough Sleep: Sleep is your best friend! We need around 8 hours every night, this can change from one person to the next so it is important to listen to your body and see what you need as an individual. The body repairs and renews whilst we sleep so it is extremely important to get enough restorative shut eye.
Exercise: Exercising to the point when you break a sweat is really important for skin health as sweat actually, hydrates the skin, sweat itself also contains minerals and salt which naturally exfoliate the skin. Sweating also purges the skin of bacteria, dirt, oils and impurities. It is important though to make sure that after you exercise, especially if you have acne prone skin, that you wash your face straight afterwards to avoid any sweat sitting in the pores and potentially causing breakouts.
It is also really important to stay active in any case as this helps to keep the body healthy and to relieve stress which is my next point here.
- Stress management: Stress is always going to be there, but what it really comes down to is how we perceive, manage and react to the stress… this is what is really important. Finding ways to manage stress in your life such as meditation, talking a walk in nature, breathing exercises, finding the best stress management tool or activity for yourself is key. Create grounded, connected and aligned skincare and self care rituals. Do something everyday. Do not wait until you are completely stressed to get started.
3. Change your pillow case regularly, clean your phone and do not touch your face if you can help it
This will help minimise bacteria transfer. These few tips take no time at all and can make a big difference to the appearance of your skin.
4. Get to know what is inside your skincare products
Look on the label at the INCI list (ingredients list) and research any ingredients you feel sounds a little shady or that you potentially cannot pronounce. See what it is and then make an informed decision as to whether you want to place it on your skin.
We have two very helpful resources on our website which can help jump start your understanding of complicated INCI lists, they are called The Yes List and The No List. These lists were created as no nonsense guides to help you understand what is inside our skincare products and what we have chosen to exclude, so you can make informed decisions for your skin with ease.
5. Create a strong and consistent skincare routine
This is paramount. It takes on average 28 days for the skin to fully go through a cycle and renew itself and so any real change is only going to be properly noticeable after this period of time. So patience and consistency here is key. Of course with some skincare products you can see a difference within a couple of days but for longer lasting results these will be apparent within 4 or so weeks.
When I say strong and consistent I mean, cleansing your skin without stripping it completely, double cleansing the skin in the evening, treating it: exfoliate, mask etc, these steps are important to help keep the pores unblocked and finally hydrate and nourish with non comedogenic leave on products.
Keep your eyes open for the following ingredients to help treat acne:
Natural BHA or salicylic acid - found to be naturally occurring in the bark of the white willow tree. This ingredient is anti-microbial, highly effective at exfoliating the skin but without causing irritation. This ingredient has also shown the ability to help inhibit acne causing bacteria in the skin. So it is a nice ingredient to look out for in skincare formulations. We actually use white willow bark in all three of our skincare formulas at d’still as they have all been formulated with acne prone skin in mind.
Our Calming Cleansing Balm is the perfect for cleansing acne prone skin as it effectively cleanses the complexion without stripping nor irritating the complexion. It is highly soothing and calming not only for the skin but also for the senses with one of its key ingredients being Blue Tansy Oil. We recommend leaving this balm on the skin for 15-20 minutes to help calm sore and inflamed acne lesions before rinsing away with warm water. Skin is left looking clean, calm and nourished.
Exfoliating ingredients (both chemical and manual exfoliants) such as natural aha’s alpha hydroxy acids, natural fruit enzymes such as pineapple and papaya. There are also chemical exfoliants and manual exfoliants such as horsetail powder (exfoliating and also astringent in nature) or oat powder. Make sure that what ever you use is not too abrasive. Exfoliating the skin regularly works to keep the pores clear and also helps inhibit the oxidation of sebum, which can cause spots.
Our Brightening Radiance Mask is perfect for acne prone skin and was the first product Ula designed that really helped treat her hormonal breakouts many years ago. It contains papaya and pineapple enzymes to exfoliate, clays to detox and clear the pores, vitamin C to brighten and fade post acne parks and white willow bark: natural source of salicylic acid (BHA), known for its ability to gently exfoliate the skin, decongest clogged pores and combat hormonal acne
Non-comedogenic nourishing ingredients, always end your skincare ritual with a product that will nourish the skin such as a hydrating cream and or non-comedogenic facial oil. Some people with acne shy away from using facial oils as they think that oils will cause more acne breakouts, but if the skin is left without proper nourishment after cleansing then the skin will freakout and begin to over produce sebum and that is when we can run in to trouble again. So if you have acne prone skin, you want to look for balancing non-comedogenic facial oils with a base of jojoba oil, prickly pear and or argan oil. Non-comedogenic basically refers to ingredients that will not clog the pores.
Our Rejuvenating Botanical Serum is perfect for acne prone skin as the entire formula is non-comedogenic. Formulated without the use of heavy ingredients this serum boasts an alchemic combination of 29 potent ingredients which help to restore radiance, encourage cellular renewal, improve the texture of your skin all whilst helping to keep those pesky spots at bay.
The entire d’still collection has been made with acne prone skin in mind. Ula uses all three of the d'still products on a daily basis to treat and care for her acne prone skin.
Shop the d’still Collection today to help clear your acne prone skin