Here at Style Chicks, we have a term for when you still have acne, and tiny little lines and wrinkles start creeping in. We call it Wracne.
Wracne is life’s little way of taunting you with the skin problems you thought you would leave at the door when you went to college and the ones that you thought only old ladies had. And treating adult acne is different than treating teen acne. That’s why we love the Exposed Skin Care line.
WHY TEEN SKINCARE METHODS WON’T WORK FOR ADULT ACNE
Our teen war on acne approach was probably never really that great. Our general Mode of Operation for dealing with an unwanted blemish was a show no mercy approach of blasting our teenage faces with hot water and harsh skin-scrubbing washes followed by drying topicals until the zits were all but eviscerated, imploding on to themselves in a dry, flakey heap. Our oily-faced, collagen-full teen skin could take it, and if all went well, bounced back in a few days moisture wise as if nothing happened. But our grown-up faces can’t tolerate those harsh scrubbing washes and that scorched earth, overly drying topical approach. It’s too irritating and not entirely effective.
So forget your teen acne game moves, they cause more harm than good. What tools make for a deft, elegant approach to acne? The secret weapons of fighting the good fight against adult acne include:
- Pre-emptive cleansing and topical measures to stop breakouts
- Effective topicals that are applied with precision to existing breakouts
- Hydrating and moisturizing with the right ingredients that won’t cause acne
STOPPING ACNE BEFORE IT STARTS
Stopping acne formation is the best bet for maintaining clear skin. The two-prong approach is proper cleansing and topical treatments that stop acne in its’ tracks.
Cleansing is key to exfoliate away acne causing bacteria and excess sebum/oil, as well as to remove the dead skin cells that can trap them into the pimple formation position.
Your hands, even just washed ones, carry too much bacteria to use them to rub/scrub/wash your face. They are also not effective for exfoliating dead skin cells. Ideally, choose a cloth that is not too hard, not too soft, just nubby enough to exfoliate but soft enough to not abrase or damage skin.
Let the cleansing product and the washcloth do the work, don’t rub and scrub as if your trying to get a stain out of clothing. Use slow, gentle massage only.
I found the Exposed Derm-X Cloth to be effective at removing dead skin flakes as well as foundation and sunscreen residue without being too harsh or rough.
CLEANSER: THE MAKE OR BREAK PRODUCT FOR ACNE
Did you know some cleansers actually CAUSE acne? Many cleansers contain pore-clogging, acne-causing ingredients to buffer and counteract the effects of cheap detergent/cleansing agents. Stick to a cleanser that is non-comedogenic and hypo-allergenic. We like Exposed Facial Cleanser Ultimate clean for what it does and does not contain. It is non-comedogenic, hypo-allergenic, and its’ soap-free.
For the ideal blend of cleansing and exfoliating, alpha & beta hydroxy acids (AHA) are worth their weight in gold, especially for skin over thirty. As counter-intuitive as it sounds to use an acid for sensitive skin, it is actually ideal as hydroxy acids melt the “glue” that binds dry skin to live skin, so that dead skin cells basically de-attach themselves from the live skin without introducing excess force, rubbing or scrubbing. Not only does this result in less redness, drying, and irritation, but also less inflammation and skin microtears, which can become infected. AHA’s also give skin a younger appearance by removing dry skin, brown spots, and smoothing wrinkles.
Exposed Facial Cleanser Ultimate Clean contains alpha and beta hydroxy acids, as well as sage extract that gently detoxifies skin.
There are none of the detergents (such as lauryl and laureth sulfates) that strip so much oil and moisture from the skin that it feels tight and dry, rather it only removes excess. This pairs nicely with Pro-Vitamin B5, which regulates oil production.
The Ultimate Clean did not leave my skin feeling too tight, raw, irritated or dry, which is a problem I have with many cleansers. It left my face feeling soft. It removes even heavy makeup or oils, including when I use an oil-based makeup remover. I am a big fan of AHAs, and love getting them in a cleanser that doesn’t sting or burn while using it.
THE POWER OF SALICYLIC ACID
Salicylic Acid is an excellent pre-emptive topical that stops acne in its’ tracts. Salicylic Acid clears the deepest clogged pores from the bottom up.
I find Salicylic Acid especially helpful for the evilest of all the blemishes: cystic acne. I never had cystic acne until I was an adult and had no clue how to treat it. Cystic Acne appears to be on the surface, but it’s too deep a pimple to attempt to extract yourself, even with implements. If you try, it gets worse, much worse, just pushing the pimple contents, now fueled with more bacteria, deeper into your skin. Worst of all, the lifespan of a cystic pimple is much longer than a typical pimple, and it can leave a scar for months even if you don’t pick it or irritate it at all. Cystic Acne pimples are little jerks and not much can be done since most acne topicals treat by drying only the surface.
Salicylic Acid is used in two ways within the Exposed skincare system, it is found both within the Clearing Tonic and the topical treatment Exposed Clear Pore Serum.
The Clearing Tonic reinforces the cleanser action by clearing the skin of dead cells and preventing blocked pores before they start. To leave skin balanced, the Salyclic Acid is combined with soothing, nourishing Aloe Vera, and anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, soothing Green Tea. Another notable ingredient in the fight against acne is Azelaic Acid, which addresses a slightly different type of acne, those which occur in a hair follicle that has filled with oil or sebum. These occur often around the chin, jawline, and sides of the face. Azelaic Acid opens and clears the debris to keep pimples from forming.
I find the Clearing Tonic to leave me flake-free. I often skip this type of step during skincare because these kinds of products typically sting too much, but the Tonic is quite gentle. It does make a difference that is noticeable in about a week, my skin does seem clearer.
Clear Pore Serum contains Salicylic Acid to keep pores clean.
I find that the recommended nightly application of Clear Pore Serum quickly reduces new pimples from forming and helps reduce the volume of existing pimples to help them shrink faster. It does not sting, and my skin is not raw and red with regular use. Even after one night, my existing pimples looked calmer the next morning.
By combining the Hydroxy Acids found in the Ultimate Clean Cleanser to remove dead skin, oil and dirt on the skin surface, and the Salyclic Acid in Clean Pores Serum to deep clean pores and shrink them, the key components needed to form new pimples becomes few and far in between. But how can a pimple that forms despite preemptive measures be tamed?
TREATMENT FOR EXISTING ACNE
Benzoyl Peroxide is likely an acne fighting ingredient you’ve used before, the oxygen in BP kills bacteria. No matter how often you cleanse, you are still exposed to toxins, pollutants, and bacteria all day long. Your pillowcase, your phone, your hands, your makeup brushes all harbor bacteria. As a teen, you likely used Benzoyl Peroxide to remove excess oil and bacteria, but did you know how to use it most effectively? I didn’t.
The best Benzoyl Peroxide is micronized, meaning it won’t just sit on the surface of your skin, drying out only the top layers of a pimple while bacteria hides below. Rather, it slips through to the deep layers of the skin, purging even hidden bacteria. As a teen, we may have subscribed to the “more is more” theory and slathered it on our skin, but as an adult, this won’t work. Benzoyl Peroxide use is different as an adult. When BP is paired with the right ingredients, only a thin layer is needed.
Benzoyl Peroxide works very well with Tea Tree Oil, an anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-microbial powerhouse for clearing breakouts from the skin. Some people use Tea Tree it straight from the bottle, but Tea Tree Oil is pungent and is most tolerable, and effective, in a blended skincare product.
The drug store BP topicals we used as a teen are too harsh and too concentrated at 5 and 10 percent. An adult should use less than four or five percent, which studies show is just as effective and less irritating. Exposed uses 3.5% Benzoyl Peroxide in this serum. Another key to proper use is Benzoyl Peroxide must be buffered, as is the case with Exposed Acne Treatment Serum, which in addition to Benzoyl Peroxide and Tea Tree Oil uses Green Tea Extract to keep skin from becoming red, irritated and flaky.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from a 3.5% BP, but in tandem with the other products, I think this is the right amount for my skin, not too drying, acne looks better, my skin is not red and raw like can happen with some BP topicals. The buffer ingredients make a big difference.
MOISTURIZING WITHOUT CAUSING FURTHER BREAKOUTS
All skin undergoing acne treatment, whether young or not so young, requires moisturization, but as a teen, your skin likely bounced back faster on its’ own whether you moisturized or not. Acne treatments, even when properly balanced and buffered, are still drying to the surface of the skin. Dry skin is not only unattractive, but makes makeup apply unevenly, and it magnifies every fine line, wrinkle, and pore, resulting in the appearance of older skin. So for those fighting wracne, proper moisturization is a must.
Ideally, a moisturizer should be both oil-free and lightweight, so as not to clog the pores you’ve fought so hard to purge. It should also contain treating ingredients that soothe, nourish and restore the skin. An excellent ingredient for those who are experiencing acne while aging is Pumpkin Seed Oil.
For acne, Pumpkin Seed Oil is rich in essential fatty acids that regulate skin oil production on both oily and dry skin. It promotes a healthy cell structure and cellular renewal, it has healing properties and is nourishing, and highly moisturizing, which is perfect for both acne and aging skin. The A, C, E and K, enzymes, fatty acids, iron, and zinc are highly nourishing, and it has the unique ability to simultaneously prevent both acne and fine lines.
Topical Caffeine application also can help both acne and fine lines. As a vasoconstrictor, it constricts blood vessels, which in turn reduces inflammation that makes acne larger, redder and harder to conceal. Inflammation also causes fine lines.
Green Tea is a soothing anti-inflammatory that not only calms the skin but helps to reduce scarring.
I find this to be lightweight and it absorbs easily, and I am a new fan of Pumpkin Seed Oil! Few products feel like they balance my needs properly when it comes to acne and aging, this combo of ingredients doesn’t make an acne problem worse and it still nourishes the skin.
MY EXPOSED SKIN CARE EXPERIENCE
What’s our personal experience with the Exposed Basic 4-Step Acne Treatment Kit? I love how the cleanser leaves my skin feeling smooth, clean, and so soft. It doesn’t leave my skin feeling tight like other cleansers, which I attribute to the lack of harsh chemicals. This is especially unusual for a Salicylic Acid cleanser, but it is gentle but effective due to the great formulation. I love that it includes Vitamin B5, and the sage extract makes the formula feel luxurious.
The Exposed Clearing Tonic isn’t harsh like a lot of other toners, and definitely not like the ones you used in your teens that stripped your skin of moisture. My skin feels refreshed, clean, and supple.
The Exposed Acne Treatment Serum has already made a difference in tough blemishes. I had several stubborn blackheads that have resolved in the timing, which has me elated. I also am very happy with the milia that have shrunk or disappeared since I started using the Acne Treatment Serum!
I also have the Exposed Clear Pore Serum to thank for those stubborn blackheads coming out, and for shrinking some hormonal acne I experienced within a couple of days. It is lightweight and it sinks into my skin, so I don’t have to worry about it getting in my eyes at night.
Also, I really love the Derm-X Cloth that comes with the kit – it is so gentle on my skin!
Battling adult acne and aging at the same time is no small feat but can be accomplished with the proper skin care techniques and ingredients, including choosing hypo-allergenic, non-comedogenic products with the ingredients that support optimal skin health. Adult acne can be managed with pre-emptive cleansing and topical measures to stop breakouts, effective topicals that are applied with precision to existing breakouts, both followed with the right moisturizer, one that hydrates, nourishes and feeds skin without causing more acne. Exposed Skin Care takes the guesswork out of finding helpful, not harmful products by creating a line of acne products ideal for treating adult acne while battling signs of aging. This boxed kit comes with all the products seen in these photos including the Ultimate Clean, Clearer Tonic, cloth, Clear Pore Serum, the Acne Treatment Serum and the Moisture Complex. Clear skin is guaranteed.
WHERE TO BUY IT
Find the entire Exposed Skin Care line including the Exposed Basic 4-Step Acne Treatment Kit at http://www.exposedskincare.com
Style Chicks received these Exposed Skin Care products in exchange for our unbiased review and we were compensated for our time and effort. However, our experience with the product and the opinions expressed in this review are 100% ours.