Acne is the eighth most widespread disease in the world and affects more than 80% of people throughout their lifetime. Despite this, it’s still difficult to find an appropriate treatment without severe side effects. Acne can cause pain, loss of confidence, dysmorphia and depression. But getting rid of acne through medication can come at a price too.
With today’s prescribed acne treatments being formulated and researched more than 40 years ago, they show a lack of understanding for the human endocrine, nervous, immune, and bacterial systems that scientists have successfully researched and tested since, which can be found in today’s natural skin care products for acne.
Why switch to natural skin care products for acne?
Natural skincare products for acne avoid ingredients that have a harsh effect on the skin. They also carry a greatly reduced risk of serious side effects and long term issues that can come with prescribed treatments, such as sensitising the skin, damaging the immune system, and even lead to worsening depression.
Additionally, natural skin care products today contain ingredients relating to more recent scientific discoveries, unlike prescribed acne treatments which haven’t changed or reviewed for decades. With a new understanding of the human microbiome and better technologies, natural skin care products are growing in popularity as a proven alternative to prescribed acne treatment.
Why could acne medication be bad for you?
Current treatments from the GP include antibiotics, birth control pills, hydrocortisone creams and various vitamin A derivatives like retinol. These products have a mixed track record of success in reducing acne and they come at a cost. They’re also unsuccessful at finding and treating the root cause of acne to prevent future outbreaks. Below we explore the history of concerning side effects with the most popular prescribed treatments for acne.
Antibiotics were first prescribed to treat acne in the 1950’s and is still the first line acne treatment today. Since then, antibiotics have been considered highly controversial due to their overuse around the world. This over prescription has pushed the limits of bacterial resistance.
Additionally, antibiotics disrupt the microbiome of the skin and the gut. Our health depends on a balanced gut microbiome, which is responsible for 80% of our immune system. But when antibiotics wreak havoc to this balance, all our systems are negatively affected as a consequence.
Benzoyl peroxide (a bleaching agent) has high potential to sensitise the skin. First used in the 1920s, benzoyl peroxide has gone through development since then. However, despite this, benzoyl peroxide holds concerning safety properties that are known to damage the skin cells, dry and irritate the skin.
Birth control pills
Other prescriptions also include birth control pills for young women. The pills control acne by directly disturbing the female sex hormones (oestrogen). Although evidence shows that women who have used birth control pills to control acne have had good success rates, when they stopped taking the pills, many reported that acne came back aggressively.
Retinol, adapalene, isotretinoin are all forms of Vitamin A known as retinoids. Isotretinoin is another controversial acne treatment. When it came out in the early 1980s, it was meant to be prescribed to the most extreme cases of acne. In recent years, it is a regularly prescribed treatment for any severity of acne.
Isotretinoin (Accutane or Roaccutane) has a range of dangerous side effects. These include birth defects, depression and suicide.
Campaigners (mostly parents of those affected) are trying to get isotretinoin (or Roaccutane as its commercial name) banned, citing suicide and erectile disfunction. Although evidence to support these claims are patchy, commonly noted side effects include extreme dry skin and lips, but also more serious issues such as back pains. Many users require a second or third treatment as acne returns, which could worsen all of the negative side effects that come with the price of getting rid of acne.
Hydrocortisone is prescribed for its anti-inflammatory effect. Unfortunately, if used for a prolonged period of time, hydrocortisone suppresses the immune system. This can make it difficult to tell when you have an infection. Not only this, but some scientific studies suggest that hydrocortisone may be a cause of more acne.
So, what do we know about treating acne today?
The current acne treatments from the GP have been formulated and researched more than 40 years ago, before the inflection point of the Human Genome Project (completed in 2003) and the more recent Human Microbiome Project, paving the way for massive progress in cellular science, genetics, human microbiome and other fields.
New research suggests a strong connection between microbiome and skin.
Although skin care varies from person to person, this is a start to understanding what ingredients react well to the skin's cells. These include skin loving, natural ingredients.
8 natural ingredients that improve skin and more
Today’s natural skincare products for acne challenge the idea that the only way to treat skin conditions is through medicated antibiotics and harsh ingredients.
Protium heptaphyllum resin
This rare botanical ingredient in our Triple Action Cleanser is sourced in the Amazons by a direct partnership between an ethnobotanist and the indigenous population. It is rich in plant amyrin compounds (phytochemical or plant molecules) that provide cellular protection and skin soothing.
Lannea microcarpa fruit extract
An extract from the African wild grape (known as lannea microcarpa), sustainably sourced in Burkina Faso. It is rich in anthocyanin, which reinforces the skin's natural protection against UV damage. Lannea microcarpa gives anti-blemish protection, which can be found in our Regulating Cream.
Morinda citrifolia leaf extract
Extracted from the Noni plant, but biotech-lab-grown. The plant molecule in the morinda citrifolia leaf controls the microbiome of the skin. This allows the population growth of certain bacteria whilst preventing growth of bad bacteria, like cutibacterium acnes, which is linked to skin conditions like acne.
Caesalpinia sappan extract
This rare botanical ingredient is derived from an Equatorial tree and collected by Pygmies in Central Africa as part of a solidarity economy program. This ingredient, active in our Multilayer Serum, helps the skin control melanin and the sebum whilst reducing redness.
The probiotic Lactobacillus ferment is delivered undamaged and helps rebalance the skin's microbiome quickly. This is key as we wash off a good amount of skin's microbiota in every wash with our Triple Action Cleanser.
Modified bentonite clay
In most of our natural skincare products, is modified bentonite clay, which provides a mineral structure that encapsulates the active ingredients. The clay in our serum progressively releases the ingredients for the most effective results for blemished, irritated and acne-prone skin.
Vitamin D3, sourced from lichen
Plethora of new studies show that vitamin D controls more than 3% of the human genome, which is why it’s a main ingredient in our Food Supplements, along with vitamin C.
Vitamin C, extract of acerola cherry
The acerola cherry is known to contain one of the highest concentrations of vitamin C and is rich in other antioxidants. Combined with zinc and magnesium, it contributes to the normal function of skin, collagen, immune and nervous systems. Combined with copper and vitamin E, it contributes to the protection of cells from oxidative stress. What’s more, Vitamin B6 contributes to the regulation of hormonal activity.
Skin Diligent’s Natural Skincare Products
We have a lot more power to control skin conditions than you may think, even if you’re genetically predisposed to have acne. Due to the recent research on the relationship between lifestyle choices and a skin microbiome, we know how to change the course of how acne develops.
Based on lifestyle factors that affect our wellbeing, Skin Diligent was born to provide a non-medicated, natural alternative to mild to moderate acne-prone skin. Our botanical ingredients are sustainably sourced, direct from the cooperatives of farmers and growers.
Our 4 Step Skin Kit helps effectively target blackheads, whiteheads, oily skin, mild to moderate pimples and redness, without ANY side effects. Depending on your severity of acne and lifestyle, results take on average 2-4 months.
In our clinical test of a panel of 50 people with sensitive skin, 100% of subjects experienced ZERO sensitising and ZERO skin irritation. The skin care products have also been tested for endocrine disruption. Because at Skin Diligent, we are committed to creating truly ultra safe skincare.
To make our products available and accessible for all, we offer a vegan formula of natural ingredients. We do not believe in using harsh chemicals for better skin. Our natural skincare products are diligently aligned with your health and microbiome.