Educational Series: Conquering Comedones: Understanding and Treating Skin Blemishes

by | 3 June 2024

Causes of Comedones

Have you ever noticed those pesky little imperfections that seem to appear on your face, especially around the forehead, nose, and chin area? These are comedones, commonly known as blackheads or whiteheads. But what exactly are comedones, and why do they appear? Let’s delve into these skin imperfections and explore effective solutions to reduce their visibility and prevent future breakouts.
Comedones are distinguished by clogged follicles or pores caused by the buildup of excess skin cells and sebum (oil). One significant factor contributing to comedone formation is essential fatty acid deficiency (EFAD). EFAD accelerates lipid peroxidation, which compromises the integrity of skin cell membranes. This impairment affects the quality and quantity of sebum secreted by the sebaceous glands. Addressing EFAD is crucial for restoring the proper balance of essential fatty acids, maintaining healthy skin, and preventing comedones.

Understanding Lipid Peroxidation

Lipid peroxidation occurs when free radicals damage the lipids in your skin, leading to inflammation and clogged pores. Ensuring a diet rich in antioxidants and essential fatty acids, like those found in Omega-3 supplements, can help mitigate this process.

The Role of Omega-3 in Combating Comedones

Essential fatty acids (EFAs), such as Omega-3 found in SIMKA Alpha Omega-3, play a crucial role in addressing essential fatty acid deficiency (EFAD). EFAD is a key factor in the formation of comedones and other acne-related lesions. Incorporating Omega-3 into your diet can help mitigate these skin issues. To learn more about the benefits of SIMKA Alpha Omega-3, click here.

The Lifecycle of Keratinocytes and Comedone Formation

Understanding the development of comedones requires examining the lifecycle of keratinocytes, the cells responsible for creating the outer layer of our skin (stratum corneum). When this process is disrupted, it results in incomplete formation of corneocyte cells, thus triggering comedone development. Additionally, poor-quality oil secretion adds to the problem by causing the accumulation of cellular debris in the opening of follicles.

Moreover, certain skincare and makeup products can worsen comedones. These products may contain comedogenic ingredients that clog follicles and exacerbate acne

Common Comedogenic Ingredients to Avoid

Lanolin derived from sheep’s wool, is frequently used in skincare products for its moisturising properties. However, it is important to note that lanolin is considered comedogenic due to its thick consistency, which can potentially block hair follicles leading to the formation of comedones or acne.

Mineral Oil a common skincare ingredient derived from petroleum, is often deemed comedogenic due to its highly occlusive nature, especially for individuals with acne-prone skin.

Isopropyl Myristate is an ester derived from isopropyl alcohol and myristic acid. It’s frequently found in cosmetics and skincare products due to its ability to soften and smooth the skin. However, it’s comedogenic properties can exacerbate acne by clogging follicles and increasing skin oiliness.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfateis a surfactant known for its ability to compromise the skin barrier by stripping away natural oil secretions. This stripping action not only depletes the skin’s moisture barrier but can also trigger a rebound effect where dryness signals sebaceous glands to produce more oil. Consequently, this cycle of oiliness and lack of skin moisture can create an environment favourable to the formation of comedones or acne.

Coconut Oilis renowned for its moisturising properties, thanks to its abundance of fatty acids that hydrate and nourish the skin. However, it’s comedogenic and can clog follicles, leading to the formation of comedones, especially for those with oily or acne-prone skin.

NOTE: While the impact of coconut oil on the skin can vary, it can be comedogenic for some individuals, leading to clogged follicles and breakouts, especially for those prone to acne. Nevertheless, when incorporated into carefully formulated products, coconut oil can provide benefits without adverse skin reactions. 

Solutions for Reducing Comedones

dermaviduals skincare stands out for its commitment to avoiding comedogenic ingredients, offering a safe and effective solution for individuals dealing with comedones or acne.

Top 5 Active Concentrates for Clearer Skin

Liposome Concentrate PlusThis concentrate, enriched with azelaic acid, is effective in clearing follicles and alleviating inflammation, making it an excellent choice for combating comedone formation. Azelaic acid works to unclog follicles and reduce redness, contributing to clearer and healthier skin.

PlutioDerm Fluid: Containing salicylic acid, this fluid serves as a strong keratolytic agent, removing excess skin cells and preventing comedone formation. Its exfoliating properties help prevent the buildup of skin cells, promoting a smoother, clearer complexion.

Zinc Liposome SerumZinc, a key component of this serum, plays a vital role in regulating oil production and reducing inflammation, making it beneficial for addressing comedones. By balancing oil levels and calming irritated skin, the Zinc Liposome Serum helps to minimise the risk of comedone formation and promote a healthier complexion.

Liposome NMF Complex Plus: This complex provides vital hydration to the skin by mimicking the carbohydrate complex naturally found in the stratum corneum. This helps maintain optimal skin moisture levels without causing congestion. Adequate hydration is essential for preventing comedone formation since excessively dry skin can stimulate sebum production, resulting in the production of comedones.

Vitamin A Nanoparticles: Vitamin A (Retinyl Palmitate) supports skin cell turnover and regulates sebum production, making it effective in reducing and preventing comedones. By promoting the shedding of excess skin cells and controlling oil secretion, Vitamin A helps to keep follicles clear and minimise the formation of acne lesions.

Additional dermaviduals products that may help to address comedones:

Süüsmoon Lotion PInfused with urea and fumaric acid, this treatment tonic offers a multifaceted approach to effectively combatting comedones. Urea acts as a potent humectant, drawing moisture into the skin and helping to soften and dissolve hardened skin cells that can contribute to comedone formation. Meanwhile, fumaric acid works to gently exfoliate the skin, promoting cellular turnover and preventing the buildup of skin cells.

Individual Lotion: Formulated with saccharide isomerate, a hydrating ingredient known for its ability to attract and retain moisture in the skin. This unique formulation not only targets comedones but also supports overall skin health by providing long-lasting hydration. By replenishing the skin’s water phase, this product helps to balance oil production and prevent excessive sebum buildup, reducing comedone formation. 

Oleogel S: Containing phosphatidylserine (PS), this formulation plays a pivotal role in activating macrophages, which are essential immune cells responsible for clearing cellular debris and maintaining skin health. By stimulating macrophage activity, Oleogel S helps to enhance the skin’s natural defence mechanisms, enabling it to efficiently remove impurities that can block follicles and contribute to comedone formation. Furthermore, Oleogel S is enriched with Ceramide NP, crucial for enhancing the skin’s barrier function. A deficiency of ceramides in the stratum corneum can serve as precursors to comedone formation.

Achieving Clearer, Healthier Skin

Understanding the underlying causes of comedones is essential for effective treatment. By addressing factors such as essential fatty acid deficiency and impaired keratinocyte lifecycle, you can take proactive steps towards achieving clearer, healthier skin. 

Visit our clinic finder and speak with a Skin Treatment Therapist today to find the right solution for your skincare needs. Say goodbye to comedones and hello to a radiant complexion!
Written by Kai Atkinson