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Acne, the Mullet and the Path to Clear Skin

I get asked every day: would you turn back the clock to access certain aspects of your teenage self? I say "Sure: the stamina, energy, and all that hair." 

And yet, as the bounties of youth have receded and the popularity of the mullet has faded (sadly), one irritant of our teenage years continues to make unwelcome periodic visits: acne.  

In fact, 42% of us between the ages of 20 and 29 report having acne, and 1 in 5 between 30 and 39 have acne too. Acne isn't just limited to younger guys though. Our diagnostic shows that acne is a concern across every age group. It just won’t say goodbye.

Acne Concerns by Age

Source: Geologie Skincare Diagnostic Nov. 1st, 2019 to Feb. 29th, 2020

What gives? Sure, you may not be fighting breakouts like you used to, but one-off acne bumps that take several days to go away create a new level of anxiety in your 20s and 30s -- and even beyond. Formerly perceived as a testosterone-fueled teenage rite of passage, acne in adulthood somehow translates to being a problem with you -- your hygiene, your breeding or your diet are preventing you from having clear skin.  

So why does acne persist? It really comes down to several factors that conspire to block the pores -- the hair follicles -- of your skin.

  1. Bacteria called p.acnes -- acne’s namesake -- lives on the skin’s surface and thrives on natural skin oil (sebum). That’s where it starts.
  2. Our glands produce lots of oil because our skin is thicker and more dense than women’s skin, which is why acne is more common in men. 
  3. When dead skin cells aren’t swept away, they combine with the bacteria and oil to clog the follicles (called follicular hyper-keratinization). These clogs give rise to inflammation in the form of blackheads (which open at the skin’s surface where they interact with oxygen, imparting a black appearance) and whiteheads (just under the skin’s surface, rendering them white). 

What guys really need to know is that since oil, bacteria, and excess skin cell buildup in the hair follicle are all individual drivers of acne, we need ingredients to target each of these things. Here’s how we do it at Geologie.

 

Step One: Face Wash

Sayonara bar soap! You need real exfoliating face wash to win the battle against acne. Gentle exfoliation is an absolute must to fighting acne. Most of our face washes (and all of those for acne prone guys) feature salicylic acid , which is a liquid exfoliator that loosens and breaks apart attachments between cells in the outer layers of the skin. That’s where that battle begins.

 

Step Two: A Retinol-Based Night Cream

And then there’s the real workhorse ingredient, retinol, which accelerates cell turnover and saps oil. Over the long term this healthy cell regeneration process reduces scars, fine lines and wrinkles. It’s the key ingredient found in all of Geologie’s Repairing Night Creams --  making the night regimen by far the most important aspect of any battle against acne.

One more thing: that battle isn’t won overnight. It’s not even won over a few weeks. I tell my patients over and over again: you must commit to fighting real acne for a minimum of 90 days to see results. So I will say it one more time: to effectively battle acne you must commit to your regimen for at least 90 days to see results. Got it? Great. Most of the battles against acne are not lost because of the treatment, but by the consistency of use. Stay with the plan!

And of course if at any point you're not yet seeing the relief you want, we do want to hear from you. Allow us to help and to make sure that your regimen is right for you. That's very important to us.

And if you're not a customer yet, take our diagnostic and we’ll help you get started. We’ve helped thousands of guys tame their acne and get clear skin. We can help you too. But if you still have that mullet, you’re on your own there.

 

P.S. For those of you who've written in to challenge the mullet-ness of the picture above, this is officially known as a "Permullet" and is one of the more insidious versions. Approach with extreme care.

 

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