Ask An Expert: What Are The Best Acne Treatments?

By Ashleigh Austen

As anyone who has dealt with or who is currently dealing with acne can attest, it can be extremely frustrating to navigate. Not only can it be sore and painful, but it can also have a big effect on your self-esteem. 

After dealing with acne for over 10 years herself, aesthetician and founder of The Skin Bar, Samantha Appel, has tried and tested a lot of solutions. We sat down with her recently to chat treatments, supplements and what helped her finally see–and feel–results.   

Can you tell us a little bit about your own journey with acne?

“I suffered from cystic acne from the age of 17 until I was 29. I was on Accutane three different times. Throughout high school and my twenties I had such little self-confidence, I used to hide in the shade so the sunlight wouldn’t show my acne, I felt like everyone was always looking at my skin, it was horrible.”

How is your skin now?

“While I still have the odd breakout, my acne has healed for the most part. There has been no better feeling than going from having inflamed, acne-prone skin to a clear complexion. That’s really why I do what I do for a living. I know what it’s like to have problematic skin, and now my confidence has soared having come through the other side. It’s taken a lot of work to get to the point I’m at–it's definitely character building–but I’m now so proud to share my journey and I want to help others with acne and skin conditions.”

What are your top tips for taking care of your skin at home if you’re dealing with acne and breakouts?

“First and foremost, follow a healthy, balanced diet that’s appropriate for you and your skin concerns. I’d also advise working with a holistic expert to provide dietary advice specific to your skin concerns. The second would be taking the correct supplements. Glowing, clear skin really does start with your gut health.”

When it comes to booking in for treatments, what are the best options for those with congestion and problematic skin?

“Some of my favourite treatments include the Acnelan Peel by Mesoesthetic, which is a specially formulated medical grade peel to treat acne, congestion and seborrhoeic skin and the Herbal Aktiv Peel, which is a medically developed skin resurfacing treatment that works with the skin’s own natural renewal processes of regeneration. I would then recommend skin needling to help heal any scarring.”

Do you have any lifestyle or nutrition practices that you incorporate to complement your outer beauty routine? 

“I always ensure I get eight hours of sleep a night (your cells will never glow if you are tired and run down) and eat a balanced diet, high in fatty acids and low in sugar. I eat one avocado per day and of course, take Beauty Chef supplements.”

Are there any topical ingredients or treatments we should steer clear of if you have active breakouts or acne? 

“Vitamin C serums can be a big trigger for acne. I suggest avoiding them if you're breaking out. Also, collagen creams or heavy anti-ageing creams can be a big no-no. These creams are often too heavy and can create breakouts.”

What do you anticipate to be the next big paradigm shift in the world of beauty? 

“We’re starting to see research and trends leaning towards the 'less is more' approach. Fewer harsh laser treatments, less injectables and more natural approaches. I also think people are starting to realise that just paralysing the muscles with anti-wrinkle injections and fillers isn’t the answer, we need to focus on our skin's vitality and function. After all, our skin is our largest organ, we need to be shifting our focus towards our skin's health, rather than just the surface.”

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