Inflammation starts in our bloodstream. There are white blood cells with inflammatory substances that start a cascade effect when they detect infection. They go out of the bloodstream and into the skin, they create swelling in the skin, your blood vessels dilate, and you get redness.
Inflammation can happen anywhere – your brain, your joints, your skin.
In skincare, it’s particularly important: with both rosacea and acne, the main problem the body is struggling with is inflammation.
In the case of acne, it is inflammation paired with p.acnes bacteria & often gut and hormone imbalance.
What causes inflammation in the skin, and what are the effects?
Inflammation can be caused by many different factors. Going outside and getting windburned or sunburned causes inflammation; so do allergic reactions. Using a product containing a chemical you’re sensitive to will also cause inflammation. Over cleansing & excessive exfoliation.
The classic signs of it are redness and irritated, burning, or itchy skin.
- Spicy foods
- Citrus fruits
- Soy sauce
- Hot drinks
- Alcohol, especially red wine and beer
- Cheese (except cottage)
Other things that may exacerbate inflammation:
- High temperatures — saunas, steam baths, sun lamps
- Weather – sun, heat, strong wind, cold
- Emotions – anger, rage, embarrassment, anxiety
- Activity – intensive exercise, chronic cough, straining
- Drugs – niacin, nitroglycerin, topicals like corticosteroids, retinoids, alcohol, acetones
- Moisturizers, unless they’re mineral oil-free or non-comedogenic
- Ultraviolet light
With inflammatory conditions, addressing the inflammation from the inside out as well as the outside in — through both products and lifestyle changes — will help alleviate flare-ups more quickly.