The Emotional Rollercoaster of Clearing Congested Skin

I love reading case studies from our amazing Janesce Skincare therapists. Hearing about client’s skincare journeys has reminded me of what an emotional rollercoaster it can be treating acne or congestion. Why? Because the skin often gets worse before it gets better! Eeek!

This can seriously challenge the confidence of even the most experienced skin health therapist. And, there is always the danger that it will undermine your client’s trust in you. As her skin gets worse under your care, the question inevitably rises, “does my therapist really know what she is doing?”

I’d like to support you in this process.

By providing education and advance-warning  you can reduce the volatility of the emotional rollercoaster and smooth the acne healing pathway for you and your client.

Firstly, let’s look at the skin science.

Why Does It Get Worse Before It Gets Better?

With acne and congested skin, there are many open and closed comedones present.  Comedones form when sebum thickens and blocks the pore. Because they are not red or inflamed, these comedones fly under the radar of the immune-system’s awareness. It’s as though the body doesn’t even know the comedones are there so it doesn’t expend any effort trying to purge them from the skin.

What Causes Comedones in the First Place?

Comedones will be present due to one or a combination of the following factors:

  1. A genetic sensitivity to congesting foods (like chocolate, cheese, cashews etc.)
  2. An EFA deficiency (EFA’s help produce a free-flowing sebum)
  3. A deficiency in certain B vitamins (B-vitamins must be present for EFA’s to work)
  4. Perspiration drying on the skin (The salts the perspiration contains blocks the pores).
  5. A stripped, dehydrated stratum corneum (The skin lacks flexibility which inhibits the free flow of sebum to the surface of the skin)
  6. The use of comedogenic products (Some make-up products physically block the pores)

Once you address all of the above factors, the skin will stop producing new comedones.

What Happens to the Comedones That Are Already Present?

Well, for some lucky people, they simply disappear!  One minute they are there and the next time you look, they’re gone.  If only that was the case for all of our clients! Unfortunately it is more likely to be one of the following two scenarios that plays out.

  1. Comedones Turn Into Papules and Pustules

Once the skin becomes soft and supple (through topical hydration) and the sebum starts flowing (with the elimination of congesting foods and addition of EFA’s and B Complex), the body becomes aware of blockages and deals with them through the immune system.

One by one each comedone turns into a pimple as the skin purges the congested sebum. It’s common for your client to freak out as this break-out occurs, but it actually signifies progress! Once that pimples clears and heals that pore is now ‘free’ for the first time in a long time. You just have to help your client to understand what is going on and support them emotionally as they deal with the challenges of facing the world each day through this break-out stage.

  1. Comedones Remain as Historical Congestion

Some client’s skins are genetically predisposed to more stubbornly hold onto blockages and the existing comedones continue to sit there as ‘historical congestion’. This can take many months to clear.  In Jenny Barrow’s case, her skin which had been deeply congested for 15 years took eight months to clear – and she did everything we told her perfectly!  In these cases continued commitment, encouragement and patience is required.


Jenny Barrow: 8 month transformation



Extraction Facials Speed The Process

In both of these situations I cannot over-emphasize the power of extraction facials to speed up the skin-clearing process. This is a far quicker and less distressing way to manage the skin-clearing process than letting nature run its course and produce break-outs.

How to Perform A Skin Healing Extraction Facial

Once your client’s skin is supple with hydration and the sebum has started to soften with dietary intervention, your client will be ready for an extraction facial treatment. This will take a minimum of two weeks of skincare/dietary care and possibly longer.

  • Begin with Janesce Rose Cleanser
  • Soak the skin really well with a warm lavender compress.
  • Massage Janesce Gentle Enzyme Peel into face for five minutes and remove with warm cloth.
  • Apply Janesce Gentle Clearing Wash, gently press it in to the skin with damp hands for leave 5 minutes and remove with warm cloth.
  • If you have a vapozone or steamer, use this to soften the skin further.
  • Prevent the skin from dehydrating with the application of the Rose Petal Mist.
  • Extract comedones using a comedone extractor or two cotton buds. If a comedone proves to be difficult to remove, don’t force it out, as this will damage the skin. Leave it for next time – it’s just not ready yet.
  • Finish your session with a lymphatic-type massage using a cocktail of Soothing Mist and Calendula Concentrate. These two products will leave a fine, healing, protective film on the skin and you won’t need to apply an oil or moisturizer.

Warn Your Client In Advance

It is a really good idea is to warn your client about the possibility that their skin may get worse before it gets better when they first begin their programme with you. With understanding comes acceptances and patience.

Knowing what to expect will help your client to mentally prepare for whatever happens and will make her more emotionally resilient in the face of the inevitable ups and downs that will occur.  If the worst happens, rather than thinking, “does my therapist know what she is doing?,” she will instead think, “ah, my therapist said this might happen, and she was right.”

This will continue to build the confidence and trust that is at the heart of every successful change partnership.

I look forward to hearing about your success stories!

  • May 8, 2018
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