Elevate Magazine, July/August 2009

"Acne is caused by dead skin cells that clog pores and trap bacteria", says Dr. Diane Wong.

By Christina Caicedo

Breakouts Acne on your face or body can make you feel like one of Monet's paintings – meant for admiring from afar, not close-up.

THE CAUSE: “Acne is caused by dead skin cells that clog pores and trap bacteria," says Dr. Diane Wong, a cosmetic physician and the owner of Glow Medi Spa in Toronto. Hormones, an improper cleansing routine and heavy cosmetics can all be factors too.

THE SOLUTION: Wong recommends chemical peels (the most common ones use a glycolic acid solution). Applied for three to five minutes, the peel gently exfoliates and removes dead skin cells, which releases debris and oil from pores.

SIDE EFFECTS: Although there's no downtime, you may experience temporary redness and mild flaking.Your skin is more sensitive post-peel, so Wong recommends using SPF 30 sun block and temporarily avoiding products containing retinol or glycolic acid.

RESULTS: You should see an improvement in acne within one to two weeks after a peel. For best results, a series of treatments may be required.

COST: $ 100 - $175