Stress, hormones, a busy lifestyle. There are dozens of reasons why more women than ever
complain of spots well beyond their teenage years. Stop press! Blemishes are not the end of the world. They just mean your skin is going to need a little extra care. But hey, any excuse to shop. One
problem skin sufferer lays it bare for you…
Active ingredients without the sting
Most people would assume that when it comes to chemicals, the stronger the better for killing spots.
But often harsh potions can irritate the skin even more. Unlike buying a bargain lipstick, it’s worth investing in skin products that have just the right amount of active ingredients. Spotty and dry is not the desired result, so try something like Murad’s Blemish Spot Treatment (£18) – it contains a small but effective dose of salicylic acid so you get spots drying without skin drying too. The Blemish Spot Treatment also included in Murad’s Acne Complex Kit (£57 – main image) – pricey, I know, but it also contains a cleanser, exfoliator and moisturisng lotion and is clinically proven to reduce blemishes by up to 90% in 4 weeks.
Other brilliant “spot on” treatments containing salicylic acid include Mario Badescu’s Drying Lotion (£14.50) and organic spa brand Pevonia Botanica’s SpaTeen Blemish-B-Gone spot on stick (£19).
Mix it up
Sometimes – like if you work in central London and you walk past great history every day – you become so used to things, it’s like they’re not there anymore. They lose their effect on you. This is exactly the same for your skin, too. It will eventually become used to even the strongest of products. So don’t think rubbing harder will make that lotion penetrate more. The solution? If you have a set of staple cleansers or moisturisers, keep them on rotation every few weeks. Like that man you’ve got your eye on, keep your skin guessing. You’ll give the products just enough time to see the effects without wasting it on skin that isn’t taking any notice.
Wash your brushes
If you have problematic skin, the last thing you want to do is give it an excuse to misbehave. So keep your make up brushes free of any nasties that might set your face off on a spot spree. If you’re on a budget, try elf’s Daily Brush Cleanser followed by a weekly lather with its Brush Shampoo, £3.50 each (www.eyeslipsface.co.uk). Just lather up your brushes, rinse gently and leave to dry. They’ll be good to go the next time you need them, but without any surprises lurking in the bristles.
It may be tempting but picking at your spots will only exacerbate the problem as oil and germs from your hands are transferred to your face. We all know this. So avoid squeezing. And if you really can’t help it, keep your digits dirt free with a hand wipe or anti-bacterial gel. Carex Moisture Plus Hand Sanitizer (£1) kills germs but keeps skin smooth.
Use a clarifying toner
Acne and oily skin go and hand-in-hand and a clarifying toner, used twice a day, can remove dirt and excess oil that your cleanser has missed. A mattifying layer left on your skin prevents excess shine from forming throughout the day (tiny powdery particles in the toner). Estee Lauder’s Sparkling Clean Mattifying Oil Control Lotion (£19.50) is particularly good.
Always remove your make-up
We are all guilty of forgetting to remove our make-up, now and again, but it really can lead to a breakout of spots as dirt clogs the pores. If you are very tired and don’t have time to do the whole 3-step routine, invest in some make-up remover pads such as Johnson’s Daily Essentials Gentle Eye Make Up Removal pads (£3.05) which are great for a quick clean with no over-drying. Garnier’s Simply Essentials Comforting Cleansing Milk (£2.99) can be applied with a cotton pad to dissolve dirt in an instant.
Even oily skin types must moisturise to keep skin hydrated and protected. Lotions are lighter than creams and so will not cause your skin to produce more oil. Try something like Clinique’s 3-Step Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion (£27.00). Or, if you are on a budget, Boots Skin Clear Oil Free Mattifying Lotion (£3.05) will fight break outs as it soothes.
Drink plenty of water
One of the most natural and effective (and cheapest!) blemish obliterator’s is to drink plenty of water. Water will help clear out and detox your skin whilst keeping it hydrated. Just take a regular bottled water to the office to sip on and by home time you’ll feel the benefit. If plain water sounds boring, try Vita Coco Pure Coconut Water, a celebrity favourite for skin-loving nutrients. Or apply the hydrating power of water directly with Eau Thermal Avene Water Spray (£6.50) to perk up flagging skin in an instant.
Get some Sunlight
Stress can be a big contributor to the production of spot causing sebum. The body can show external signs of when life has become a little too much. So although it sounds obvious, taking some time out is important every once in a while. We all know that UV rays cause wrinkles, but for happy skin, you need Vitamin D – the result of a little bit of sunlight. So forget your worries, get out and enjoy yourself. Just be vigilant and go armed with a high SPF.
Finally, an odd one
Yes it’s odd – but not just one for nappy rash, Sudocrem is a miracle-worker for blemishes. Smooth on a thin layer before bed and let it work its magic overnight. Just make sure you’re sleeping alone!