It’s time for the breakout breakdown to help keep your skin in the clear
Spots, breakouts, pimples, zits – whatever you call them, we all get them from time-to-time. Annoyingly, they seem to have a sneaky habit of showing up on the days you could really do without them making an appearance. A bad skin day can knock your confidence and make you feel less than your best. Fear not, we’ve gathered together a few common spot triggers and our top tips for clearing the stubborn so and sos.
What can cause spots?
Not taking your make-up off before bed
Leaving your make-up on overnight is the ultimate beauty sin and really won’t help keep breakouts at bay. The idea of beauty sleep isn’t a myth. Your skin works its magic at night, repairing and regenerating. If you miss out on cleansing, your make-up can mix with the day’s dirt and oil that has built up on your skin, leading to clogged pores. Even if you're super tired, make the effort to cleanse your face before you hit the hay, to help keep spots at bay.
Dirty make-up brushes
OK, be honest. When was the last time you cleaned your make-up brushes? If you can’t quite remember the original colour of the bristles, it’s definitely time to show your tools of the trade a little TLC. Without a good scrub, old make-up, oil and dirt will pile up and become a breeding ground for bacteria which can lead to spots. Aim to wash your brushes regularly with a gentle soap to keep them clean. Not only will it help to keep your skin happy, but clean brushes will also improve application to give you the flawless look you’re going for.
Squeezing and picking your spots
Prodding and poking at your spots is a definite no-go, yet the temptation is still so real. We totally get it. Who doesn’t get that terrible urge to pick and scratch when a pesky pimple appears, out of nowhere, and you need it gone? As much as you might want to, squeezing your spots won’t do you any favours. It can cause scarring and lead to an infection.
If you often have breakouts on your chin or jawline around that time of the month, your hormones probably have something to do with the uninvited visitors on your face. Hormone levels change during the menstrual cycle and can overstimulate your skin’s oil glands and cause a flare up. Don’t try to pop those annoying chin spots. Seriously, you won’t win.
Top tips to help keep your skin happy
Stick to a regular cleansing routine
No matter what your skin type, cleansing your face twice a day can help stabilise the natural oil production. Opt for lukewarm water rather than very hot or cold and avoid washing your face more than twice a day. We all have very different skin, whether it’s oily, dry, combination or sensitive, it’s super important to experiment and find a cleanser that’s just right for you. Whether it’s a lightweight gel, a cream cleanser or a lightweight nourishing oil, there’s a cleanser out there for everyone.
Mind your make-up
When your skin is acting up, although you know it’s important to let your skin breathe, you’re likely to grab your foundation and concealer and do your best to cover those bad boys up. Hold fire girl. Instead of throwing every product in your make-up bag at your face, try to avoid piling on too much make-up and check your products are ‘non-comedogenic’. This fancy term simply means they don’t contain certain ingredients that can block pores and irritate your skin.
Exfoliate at least once a week
Exfoliating regularly helps remove dead skin cells from the skin’s surface. There are many different types of exfoliants. Whether you opt for physical, chemical or enzymatic, the right exfoliator will help to unclog pores, smooth skin’s texture and reveal a brighter complexion. Be careful though, as going overboard with exfoliation can leave you with dry and irritated skin and cause more damage than good. Incorporating face masks into your weekly routine is another fab way to help minimise and prevent breakouts.
These skincare tips are for those who have an occasional breakout every now and then. If you have a number of red, swollen and painful spots, you may have acne. Your GP or pharmacist will be able to chat through your treatment options with you.