Recently we’ve had a lot of questions in our Skin Tip Tuesday around problem, pimply and acne prone skin. So, we’ve put together some helpful advice and things to remember - it’s not rocket science, just a bit of informed common sense and isn’t intended to replace medical advice but it will remind us all of the do’s and don'ts with our skin routines.
Hands up who has had their confidence knocked by a horrible breakout? Isn’t it torture? It could be a problem pimple, full blown acne or combination skin that’s giving you trouble but it’s something nobody wants to deal with.
Unfortunately it’s a problem that many of us face, from teenagers, to new mums and unsuspecting adults. Stress and hormones (fun eh?), play a huge part in our skin, particularly during menstruation which throws our hormones out of sync and cause breakouts and inflammation.
The main causes of acne are:
- skin oil
- acne-causing bacteria on the skin
- sticky skin cells blocking your pores
Too much sebum and dead skin cells can clog pores and trap bacteria inside. The germs thrive and acne starts. It can show up as whiteheads, blackheads, and pimples.
Fear not! There are things that you can do to help reduce the horrible presence of acne and in general to get great skin.
And guess what? It all starts with getting a really good skincare routine!
The right routine starts with knowing what kind of skin you have. We all like to think that we are ageless but developing a good skin routine as a teenager will help us keep good habits as we get older. When you know your skin type then you'll know how to take care of it!
- Dry skin is flaky, scaly, or rough.
- Oily skin is shiny, greasy, and may have big pores.
- Combination skin is dry in some spots (cheeks) and oily in others (forehead, nose, and chin).
- Sensitive skin may sting, burn, or itch after you use some makeup or other products.
- Normal skin is balanced, clear, and not sensitive.
Your Skin Routine
- Cleanse your face
Giving your skin a deep cleanse once or twice a week is really important no matter what your skin type. It thoroughly cleanses your skin of all dirt and impurities and also helps to invigorate your skin and encourage new cell growth
Wash your face twice daily to remove impurities, dead skin cells and extra oil from your skin’s surface. You don’t have to cleanse twice a day - you can wash it in the morning with lukewarm water and cleanse at nightime to remove make-up and dirt from the day.
If you have normal or combination skin then apply a gentle cleanser with your fingertips and don’t scrub your face. Use warm water and avoid scrubbing your skin harshly but gently wash it with a soft cloth and remember to wash your face cloths regularly. Make sure your cleanser doesn’t have any alcohol, soap, acid or fragrance which can hurt the already inflamed skin - remember the aim is to work with your skin not against it.
An oil cleanser like our blends of omega rich Absolute Cleansing Oil are high in antioxidants which prevents the oxidation of the skin’s sebum so this will help significantly reduce breakouts!
To Oil Cleanse we recommend you:
- Dampen your face with a splash of water
- Pump 1-2 pumps of oil into your hand & rub together to warm
- Smooth over your face and begin massaging. Take your time & focus on problem areas
- You want the oil to work into your pores
- Soak your face cloth in warm water and wipe the oil gently away. Rince the washcloth in warm running water and repeat! Impurities, dead skin cells, and bacteria will be gently swept away.
- Follow with a moisturiser as appropriate.
Exfoliation is really important for all skin types to keep our pores clean and skin smooth but it’s also important to not over do it. Exfoliate only once or twice a week using a relatively gentle product (especially if you have sensitive skin) - don’t scrub the face, a gentle fingertip massage action is all you should need with a good product.
An over the counter acne product containing salicylic acid will remove dead skin cells that clog pores and reduce inflammation. They can be really helpful to stop scarring but start with a small amount as they may cause drying or peeling to start.
Avoid comedogenic (oils that will clog the pores), oils in your products like Cocoa Butter, Coconut Butter, Coconut Oil, Flax Seed Oil, Linseed Oil, Palm Oil and Wheat Germ Oil. Remember, the more natural the product, the happier your face will be.
Our 24hr Rosehip Serum would be really helpful after cleansing and exfoliating. It’s anti - inflammatory properties will help reduce the signs of redness and irritation on the skin.
All skin requires hydration but especially it’s important for acne prone skin. If there is insufficient moisture then the pores may clog and induce a breakout. Also topical acne products can cause dryness or peeling so this can be combated with a good moisturiser.
Apply your moisturiser while your skin is still damp from working and this will help seal in moisture. If the skin begins to feel tight, reapplying moisturiser midday will help to improve skin hydration. Use a moisturiser that has soothing agents that will also help reduce inflammation.
Tips to remember!
- Use make-up sparingly
We know it’s not easy but during a breakout avoid wearing foundation, powder or blush. If you do wear make-up then make sure it’s well cleansed off at the end of the day. If possible, choose oil-free cosmetics without added dyes and chemicals. Look for makeup that's water-based and not oil-based.
- Keep hands off your face
This is probably the hardest thing to do but you should avoid touching your face where possible and wash your hands before you touch your face if you can. This will avoid the spread of bacteria that irritates already inflamed skin. Never pick or pop pimples with your fingers as it can lead to infection or scarring and the last thing you want is a constant reminder!
- Feed your skin
Add more fruit, veg and whole grains into your diet. Dairy products and food high in processed sugar may trigger acne and you’ll feel a lot better on the inside too! Choose lean proteins like chicken, fish, lean meat, beans, and eggs. Avoid foods that are high in cholesterol, trans fats, saturated fats, salt, and sugar.
Get plenty of sleep to avoid dark circles, fine lines, dull skin, and other side effects of bad rest. Relax! Even stress can make you break out. And stay hydrated.
If you’re a teenager who is prone to sweating or an adult that exercises then try and cleanse after your workout as sweat can clog our pores and make us breakout.
Stress is a huge contributor to breakouts! When you stress, you release cortisol into your body, which is the stress hormone that comes from your adrenal gland. It acts as an oil producer in its function to help deal with stress, but can also produce pimples and acne. Let’s face it - we can’t avoid stress but we can manage it with exercise, meditation, eating well and some down time. Ask what’s making you stressed and then look for solutions!
The sun’s ultraviolet rays can increase inflammation and redness and can cause dark discoloration called hyperpigmentation. Apply a broad spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or more and look for “noncomedogenic,” on the label to make new pimples less likely.
Don’t use other peoples make-up brushes or skincare products as you want to avoid cross- contamination. Teenagers I know, are always swapping clothes and make up so make sure they don’t overlook this. It’s something simple they can change.
It takes time for changes to take affect and to undo bad habits etc but keep with it. A good routine will never steer you wrong!
If you've tried all of the above and nothing is helping then please get some medical advice. Prescription medication can and does help many people with hard to treat acne and should not be ignored. Feeling confident in your skin, either as a teenager or an adult is so important so don’t suffer in silence!