After making it through my teens relatively unscathed, and ever so slightly smug if I’m really honest, I developed adult acne. Since my mid 20s I have used every single acne-fixing product on the market including astringents, creams, gels, toothpaste (yes really), lotions, liquids, sunbeds (not recommended) and anything else I could get my hands on, with very limited success. For years I turned to prescription medication to keep my acne at bay and that worked relatively well…until the day came when my GP said enough was enough and I wouldn’t be able to take the medication any longer. After weeping into my pillow for several nights after my skin practically exploded at the very thought of it, I set about working out what I needed to keep on top of things. And here’s what I’ve found…
Tip 1 – Remove Makeup: Now this one is not rocket science and it’s something I have generally always done. Always always ALWAYS remove your makeup thoroughly. Every. Single. Night. No excuses! I double cleanse with an oil cleanser, I love the Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil and the DHC Deep Cleansing Oil when I am feeling a little more indulgent. I follow this with a face wash to get rid of the oily residue, the Boots Simply Sensitive Foaming Cleansing Wash (not pictured – the one pictured is not available to buy in the UK) is cheap and cheerful and does the job well enough. The slightly stripping nature of the foam does not bother me as I follow pretty quickly with my skin care routine.
Tip 2 – Liquid Exfoliation: I use a BHA (beta hydroxy acid) liquid daily every evening after removing my makeup to provide overnight liquid exfoliation and to shrink my enlarged pores. It’s oil soluble so gets right into those pores and clears them out. I love love LOVE the Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid which is perfect for my oily combo skin (note it contains salicylic acid). I actually think this is one of the products that has been a total game changer in my skincare routine. It has helped to improve the texture of my skin, so much so that I seriously want to shout it from the roof tops! Once my skin is dry I splash a little into my (clean) hands and pat it over my face and neck and leave it to dry before continuing with the rest of my routine.
Tip 3 – Treat: On those days when my skin is breaking out I will use benzoyl peroxide 10% gel as part of my evening skincare routine, after the BHA has dried, but on problem areas only. If you have never used it before definitely don’t start with the 10% concentration as your skin will hate you for it! Make sure you moisturise really really REALLY well once it has dried or you risk turning your skin into a tight,dry, flaky mess.
Tip 4 – Moisturise: Once the benzoyl peroxide has dried I use a facial oil as part of my evening skin care routine, concentrating it on the drier areas of my face like my cheeks and also my jawline and neck. These are usually the areas where my acne breaks out so it works well. If I don’t use a facial oil I notice a big difference with the texture of my skin and with my acne breakouts. I don’t know why it works, but it does! The Body Shop Vitamin E Overnight Serum-in-Oil is a real gem and a couple of drops is all you need. If I am feeling super dry I also slap on a basic moisturiser such as Embryolisse or SteamCream. This adds the extra moisture I need. Acne-prone skin needs oil and moisture…don’t skip it!
Tip 5 – Brighten: The following morning, if I am having a really bad skin day I will use First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads containing lactic and glycolic acids to brighten, tone and give an added gentle liquid exfoliation to my skin.
Tips 1, 2 & 4 are part of my essential skin care routine and I add in tips 3 & 5 only when necessary. It might seem like a lot but it keeps my skin looking and feeling good to the point where people are quite surprised when I tell them I have acne. Result!