THE ANTI-BLEMISH SKINCARE KIT
Better skin, on a budget.
We’ve all had those days that would have been better without blemishes, in fact any day is better without blemishes. Whether it’s acne, hormonal breakouts, diet related or just that time of the month, spots and blemishes come in all shapes and sizes, but don’t have to ruin your day (or week) if you don’t let them.
When I was in school I had terrible skin; right up until I was twenty-one/twenty-two I suffered with breakouts on a regular and nearly daily basis. I got very interested in skincare and cleaning up my routines, as well as looking at how diet (especially dairy in my case) can effect your skin, acne and breakouts.
Through a combination of eating cleaner, changing the type of skincare products I looked for (sensitive instead of magnifying) and investing higher quality and lightweight beauty products, I managed to get my skin under control.
I still have days and weeks when I get breakouts, the difference now though is that I know what products to have on hand to keep my breakouts under control and to heal blemishes quickly without stress.
Today I’d like to share with you my ‘anti-blemish skincare kit’ and show you that great skincare doesn’t have to break the bank. I will also be sharing some top tips on how to prevent breakouts, and how to understand what might be causing them in your life.
Starting with clean skin is so important when it comes to treating and preventing breakouts. You want to find a cleanser that removes makeup and dirt without being too harsh on the skin. The natural instinct might be to get in there and scrub those breakout zones, but this will only irritate the skin and slow the healing. Go for a gentle cleanse always.
Blocked pores are often the cause of breakouts, and dead skin can sometimes cause those blockages. Also, in the healing process of spots, removing the dead skin will help reduce the appearance of red marks and bumps quicker. A peeling treatment is perfect because it works to lift and remove the dead skin cells from the new skin without being abrasive.
Sometimes we get those spots that don’t come to a head quickly, and need a little helping hand drawing out the infection or blockage. Detox masks, especially ones with charcoal, are great at doing this even on sensitive skin. They will leave your whole face feeling refreshed and thoroughly cleansed.
I tend to choose a peeling treatment over a scrub most days, but sometimes (once or twice a month), I feel the need for something that will really work into my skin, remove marks and build up, and leave it softer. Rather than a scrub, I like to use an exfoliating clay mask for this; you get the detoxifying benefits of the clay, followed by a gentle exfoliation as you wash it off. Using a muslin cloth to wash off the mask will make the exfoliation even more effective.
I used to always go for moisturisers that marketed themselves as ‘mattifying’ or ‘anti-blemish’, but I learned the hard way that moisturisers should by for hydrating your skin not drying it out, as obvious as that may sound. Look for a very gentle and lightweight moisturiser, something that will hydrate, nourish and sooth your skin without creating excess oils. This will help your skin to heal, and prevent more breakouts.
Hands up if you’ve ever treated a breakout with toothpaste? We’ve all been there, and while it can be effective, toothpaste is for teeth, not skin. Instead of trying to cure your spots with old hacks or mattifying moisturisers, look for a targeted treatment that you can use directly on the affected area. These treatments help draw out infections quickly, and speed the healing process so you’re not left with red marks.
£67.78 (£1.30 per week for one year)
€91.28 (€1.76 per week for one year)
1. Think about what you eat. One of the things that made the biggest difference for me and my skin was cutting out as much dairy from my diet as I could; I switched to soya yoghurts and milk and try to avoid large amounts of cheese as much as possible. Cow’s milk has hormones in it intended for the baby cow’s growth, and while these hormones don’t have any effect on some people, they can cause hormonal imbalances (which result in breakouts and acne) in many people. Try cutting out dairy for one month and see if it makes a difference in your skin.
2. Clean your brushes and sponges. Dirty makeup brushes and sponges are loaded with bacteria which can cause infections and blockages. It doesn’t take a lot of effort to clean the brushes you use everyday at least once a week, but it will make a huge difference on your skin.
3. Check expiry dates. Makeup and skincare products have a shelf-life and expiry dates just like food. Check your products regularly and throw out anything that’s been open too long. It also helps to store your products properly too, preferably in a dark, cool and dry place like a cupboard or drawer.
4. Don’t touch! I know how tempting it is to poke, prod and squeeze spots and blemishes, but your fingers and hands carry a lot of bacteria. Touching your face and your spots will only result in the spread of bacteria and ultimately more spots.
5. Drink plenty of water. Water helps heal everything, it makes up a huge amount of what you are made of. Drinking enough water everyday really has an impact on your skin; it helps flush out toxins in the body and this means cleaner, healthier looking skin that heals faster. It’s also important to make sure you are getting enough of thevitamins and minerals that promote and aid healing in the skin such as vitamin A and E.