Breakouts catch the best of us out from time-to-time, with rogue spots and/or areas of adult acne appearing from seemingly nowhere. Others are challenged with acne on a longer term. But fear not, as whichever camp you sit in we have a plan to help.
Acne comes in various guises and from various causes, so whether it be hormonal, diet-related or a broader skin-type issue, there is help at hand so do not panic. Something we’re admiring a lot at the moment is some of our partner brands using models with breakouts on their photoshoots. This helps to normalise the issue and showcase ‘real people’. We all get breakouts at times so let's support our sisters and embrace our natural complexions, and they’re foibles.
How to Deal with Occasional Breakouts
For on-the-spot treatments, the key is to try and not dry the spot out. When you do, the skin around the breakout will produce more sebum (oil) to counteract the dryness, and can make the situation worse. Instead, try to maintain hydration while tackling the breakout with some spot neutralising ingredients.
Salicylic Acid, a beta hydroxy acid (BHA) that occurs naturally in plants such as willowbank, is incredible at clearing spots as an on-the-spot treatment. It exfoliates the skin cells on the surface of the spot to expose it and loosen stubborn blockages. What’s more, Salicylic Acid also carries anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties helping to destroy the nasties which cause breakouts and reduce any redness often experienced around the circumference of the spot. Salicylic Acid is particularly beneficial as it has a large molecular size meaning it sits on the skin for longer as it’s more difficult for the skin to absorb, this means that it works for longer than skin acids with a smaller molecular structure.
Products Featuring Salicylic Acid:
Concentration: 2% Salicylic Acid, anhydrous solution (water-free).
This is all the rage with the instagrammers at the moment and we can see exactly why. It’s a first of kind oil-based acne eraser. Using oil to treat acne may sound counterintuitive but looping-back to our earlier point about maintaining hydration when tackling breakouts, the oil in Votary Blemish Rescue Oil softens and conditions the skin preventing further sebum production ensuring the desired result is achieved post-use.
Concentration: 2%, anhydrous solution (water-free).
Water-free, alcohol-free and squalene-based, The Ordinary Salicylic 2% Anhydrous Solution nibbles-away at spots while hydrating and conditioning the skin. This lightweight serums sinks into the pores and loosens the bond between sebaceous filaments (aka. blackheads) helping to lift them from within the pores as you cleanse your face. Salicylic 2% Anhydrous Solution is applied directly to breakouts or areas of congestion after cleansing. Allow the serum a minute to two to start to work its magic before following with the rest of your skin care regime.
Hydrous solution (contains water).
Aesop Control uses a combination of salicylic acid, niacinamide (our second favourite breakout-busting ingredient!) and witch hazel to naturally clear spots. The skin soothing action this time around comes from Aloe Vera Leaf Juice and Lactic Acid. The latter, while still an exfoliating skin acid, also brings hydration with it making it a win-win addition to Control. The bonus with Aesop Control is that it sits perfectly well under make-up while maintaining a shield of spot-fighting goodness all-day-long.
How to Deal with Persistent Spots and Breakouts
The key with more widespread and ongoing acne is getting to the root cause of the issue. While you try to establish the cause of your breakouts, there’s a few steps your can take to try to limit the risk of the issue worsening.
Ensure that you’re drinking enough water.
When you get dehydrated your body will draw moisture from the skin to redistribute to more essential areas of the body. When this happens, the skin over-compensates by producing more oil (sebum) and this can clog the pores and cause breakouts. Sip the recommended amount of water throughout the day to keep yourself, and your skin, perfectly hydrated. Keep your skin clean This may sound obvious but it’s absolutely essential.
Cleanse your skin morning and night to keep your complexion free of nasties and the potential for your pores to become clogged with daily build-up.
Use a cleanser which suits your skin type and doesn’t dry your complexion out. Try Biretix Cleanser; It’s infused with Piroctone Olamine to combat fungal contamination and aloe vera extract to soothe the complexion. Biretix Cleanser works by disrupting the production cycle of acne formation and comes clinically proven to reduce the onset of spots and breakouts.
Change your pillowcase regularly.
Your face spends more time in contact with your pillowcase that it does anything else. Pillow cases can harbour a plethora of acne causing nasties; facial oil, bacteria, make-up, you name it, it if it’s on your face then it’s likely on your pillow case, too. Always cleanse your skin before heading off to bed and ensure that your pillow case is regularly laundered.