Hey beauties! So after many questions from friends and bloggers regarding skincare, I decided that this topic for a blog post would be perfect.
In November, I broke out worse than ever and started a 12 week course with the help of my doctor on treating it. So whilst hating my skin and not wanting anyone to see me in harsh lighting, I decided to try to find out what was causing my acne and how I could get rid of it for the most part.
After a loooot of reading on the internet, I’ve figured out what causes my spots, how i can control them and best of all, not completely stress and cry if my skin throws a tantrum. Ever since I haven’t been able to go about my beauty routine without my skincare products whilst constantly trying out new ones. I am finally happy with how clear my skin looks and it feels amazing, so I decided to share everything I’ve learnt with you dolls on how to get clearer skin and avoid acne as much as we can! Enjoy x
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Quick point: Acne can be due to clogged up pores, not enough oil/too much oil being produced, hormones or even how well our internal organs are working so always try to work out what’s causing your acne before jumping into treating it!
Tip #1: Befriend Salicylic acid
That may sound terrifying, but let’s start with what it is and what it does. Salicylic acid is used to treat acne, it targets the acne within your pores and skin cells whilst removing dead skin cells on the surface. Due to it being anti-inflammatory, it also reduces redness. You’ll find this ingredient in spot treatments (if it’s one worth buying) and the percentage you use really depends on the severity of your acne and blemishes. Percentages can range from around 0.5% to 2% and all of these are available over the counter however i’d recommend using this when it’s in a product.
I’m currently using the Neutrogena face wash cleanser which contains 2% Salicylic acid and has helped to keep my face pretty much spot free apart from the odd tiny blemish, however would probably be more effective in a leave on product such as a toner or moisturiser if you’re still treating acne as long as it’s not too harsh on the skin, but it does keep away and help get rid of giant spots (i swear, my face just used to brew mountains.)
Whereas Salicylic acid is particularly good for treating blackheads and pimples, Benzoyl acid is more commonly used to treat whiteheads to kill the bacteria within the pore however it can bleach clothing and percentages go up to 10% so be careful when choosing the percentage for your skin.
Tip #2: Cleanse your face after a shower
So since I’m quite lazy when it comes to washing my face, I would always cleanse or exfoliate whilst in the shower, ya know, since the waters already running and all. However, i never knew which order to do things, I was always questioning whether i should exfoliate before shampooing or cleansing after conditioning until one day I came across an article which made things as clear as a sunny day.
Now if you didn’t already know, acne along your hairline and forehead where my problem area was can be due to oil clogging up the skin and so washing grease away from the hairline regularly became essential. However, when you’re washing your hair, the shampoo and conditioner is most likely running down your face when you’re washing it away and at least touching it once and can get into your pores and clog them up even more leading to spots and blemishes.
Therefore cleansing after shampooing gets rid of all of that stuff we don’t want on our face, unclogging our pores making it less likely to get spots. And if you exfoliate, it’s definitely recommended to do it after cleansing since you don’t want to be massaging all of that bacteria back into your skin. Which cleansers and exfoliators are the best for keeping skin clear? I’ll get into that now…
Tip #3: Exfoliate – Microbeads and Microdermabrasion
Exfoliating and microdermabrasion both aim to get rid of the dead skin cells on the surface of your skin leaving you with a fresh, clean face. Microdermabrasion is a treatment done using tiny exfoliating crystals and is quite often a lot more expensive than an exfoliating scrub from the drugstore. If you have acne-prone skin, exfoliating twice a week with an oil-free exfoliator can definitely help clear up your skin and even if you have pretty much blemish-free skin, exfoliating once a week is definitely ideal to get rid of any flaky dead skin left on your face to give yourself smoother skin
Of course, you don’t want to be too harsh or abrasive when exfoliating as it can just irritate your skin more nor do you want to be scrubbing at your face too often so twice a week is more than enough, and you also want the microbeads in your exfoliator to really be as small as possible (think as small as grains of sand). If you use a brush, make sure to go in with a light hand and not press onto the skin but just gently work it along your face in circles.
For the past year, i have been using the Clean and Clear Oil-Free Exfoliating wash once a week and it leaves my skin so smooth!
Tip #4: Use comodogenic makeup and avoid harsh ingredients
When your skin is already clogged up, makeup can make it even worse however when you have a spot, all you want to do is cover it up. Since the majority of makeup products contain ingredients which are aren’t exactly pleasant or nice to your skin, this ends up being a terrible idea. Thankfully there are foundations and makeup products out there which are non-comodogenic and don’t contain oil so therefore won’t make your skin any worse (Maybelline, I love you). Also avoid using setting sprays for example which contain extremely harsh chemicals, and opt for ones which are less harsh, or even making your own is super easy! (Comment down below if you’d like to know how I made my own :-))
Tip #5: Toner
Many people completely don’t bother with toners or don’t see the point in them but for me it’s a staple in my skincare routine. Toners get rid of any dirt left on your face and depending on the ingredients can keep your skin looking youthful, amazing and best of all clear. Whether you wear makeup or not, you’re bound to be putting unnecessary dirt on your face whether it’s from your hands or even when you’re holding your phone up to your ear and it touches your face, and toners get rid of any traces of it left on your skin.
Even after cleansing twice, I still found some makeup or cleanser on the cotton pad which I’d dabbed with toner and ran across my face. I really believe everyone should have a toner, they make a difference! Rose water toners are amazing, as well as those with salicylic acid for clearing up skin or any of the good stuff I’ll get on to talking about now…
Tip #6: Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Vitamin C
Of course it’s good for you to ingest vitamins for our health but applying them directly to the face on your target areas works wonders too.
Vitamin A has been proven to reduce wrinkles and fine lines, help fade any dark spots and give you smoother, younger looking skin. You can find them in lotions, night creams or for a stronger dosage you can find it in prescription over the counter products.
Vitamin C is also amazing for anyone who is fighting the signs of aging by helping to firm and smooth your skins texture and can also help fade dark spots. For me, this has helped lighten my scars and helped balance out my skin tone
Vitamin E is amazing for restoring your skins natural moisture. It is also best for anyone who’s suffering from sunburn or serious sun exposure and should be applied before and after just like a sunblock to help protect your skin helping to reduce damage, so we can enjoy the sun all we want!
Tip #7: Essential oils we should all be using
This is definitely one of my favorite tips because i have recently fallen in love with oils and i put my clear skin down to the facial oils i use religiously every day and night now. Now for someone whose acne was caused by clogged up oils, the idea of putting extra oil on my skin made me cringe (I’m still a little terrified of putting it on my forehead in case i break out severely again) however after doing my research, i found that the answer to all of my problems whether it was dehydration, acne or acne scars, was oils! I’ll list my favourite couple of oils that are definitely amazing and i recommend to all of you to try at least one! (or carry on reading to find out how you can get them for a fraction of the price of one 😉
Rosehip Oil – This beauty has been on my wishlist foreverrrr but I just couldn’t bear the idea of paying £16 for an oil, however i definitely see this worth the money. It is full of vitamins such as Vitamin A, B, C and E and antioxidants which help fade dark spots, stretch marks or burns, reduce scars, itchy skin, fine lines (my laughter lines definitely aren’t as visible anymore, hallelujah), help hydrate and restore moisture to dry and sensitive skin or sun damaged skin and is basically just everything we all need in a bottle!
Jojoba Oil – I just find this so fun to say but also makes me so happy when I put it on my skin. It’s quite a light oil and mimics the oil our skin naturally produces called sebum, to stop our skin from producing anymore and therefore causing less acne due to less oil being clogged up. It’s amazing as a moisturizer but can also be used on your lips, as a makeup remover or a cleanser. Only two drops moisturized into the face can definitely help you to wake up with clearer, healthier and happier skin!
Superdrug’s Naturally Radiant range is definitely my new favourite, and their facial oil is “Enriched with a blend of natural oils – Rosehip, Jojoba Seed, Olive Fruit, Grapeseed and Apricot Kernel Oil to help soothe, moisturise and soften the skin” as well as Kiwi and Mulberry extracts which brighten up the skin giving you that glow from within. And the best part? It’s only £7.99 and trust me, it’s amazing! I don’t know how I did my skincare routine without it and the price for such amazing ingredients feels like a dream. This is definitely one of my holy grail products and I’ll be writing about the range soon!
Tip #8: Glycolic Peels and Face Masks
We all love to treat our skin and pamper ourselves but who actually has the time apart from every now and then? I’d heard about chemical peels in the past used by beauty influencers who had perfect skin and although it sounds daunting, I was so intrigued. I also don’t have the money to go to a specialist for one so when i realised that peels were available at drugstores, i couldn’t help but instantly pick one up!
The one I currently use is the Superdrug’s Naturally Radiant Glycolic Overnight Peel which is perfect as it’s like getting a facial whilst you’re asleep! It is said to contain a “unique energizing complex infused with Kiwi Fruit and Mulberry Extracts to help revive skin’s radiance and even out skin tone” as well as Glycolic Acid, a powerful Alpha Hydroxy (AHA) and a Fruit Acid blend which brightens and retexturises your skin. I’ve been using this for around 6 weeks and each time I wash it off in the morning, I’m still amazed by the results. My fine lines such as my laughter lines are now barely visible, my skin looks brighter as soon as I wash it off and my skin is so much smoother.
Face masks which contain vitamins are also amazing at helping to give your skin the boost and love it needs whether it’s face masks you wash off after ten minutes, deep cleansing masks, overnight melt-in masks or peels. I use a variety and it really does make a difference!
Tip #9: Drink plenty of water
Staying hydrated is key for both our insides and our skin on the outside. Dehydration can lead to break outs, your skin looking duller, your pores looking more obvious as well as headaches so keeping hydrated and looking after your insides can also help how your skin looks on the outside. I try to drink a glass of water with and in between each meal whilst cutting out the fizzy drinks (even though they’re so nice) and now I can’t go without at least two bottles of water a day. Your skin will thank you, trust me!
Tip #10: Love the skin you’re in
Acne and blemishes can really bring us down and make you not to want to look at yourself on the mirror sometimes but it’s important to remember that your acne doesn’t define you, try to love your skin and yourself and remember that you are all gorgeous inside and out ♥
I know that this was quite a lengthy post but thank you for reading and I really hope this has helped! Feel free to ask any questions and comment below or let me know on Twitter what your favourite skincare routine and products are 🙂
See you here soon,