Acne is quite a big *thing* at the moment. It’s not the fact that it’s effecting more of us, but it’s just being talked about more and it’s not such an embarrassing topic as it once seemed. The first thing that springs to mind was the though-provoking and powerful video from Em Ford / My Pale skin which showcased the horrific comments and bad education about acne whether it being teen or adult…and from this and other features and articles I have seen recently, people are becoming a little more open to admitting they suffer and showing more understanding towards those that do. Acne isn’t and shouldn’t ever be a dirty word.
I suffered from the age of 14-16ish and the struggle was real. You can read a little more about that here but I just wanted to show you a few products that I would really depend on, not necessarily through the Roaccutane treatments but for the actual acne in general. I spend probably thousands of pounds over the years of flitting from skincare brand to skincare brand, hoping that what they were saying was really true…..full regimes from Clinique, Dr Sebagh, Eve Lom, Clearasil (!), The Body shop, Origins and many more were tried and tested and often didn’t deliver. I have found that even now when I have bad breakouts, it’s simply a case of using the products that just work for you and your skin. It is so different for everyone. I had to treat my acne through prescribed medication, but there were and still are some key stand-out products that saw me through the dark times and I still keep handy for those breakouts I still get now.
1. Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage. Paired with a good foundation, a couple of them included here, this helps give me flawless skin when there are a lot of flaws, redness, scarring and blemishes. It’s an infamous concealer, used by makeup artists everywhere and the 2-tone allows you to custom blend it for different areas of the face. Highly pigmented and matte so you only need a touch to hide blemishes.
TIP: Stay well clear of light-reflecting concealers for blemishes and also oil-based ones.
2. REN Clear Calm. A fresh, lightweight gel-cream for daily hydration. Contains natural extracts of Japanese licorice, alpha linoleic acid and essential oils of lavender, chamomile and sage which help replenish and hydrate the skin whilst also combating breakouts and excess sebum production.
3. Cane + Austin Acne pads. A
daily swipe of skin-saving, acne-treating and brightening ingredients. To be used instead of a toner, these pre-soaked pads are really efficient on a breakout skin and I have used these on and off for many years. If there is one thing about having an oily skin is that it feels like it’s never clean….these give you that instant gratification and contains pharmaceutical grade salicylic and glycolic to treat your skin. Pricey but each tub contains 60 pads and I tend to use them every other day to eek them out a bit longer. If treating small and targeted areas then you can also snip them in half with scissors.
4. La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo. If you crave a day (& night) cream that leaves your skin matte, fresh with no residue whatsoever then this is the one for you. This treatment is all about unclogging pores and congested skin and like the REN clearcalm this hydrates and treats the skin for blemishes at the same time. I think you can feel like you don’t want anything on your skin when you are oily but the right face cream with the right ingredients can be really beneficial.
5. Kate Somerville Detox Cleanser. Ok first up apologies to my UK readers as this isn’t readily available for you….although Sephora do international shipping! This was my absolute go-to AM cleanser and it ticks all the right boxes for a breakout and congested skin. This gel-based face wash contains a powerhouse of friendly acids including salicylic, glycolic & lactic acids to remove dead skin cells, clean pores, clarify, brighten and decongest. It also contains phytic acid which works to fade a post-acne scarring (clever), tea tree which acts as an anti-bacterial and also aloe vera which soothes and reduces redness.
6. Malin + Goetz 10% Sulfur Paste
(formally called acne treatment) This is an on-the-spot blemish treatment, best left overnight for targeted and a high strength treatment. This synthesises sulfur to address blemishes and oil production. Also contains organic zinc oxide which helps improve skin health & clarity.
TIP: Do not shake, this product should be separated in the jar and use a cotton bud to dip straight into the lower layer and apply straight onto blemishes. Is like a drying lotion so not to be used all over the skin/face.
7. GlamGlow Supermud clearing mask.
This is a great once-a-week deep cleansing mask. Made with Kaolin clay to detox and draw out impurities, and salicylic and lactic acids to deep cleanse this mask will dry on the skin and you will be left with little black dots all over the face where grime has been drawn out of the pores. AMAZING! Full review here.
8. Estee Lauder Double Wear Maximum Cover.
This was and is my absolute go-to when I needed a really full coverage without my skin feeling gross and cakey. Has a 12-hour wear and never irritates or causes me flare ups. They have recently reduced the shades from this range but I think 8 are still available. Check out my full (and really old!) review of them here. PSSSSTT A favourite of Charlotte Tilbury.
9. BareMinerals Blemish Remedy. This is relatively new but is a perfect foundation for when you don’t want anything heavy on the skin. This is an all-natural mineral (loose powder) foundation that won’t clog the pores, feels super lightweight and like you have nothing on but gives a decent coverage. Will also lightly treat the skin as you wear it as it contains tea tree & aspen bark to promote blemish-free skin. Full review here.
10. La Roche Posay Serozinc. Ok this was a last minute addition, hence why it’s not in my pretty picture up above but it just HAS to be included. A zinc sulphate solution that soothes and purifies any skin surface irritations. Use it under your skincare/serum to treat the skin or apply over your makeup during the day to give an instant cooling and soothing feel to the skin. Anti-inflammatory heaven in one spray.
Remember not to be over-zealous with your attack on acne and blemishes…confusing your skin with 25 products a day is not the answer. Try and test things, keep it simple and stick to a routine that works for you….even if it’s super basic. Cleansing is fundamental and the rest you just need to custom and see how your skin responds. It can be a lengthy and tiresome process but once you have find the right beauty products and skincare that help it is really worth it!
If you have any acne questions then please fire away, I’m always happy to help.