We all have our go-to daily skincare routine. Whether you’re a dab hand with a cleansing brush, someone who likes to take their time with a lengthy regime, or you just give your face a once-over with a makeup wipe, you’ll usually know what works best to keep your skin looking in tip-top condition. But if you're prone to blemishes, you may have to switch up the rules.
Blemish-prone skin is a common condition that’s usually characterised by a combination of pesky blackheads, whiteheads and pus-filled spots. It can vary in severity from just a few spots on your face, back and chest to a more aggressive type – and we all know how spots can zap our self-confidence quicker than we can say ‘breakout’.
Luckily, there are things you can do to help yourself when a breakout rears its ugly head and makes your day/week/month/year more stressful. Along with diet changes (some people find that eating more veggies and/or cutting down on dairy or sugar helps), getting more sleep and keeping your face cloths and brushes super-clean (more on that here), there’s a simple routine that will help your skin glow and keep spots to a minimum.
Step one: Cleanse, cleanse, cleanse
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that we should all cleanse once, if not twice, a day – whatever your skin type. Whether you suffer with spots or not, it’s best to choose a gentle, creamy cleanser, which won’t strip your skin of its natural oils and acid mantles (our natural defence to breakout-causing bacteria and pathogens). The best way to apply it? To dry skin, letting it melt and break down any makeup, product or dirt on your face. Massage the cleanser into your skin for 30 seconds before rinsing with warm water.
Step two: Scrub away
Scrub your skin with a gentle acne-targeting scrub two or three times a week. Alternatively, add a pinch of baking soda to a pump of your cleanser to create a scrub. This will not only unclog and brighten the skin, but it’ll trick the bacteria on your skin by altering its pH, too.
Step three: Tone up
Using a toner after your cleanser will help to remove extra oil from the skin. A toner that contains salicylic acid will also help to fight blemishes, but be sparing with it. Using acids on sensitive, irritated or dry skin – which might have been caused by spot treatments – is a definite no-go.
Step four: Quench skin’s thirst
Many people with oily skin try to steer clear of moisturisers – but moisturising is essential. An oil-free moisturiser won’t trigger breakouts or aggravate spots and will help to restore the life to your skin that acne treatments and peels might have stripped away.
Step five: Keep it under control
As soon as you see the first sign of a breakout, a non-comedogenic (non-pore-blocking) spot treatment used sparingly can help to keep it under control.