There is nothing worse than waking up with a sprinkling of pimples on your face or having a last minute breakout just before a big event.
We all know that through maintaining a healthy lifestyle we can reduce the chance of unfortunate breakouts, but let’s face it, we all have to cope with stress, lack of sleep and a sugary treat once in a while.
What causes acne?
There are only a few things worse than acne. Ok, that’s an exaggeration, but for those who suffer with acne it really is a very frustrating and upsetting condition. Acne can leave behind significant psychological (stress, anxiety, depression) and physical (scarring) problems, and can stem from unbalanced hormones, menstruation, emotional stress and diet. Acne can effect self-esteem, mood and relationships, and one study actually links clear skin to a better quality of life.
American Academy of Dermatology says that acne is caused by the over-production of oil which clogs the pores and increases the bacteria on the skin’s surface.
Can your diet cause acne?
There have been studies that link acne to a Western diet, which is typically high in dairy, refined sugars and white carbs such as rice, pasta and white bread. It is especially believed that dairy can play havoc with those who suffer with hormonal acne, as the hormones in dairy can further unbalance hormone levels. A more balanced diet full of colourful fruit and vegetables could improve your skin and reduce the chance of breaking out.
How is acne treated?
To treat mild or severe acne doctors usually prescribe topical medications such as products containing salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, antibiotics and retinoids, but you can also purchase products yourself that aren't as strong but can still aid acne.
Some women with acne will benefit from taking the contraceptive pill, but all women react to birth control pills in different ways, so nothing in guaranteed.
What is the best face cleanser for acne-prone skin?
If you have acne-prone skin the last thing you want it to irritate it. When buying a face wash you don’t need to splash out on a super expensive one, as it only stays on your face for a few minutes a day. Look for one that says ‘mild’, ‘oil-free’ (as acne-prone skin is already too oily) and ‘non-comedogenic’ (non-pore clogging).
See below for the best products to use
What is the right way to wash your face?
Before you wash your face you should take off any makeup with an oil-based cleanser to ensure no makeup is left on the skin. You only need to wash your face twice a day with a gentle cleanser. Use warm water (not too hot as it may irritate the skin, and not too cold because it won’t clean the skin properly) and generously lather the cleanser in circular motions around the face with your fingers, focussing on the T-zone and the U-zone (jawline). Pat the face dry with a clean towel and apply moisturiser to the face, neck and chest.
Stay out of the sun
Getting a tan when you have spots may seem like a good idea because your spots become less visible when you are sun-kissed, however sun damage from UV rays will darken the marks left from a pimple, and cause hyperpigmentation and discolouration - a long lasting issue.
We’ve rounded up the best products you can buy today that will treat acne-prone skin
La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo[+], £15.50 from Boots
La Roche-Posay’s new anti-blemish cream is formulated to target oily, blemish-prone ski. it has become a cult product for beauty buffs who have raved about its magical ability to unclog pores, minimise imperfections and give the surface of the skin a smooth velvety finish.
Ant-blemish Solutions 3-Step System, £25 from Clinique
With hundreds of five star reviews, Clinique’s Cleansing Foam is a must-try for those with skin concerns. The soothing foam removes dirt and oil and reduces the look of redness leaving skin smooth and soft. As maintaining a routine aids acne, it's worth investing in the 3-step range to see quick results.
Murad Blemish Control 30 Day Kit, £35 from FeelUnique.com
With thousands of 5 star reviews we reckon this Murad Blemish Control Kit is the best way to nip acne in the bud in just 30 days. The powerful regime is said to deliver rapid results by clearing breakouts and smoothing skin and even promises to prevent future breakouts.
Mario Badescu Drying Lotion, £13 from Beauty Bay
This highly coveted skin elixir is not only surprisingly affordable but also promises to refresh and repair your complexion by clearing up and soothing whiteheads overnight. All Mario Badescu asks is that you dip a cotton swab into the pink sediment, dab on a pimple and wash off in the morning.
Vichy Normaderm Night Detox, £15 from Boots
Night-time is when skin suffers from an over-production of sebum, but Vichy’s Night Cream promises to control this and purify the skin, meaning that come morning, blemishes appear reduced and pores smaller.
Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser, £14 from Boots
Enriched with cocoa butter, rosemary, eucalyptus and chamomile this indulgent cream cleanses, soothes and moisturises. Used alongside Liz Earle’s pure cotton cloth, dead skin cells and daily grime are lifted away to reveal brighter looking skin.
Dermal Clay Cleanser, £28 from Dermalogica
Dermalogica's Clay Cleanser treats spots when used as a wash and as a face mask. It concentrates on the affected area and uses refreshing cucumber to leave you feeling rejuvenated.
Aesop Parsley Seed Anti-Oxidant Facial Toner, £45 from SPACE.NK.apothecary
Aesop is quickly becoming the favorite beauty product of the year because of the visible results. The parsley seed extract cleanses deep within the pores - exactly what you need for troublesome skin. Frequent use of this product will prevent future breakouts, and using this overnight won’t leave you feeling oily or clogged up the next morning.
Tea Tree and Witch Hazel Exfoliating Pads, £4.99 from Boots
Tea tree is the ultimate solution for all spot related issues, and for when you get those pimples in tricky places, such as in your ears or nostrils or even your hairline, using exfoliating pad are a great way to ensure you're properly cleansing you're whole face.
Origins Ginzing Energy Boosting Moisturiser, £24 from Selfridges
The most common places for acne and spots, particularly in the winter months, are your cheeks and jawline. To prevent this your skin must be well moisturized, and this Origins product is enriched with boosting ingredients to brighten your complexion. And it smells amazing.
Olay Hydration Balancing + Purifying Facial Cleanser, £2.99 from Superdrug
This facial cleanser is a new product from Olay. It contains aloe vera and cucumber extracts to help gently lift away make-up and dirt from the face without drying it out. This is a perfect face wash for acne-prone skin as it won't irritate the skin but will make it squeaky clean, which will prevent the chance of further breakouts.
Have you heard of face mapping? It's a great way to read your body's health and pin point exactly why you're breaking out. Read: Breakout Break-Down: What Is Causing Your Spots?
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