We’re targeting your most troublesome skin concerns, starting with acne. Whether your breakouts are hormonal, cystic or otherwise, stubborn acne can pose as much of a threat to your confidence as it does to your complexion. And, while there’s not always a miracle cure, there are steps you can take to minimise irritation and even prevent future flare-ups. To help you find a path that could banish your blemishes for good, we’ve called in the experts to get under the skin of your acne woes.
Find Your FormulaThere’s no carbon cut-out cure for acne but, by looking out for key acne-fighting ingredients – like salicylic acid, long lauded for its spot-zapping powers, and AHAs, which boost cell renewal without disrupting the skin’s surface – you could find your ‘holy grail’ solution. Because we all respond to products differently, tailoring your regime is crucial. We asked our experts to share their personal acne-proofing procedures:
“For those prone to breakouts, proper cleansing and toning is essential to achieving clear skin. Use Skin Laundry’s salicylic acid-based Clarifying Medicated Foaming Facial Wash in the morning for a deep cleanse followed by our signature Clarifying Toner to reduce inflammation, infuse protective antioxidants and balance the skin’s pH. In the evening, use a Purifying Cleansing Cloth to remove bacteria, daily grime, and makeup; actives in the cloths address acne while simultaneously soothing your skin.”
“I struggled throughout my twenties with hormonal acne. Angry, cystic spots (you know, the ones that live under the skin taunting you) along my jawline. Topically, I made some big changes. I visited Kate Kerr, a London-based facialist, who told me in no uncertain terms to ditch oil from my routine. Now, I am dedicated to using Vitamin C serum and SPF daily and retinol most nights to speed up skin cell turnover – crucial for anyone who suffers with clogged pores and spots. Daily peels (liquid exfoliators with AHA) feature a lot. I soak a pad with Ren Ready Steady Glow Daily AHA Tonic or Pixi Glow Tonic and swipe it over my skin post-cleanse. Hyaluronic acid serums factor daily now post-peel to prevent dehydration—look out for anything that is lightweight and hydrating. Of course, I still get the occasional spot and, for this, I always keep Mario Badescu Drying Lotion in my bathroom.”
On OilsWhile pore-clogging oils – and yes, this includes coconut oil and cocoa butter – present in makeup and skincare should be avoided by anyone prone to breakouts, non-comedogenic plant oils can actually be beneficial for acne-prone complexions. Leading the way in the oil-based skin care revolution and changing the way we treat acne is makeup artist and Votary founder, Arabella Preston:
“Because natural plant oils have an affinity with the skin they don't sit on the surface and clog pores, making them ideal for blemish prone skin. It's obviously important to keep blemish prone skin really clean but without ever drying it out: Votary Clarifying Cleansing Oil is ideal for this purpose.”
“Not only does a natural oil routine help prevent blemishes but it also can prevent scarring. Acne-aggravated skin is damaged skin so healing should be a vital part of the process. Massaging a drop of Votary Blemish Rescue Oil into an existing spot will speed up the recovery time dramatically and help reduce the likelihood of permanent scarring.”
Food for ThoughtTreating acne is as much about nutrition as it is about skin care. While a diet heavy in refined carbohydrates and saturated fats may exacerbate problem skin, foods like antioxidant-rich berries, metabolism-boosting dark leafy greens, oily fish for Omega-3 fatty acids and nuts – packed with zinc and infection-fighting selenium – could deliver a better deal for the acne-prone. For many, cutting back on dairy has been linked to improvements but, for anyone not ready to cast the lattes aside, there could be a surprising alternative….
“One night, when I was at the end of my tether, I found myself in a Google black hole searching for any kind of answer (sound familiar?), when I stumbled across studies showing that skimmed milk has been linked to acne. Apparently, the fat in milk protects us from the hormones in cow’s milk. Switching my morning skinny Americano to full fat was the first change I made and, surprisingly, it made a visible difference in days—my skin felt and looked less angry.”
The BoostTo power-up your efforts, consider an in-office treatment that works in combination with skin care and lifestyle factors for long-term results. While breakouts post-facial often accompany the detoxification process, particularly angry blemishes could spell irritation. Finding a facial that won’t aggravate your acne is vital and, developed in response to founder Yen Reis’ skin struggles, Skin Laundry’s cult Laser & Light Facial is one such option we can rely on.
"Laser and light (IPL) facial treatments provide significant benefit in the treatment of acne. The combination of these two devices: 1) kills acne causing bacteria which helps to significantly reduce inflammation, 2) vaporizes sebum and debris from the surface of the skin and within facial pores, 3) accelerates the process of cellular renewal, which helps clear marks and stains from the skin and softens acne scars, and 4) targets oil glands to reduce the production of oil and sebum."