Blemishes – Do you have them?

Blemishes, spots, marks, I think we all get them. To be honest, there is probably no escape. Whether it’s a teenage breakout, an allergic reaction, a hormonal imbalance or even food related reaction, something is bound to pop up.

As a teenager, I have to say that I wasn’t plagued with spots constantly. I would call it mild acne. Every so often I would get a breakout, it would then die down but the marks post breakout would linger, for what felt like months.

To treat my spots I used to use both Benzoyl Peroxide and Niacinamide. I would swap these every so often because they were quite harsh treatments. It would often sting when I applied them to my spots. What didn’t help was that I was obsessed with using The Body Shop Tea Tree Toner to combat my oily blemish prone skin. I used it daily but it was also a product that stung my skin. I made the mistake of using it daily which probably made my skin worse. It was far too stripping and caused my skin create even more oil, and so the vicious cycle of spots began again.

These days my skin is a lot clearer. I only ever get hormonal breakouts every so often. I have actually not used much product to treat them. I just use a flannel, run it under hot water, pop it on the spots to open up the pores, then do the same but with cold water. This has been pretty much the only thing I’ve used for years now, until this month haha!

I had a massive breakout this month. I only usually get them on my forehead and around my nose. This time it was on my chin and cheeks which never ever happens. I haven’t even worked out what caused it. The tea tree toner came back out of my cabinet, this time used sparingly, and thus became the hunt for something to get rid of my outbreak.

I stripped back my whole skincare routine to find out it if it was a new product causing the spots to appear. I stopped using AHA toners daily and that seemed to make the biggest difference. Also La Roche-Posay’s Effaclar Duo+ really helped calm my skin down and of course I used La Roche-Posay’s Serozinc as my toner twice daily so soothe my skin.

Neutrogena’s Visibly Clear Light Therapy Targeted Acne Spot Treatment pen has been out since December, but I hadn’t taken much notice of it seeing as I didn’t have a big issue with spots at the time. It had recently featured by a lot of Youtubers and bloggers that I follow, so I decided to buy one to see what all the hype was about. I found that it reduced the size of spots, or even help them disappear altogether. The UV and chemical free pen produces 2 coloured lights.The blue light targets acne-causing bacteria and the red light reduces inflammation. The pen is perfect for occasional breakouts and the mask is for more regular treatments for multiple breakouts.

The trick is to catch them at the right time, just as you can feel them coming up to the surface of your skin and to also use the pen three times a day. The only downside to this particular product is that it is a little time consuming, You are required to hold the pen to each spot for 2 minutes. In the mornings, sometimes I just don’t have the time to treat a few spots.

For when I don’t have time to use the pen I either use The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Solution or the Kiehl’s Breakout Control Targeted Blemish Spot Treatment to dry out and reduce the appearance of the blemishes.

I’ve actually had trouble with finding products that help with marks post breakout. Introducing AHAs and BHAs back into my skincare routine has helped, my favourite at the moment being VIchy’s Idelia Peeling Care. It is very important that you remember to use sun protection when using any acid based products and retinols. They can increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun. I usually use either the Keihl’s Ultra Light Daily UV Defense or any of the La Roche-Posay Anthelios range.

I also picked up the Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution after watching reviews of the product and it actually works wonders on any marks. I’ve been using it for a week and I can definitely notice a reduction in dark marks on my skin. When my skin is spot free I also sometimes use a low concentration retinol to help improve the appearance of dark spots and as a preventative anti-ageing measure. I use The Ordinary Retinol 0.2% in Squalane.

My skin has been a lot clearer and brighter now that I have found the perfect combination of products to deal with those pesky blemishes. What do you use when you get a breakout?

 

Glossier Solutions – Review

Solution – Exfoliating Skin Perfector

As soon as the email popped into my inbox ‘Meet Solution” I was hooked. Within a minute it was added to my basket and I was ready to order it.

I am always on the hunt for chemical exfoliators. I use Pixi Glow Tonic daily as the first step after cleansing. With 5% Glycolic Acid it improves skin texture and brightens. My skin does not get on very well with physical exfoliators. I don’t really like using beaded creams all over my face, it feels too stripping and harsh for my sensitive skin. However, I have to say I do prefer gel or balm based exfoliators like Clinique Pep-Start Cleanser or Oskia Micro Exfoliating Balm on any super dry areas like around my nose.

I ordered some cotton pads as well, simply to get free shipping on the order. Haha! I mean it was a pretty extravagant purchase for £4 and only 60 pads, but they are actually very good quality.

Solution is designed to be used daily. It contains a combination of alpha hydroxy acids, beta hydroxy acids and polyhydroxy acids.

Lactic Acid – AHA
Glycolic Acid – AHA
Salicylic Acid – BHA
Gluconolactone – PHA

AHAs are designed to remove the top layers of dead skin cells and promote firmness by increasing the thickness of deeper layers of skin. It is water soluble so it’s suitable for normal/dry skin as it helps to hydrate and reduce blemishes and dark spots. It is also important to use sun protection daily whilst using AHAs as it can make your skin extra sensitive to sunlight. BHAs are oil soluble and work to improve skin surface and is designed to clear out pores, so it’s perfect for oily blemish prone skin. It is also suitable for sensitive skin as it’s a gentle exfoliant and has skin calming properties. PHAs help to brighten and smooth skin by promoting cell turnover. It also has antioxidant properties to protect exposure to UV rays and helps to reduce flare ups in conditions such as rosacea and dermatitis.

First lets talk about packaging. It comes in a plastic tear bag which I think is a little unnecessary. A waste of plastic for a bottled product. I do like the pump dispenser bottle though. It comes in handy to dispense just enough product to sweep across your face.

I used Solution daily for one week to see if it had any affect on my skin. It helped to improve skin tone and the smoothness of my skin. I was pretty impressed with results after only using the product for one week. But there is a downside to Solution. It leaves a sticky residue on my skin which I can’t stand. Even after using moisture sprays on top, my skin still feels tacky. It also broke me out. I don’t normally get blemishes on my cheeks, but after using it for 3 days, blemishes started appearing, especially on dry patches.

I think I will continue using Solution, but only on more oily areas, such as my t-zone and hopefully I can continue to see the benefits of a three acid combination product on my skin.