Belfast Telegraph

How to successfully tackle problem skin

It’s embarrassing, it lowers your self-esteem and it can certainly crush your confidence. Yes, acne has a lot to answer for.

The belief that it is simply an unfortunate skin disorder only affecting teenagers is long gone. In fact, it is a terrible condition that can strike anyone at any time, including adults. So, let’s look at the main causes behind acne and blemish-prone skin and offer a few strategies and products to achieve a clearer complexion.

Over the years celebrities including Cameron Diaz, Alicia Keys and Jessica Simpson have suffered severe acne attacks, but each is testament to the fact it can be controlled through the right treatments.

Acne can strike at the most unexpected moments, even most confusingly when you might be taking new steps into your first anti-ageing routine. Adult acne stems from a multitude of different causes — the most common are hormonal imbalances or fluctuations, stress, excess sebum, medication or even using the wrong cosmetics. One thing’s certain, though — getting blackheads is an early sign that an acne breakout is imminent.

Because everyone’s skin type is different, finding the right acne treatment can be down to trial and error; what may work for some people may not work for others.

First, rule out what does and doesn’t work. Analyse your current skincare regime and the products you are using and make the necessary changes — oil-free, non-comedogenic products are still the best choice for problem skin.

Choosing the right cleanser is also extremely important when treating acne. Look for a product containing salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide, as these ingredients reduce inflammation as well as removing bacteria and dead skin cells.

Breakout Foaming Cleanser from Dr Sebagh deeply purifies the skin, removes stubborn make-up traces and regulates oil control without disturbing your skin's barrier function. It also contains oleanolic acid, which reduces excess sebum and can be washed off with water or simply wiped away. Avoid over-washing or scrubbing your face too hard, though, as this can exacerbate skin problems and do more harm than good.

A fantastic post-cleansing product for weekends away or a beach holiday is a tub of The Body Shop’s Tea Tree Facial Exfoliating Pads. These two-in-one blackhead exfoliating and skin-clearing pads include tamanu oil, lemon tea tree oil and Community Trade organic tea tree oil to help wipe away impurities and excess oil, leaving skin feeling tingly fresh.

While trying out new treatment products it’s very important that you do all you can to let them work to their full effect, so get rid of bad habits such as touching your face frequently or resting your face on your hands — these can be very detrimental when struggling with acne. It’s also vital to rinse off perspiration following exercise as soon as possible to avoid breakouts from clogged pores. Before applying a suitable day cream, opt for ReVive’s Acne Reparatif treatment gel from Space NK. This exclusive product cleverly combines anti-acne and anti-ageing ingredients, which work together to clear and prevent the development of new blemishes, as well as diminishing the appearance of enlarged pores.

Choose a day-and-night cream perfect for congested skin, such as Clinique’s Anti-Blemish Solutions Clearing Moisturiser, a lightweight and soothing formula that helps treat existing blemishes and prevent future break-outs. As the cream creates a barrier against blemish-causing agents, it also effectively hydrates to minimise dryness.

Finally, when it comes to choosing a daytime cover-up for blemished skin, I recommend MAC’s Prep + Prime BB Beauty Balm SPF 35, which is lightly tinted in a nearly sheer beige tone and looks great on an array of complexions. The balm offers coverage and re-texturises the skin’s surface, but, above all, allows the skin to breathe and give those blemish-busting products a chance to get results.

To book Paddy for your own make-up consultation call Fashion Pharmacy, tel: 028 9032 4437 or email style@fashionpharmacy.com

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