Bad skin days feel inevitable, right? But they don't have to be. With a few simple skincare tweaks you can swerve breakouts with ease. Don't believe us? Complexion experts Dr. Barbara Sturm, Lixirskin's founder Collette Haydon and Huda reveal their clear skin tips.
So, first things first - why do we breakout? “Breakouts are caused by hormones, excess sebum, bacteria, blocked pores and inflammation,” explains Dr. Barbara Sturm, "which in turn, triggers more acne.”
When it comes to severe breakouts Colette Haydon notes that "the term ‘acne’ is a medical condition – problem skin is the term I prefer to use. Open pores, blackheads, breakouts, a little bit dry, a little bit sagging, a little bit ageing – there are two skin types: the old and the young. Generally speaking, the young ones tend to have the spots, the old ones want to tackle wrinkles." But that's not to say that more mature complexions are immune to breakouts, but it's likely that as you age spots will become a rarer occurrence.
Clear skin tip #1: Cool Down
Huda told Vogue India that we should stop washing our faces with hot water as "this can strip your skin of its natural oils". When you strip the oil from the skin, it goes into overdrive to produce more sebum which can lead to blocked pores and breakouts. So keep cool!
Clear skin tip #2: Exfoliate
“Exfoliating aids the removal of dead skin,” says Dr. Sturm, “and helps to remove bacteria from the pores so sebum can’t build up.”
Look to chemical exfoliators, these are the ones that use acids and enzymes, rather than granules as they are gentler to skin especially if you have blemishes. Look to Lixirskin Nightswitch BHA/AHA 10%, the BHA is oil-soluble which means it will drive down into pores and exfoliate deep down, while the AHA sloughs away surface level dead skin cells. Expect clearer, smoother, more radiant skin.
Clear skin tip #3: Hydrate
“It’s a common misconception that you need to dry out the skin to treat breakouts,” notes Dr. Sturm. "In fact, most breakouts are exacerbated by inflammation and dryness.”
Clear skin tip #4: Moisturise
It's the same principle as keeping your skin hydrated, don't skip the moisturiser step for fear of breakouts. Moisturisers are designed to lock moisture into the skin. "Not moisturising oily skin [is a mistake]—often your skin produces oil as it’s seeking hydration, so not moisturising your skin can kick your oil production into overdrive," explains Huda.
Opt for a lightweight moisturiser like Dr. Barbara Sturm Face Cream Light.
Clear skin tip #5: Be Targeted
“Spot-treating a blemish with healing and soothing ingredients can help to even out the post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation that usually results,” says Dr. Barbara Sturm. We love her Clarifying Spot Treatment that comes in both clear or tinted versions. Or, for a more affordable version try Ren's Clearcalm Non-Drying Spot Treatment with 0.5% salicylic acid to exfoliate deep down into blocked pores.
Clear skin tip #6: Go Easy
It can be tempting to try every skincare formula at once that claims clearer skin as a result, but Huda advises against using too many potent ingredients, "be kind to your skin and try not to throw too many active ingredients at it at once." That also means no picking or squeezing, too.
Clear skin tip #7
If you have a skin issue that isn't clearing up through over-the-counter means, then Huda advises "seeing a dermatologist. There are some things that your run of the mill skincare products can’t fix," she notes. "You may need to address some parts of your diet or even hormonal imbalances which lead to skincare woes and a dermatologist is well equipped to determine what you’ll need the best."