Blemishes may well be associated with adolescence, but it’s actually now more common for us to suffer from spots after the age of 20, with over 50% of women dealing with bad skin in their adult lives, whether it’s full-blown acne or a monthly flare up.
While skincare can often be a trigger, it takes a little bit of detective work to really dig deep and find out the main cause as there’s rarely one simple answer (genetics, hormones, lifestyle, the list goes on). However, knowing how they form means we can pin point how exactly to treat them and treating them quickly and efficiently is the best way to prevent long term scarring, leaving you with a flawless complexion.
Here are the products we rate…
Finding a cleanser that works for your skin is imperative, as once you find your match you’ll be able to get your skin into a routine it’s happy with. The trick is to look for one that contains salicylic acid (a key ingredient when it comes to tackling blemishes) while being gentle enough to not irritate your spots. Murad Clarifying Cleanser, £19.50, treats and prevents breakouts and blemishes by removing dirt and bacteria from deep down in your pores. Thanks to encapsulated salicylic acid, it works for hours after rinsing too, as it continues to release the treatment throughout the day.
When you dry out a spot, you also damage the skin barrier so it’s really important you don’t slather a harsh treatment all over your blemishes, or you’ll find yourself in a vicious circle. Dermalogica Breakout Control, £40.40, absorbs quickly into the skin and contains natural antibacterial agents to help both clear and prevent breakouts without over-drying your skin. The combination of ingredients, from oil-controlling azelaic acid to soothing zinc sulfate will battle your blemishes while still being kind to your skin.
If oily skin and blemishes seem to be a constant battle for you, we’ve found a toning mist that will solve your problems. La Roche Posay Serozinc, £6.37, is specifically designed to target the key signs of oily, blemish-prone skin. It’s made with a simple yet effective trio of ingredients: zinc sulphate, thermal spring water and sodium chloride. It works its magic by toning the skin, reducing irritation (which can often go hand in hand with spots) and clear up any blemishes within a few days of regular use. So good, that when it launched in the UK this year it sold out in 24 hours.
When it comes to primers and spot-prone skin, it’s best to opt for one that’s oil-free. NARS Oil Free Pore Refining Primer, £26, boasts mineral powders that’ll help to manage oil production in the t-zone area and calming butterbur root extract, to sooth your skin while the gel consistency will keep your complexion hydrated throughout the day.
Clay masks are a delight, as they work as a suction to unclog your pores and detoxify your skin. Super Facialist by Una Brennan Pore Purifying Clay Mask, £6.66, will clear your skin of dirt, excess oil and any toxins (all of which lead to breakouts), while salicylic acid will help to unclog any congested areas of skin.