The Beauty Desk
The latest beauty news & views, direct from PRIMPED HQ!
Keeping Adult-Acne Under Control
Mon, 4 June 2012 6:59PM
Yesterday, I caught up with a group of girlfriends and as per usual we spent the majority of our time talking about all-things hair, makeup and clothing related. You see, I’m getting married in a few weeks and I was explaining to the girls how stressed out I’m getting about my skin. Yep, you read right. I’m not one bit phased about the wedding, it’s all about the skin. I’ve always battled with breakouts and whenever I’m feeling tired or strung-out, my skin is the first place to show it. After waxing on about all the possible last-minute options, in a bid to make me feel better, one of the girls piped up telling me there was no point in stressing and that she’d recently watched a makeup tutorial on youtube (here’s the link) that was so moving, by the end of the video, she’d vowed never to complain about a single zit ever again
In a nutshell, it’s a video filmed by an American teen, Cassandra, documenting her battle with cystic acne and the lengths she goes to each morning in order to conceal it with makeup. Now, from someone who has battled with breakouts through most of her teens and twenties, I’d be lying if I didn’t say that a little piece of my heart broke as I watched this clip. While YouTube and beauty sites are filled to the brim with how-to’s on fun, shiny, pretty, things, like false lashes, smoky eyes and ombre nails, I was blown away at the rawness of this video and judging by the 7-million-something hits it’s scored, it appears to be an issue that plenty of us can empathise with.
If you’ve ever suffered from acne, you’ll know first hand how unsettling it can be. It does a stellar job at wrecking havoc with your confidence, not to mention your emotions, but fortunately these days, there are more treatment options then ever before to choose from and while my breakouts don’t hold a candle to Cassandra’s, I’ve been fortunate enough over the years to speak to some of the best skin professionals in the business who have helped me to keep it under control.
Katy Perry is one celeb that knows a thing or two about breakups. Sorry, I mean breakouts.
1. Move fast. If you’re experiencing consistent breakouts, you need to move on it, as the longer you leave it, the greater the risk of scarring. If you’ve just started a new treatment product, give it a few weeks (4 to 6 max) and if you can’t see any improvement, that’s your cue to make an appointment to see your GP who can provide you with treatment options and in some cases, a referral to see a Dermatologist.
2. Think outside the box: Our skin is the largest organ in our body and it’s also a powerful indicator into any imbalances or upsets that could be going on internally. In addition to consulting your GP or dermatologist, visiting alternative therapists, such as a naturopath, can also help you to pin-point areas that could be triggering the breakouts, such as hormonal changes, or liver problems. Over the years, I’ve also dabbled in a bit of acupuncture which has been a wonderful way to help me become more in tune with my body and the impact it’s having on my skin.
3. Exfoliate with caution. As tempting as it is to want to buff away at your skin, I suggest you steer clear of manual scrubs. The problem with granule-based products is that the tiny beads have a knack for scratching the skin and irritating existing breakouts which can also lead to scarring. While AHA’s provide for a genius alternative to abrasive scrubs, it’s best that you consult your derm first to see if they’re suitable for use.
4. Cleanse like you mean it. I get that it’s only natural to want to cover up blemishes and breakouts with makeup, but when it comes to preventing acne, making the switch to a soap, fragrance and oil-free face wash should be at the top of your to-do list. If your skin is already battling with congestion, double cleansing in the evening is essential in ensuring that you’re removing all traces of makeup, excess surface oil and dirt which can otherwise lead to further congestion. I swear by Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser, from $7.60 (from pharmacies and supermarkets), which you can use like it’s going out of fashion without it ever leaving your skin feeling dry or irritated.
5. Surface scarring. Although deep, punctured scars often require laser treatment in order to properly resurface the skin, the good news is that at-home brightening products have also come along way over the past few years and can work wonders at helping to minimise acne-related discolourations. Personally, I’m digging Clinique’s Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector, $89, www.clinique.com.au, which feels totally weightless on, making it perfect for layering under moisturiser and foundation without it ever feeling greasy. The only catch is, like any brightening treatment, you have to be consistent with your application and extra vigilant with your SPF in order to maintain the results.
Have you watched this video on YouTube?
If you’ve suffered from acne in the past, how did you beat it?
Is there a product or treatment that we all need to know about?
Posted by: Eliza Ashe