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Your Pores Are Blocked
“Our pores secrete sebum and this then mixes with dirt and dead skin, which, when not cleansed properly, will lead to blackheads, whiteheads and breakouts. That’s why it is so important to wash your face properly. If we’re not cleansing, we’re essentially allowing dirt and oil to build up on the skin, which can lead to a whole range of issues. Even if you don’t wear make-up, you still need to remove anything else your skin encounters – from moisturisers to SPF. Likewise, you want to remove daily pollutants and sweat that collects throughout the day. A build-up of these toxins will result in clogged pores, breakouts and dryness.”
Your Products Are Causing Irritation
“This isn’t always the case, but sometimes, if spots are recurring around the forehead or the nape of the neck, it can be a result of your hair products. Dry shampoo, hairspray and similar products can clog up hair follicles and pores, so make sure you clean around any areas you have sprayed with hair products.”
You Keep Touching Your Skin
“Picking, touching and squeezing the skin can all cause the area in question to become more inflamed. All these habits increase the risk of a secondary infection, which not only leads to pus or a whitehead, it doubles the chances of the spot coming back in the same place. It’s difficult, but try to keep your fingers away from your face as much as possible during the day. We’re inevitably in touch with germs and bacteria, but transferring them directly onto skin – especially skin that’s already aggravated – doesn’t have to be. My best advice is to use pimple patches – the transparent ones are best. These provide a protective shield, delivering powerful, healing ingredients to the specific area, and stopping you from interfering with the affected area.”
“Done right, exfoliation can really benefit the skin. Do it too much, however, and you can cause sudden breakouts. Why? Because too much exfoliation creates small cracks within the skin barrier, which leads to loss of hydration and inflammation, then spots. If you find your skin has become irritated, stingy or red, you need to take a break from exfoliation. There’s probably no need to ditch it entirely – it is still hugely beneficial, just stick to twice a week maximum.”
You’re Not Using The Right Ingredients
“If you’re suffering with recurring spots, there are some key ingredients that can help. That includes salicylic acid, which is known for its ability to penetrate deep into the pores and get rid of any unnecessary bacteria and germs. Likewise, retinoids are known to improve skin texture and tone, while benzyl peroxide and azelaic acid offer gentle exfoliation to get rid of the bacteria responsible for causing certain kinds of breakouts.”
You Are Just Naturally Oilier In That Area
“Sometimes recurring spots are normal, and not the result of anything you’re doing wrong. It’s well known that congestion often occurs in the T-zone and around the jawline due to excess oiliness, so while you can get spots that return anywhere, this explains why these are the most common areas for it to happen. Try not to fight it too hard – just keep your skin clean and hydrated to ensure balance is maintained.”
You Are Skipping SPF
“Even those prone to breakouts should wear SPF every day. The key different is to look for ones that are non-comedogenic – otherwise known as pore-friendly – as well as hydrating formulas containing ingredients like ceramides and hyaluronic acid. A favourite of mine is CeraVe’s Moisturising Lotion with SPF50. It helps to keep your skin barrier intact which, long term, bolsters moisture levels within the skin and lessens the chances of breakouts. Hydrated skin is happy skin. Likewise, look for SPFs – and formulas in general – that are gel-based. These are less likely to cause sensitivities and irritation.”
Finally, Know When To Get Professional Advice
“While the odd breakout is normal – even those that crop up in the same area – deep, painful bumps are a sign of hormonal cysts and more aggravated acne. These often need to be assessed by a doctor who may start treatment to reduce the pain and inflammation. If you’re ever concerned, or don’t feel the situation is improving, track down an expert for further advice.”
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