For as long as I can remember, I have had ‘problem’ skin. The doctor tells me it’s hormonal, and is in the typical areas of my face; particularly my cheeks and chin area as well as around my jaw line. Some days are better than others and I have the occasional flare up. And like most sometimes I am lured into a false sense of security to then wake up the next morning with the worst skin ever! Although I think I will continue to have problem skin throughout my life, I have definitely gained more control of it, and thought I would share my advice. These things work for me, and while they may not work for all, I think it’s best to share any good tips with my fellow girls!
Pretty self-explanatory. Water keeps us hydrated and our skin relies on this to repair itself and work correctly. Admittedly I find it very difficult to drink the recommended 8 glasses of water a day, so I carry a litre bottle with me during the day and my target is to drink it all by the time I have to get home from work. I also drink a pint of water every night before bed. Since introducing this little routine my skin feels much softer and looks brighter.
Buy products that are suited to your skin type
My skin type is a combination of oily/dry. So I search for products for this. Whether it is a moisturiser that is a lotion rather than a cream, or a foundation that is matte rather than dewy, the product should be suited to your skin. Otherwise, hello breakout. Do your research; there are lots of pieces of advice on skin types online, and if you are unsure, you can visit a dermatologist or see a beautician.
Wash your face
Ok so when I say wash your face, don’t fall into the trap I and many girls have before, which is washing it too often. If you wash it too often you will encourage your skin to create more oil to make up for the fact it keeps getting washed away and this could cause breakouts. A good time to wash your face could be when you wake up and before you go to bed. I’ll talk about certain products later but one I would recommend is the Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleansing Polish, and the Instant Boost Skin Tonic. Alcohol free, it contains aloe vera, chamomile and cucumber which soothes and refreshes skin.
My friend is a beauty therapist, and I once asked her if there was one piece of beauty advice she could tell everyone what would it be, and her answer? Moisturise. For those with oily skin, a common misconception is you don’t need to moisturise, but that simply isn’t true. We all need to. For my combination skin I am more suited to a lotion, whereas oily skin needs a serum. Again, do your research and find what is best for you. Even just moisturising before bed will hydrate your skin, and while I moisturise when I go to bed and when I wake up, some people need to do this more or less. Introduce it into your routine, wash your face and then moisturise. Your skin will thank you for it!
Research facial cleansers
I am the first to say I have tried many facial cleansers. The best advice I could give is to avoid harsh cleansers and opt for the gentle ones. Avoid alcohol based cleansers and keep this in your mind: ‘you are what your skin eats’. Everybody has different skin, but for me, Neutrogena products made my skin break out, and Clearasil felt like it burned all the goodness out of my face. Obviously these may work for some, this is just from my own experience. My Mum actually washes her face with baby lotion on a cotton wool pad, and has done this for her entire life. Her skin is flawless, and this may be down to the gentle cleanser.
Have make-up free days
At least once a week, I like to have a day with absolutely no make-up on my face. This allows my skin to breathe, and repair itself. It also removes toxins and is said to prevent premature ageing. Bonus! A barrier I had to overcome was people seeing my bad skin, but since I started having a day a week make-up free, I have seen a definite improvement in my skin. I have also become more confident; this is my skin, and I am proud. And if anybody has a negative thing to say about the fact I am confident enough to show my natural beauty, I would say that’s a self-esteem issue on their part, not mine.
Chill and de-stress
During stressful times in your life, your skin may release more sebum. This is the oily substance that mixes with dead skin cells and bacteria to clog the hair follicles. So for people with acne prone skin or problem skin this could cause a breakout. I am in that category and have seen my skin breakout when I’m feeling stressed or anxious. So a few things that may help you de-stress that have worked for me: Sleep – make sure you get at least 7-8 hours a night Exercise – release those endorphins Have me time – take a break, read a book, paint your nails Go for a walk Meditate – there are lots of apps that play relaxing sounds/music. Light some candles, lie down, close your eyes and relax Call a friend – have a chinwag, laugh till your belly hurts!
I really hope this advice helps, although it’s from my own experience, I think a lot of it relates to anyone with bad skin. I can totally relate to those feelings of despair, sadness and frustration when you have a breakout, and while I still have those days sometimes, it’s up to us all to share our advice and understand that you aren’t alone and there are ways to make it better.
I would love to hear any tips for problem skin, so link me your blog posts so I can have a read, and use the hashtag #lovemyskin
Love Soph x