Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Spot prevention and treatment

I'm quite fortunate in the sense that I never really get spots or blemishes - normally my skin is really clear, but occasionally I get a complete monster of a spot that threatens to grow so big it could take over the world, so I'm going to post my strategy for treating those pesky blemishes and also my secret as to how I keep my skin so clear even though I smoke, don't drink water and have a terrible diet (with those three vices, I'm suprised my skin doesn't look like the surface of the moon! lol)

Prevention

As the old saying goes - prevention is better than a cure. I don't use any kind of face wash as I find these tend to irritate and dry my skin and actually encourage spots. I used to use various facial washes but after I stopped I almost immediately noticed that my skin felt and looked a lot better. I think the reason for this is that face washes tend to strip the skin of its natural oils (to stop build up which can lead to clogged pores) due to their astringent properties.

If I'm not wearing any makeup, I tend to just wash my face with good old fashioned tepid water (tepid so it doesn't leave my skin red and blotchy like super cold or hot water would) and, if I am wearing make up, As silly as it sounds (and I'm not recommending this to everyone as obviously we all have different skin types, I'm just stating what works for me!) I use Original Source lemon and tea tree shower gel on my face... it sounds ridiculous because shower gels are suppose to be too harsh for the skin on the face, but I find Original Source is really good as they're quite a natural company and their products are very gentle and good for the skin so it doesn't feel drying or tight at all. I also find that this really helps to prevent blemishes due to the tea tree featured in the ingredients, it's a really nice natural antiseptic and antibacterial oil that is great for targeting problematic skins. The scent of lemon and tea tree is amazing too - it really wakes me up and has me ready to face the day, so I always use it in the morning to ensure I'm feeling my best. As I mentioned before, I wouldn't advise everyone to use shower gel to cleanse their face as it might not work as well for others as it does for me. 

I also use St Ives apricot scrub a couple of times a week to exfoliate and it leaves my skin feeling super soft and smooth, I'd highly recommend this product! it doesn't scratch at all and helps to prevent spots by cleansing the skin of all the yucky stuff that can leave you spotty.

I also use palmers coco butter as a moisturiser. This stuff is AMAZING, seriously - it's the single best moisturiser ever. If I have a small blemish I always make sure I put a little bit of coco butter on it and it really aids the healing process and cuts the time it takes for the spot to dissapear. It's also really good as it moisturises the skin so well, yet doesn't clog up the pores or make it feel oily or greasy, and it's never once given me any spots, yay!

Another preventative measure that I take is to make sure I don't touch my face that often. Whenever I've been stressed out (especially during university, whilst writing my disseration) I'll sit there at my laptop and rub my chin or forehead repeatedly (I suppose it's a nervous habit) and the next day I'll wake up to yucky skin - not good! so I definitely advise making sure you don't touch your skin frequently as your hands pick up all kinds of dirty germs throughout the day which will transfer to your face easily, causing nasty spots. 

Prevention in summary -
  1. No specifically face targetted washes that strip the skin of oils
  2. Plain tepid water / lemon and tea tree oil / St. Ives apricot scrub
  3. Palmers coco butter moisturiser
  4. No frequent face touching!
Treatment

The best treatment for any spot is to let it breathe and heal on its own, any specific products will only really serve to aggravate it further, although sometimes desperate times call for desperate measures. The very best things you can do to help your skin is to make sure you get pleanty of fresh air and sunshine (the sun is great for the skin and hot weather really helps to clear your pores naturally) and another thing you should do is drink loads of water to keep your skin hydrated (something I don't do enough of!) 

The only products I really use when I get a spot are Benefits boo boo zap and random supermarket bought eye drops. Boo Boo Zap is great (how adorable is the packaging) and the salicylic acid & camphor in it really helps to speed up the healing process. You can even put it on over the top of makeup which is great, and you'll be able to feel it working (it stings a tiny bit, but I love products that sting, I'm odd like that, lol). Within a few hours of applying it I always notice a significant improvement with a spot, it often feels smaller, less red and less noticeable. Boo Boo Zap is definitely the best spot treatment on the market and I recommend it to everyone :)

As mentioned above, a rather random product that I'll use if I have a spot is actually eye drops... specifically the whitening ones, as these really help to take the redness out of blemishes and they also shrink them considerabley. I'm not sure how I stumbled across this discovery, but it's a really good one and normally helps to make any spots less noticeable!

So there you have it, a rather long post detailing the ways in which you can have nice clear skin with little effort or expensive potions and lotions.

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