Writer and expert /
The dreaded lumps, bumps, whiteheads, blackheads and everything in between that break through and attempt to ruin your skins clear complexion. Usually these intruders come right when you don’t need them – ie the day before a big event on the weekend, when you’ve got an important presentation at work or a date with that guy you’ve had your eye on forever! If you can see (or feel – ouch!) the onslaught of blemishes attempting to ruin your day, week or life – there are somethings you can do to stop blemishes in their tracks. If you do it properly – you can even stop them from breaking through the skin. Wouldn’t that be nice! So keep reading for some tips to stop blemishes before they get angry.
It is important to note that not all blemishes are the same breed. They come in various forms of evil and therefore various methods need to be employed to combat them.
What are they? Blackheads are small black bumps that appear on the skin due to clogged hair follicles. Most blackheads form because of a build up of oil on the skin or because your skin cells aren’t shedding on a regular basis. Blackheads are very common and are probably the least concerning blemish but it is still good to remove them!
How can I get rid of them? To remove blackheads you can use a cleanser or mask that contains salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide as these ingredients clear up extra oil on the skin and encourage new cell turnover. The Dermalogica Sebum Clearing Masque is a good option. You can also try the ever popular blackhead clearing masks that visibly extract the blackheads from your skin. Not just good for your skin – but entirely satisfying to watch.
What are they? Whiteheads are similar to blackheads in that they form when dead skin cells, oil, and bacteria become trapped within one of your pores. They are more annoying then blackheads, however, as they poke their little white heads up at the worst times.
How can I get rid of them? Whiteheads are still considered a mild form of acne that you can treat whiteheads with similar skincare to blackheads. Try washing your face with a cleanser such as Comfort Zone Active Pureness Purifying Rebalancing Cleansing Gel. It can take up to 8 weeks to treat whiteheads, to stick with your skincare. If you still find you’re breaking out you can talk to a doctor about going on an acne medication which is usually a retinoid.
What are they? Now we’re heading into danger territory. These are those pimples that you can feel before you see, your face starts throbbing and it feels hard to touch. The nodule lurks under the skin until boom! It explodes on your face. There are a number of steps you can take to stop the nodule from becoming a full blown pimple.
How can I get rid of them? When you first feel the nodule pulsing beneath the skin, there are a few things you can do. The reason you can feel it pulsing on your face is because it’s so deep it’s touching your nerves. Firstly – don’t pick, poke or attempt to pop this bad boy. Stay away (this is so hard but you can do it). Get an ice cube and press on the area for five minutes, take off for a few minutes, reapply for five minutes. Attempt to do this at least three times. This method CAN prevent the pimple from coming to the surface but it may not.
In the case of the latter, once the head is starting to show you can now draw it out. Attempt this by either using a face steamer, a drawing paste or a hot compress (or a combo of all 3). Comfort Zone Pureness Corrector Blemish Treatment is a great gel treatment that acts quick to visibly improve skin blemishes. Apply the treatment at night and the next morning you should be able to see a very obvious white head (or possibly just a faint redness if the treatment worked THAT well). If the bump is still taught and shiny – it is still not ready. Repeat this process again the following night.
Now you’re ready to pop! I only recommend doing this if you REALLY need to go somewhere – otherwise just continue with your night time treatment until the pimple fades away. If you’re desperate to pop make sure you are very gentle! You shouldn’t bleed or leave horrible nail marks around the area. Squeeze the full head out and then clean up any excess goo and apply a toner to keep away any bacteria that could cause an infection.
Leave the blemish alone now for a couple of hours. It might start to flake in which case you can use an emollient to cover the flakiness and prevent scarring such as the Comfort Zone HydraMemory Hydration Face Cream Gel.
Those are the three most common forms of blemishes that irritate us the most.
There are some lifestyle methods to reduce blemishes appearing on the skin – but remember a lot of breakouts are due to hormones and genetics so lifestyle changes don’t always help.
But to keep body and mind healthy you can try:
1. Drinking loads of water – the key to skin hydration which in turn helps reduce clogging pores.
2. Staying away from sugary and fatty foods (this means crisps and chocolate). There is not LOADS of research backing this but it makes sense in the simplest form – more sugar boosts insulin levels which increases skins oil levels. More fat also causes skins pores to clog. Everything in moderation!
3. Wipe your makeup off before you go to bed – or switch to oil-free or natural makeup solutions.
4. Exercise regularly – sweat is good to generate skin cell turnover, and exercise is proven to reduce stress that might be causing acne flareups.
So there you have it – most of us encounter the odd blemish (or a lot of blemishes) at some point in our lives. The good news is you’re not alone, and there are steps you can take to stop blemishes before they get angry. Always consult a doctor if your acne persists.
Let me know your tips to stopping breakouts below!
I'm a journalism grad and avid makeup fan with an unhealthy addiction to buying nude lipsticks, no matter how similar they all may seem. I love chatting to anyone who will listen about my new favourite products, skincare dos and don'ts and practically any other beauty-related topic under the sun. That doesn't mean I'm frivolous with my recommendations, though--you can count on me to give you the nitty gritty on all your wishlist products. In my spare time, you'll find me binge-watching old episodes of Gilmore Girls or at brunch with a large iced coffee in my hand.
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