Tuesday, 2 July 2013

My recommendations for breakouts and acne prone skin

When I was younger, I thought that breakouts are a teenage thing and I was always looking forward to being in my twenties, having perfect skin etc. Well... I can tell you that as a 26 year  old adult, I still get breakouts and most of them are hormonal and look horrible. To keep my skin clear and happy, I use a couple of skincare products aimed at breakout/acne prone skin. 

Let's start with my skin type. I have normal/combination skin, with an oily t-zone and dry cheeks. I look after my skin really well and I absolutely love my morning and night time skincare rituals. I am quite happy with my skin, especially since I started using exfoliating toners, but I still get occasional breakouts, when my hormones go crazy during "that time of the month". Most of the breakouts are on my jawline and neck, so they don't really affect my appearance, but I would like to get rid of them and be able to wear my hair in a bun, without using full coverage foundation on my neck!  If you have normal/combination or oily skin, all the products I use, should work for you too.

When my skin feels congested, I like to use clay based products. My recent discovery is the REN ClearCalm 3 Clarifying Cleanser* (£18.00). It is a cream cleanser, designed for breakout prone and problem skin. The formula contains French clay to absorb excess oil and purify, Zinc Gluconate to reduce sebum production, Salicilin to gently exfoliate and kill bacteria, Mayblossom to tone enlarged pores and Manuka extract to soothe and nourish. I don't use it daily - only on bad skin days. I massage one pump of the cleanser onto damp skin, focusing on problem areas, like my neck, chin and t-zone. After each use, my skin feels and looks much clearer and purified and the size of pores is visibly reduced. 

Every two weeks, I use the REN ClearCalm3 Clarity Restoring Mask (£30.00). It is one of my favourite face masks and I repurchased it twice already. It is amazing! It helps to get rid of the worst breakouts, redness  and congestion and lightens acne scars.  As a cheaper alternative, you can try the Amie Spring Clean Cooling Clay Mask* (£4.95). Why not use it as a cream clay cleanser too? I tried it a couple of times and it worked similar to the REN one. 

I reviewed the Clarins Gentle Exfoliating Toner* (£25.00) recently (here), as well as a cheaper alternative from REN, and I cannot imagine my skincare routine without them. Removing dead skin cells is very important, but mechanical methods are not good for breakout prone skin. That's why, using an exfoliating toner daily is the best option. Once you try it, you will never go back to your old exfoliating regime. This method is totally hassle free, gentle on the skin and only takes a minute or less :)

I have tried many breakout treatments and most of them worked really well. When I was sent the La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo*( £11.45) to try out, I was expecting amazing results. There is a lot of hype around this product and I have been told, that it worked for 97% of people! Impressive, eh? I was expecting it to help with congestion and tiny bumps under my skin, but it didn't really help with that. I have been using it for 3 weeks (twice a day) and I have clearer skin in general and less breakouts, but... the bumps are still there. I was determined to get rid of the horrible bumps, so I ordered a tube of the La Roche-Posay Effaclar AI Targeted Breakout Corrector (£8.90). I started applying it onto the congested areas of my face each evening and guess what? About 50% of the bumps are gone after just one week of using the treatment! I am seriously impressed and I would definitely recommend it to those, who want clear, smooth skin. If Effaclar Duo doesn't seem to be working for you, try the Effaclar AI. It worked wonders for me. One thing you have to remember, is to use a good moisturiser/facial oil after using the Effaclar treatments, because they tend to dry the skin out.

To deal with new breakouts, I apply a tiny amount of the Origins Super Spot Remover (£14.00) directly onto the blemish. I wasn't amazed by it, when I first bought it, but I can't imagine using anything else on breakouts now. It reduces the size and redness of nasty spots overnight, or dries them out completely! It's amazing! I bought mine in January and I still have about 1/4 of the bottle left! I use it very often (probably every day), so it is a great investment. I am happy to pay £14.00 for it, every 6-8 months. If you don't get breakouts too often, it will probably last for 12 months+.

Using spot treatments can make my skin feel very dry, so I always make sure to massage the affected areas with nourishing oils. At the moment, I am loving  the Balance Me Radiance Face Oil* and Liz Earle Superskin Concentrate*. I have full size bottles of both as well, but the rollerballs are great to keep on my bedside table, just in case any areas of my face feel dry in the evening. Most of you will know this already, but oils are great for all skin types - even oily and breakout prone. Oils help to balance, deeply nourish and protect the skin. They are the best thing you can use on your face!  

If you suffer from breakouts and scarring and can't find a perfect full coverage foundation, you should probably try the Vichy Dermablend range. I have been a big fan of the Dermablend Fluid Corrective Foundation (£13.60) for years and I always have a tube (or two) in my makeup bag. It provides full coverage and a flawless finish, without looking "cakey" or "fake". I absolutely love it! I usually apply it to scarred areas (like my neck and jawline), but I like using it allover my face as well. It has an added bonus of SPF35, making it a fantastic daytime foundation. I wear shade 25 nude in Autumn/Winter and 35 Opal or 45 Gold, when I am tanned.

I was recently offered other products from the range to try out, including the Dermablend Setting Powder*(£13.60) and two shades of the Ultra Corrective Cream Stick*(£16.55) and as a massive Dermablend fan, I couldn't say no.

I tried the setting powder before and I used to be addicted to it, but I didn't repurchase it for some reason. I must admit- I am glad to have it back in my life. It is the best products to use with the Dermablend foundation and it keeps my makeup in place all day! It is translucent, so it suits all skin tones, it feels very light on the skin and looks natural. Perfect! I apply it with the sponge applicator or a small powder brush.

Ultra Corrective Cream Stick*(£16.55)

 I wasn't sure, if I will like the cream stick formula, but I have been using the sticks as high coverage concealers. If I use them allover my face, they tend to look a bit too cakey. Just like the fluid foundation, the cream formula gives full coverage and stays put all day. To get the best results, use it with the Dermablend Setting Powder. Shade 13 Light will suit complexions with pink undertones and 14 Nude is the would be the best match for those with yellow undertones. My skin has yellow hues, so I have been reaching for the Nude shade more. If you decide the use the cream sticks allover your face, I would recommend blending with a buffing brush, this way you will be able too achieve a more natural finish.

I hope you enjoyed this post and my got some good products recommendations for breakouts and acne prone skin :) I know that dealing with spots in your twenties can be very annoying and depressing, but there are many ways to help us look our best and feel more confident about our skin.

*products marked with an asterisk are PR samples

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  1. Great post Sandra!My skin sounds similar to yours so I'm going to have a look at the dermablend foundation & la roche posay breakout corrector xx

  2. Me too. When I was a teenager, I thought I'd never have acne in adulthood. How wrong was I!

  3. Effaclar Duo is an amazing product for my skin, it's a shame it didn't work so well for you. You've introduced me to the Dermablend setting powder though - it sounds great and I can't wait to give it a go now! xx

  4. Great post. My skin was fine in my teens but now at 23 I suffer from acne on one cheek and minor breakouts else where (odd I know)
    I've recently started using the Elemis Tri Enzyme Resurfacing Facial Wash and it's amazing! Best thing I've used.
    Al though I have placed an order for the Effaclar Duo and I'm sooo excited to try it! Very tempted by the infamous Ren glyco-something mask too...
    Love your blog by the way, I always read your posts through to the end and never get bored!

  5. I couldn't live wihout my Effaclar duo it's an amazing product for my skin. I'm tempted to go buy that Ren cleanser sounds like exactly what I'm look for


  6. The Ren cleanser looks really good! I also really like Avene Cleanance gel from they "antiacne" range, because it visibly works but it´s also gently for my very sensitive skin...By the way, your skin looks amazing!

  7. Ooh now I want to try out the toner from Clarins :) Can't live without a toner in my skin treatment. I liked the Super Spot remover as well from Origins, it really does work & even though it looks small, it took me a very long time to finish it!

  8. Really really enjoyed this post and you picked some great things there I’m gonna have to look into!

  9. Love this post I'm a big fan of La Roche-Posay products they're the only thing that seemed to help my skin I'm planning on doing a post about the products that helped me soon :)

    I'm also Glasgow based its nice to see a Scottish blogger doing so well!


  10. I love the Balance Me Radiance Face Oil, it's one of my favourites! The Ren Clay Cleanser is a product I've been dying to try for my normal/slightly dry but very blemish prone skin, it sounds lovely!

    Gem x

  11. My skin is the bane of my life, I have always been spot prone. Now that Im going through IVF treatment my skin is pretty bad. The main issue is hormone related spots which I can't do anything about!I like the sound of the clarins toner and the La Roche breakout corrector, might have to give these a try


  12. The REN mask and Clay Cleanser are amazing, by far my favourites along with the Effaclar Duo:) x



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