Why Your Product Packaging Could Be Damaging Your Skin

Why Your Product Packaging Could Be Damaging Your Skin

The other day, I came across an influencer talking about The Ordinary skincare on her Instagram stories and left a question box in case anyone had some questions about the products or the brand. I asked what makes this brand better than other products, as I’d heard so much about it, to which she kindly replied with a list of bullet points, with one in particular catching my eye: “also try not to buy creams in pots. Most reputable skin brands won’t use pots – unhygienic, doesn’t preserve ingredients etc.”

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Quick Acne Fixes – How I Get Rid Of Spots Fast

Quick Acne Fixes – How I Get Rid Of Spots Fast

After my previous skincare routine post and my acne journey post, I’ve noticed a lot of people relating to my situation – sensitive, acne-prone skin can be hard to deal with. It’s especially annoying when you get those large spots that look like a ‘traffic light’, as my mum used to say. Over the years, I’ve trialled and tested many products and methods, from the toothpaste trend, to a natural, home-ingredients blend (none of which worked).From this, I have narrowed down some of the best tips and tricks to share in this post. So next time you have a ‘traffic light’ arising, try these tips and products and see how you get on!

I also want to note that I’m not an expert whatsoever, I’m just posting what works for me.

Where You Get Spots and What This Means

It’s important firstly to note where you get spots and how you can prevent them from getting there. Spots in different areas of your face are caused by different things, which I’ll outline now (with help from the Nivea website and Cosmopolitan).

Forehead: this is caused by your hair or your diet. Having a fringe where sweat can get caught in, or where residue from hair products gets into your skin and clogs your pores can cause spots. As for diet, too much red meat, alcohol or saturated fats can cause spots too. For example, I find I get spots on my forehead when I eat chocolate. Going into the t-zone, this can be caused by stress and tiredness, although most people are naturally oilier in this area.

Cheeks: Again, this is caused by diet. Too much consumption of red meat, sugar or dairy can cause spots, so try cutting down if you see more coming in this area. Another thing you can try is wiping down your phone every now and again with anti-bacterial wipes as phones carry so much bacteria, and you’re constantly putting them to your face for calls. I’ve recently started doing this myself. Nivea also recommends changing your pillow sheets often, as they also carry a lot of bacteria.

Jawline: again, diet. Jawline spots can happen when you have a congested large intestine, so Nivea and Cosmopolitan recommend cutting down on fast food, biscuits and ready meals (basically just heavily processed foods). I’ve always been brought up to avoid heavily processed foods, but I’ve always been a fan of biscuits. It’s ok to have these things occasionally, but try switching to lighter, more natural foods like fruit, nuts and incorporate more veg into your meals.

Chin/Around The Mouth: chin spots are normally hormonal (I’m definitely acquainted to them!). For all the girls, birth control may help control this, but this is definitely a conversation to have with your doctor – it can worsen them if one form of birth control doesn’t work with you! Otherwise, getting a face wash that is appropriate for your skin type. This is so important, as the wrong face wash can encourage more to come out. In general, I would recommend a face wash containing salicylic acid to help prevent any more outbreaks.

My Tips and Tricks For Getting Rid Of Acne Quickly

Alba Botanica’s Acnedote Oil Control Lotion: I was introduced to this recently and it works really quickly! Apply this twice a day on bare skin, and it either turns your forming spot into a whitehead which will eventually go, or pops the spot within a day or two so then it goes away quicker (in my experience).

Sudocrem: I’ve been using this for years on my spots to help them pop quicker. It has worked for me in terms of making the spot form and pop naturally quicker than it normally would. Sudocrem works to heal, soothe, disinfect and protect the skin, hence why this may work for your acne.

Don’t squeeze your spots: I cannot stress this enough! I stand by this so much, as it has caused me to have so much acne scarring over the years, especially in my early to mid-teens. I don’t pop a spot unless I absolutely HAVE to (which I rarely do, but sometimes for work if I have a massive one, I will). I definitely don’t recommend this though, because sometimes popping it makes it worst – I popped one the other day for the first time in months and it just looked terrible.

If you do pop your spots (please don’t!) and it goes wrong: grab an ice cube (in a tissue if you have too) and keep it on the area so it doesn’t inflame as much. This should calm the area down a little bit. Also put some antiseptic cream on the spot so it doesn’t get infected.

As a long-term fix, I would recommend getting some good skincare (even if it means investing). Taking time to understand your skin type and carefully researching what is recommended will be worth it when it comes to getting rid of your acne. It’s useful to realise what foods trigger your acne too, and try to notice patterns. Monitoring what you eat and lessening some foods that may be worsening your acne will help.

Hopefully these tips will help, and if they do or if you have any tips yourself, share them in the comments below! x

My Acne Journey – 2016 To Now

My Acne Journey – 2016 To Now

I have acne. Spots, pimples, marks – whatever you want to call them, I have them all. A lot.

Dealing with acne has been a huge journey for me, but it has drastically changed over the past two years specifically, so I wanted to journey for those who may be struggling with acne like me and what helped me.

My acne started on the brink of puberty: I went through weight gain and started getting spots. My weight gain went down a bit but my spots remained, and I was left thinking, “why do I have so many more spots than my friends?” Most, if not all of my friends had next to no spots, or had the occasional spot here and there. When I first got acne, it started on my chin and on my forehead. I had a fringe at the time, so after I grew out my fringe (around age 14 maybe?), I didn’t have as many forehead spots at all.

I discovered makeup at around 13-14, which was comparatively late compared to most people I knew by that time, where I tried to cover my spots. Trying to cover spots was a whole other story, but that was a long process in which I struggled (and sometimes still do) with trying to not make them look so big and red.

The first picture in the vertical row was taken in the summer of 2016. I had gotten so many spots around my chin and mouth, it left a bunch of spot marks/scarring. At this time, I was also tanned so it didn’t show as vividly.

From around 13 to late 2018, I have been on quite the journey when trying to find skincare that works specifically for me. If you’ve seen my skincare routine post from a few months ago, you will know that I have sensitive, combination (more towards the dry side) skin. My skin in particular I have found very difficult, and here’s a big lesson I learnt: just because your friend or that influencer shares the fact you have spots, it doesn’t mean that product is right for you! It’s all about trialling and testing, and you may have to take some time to figure out what really works for you (unfortunately for my face and my/my parents money – I’ll forever be grateful that they tried to help the best they could!)

Here’s a big lesson I learnt: just because your friend or that influencer shares the fact you have spots, it doesn’t mean that product is right for you!

The second vertical picture is from 2017: I really had a lot of marks here. Something I really didn’t realise till later and something I’m so glad happened (that I know unfortunately a lot of people won’t share), is the fact that I didn’t really see a massive problem with going out bare faced. I wasn’t very good at makeup (I’m still not, but I’m better now) and definitely preferred going out without makeup, so I did. I honestly think that I was so used to having marks that I started ignoring them – as long as I had no spots, I was content. I think it also massively helped that I went to an all-girls secondary school as I wasn’t as bothered if my friends and other girls saw what I looked like. I knew they would understand.

Looking back at that photo, I’m actually shocked at how bad my acne and acne scarring got and surprised I didn’t take more notice of it, as I was extremely self-conscious at the time (and I am still a little bit now, but definitely not as much). I’m so glad it never got to that stage of self-hate though, as I know a lot of people have had that when it comes to acne. But it’s honestly okay. I actually think they kind of look like freckles, just in the wrong place. For people that struggle with self-consciousness because of acne, just remember that it’s completely normal and there’s nothing to be ashamed of. Some people have it worse than others, and that’s okay too. There are solutions and it will get better. Even if you have adult acne, you’re not the only one! According to the NHS website, 95% of people aged 11-30 will experience acne in some sense and 3% will get it aged 35+ (although a small amount, it’s not just you!).

I honestly think that I was so used to having marks that I started ignoring them – as long as I had no spots, I was content.

It’s also important to note here that in my early acne stages, I used to pop my spots, which I learnt over the first few years causes acne scarring (so stop that!) and I used to have loads of blackheads, which did go away over time (I honestly don’t know exactly what stopped that). At around 16-17, I was prescribed spot cream from the doctors which did help a lot, so I would recommend going to the doctors for help – it was a game-changer for me to help reduce spots (but didn’t get rid of scarring).

In the third picture, I was around 18 (so 2018-early 2019). Here you can see that my chin scarring is starting to fade. I believe my chin scarring started to fade here just over time and because I stopped popping my spots and because I started going on the combined pill (this can make you get spots too along with other side effects, so please consult with your doctor beforehand and have a discussion about this, however, this was a huge game-changer for me). However, here you can see an example of one of my large spots. These I do get every now and again (especially now in quarantine!) and are probably the spots that make me feel the most self-conscious: they’re hard to cover and take over my face. Honestly, the best thing to do is just to leave them. Don’t touch them. Do try spot cream (I will go into my favourites at the end).

The last vertical picture was taken mid-2019. I never got spots on my cheeks ever really, so this was quite a shock. So were the spots on my temples – they were tiny but I never got them before there either. My chin marks were less visible at the time, but I don’t really know what exactly caused this change. Now, they’re mostly gone due to regular skincare routines and finding the right products.

The main picture on the left was taken at the beginning of this year. This is the best my skin has ever looked. During quarantine, I’ve gone back to having the randomly placed massive spot, but that’s slowly going and was partially to do with this SPF moisturiser I started using that caused my skin to break out (the Simple product in my skincare routine post). But now, I know how to control my skin, and what works for my skin. It’s been quite a journey (we’re still going through it!), but I will finish this post with my top tips and products that really saved my skin.

  1. Don’t touch your face often (very relevant now) or pop your spots!
  2. Speak to your doctor about medication that could help (creams, antibiotics, pills etc.)
  3. Keep a consistent skincare routine and don’t miss any steps out
  4. ALWAYS wash your face (even on a night out, I never don’t wash my face because I know I’ll break out – I do my full skincare routine, no matter how annoying it may be at 4am)
  5. Use spot creams: I used Sudocrem a lot in my mid to late teenage years on spots, and have recently been recommended Alba Bontanica Acnedote oil control lotion and it’s already getting rid of my scars despite purchasing it about a week ago (thanks Niamh!)
  6. Revolution CBD nourishing oil – gets rid of scars after constant use (thanks Caroline!) but is better for my skin type rather than completely dry/eczema-prone skin or oily skin.
  7. The Clinique Anti-Blemish range: I finally found a range that suited me! After trialling nearly every drugstore brand, Dr Murad products and other high-end products, this is the one that works best for me, but again, it’s about trialling and testing.
  8. Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm – the best makeup remover known to man with the addition of the Garnier Micellar Water.
  9. Once you know your skin, consult with friends about what’s working for them and you may learn something knew! Take everything with a pinch of salt, because everyone’s different, but recommendations can go a long way (as seen with 5 and 6), but it was only recently when having conversations like these that I found that too much SPF can break your skin out, hence what made me realise that this Simple SPF moisturiser I was using was breaking my skin out (thanks again, Caroline!) and now my skins improving.

I know this was long, but I hope this post was useful for someone or just a good read. If you have any acne suggestions or recommendations, do leave it in the comments below!  

My Sensitive, Combination, Acne-prone Skincare Routine

I’ve struggled a lot with my skin all throughout my teenage years. I have a mix of sensitive skin (meaning I need delicate products – my skin in particular doesn’t take well to any exfoliants), combination (dry in some areas, oily in others) and acne-prone skin (I mainly had acne of my forehead, temples and chin growing up). No matter what I was recommended or what I googled, nothing worked for me.

My skin has got a lot better in the last year or so, where I’ve used a combination of these products, some old, some new. (Quick disclaimer: I’m not a skincare expert, this is just what works for me! I would also like to point out that I went on the pill and it helped my skin a lot, but can have the opposite effect too, so make sure to check with your doctor first).  The list below features a mix of high-end and high-street products. If you’re like me and have raided the shelves for any skin products you prayed would work then didn’t, give these a go if you have a similar skin type.

Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm

Not even joking when I say this: takes off 90% of your makeup when you use it. This stuff is incredible! I got this in a gift bag and just fell in love. You use this on a dry face, gently rub it in, then rinse with warm water. It’s so gentle and does the job amazingly. I always use this whenever I’ve had a day wearing makeup (yes, even after a night out – I always break out with spots if I don’t cleanse my skin properly) and it gets most of it off. Then, I do my normal skincare routine afterwards. A bit on the pricier side, but it’s a massive tub so it lasts a while. Also, a little goes a long way. (£25.00 for 125ml / £20.00 for 100ml)

Clinique Anti-Blemish Solutions Cleansing Foam

Clinique have an amazing anti-blemish line, which dramatically changed my skin for the better. Although a little pricey, I can see the difference over time. This product helps prevent blemishes, calms any redness, removes dirt and excess oil and unclogs pores. You can use this day and night, and only need 2 pumps, so this lasts a long time too. This is such a gentle cleanser so is perfect for sensitive skin too. (£19.00 for 125ml)

Garnier SkinActive Rose Soothing Toner (for dry and sensitive skin)

I always use this after my cleansing balm to remove the rest of my makeup and use this even on a makeup-free day to get rid of any impurities. There’s a reason everyone has this: it’s on the cheaper side and does the job just as well as any other product. It’s soft, soothes your skin and is made up of 96% natural origin ingredients (all vegan formula), including rose water (which works as a great anti-inflammatory product and helps control excess oils and the skins pH balance). (£3.49 for 200ml)

Clinique Anti-Blemish Solutions Clarifying Lotion

This is the last Clinique product, I promise! The one thing I am more accepting to spending money on is decent skincare, and they all do the job. This has similar effects to the cleansing foam, just in a stronger lotion form: it unclogs pores, reduces redness and controls excess shine. It also contains salicylic acid, which has antibacterial properties and works as an exfoliant (which is so much better in a liquid form as my skin doesn’t react well to scrub exfoliants, as mentioned before). However, I wouldn’t recommend this to people with dry skin. Again with this, a little goes a long way, so it will last a while. (£19.00 for 200ml)

Revolution CBD Nourishing Oil (for dry skin)

I was recommended this to try and get rid of the scarring on my chin left from spots, and I was so pleasantly surprised by the outcome (thanks Caroline if you’re reading!). This product is very oily, so I wouldn’t recommend this to someone who has more oily-combination skin. However, I have tried the Revolution CBD Serum, which almost does the same thing, it’s just not as oily (and comes to the same price too!), so whatever you feel is best. You only really need a few drops as its really nourishing. Its fragrance free, alcohol free, gluten free and paraben free, all with a vegan formula. (£10.00 for 30ml)

Simple Protect ‘n’ Glow Radiance Booster SPF 30

I picked this up recently as I was struggling to find a high-street moisturiser with SPF in it (which was surprisingly hard actually – if you have any recommendations, let me know!). I saw this in Boots and thought I might give it a go just to see how it works: I haven’t seen much of a change, but at least I know my skin is protected! SPF is so important for your skin, and this ‘liquid moisturiser’ (as described on their website, but I would call it more of an oil) protects against UVA, UVB, pollution and blue light, which ticks many boxes. However, I did see on my next trip to Boots that they have a triple protect moisturiser in the same range, they were probably just out of stock when I was looking for an SPF product, so if you think that would work better for you, give it a try. This is very watery in consistency and maybe combined with the CBD Serum from Revolution it wouldn’t work for everyone, but a small amount works for me and keeps me protected. (£5.29 for 50ml at Superdrug)

Simple Kind to Skin Soothing Eye Balm

I’ve had this one eye cream for ages now, and it seems to work: I’m honestly not too knowledgeable about eye creams, but this does have a very soothing feeling to it, so I keep using it. It’s non-comedogenic and hypoallergenic. This eye cream also targets sensitive skin. (£3.99 for 15ml at Superdrug)

Simple Kind to Skin Revitalising Roll-On

I don’t use this every day, but this is the most relaxing and refreshing product I own probably. Just roll this under your eyes to reduce puffiness and feel (if not look) more awake. Again, this is perfect for sensitive skin. (£5.19 for 15ml at Superdrug)

Vichy Normaderm Correcting Anti-Blemish Care

This is a new purchase for me as well: I previously used Clinique’s anti-blemish moisturiser, then the Clinique smart-day (with SPF) and smart-night creams (which I received in a gift, but I later found out that for my age/skin type, the smart-day/night creams weren’t really necessary or targeted for me). I was looking for an option that was cheaper, targeted acne, was good for sensitive skin and has SPF. After a long look, this was the closest I could find (minus the SPF, which I mentioned before): the Vichy Normaderm Correcting Anti-Blemish Care moisturiser works quickly to combat acne (even hormonal acne!), makes the skin look radiant, is a light texture, is non-greasy and provides 24 hours of hydration. It also smells amazing! The moisturiser again contains salicylic acid, targeting oily skin. I’ve found this to be an amazing dupe for what I’ve previously had and would strongly recommend for people with my skin type.

And that’s it! A mix of high-end and high-street products that make up by daily skincare routine. If you have any recommendations, have tried or are planning to try any of these, let me know in the comments!