Showing posts with label breakouts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label breakouts. Show all posts
Friday, August 28, 2015

Clear Skin Tips: How to Prevent Cystic Breakouts

I'm sure many of you have experienced the wrath from the demons that are CYSTIC SPOTS! You know... the ones that are unpoppable (sorry!) and instead form hard, painful lumps under the skin and leave the surrounding area red and swollen. These little demons last for weeks, don't respond to topical spot treatments and then when they do go they leave behind dark pigmentation marks. 

What causes Cystic Breakouts?
I have researched this and there is no definite answer. Many Dermatologists believe that cystic spots are caused by hormones and an over production of sebum that leads to blocked pores. 

What is a Cystic Spot?
A Cystic Spot is a hard nodule beneath the skin that never reaches the skin's surface. When the oil gland becomes permeated in sebum, it swells and hardens. The gland then bursts which causes a cyst to form underneath the skin's surface.

I am definitely not a skin expert but I have been getting cystic cpots every few weeks for a number of years. As a result of a few simple changes I have not had a cystic breakout now in a few months which is unusual so I thought I would share with you what I have found to be helpful. I cannot give any advice when it comes to acne, however, the stunning Model, Makeup Artist and Blogger Tara O Farrell (Tara Makeup) has written an in depth blog post about her personal experience which you can read here.

Below is a list of things that have helped keep cystic spots at bay over the last few months!



1. Water, Water and more Water!
This one won't come as a shock to you. I've heard this countless times over the last few years and I'm only beginning to implement it now! Water flushes out all those nasty toxins that lead to ill effects on the body. Upping your H20 intake helps keep your skin looking hydrated, plump and glowing! Research has suggested that dehydration can affect the type of oil and sebum your skin produces which in turn leads to breakouts. If you're not convinced, aim to drink at least 1-2 litres of water a day for a few weeks and note the difference in your skin.

2. Ditch the Face Wipes
I used to swear by using Face Wipes to take my makeup off. Cheap and convenient however, they don't actually clean your face and instead push the makeup back into your pores. I know... it's quite disgusting when you think about it. Your love of face wipes is clogging your pores and leading to breakouts which doesn't actually make any sense when you think about it!? So, if you take one thing from this post then PLEASE DITCH THE FACE WIPES!

3. Double Cleanse in the morning AND single cleanse at night
Double cleansing ensures that your face is as makeup free as possible which means your pores are less likely to become clogged and you're less likely to have a breakout. It seems so disgusting now but I used to only cleanse at night and now realize it is essential to cleanse away the sweat and dead skin cells that accumulate as you sleep! In the evening the first cleanse acts as a makeup remover (pretty obvious I know) and it's best to use an oil, butter or micellar water to melt away your makeup. The second cleanse is to literally cleanse and nourish the skin once the make up is removed. Does it make more sense now? Caroline Hirons aka the Queen of Skincare talks about Double Cleansing here. If your budget doesn't stretch that far you can just the same cleanser for BOTH CLEANSES. In the morning you only have to cleanse once as there is no makeup on your face and you can use the first cleanser (oil, facial butter, micellar water).

4. Spot Clean your makeup brushes at least once a week
I'm not afraid to admit that I was slack when it came to washing my makeup brushes. They are a breeding ground for bacteria and it's disgusting to think that you're then wiping that ickiness all over your face on a daily basis *shivers*. Makeup brush cleaning always felt like such a time consuming task and my brushes took AGES to dry which was so off putting. However, the P.S Love Makeup Brush Cleaner from Penneys, €2.50, is so quick and handy to use every few days to give your brushes a quick spot clean if you don't have time to give them a deep cleanse with Johnson's Baby Shampoo and Water. Quickly spray them with the P.S Love Brush Cleaner, wipe them on an old towel until all the excess makeup is removed and you're good to go. Practically zero drying time so it's pretty AMAZING!

5. Vitamin C
Anyone who has experience with cystic breakouts will know that the post inflammatory pigmentation marks (purple/red marks that are left behind from the spots) take FOREVER to clear up. Topical creams and products containing Vitamin C will help lighten the pigmentation marks so that they don't linger on the skin as long as usual! The Body Shop do a fantastic and affordable Vitamin C range and if you love a bargain as much as I do then it is a third of the price on fragrancedirect.co.uk.

I really hope this post was helpful and I didn't ramble too much! If you have any tips please share them in the comments.
Rachael O ♥
Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Secrets to Good Skin

Identify your Skin Type
It's important to know if you have normal, dry, oily or combination skin so that you can use products that cater for your skin's needs. If you are unsure of your skin type then you can do the following to determine it:
Cleanse your face and wait an hour before applying any product and try not to touch your face.
Pay particular attention to your T-zone (forehead, nose, chin).
Normal: skin feels smooth with no oil or flaking in T-zone.
Oily: T-zone is quite oily.
Dry: skin feels tight and may appear flaky.
Combination: the t-zone is oily but the rest of the skin may feel quite dry.

Use a moisturiser with SPF
Even if it the weather is miserable and it seems overcast, your skin is always being subjected to sun damage. Using a moisturiser with SPF reduces harmful sun exposure that can cumulatively lead to premature ageing and skin cancer.

Exfoliate twice a week
This is a step that most people often  neglect to do and I've been guilty of it in the past also. Exfoliation is necessary to remove the dead skin cells that gather on the surface of the skin. If you don't do this often enough then the products you use will not be absorbed by the skin and will sit on the surface. However if you exfoliate too often or use a product that is too harsh then it can strip away the natural oils and cause excessive dryness, irritation, redness and sensitivity. To keep a balance you should aim to exfoliate twice a week.

Use a serum
A serum can improve the overall look of your complexion by bringing antioxidants to the skin, restoring cell growth and decreasing pore size.
If you have acne prone skin look for a serum containing L-ascorbic acid and retinol; for normal skin alpha lipoic and glycolic acids should be in the ingredient list. It is best to use a serum after you exfoliate and before you moisturise so that it sinks into the skin. Again, you don't need to use a serum on a daily basis but a few times a week or when your skin is looking dull and needs a boost.

Stay Hydrated
This one is simple: if you are hydrated on the inside then you will see the benefits on the outside, i.e your skin. Wrinkles and dark under eye circles will be less pronounced and you will be less likely to get spots as you are flushing the toxins from your body. People who suffer from dry, flaky skin will see the benefits of this quite quickly (talking from experience).

Antioxidants
Antioxidants help to repair and prevent damage to the body's tissue. They also soak up harmful free radicals that lead to diseases and cause the skin to age. There are many facial products on the market that contain antioxidants but the best way of getting them is through fruit & veg. I've been taking Juice Plus for a year now and have noticed a big difference in my skin: it is brighter, my complexion is more even and I rarely have breakouts(went through a period of constantly getting those under the skin spots that are painful and leave a purple/red mark behind.)

Exercise
This increases blood flow and circulation which in turn leads to healthy and vibrant skin. Sweating through exercise also rids the body of toxins that often lead to spots and breakouts. When you exercise your skin also produces more of it's natural oils which leads to healthy, glowing skin.

Remember: As you age, cell turnover can take anywhere from 35- 57 days.
So if you are trying out new skincare or taking supplements then it is likely that it will take this long for your skin to see the benefits.



- Rachael O