Clear, flawless skin. It’s the holy grail of everyone’s complexion goals and one of the most perplexing; choosing the best products, the right cleansing regime and the most efficacious treatments to deal with breakouts isn’t always easy. To help guide you, we’ve gathered the best blemish-busting tips, top-rated products and expert-approved advice and condensed them into five easy-to-follow steps. This way for your clearest complexion yet…
1. Cleanse Morning And Night
One of the best habits you can cultivate to keep skin healthy and blemish-free is to wash your face twice a day. “By cleansing in the morning, you remove excess oils and sweat, and cleansing nightly removes dirt, toxins, makeup, and other impurities accumulated during the day,” advises skincare expert and facialist Kate Somerville. Choose a product that suits your skin type and, if you want to up the ante even further, team it with a cleansing tool like Foreo Luna 3 Facial Cleansing Brush. It uses sonic pulses to lift dirt, oil and dead skin cells and the large brush head reaches every area (yes, even those nooks around the side of your nose).
2. Exfoliate Regularly
If you’re not regularly removing the dead skin cells that sit on the surface of your skin you’re creating the ideal home for blemishes and imperfections to take hold. You’re also preventing anything you put on your skin from doing its job. “Exfoliating preps skin to better absorb the rest of the serums and products in your regime, contributing to overall skin radiance and health,” adds Kate. You don’t need to go OTT. If your skin is particularly acne-prone go for chemical exfoliators like Emma Hardie Exfoliating Brightening Tonic (the granules in physical scrubs can irritate the skin) and use it up to three times a week. Otherwise, just once to twice a week is ideal. Do it in the evening, on a clean and makeup-free face to give your skin time to rest and allow for any redness to fade.
3. Don’t Skip Moisturiser
It might seem counterproductive to layer on creams and lotions if your skin is blemish-prone but in fact, even oily skin needs hydrating – you just need to choose the right products. Lightweight textures and non-comedogenic formulas are ideal and calming ingredients such as cucumber seed oil, found in Sisley’s Moisturiser with Cucumber, will help if your skin is inflamed or irritated. “Your microbiome (your skin’s flora) protects from irritation, inflammation and infection and also helps protect against environmental toxins,” advises Kate. “If you find your skin is prone to irritation, your microbiome could be out of balance. Gentle moisturisers that contain calming ingredients won’t upset the pH of your skin and also help to restore some of that balance.”
4. Choose Oil-Free SPF
Though the sun can have a clearing effect on the skin (UV rays zap acne-causing bacteria, which is why acne spots sometimes dry up on sunny holidays) it’s a temporary fix. The sun’s UV rays also cause free radical damage, leading to inflammation and of course, skin ageing, so it’s essential you don’t skip it. Worried the thick formulas will clog your pores and cause spots? Look for lightweight, oil-free textures and non-comedogenic formulas and if you’re on the sensitive side, mineral based sunscreens like REN Clean Screen Mineral SPF30 physically block UV rather than penetrating the skin like chemical sunscreens do, which means they’re less likely to cause irritation.
5. Try a Topical Treatment
Don’t underestimate the power a blemish treatment can have if you think your skin is about to break out. “They typically contain ingredients like salicylic acid and sulphur that help address underlying issues that cause breakouts,” adds Kate. “And they work quickly and effectively to help clear skin, reduce redness and exfoliate dead surface skin cells.” Bear in mind that some formulas can also have a drying effect so look for one that also contains hydrating ingredients like Tata Harper Clarifying Spot Solution and apply only when you really need it – not as a daily preventative measure.