Spots Be-Gone With Acne Options Available in the UK
I’m not sure who started the rumour that toothpaste is the miracle cure for spots and blemishes but they were wrong. Who wants to go to bed with a minty blob on their face, which inevitably will spend more time sticking to the pillow than treating your spot? Whether you are going through a tricky teen phase, you get the occasional break-out or full-blown acne darkens your day, the following selection of tips, products and services researched and compiled by BITB should help you out of a spot of bother.
Take a look through all the weird and wonderful ingredients and systems available for you to choose from for effective zit-zapping and spot prevention.
The ‘We-Mean-Business’ Approach
Slough-Off: Salicylic acid is a miracle-worker. Used in the right concentration within skincare this magic ingredient will exfoliate the skin without the need for abrasive beads and grains that can tear the skin on a micro level leaving the surface open to more nasties that can cause spots. Regular use will even out skin tone, reduce spots and even prevent them whilst also shrinking pores and reducing the look of wrinkles and sun damage.
Salicin naturally occurs in willow bark and is included in Burt’s Bees’ Anti-Blemish Pore Refining Scrub (£9.99). This extract contains beta hydroxy acids, which work as a natural skin exfoliant to help unplug follicles and pores. If you are looking for something quite potent, try MD Formulations skincare range, available in salons nationwide, which have a high concentration of the magical salicylic acid.
Note that whenever you are using any treatment containing salicylic acid you must be sure to protect your skin with an SPF against UV damage as skin is mor delicate when it is being treated with this and more likely to burn. Raid the dyper bag – Sudocrem has long been associated with nappy rash and baby-folk’s skin complaints; that was until now. I am reliably informed that Sudocrem, formulated over 80 years ago, has now become a firm favourite with Brit beauties of the flawless-skin variety such as Cheryl Cole and Kimberley Walsh. It gets better…Sudocrem Antiseptic Healing Cream is just £1.93 for a 30g tube from Boots online. This iconic product helps prevent spots by forming a barrier over the skin to keep nasty pollutants out and the antiseptic benefit from benzyl alcohol, a weak local anaesthetic, eases pain and also acts as a disinfectant and antibacterial agent.
The ‘Delicate’ Approach
Lighten-Up: According to Lloyd’s pharmacy’s website, 12.7 million people in the UK suffer from spots and acne – what an unlucky nation we are – caused by over-active sebaceous glands that secrete sebum, an oily substance, onto your skin.
New to the hit the shops is a selection of battery-powered red-light therapy gadgets, which promise to help with pimples. Red light therapy was originally developed for NASA and is a safe, natural skin treatment for mild to moderate acne. When skin cells are stressed (for example, by a spot), nitric oxide builds up. Nitric oxide is naturally present in cells, but when levels increase, it can inhibit the skin’s natural ability to heal itself. Red light penetrates skin cells to force out nitric oxide and stimulate anti-oxidants to speed up skin cell repair, helping to clear spots and mild to moderate acne, while reducing redness and inflammation.
Use your chosen red light therapy gadget for about a minute, three times a day to help treat breakouts in action, or whenever you start to feel the twinge of one coming along. The shops are starting to fill with devices to choose from: The LMS Spotlight 24 is designed to look like a neat powder compact so it won’t look alien in your makeup bag (£69.99). Lloyd’s Pharmacy SpotClear Advance device (£49.99) is a slightly less glamorous looking version but effective all the same.
Pillow-Talk: I was told by a dermatologist once upon a time, that regularly changing your pillow cases and face towels helps in the quest for flawless skin, but nowadays it looks like you can go one step further. Suddenly there’s such a thing as therapeutic bedding. Would you believe that approved by the National Health System (NHS) in the UK and available on prescription, is a spot-zapping pillow! No? Neither did we! Well, a clever US company has tried and tested anti-bac fabric that seems to improve breakouts. A pair of Dermasilk pillowcases retails at just £28.95, which is less costly than many of the specialist lotions and potions in the shops – definitely worth a try.
Pore-fection: The Pore Draw Facial by Karin Herzog, Swiss Oxygen Skincare is fantastic for getting rid of spot-provoking nasties. This advanced detoxifying and brightening facial hygienically and effectively extracts blackheads, whiteheads and even Milia – those little white bumps – from congested skin without the need for any painful squeezing. Using pure oxygen to sterilise and deep cleanse any bacteria to prevent further clogging and breakouts, this facial leaves even the most delicate and sensitive of skin types with a clearer, smoother and brighter looking complexion. The potent oxygen concentration brings all the grime to the surface of the skin so it can be removed without using any force at all so there’s no eye-watering extraction. What a relief!
If none of this advice seems to work for you after a good six-week skin cycle, it is worth consulting your doctor. There may be an underlying health reason for your breakouts and it’s worth checking that out!
Love from London