My skin typically behaves, but when it doesn’t and wants to disgrace me or spoil my market, what do I do? Before I go into my almost foolproof method of getting rid of naughty spots, let’s do a recap on key terminology. I also want to caveat this article by saying, this is not meant to be a thorough analysis of acne as a whole or of the more serious and persistent acne type called cystic acne, (a severe type of acne in which the pores in the skin become blocked, leading to infection and inflammation).
What are pores? Pores are the small openings in the skin that release oil and sweat. Your pores can appear enlarged when you have oily skin, overproduction of sebum or acne.
What we call a spot or pimple is technically called acne. Acne can be further broken down into specific types depending on the way it presents itself. What is acne really, I hear you ask? Acne is a skin condition that occurs when hair follicles become clogged with oil and dead skin cells. The different types of acne that can be caused as a result are;
- Blackheads (open comedones) that form when dead skin cells mix with excess oil and debris in the lining of the pore and upon reaching the opening of the skin’s surface, it oxidizes and turns black.
- Whiteheads (closed comedones) are also a clogged pore, but the head of the white bump is covered by a thin layer of the skin hence the contents are not exposed, are not oxidized and do not turn black.
- Papules (normal pimples) are small to medium sized, filled with excess oil and fluid and can be sore to the touch. These are typically the most manageable types of pimples to get rid of.
- Pustules happen when papules get worse; more fluid and oil is produced.
- Deep pimples (nodular acne) are the severe form of acne; large, hardened, angry looking lumps that typically must be managed with the help of a dermatologist.
I typically deal with papules. These are the simple steps I take after I discover the onslaught of a cheeky spot.
I cleanse my face with a gel facial wash – typically the Radiant Glow Botanical Facial Wash (ensuring my hands are clean before I start)
I apply the Cosrx Acne Pimple Master Patch on every single spot (thank God for social distancing and working from home, which makes using patches in the daytime possible)
I apply a benzoyl peroxide treatment like Urban Skin Rx Clear Complexion Acne Serum & Spot Treatment on the spots
I continue with my skincare routine on the un-patched or untreated parts of my face, neck and décolletage
I double cleanse – typically with the same gel facial wash but twice (ensuring my hands are clean before I start)
I use a salicylic acid toner (the purpose is to deeply cleanse and unclog my pores)
I patch or use spot treatment (as in the AM)
I continue with my skincare routine ensuring I don’t use Vitamin C or retinol so as not to cause irritation or ineffectiveness of active ingredients.
The above typically works for me in ensuring that the ‘spotty process’ is shortened. However, a few other things are required in my lifestyle;
- Minimizing stress levels (hard)
- Drinking lots of water (easier)
- Ensuring a healthy diet (hmmm)
- Changing pillowcases weekly (easy)
- Getting enough sleep (hard) and
- Keeping your phone clean (easy)
The result is typically a dark mark for me unless I catch the spot very early. I have a shelf full of products to help tackle this but that’s for another article.
Do let me know what works for you in attacking acne. Do you find the lifestyle aspect of skincare easy or hard? Will you be trying my almost foolproof method? Let’s chat x