Top Four Acne Busting Myths

This post is not in any way a shaming post.  I’ve done most, if not all of the mistakes listed below.  My goal is only to help you not make the same mistakes I made early on in my quest to calm and treat my acne.  I hope it helps.

Nope.  Just. No.  I’ve been down this road and it caused havoc on my skin and made my acne so much worse in the long term.  Deliberately drying up your skin by stripping moisture-binding substances on the skin’s surface hurts your skin’s ability to fight acne causing bacteria and encourages more breakouts, and unfortunately, causes post acne marks to stick around longer.  Be gentle with your skin.  Acne prone skin is sensitive skin and you need to treat it with kid gloves.  The best thing I ever did was to start using skin care products that are specifically formulated to calm, control acne bacteria, and speed up healing.  Check out the products and skin care routine that have worked best for me here.

Not true!  Dirt doesn’t cause acne. There are several factors that could be causing your acne, but dirt isn’t one of them.  Acne can be caused by hormonal fluctuations, internal inflamation, stress, hair care products, and defintely using harsh products to cleanse or harsh scrubs to exfoliate.  Using harsh scrubs, soaps, foaming face washes, and over-cleaning your face will inevitably create tight, dry, flaky, and aggravated skin.  Your skin is now in chaos mode and will over compensate by producing more oil and sebum, which will clog your pores and lead to painful breakouts.  Start embracing gentle cleansing.  Use a gentle cleanser in the morning, or don’t cleanse in the morning at all.  I no longer cleanse in the morning and have found it to be one of the most effective ways to balance my skin.  I only use a soft wash cloth and lukewarm water to cleanse in the morning. Use an oil cleanser at night to wash away make up and your sunscreen.  Make sure the oil cleanser doesn’t contain oils that are potentially pore-clogging.  I made this mistake with coconut oil.  Do your research.  Another great way to gently exfoliate your skin on a daily basis is to use a BHA product with one or two percent salysilic acid.  Salysic acid is derived from aspirin and has anti-inflammatory properties. It penetrates the oily layer of the skin and helps dislodge blackheads along with dead skin cells.  Beta hydroxy acids help unclog your pores, prevent pimples from forming, and keeps the skin smooth and clear.

I wish this was true but again, nope.  Spot treating can definitely reduce the redness and swelling but it won’t work with the breakouts that are just starting to develop underneath the skin.  Spot treating is ok only if you get a pimple once in a while but if you’re dealing with mild to moderate acne consistently, spot treating isn’t an effective option.  So, use acne-fighting products on a daliy basis where you breakout.

If something feels uncomfortable or straight-up like liquid fire on your skin, don’t use it.  Ever.  Stay away from products like alcohol and essential oils like lavender, eucalyptus, and peppermint oil.  Witch hazel is not good for your skin.  Menthol and citruses like lemon are no good either. These ingredients can actually sensitize your skin and lead to irritation.  Either immidiately or over time.  Some of these ingredients are great to smell and can have calming or energizing effects when you smell them but they don’t belong on your skin.  They can make acne worse, so just stay away from them.

Have a I missed any acne myths?  What ingredients and/or products were big fails for your acne-prone skin? Leave a comment ( I love reading them) or drop by The Deciem and Ordinary Chatroom to further discuss.

Much love XX

My Acne And Aging Journey (Part 1)

Acne at any age sucks but having acne-prone skin in your thirties is the pits.  Plus, you’re having to deal with the early signs of aging at the same time.  So, do you target the acne or do you use products whose main objective is to fight aging skin?  Thankfully, science-based skincare companies like Paula’s Choice and Deciem have many products that target both acne and anti-ageing skin.  Hallelujah! I’ll cover the four main active ingredients you need in order to achieve lovely acne-free skin.

My skin was an absolute mess before I created a skincare regime that worked to balance my skin and keep it happy.  I tried everything. Prescription oral antibiotics and creams, Proactive, natural skincare, the oil method; you name it and I’ve tried it.  I wrecked my skin (and my self-confidence) in the process and I was desperate to find a skincare line that actually worked and wasn’t based on BS marketing and new age gobbledygook.  It wasn’t until I started doing some serious research on the internet that I finally found a bevy of skin ingredients that were proven to work for my skin concerns.  I had nothing to lose. I was at my wit’s end but I now felt like I could make knowledgable decisions about what to put on my skin.

So, what the heck do you need to balance out that acne-prone skin and keep it healthy and happy, while targeting the signs of aging?  A good BHA, niacinamide, a retinol product, and azelaic acid are great multitasking products that help balance our moody skin and fight the signs of ageing.

BHA And Its Wonders

BHA or beta hydroxy/salicylic acid is a leave-on, oil soluble exfoliant that gets rid of surface dead skin cells AND unglues all the gunk inside your pores.  It’s perfect for acne-prone skin that is also prone to clogged pores and blackheads.  BHA is also anti-inflammatory, so it’s great for sensitive skin. Does it have anti-aging properties? I’m glad you asked!  BHA also helps diminish the look of fine lines and wrinkles, evens out skin texture, and can keep your skin from looking dull.  My all time favourite BHA is Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Gel because it soothes and lightly hydrates my skin, while getting rid of clogged pores and bumps.  I use it twice a day but if you’re new to BHA, go slow. Start using it every other night for a few weeks, then every night, and slowly incorporate it twice a day when your skin has adjusted.

Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) 

My skin can’t get enough of this life-changing ingredient.  It’s in my toner, in my serum, and eye treatment.  It’s a glorious multi-tasker!  It helps minimize my pores, evens out my skin texture, fights fine lines and wrinkles, and lightly hydrates my skin. Yay! You can use niacinamide in multiple products without worrying if it will sensitize your skin, and it works well with AHA/BHA, vitamin C and retinol.  It makes friends with everyone.  I am currently using The Ordinary’s Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% serum and loving it.  I also use Paula’s Choice Resist Weightless Advanced Toner, which contains niacinamide among its cocktail of skin-loving ingredients, and Paula’s Choice Resist Skin Firming Line Minimizer on my smile lines and around my eyes.  Obsessed with both products.

Retinol (Vitamin A)

Retinols are skin whisperers.  Incorporating a retinol to your routine will result in a dramatic improvement to the skin’s texture and firmness.  They also help minimize the look of pores and pesky bumps.  Moreover, retinol products work in tandem with other active ingredients like BHA and niacinamide, helping them perform even better than just by their lonesome.  Remember, start slow and always wear spf 30 or higher when incorporating active ingredients into your routine.  My two favourite retinol serums are The Ordinary’s 1% Retinol in Squalene and Paula’s Choice Retinol 1% Booster.  Both are great for acne-prone skin.

Azelaic Acid (dicarboxylic acid)

My 2017 holy grail has got to be The Ordinary’s Azelaic Acid 10% Suspension.  I will never be without it! Azelaic Acid is both an antioxidant and a very gentle acid.  It’s great for both rosacea and acne prone skin as it helps to clear bumps and reduce swelling for both skin concerns.  It’s also great at decreasing follicular plugging, which is just a fancy way of saying that it keeps your pores clear.  Finally, azelaic acid works on pesky hyper-pigmentation and brightens the skin.  Winning!

So, start implementing these phenomenal ingredients in your skincare basket and enjoy the results! Your skin will thank you. If you have any mores questions or want to learn more about these fab skincare brands, check out The Ordinary And Deciem Chat Room. Fabulous information and awesome people sharing their favourite product recommendations. I’m a moderator there, so drop by and say hi 👋🏼

PS: Stay tuned for part 2 of the series where I tackle hydration.

Much love Xx