If you suffer with acne, breakouts, blackheads and excessive oil production - you aren't alone. Many of us will develop some level of acne at some point in our lives, and not just in our teens. Adult acne is also a thing (unfortunately) and can persist over the age of 40! Acne will usually rear it's ugly head(s) - literally - in the early teenage years for most people.
As women, we are prone to a spot or two due to hormonal fluctuations during the natural menstrual cycle or hormonal birth control methods, well into adulthood. Typically, most people won't suffer severe acne after the age of 25, but the classic oily skin-related problems such as open pores, acne scars, post-inflammatory pigmentation marks, blackheads and an over-production of sebum can still be present - as well as the odd or not-so-odd breakout.
Acne in men is also quite common, especially in the teenage years when puberty is occurring and testosterone levels are all over the place.
Acne and problem skin is caused by a number of things, mainly the skin's sebaceous glands reacting excessively to hormonal changes - over-producing more oil than we need. This oil can clog the pores, and cause them to become inflamed. The more oil that is present on the skin, the more the natural bacteria present on all of our skins reacts to it. These bacteria get into the ducts of the sebaceous glands where they make chemicals that eventually penetrate the deeper parts of the skin, causing infection and inflammation - AKA, your average pimple.
This doesn't mean acne is infectious, or caused by poor hygiene rituals (although that can exacerbate the issue) - All skins, acneic or otherwise normal, contain bacteria. It is just how the bacteria reacts to the amount of oil produced by the skin that can be a factor in the formation of acne.
There can be different causes of acne, so if yours happens to be severe, we recommend going to a GP for a full assessment and professional medical advice.
We here at The Beauty Basket have put together a basic skincare routine - day and night - for more problematic skin.
Day-Time Skincare Routine
Cleanse - Wash your face using the Boddy's Pharmacy Deep Cleansing Gel cleanser, which is formulated with skincare hero ingredient Calendula extract, to detoxify and deeply clean the pores, whilst having a calming, soothing effect on angry, irritated and inflamed skin. This cleanser also helps to reduce oil production in the skin, leaving your skin feeling fresh and clean. Apply a coin sized amount to wet palms, and massage into the face for 60 seconds before rinsing.
Tone - After cleansing, use the Boddy's Pharmacy Deep Cleansing Toning Lotion, which also contains the super-calming Calendula extract, which can help with sensitive skin as well as clearing out the pores and removing dirt and oil. Toner is all about balancing the skin and protecting the natural barrier, so it's an important step that should not be skipped when it comes to skincare! Apply some of the product to a cotton pad and wipe gently over the face for a cooling, refreshing feel.
Moisturise - We recommend the Koconoi Kau Pe Flowers Calming Cream as your final step in your morning skincare regime, as this product contains coconut oil which is naturally anti-microbial, and a whole host of calming ingredients which are necessary for aggravated skin. With oily skin, it can be tempting to skip moisturising - but this is a common misconception. Oily skin still needs moisture, to prevent even more oil being produced by the skin in an effort to keep itself hydrated. A light moisturiser like this one, with soothing and calming ingredients like Kau Pe flower extract, coconut and monoi oils for a hydration boost, and tiare floral water to decongest and refresh the skin, is absolutely perfect for those of us with problematic skin. This product comes in a hygienic pump form, and one or two pumps will release enough product for your entire face. Be careful not to apply too much moisturiser.
Night-Time Skincare Routine
Cleanse - If you wear makeup during the day, we recommend doing a double cleanse on the skin to really ensure it is properly taken off and the skin is free to breath and heal overnight. For the first cleanse, to initially remove the majority of the gunk on your face, Boddy's Pharmacy Deep Cleansing Micellar Water is perfect. Apply a generous amount to a cotton pad and wipe gently over the face to remove even eye-makeup. You may need to use a few cotton pads, depending how much makeup you wear. Follow up with the Boddy's Pharmacy Deep Cleansing gel for a thorough, deep clean.
Tone - Use the same Boddy's Pharmacy Deep Cleansing Toner that you would use in the morning, for refreshed, calm skin. Toning also helps with pore size and and making sure every last bit of dirt and oil is removed from the pore. This toner will help to calm any sensitivity as well.
Moisturise - Again, go in with the Koconoi Kau Pe Flowers Calming Cream - one or two pumps should suffice. It is important to always apply moisturiser during the day, either underneath makeup or if you are going bare-faced, to protect the skin against free radicals and environmental damage, and provide hydration to the skin throughout the day. This moisturiser contains anti-oxidants and is also anti-inflammatory, meaning it can help to improve the appearance of redness in the skin associated with breakouts or sensitivity.
It's important to include weekly treatments to your skincare routine as they act like a booster for your normal, everyday skincare. It's like taking a supplement - it helps to further improve the condition of the skin by adding a little something extra.
We recommend using the Boddy's Pharmacy Cleansing Black Mask once a week (usually at night-time, after washing the face and before toning and moisturising) - for a deep, acne-busting cleanse. This mask will also help to reduce oil production, and clear out blockages in the pores - without overly-stripping the skin. It is enriched with orange butter to ensure it still provides hydration to the skin as well, leaving the texture of the skin soft and smooth.
Another once weekly treatment we recommend is exfoliation. This helps to remove dead skin cells and clear out blocked pores, and also aids in skin regeneration - meaning post-inflammatory pigmentation (red marks left behind by spots) may reduce much quicker. The less dead skin on the surface of your face means less food for any bacteria to feed on - therefore equating to less pimples!
We stock the amazing Koconoi Bora Bora White Sand Face Scrub, which we would suggest using once a week (again, usually at night time) after cleansing and before applying any creams or toners. If your skin is quite sensitive, you can actually use this INSTEAD of your normal cleanser - as long as there is no makeup on the skin or it has been properly removed with micellar water. Use a coin sized amount and rub it gently into the skin - be sure not to go overboard or be too rough, as this can cause damage to the skin.
No skincare routine is complete without a proper eye cream! It is important to look after the skin around your eyes, as it is the thinnest skin on our bodies and very delicate. You should always avoid putting skincare products (especially more drying ones) too close to your eyes as this can cause irritation or drying of the already very thin skin. This area of skin needs moisture and hydration to prevent lines and wrinkles from forming. We recommend using the Boddy's Pharmacy Every-Night Eye Contour Cream, as this night-time eye cream is specially formulated with cucumber extract and apricot oil to hydrate, soothe and calm the eye area, reducing puffiness and under-eye bags, and fight against fine lines and wrinkles.
*NB - As with any skincare routine, you should allow at least 6 weeks in order to see the full effects and improvements. Skincare is so personal as no two peoples skin is the same, so what works for one person may not work for another. It is important to bear this in mind when testing out skincare products and searching for ones that are right for you and your skin.