Wednesday, 8 December 2010

How To Prevent Spots

Alot of people ask me how I deal with blemishes and how to prevent them from appearing.  Well, you'll never be able to stop every single spot from appearing but they are some things that you can consider to help ensure that it doesn't become a regular occurance.  I don't know why, but one always seems to appear just before a big event , whether it's a date, an interview or a big night out.
  • It's important to keep pores clear by exfoliating regularly, followed by a product which will help peel away blackheads (something like Biore strips are good if you get alot of blackheads). Also, you should be looking for medicated products containing resorcinol, salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide.  The Origins Brighter By Nature range is fantastic and so is the more affordable Neutrogena Visibly Clear range.
  •  I find it's best to keep your hair away from your face if you tend to wear alot of products in it, especially with things like hair wax. The more your hair is in contact with the skin on your face, the more chance you will get breakouts from the residues clogging your pores.
  • I find that Tea Tree antisceptic oil (which you can get in any chemist) is really effective at clearing up spots if applied with a cotton bud/cue tip on the blemish before I go to bed.  This then dries out the impurities and will reduce the swelling.
  • Another simple tip is to make sure you are washing your bedding regularly.  I know this seems like an obvious one but some people only change their bedding every 2 weeks, which isn't really enough given all the dead skin cells that collect on your sheets (yeah I know...gross!).  This is especially important if you apply rich, heavy moisturisers before bed and/or fake tan.  I change my bedding every week to ensure my skin isn't getting clogged by any product that has rubbed off from previous nights.
  • If you suddenly start getting spots on your face, try to think if tyou have changed anything in your routine, such as a new moisturiser, cleanser or foundation.  You can generally narrow it down to one product that may be irritating your skin.
  • Wash your makeup brushes regularly, especially your foundation, powder, bronzer, blush and highlighter brushes.  This will prevent a build up of bacteria on them which of course would cause more blemishes.
  • I know I keep bleeting on about the aspirin mask but I'm such a HUGE advocate for it.  It's so costs like 15p to get a box of uncoated aspirin tablets.  Just by doing this mask once a week, you will notice your skin will be so clear and refined.  I'm always being asked how I keep my skin looking so clear and alot of it is honestly down to 3 simple things:
1) I wash/cleanse/tone and mosituriser my face every single night and morning without fail. 
2) I drink alot of water. 
3) I do an aspirin mask once every week (twice if my skin has broken out which hasn't happened in a long time).

I know there are people who suffer from acne and it's really tough to keep on top of it and it's not as easy for them to treat the problem for themselves, which is why they should work with a dermatologist to seek the best treatment as an individual.  I know alot of people who struggle with it and it can really knock your confidence.  I don't have perfect skin, as you know I suffer from stress-related Psoriasis and at one time, a few years ago, it was REALLY bad.  My face and whole neck were covered in scaly, angry red patches and sometimes I didn't want to leave the house.  It was embarassing, uncomfortable and painful at times.  So please don't think that I don't know what it feels like to have skin problems, because I can empathise with you guys out there having difficulties.  If I can help in any way in this regard then that would make me really happy.  If any of you suffer from Psoriasis, please feel free to email me and ask any questions you may have.

There are different underlying reasons as to why you get spots on certain areas of your face:

Mouth/Chin - If you are getting spots very close to your lips/mouth and the skin can look red and bumpy, then this can be due to perioral dermatitis which is a common problem.  Some people mistake this for eczema and the over-the-counter creams for this can worsen the problem.  If you think you have this, then read into a little more on the net and seek medical advice from your doctor.  If you are just getting cystic blemishes/acne around the mouth then this can be a common symptoms of PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome), which affects many women.  Once again, please seek medical advice from your doctor if you suspect you may have this.  We all know that spots appear just before/at that that time of the month so this is just a normal hormonal occurance unfortunately!

Neck - If you find you are getting alot of breakouts on your neck and jaw line, this can be an indicator that your adrenal glands are in overdrive, and can be stress related.  Acne tends to be painful here so you definitely tell the difference between that and normal blemishes.  Painful spots on the jawline can also suggest problems with your teeth so please check with your dentist if you're getting reoccuring breakouts in this area.  Normal blemishes on your neck and jawline can just be bacteria transferred onto your skin from your mobile phone.  You know how it're wearing foundation, it rubs off on your mobile, then bacteria builds up.  So, I regularly rub down my mobile with an antibacterial wipe.

Forehead - Consider whether your conditioner is possibly irritating your skin on your forehead or whether it could be a hair product used in your fringe/bangs.  Wearing the same hat all the time without washing it can also cause spots here too.  Blemishes on the forehead can be an indicator that your body is having digestive problems or trouble breaking down toxins so it's a good idea to drink lots of water and drinks that will help to flush toxins out of your system like Green Tea with Lemon.  These all seem like really basic things but sometimes you don't think about them.

Cheeks - Blemishes here can be caused by stress, stomach problems, a high sugar diet, possibly a blush product that aggravates your skin or a dirty mobile phone as mentioned above.  Also, try to avoid touching your face too much during the day or resting your face in your hands alot.  Hands pick up alot of bacteria and so this will transfer to the skin on your face and possibly cause or worsen existing blemishes.

I hope this has helped some of you in some small way.  Spots aren't the end of the world, but if you can prevent them in the first place then you just feel so much more confident.

On another note, I had the girls around on Saturday night since the weather is determined to stop us going out and wearing high heels! We sat in watching Strictly Come Dancing, drinking red wine, eating pizza and lots of chocolate.  I love girly nights in, sometimes they can be even better than a night out!  One of my friends, Patricia, gave me an early birthday present, this ceramic jewellery tree from Nova:

I think she got a bit nervous when she read my blog and saw those ASOS jewellery trees so she emailed me to tell me not to buy anything in the next few days!ha ha.  I love this jewellery tree, it's so unusual and the colour is lovely!  Finally I have somewhere to keep all the bits and bobs I normally just put on my dressing table.


  1. I LOVE THE TREE! Great idea!! xx

  2. Thanks for the post!! what product u use for exfoliating?:)

  3. @Tali - Yeah it's pretty isn't it...I've never seen one like it before so I was really chuffed with it :)

    @Vanilla - I normally use St Ives Apricot Invigorating Scrub or Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish

  4. i love love love the aspirin mask and think its makes a great difference! I was using the miracle mattifier in summer too- have you tried their night dream cream- it is amazing!


  5. I rarely get spots but when I do, it's always as you say - just before something important! I have tried putting aspirin on the odd one in the past but it didn't seem to do anything or me. I have heard that those Origins pads are good for dry skin too so I may give them a go x

  6. I love the tree! I would especially love a pink one! I think I may see if I can track one down. xo

  7. Great post!! I've recently been breaking out a lot around the jawline and came to the conclusion that it was Green Tea!!??!! Apparently it increases the amount of testertone - which can cause hormone imbalance. Since I've stopped drinking it the spots have finally vanished! I also recommend sudocream - great for getting rid of redness xxx

  8. Great post! I've got a skincare routine that prevents spots but I also suffer from psoriasis and always get red patches on my nose and around my hairline, it comes and goes, but is annoying! Trying to find a way to control it through diet as skin issues are always related to issues inside your body but show on the surface of the skin. Its really hard to stick to healthy food all the time though! x

  9. Hi Laura, I don't even suffer with spots generally and I think this post is great! So informative and will help so many people. When's your bday? Chloé xoxox

  10. @BeautyH2T - I'm glad you love the aspirin mask can be a miracle worker sometimes!I have the Good Things Dream's really nice.

    @Andrea - That's a shame the asiprin didn't work for you. The Origins pads are also a REALLY good way of preventing spots and keeping your skin smooth. I highly recommend them!

    @Emily - I love my little tree, it's so useful!This one is from Nova and I'm not sure what other colours they do but you could always google 'ceramic jewellery tree' or something? xxx

    @roshas - oooh I didn't know that about Green Tea! I must keep that in mind because I drink quite a lot of it!lol xxx

    @StyleFrost - Yeah Psoriasis can be closely linked to your diet. I often find it gets worse when I drink too much alcohol! Mostly I get it when I'm stressed though.

    @chloelebreton - Thanks very much, I'm glad you found it interesting. My birthday is on Monday 13th Dec...not long now! I better remember to change my age on my profile! x

  11. I love that tree - I really need to find a nice way to organise my jewellery!
    Thanks for this post, i'm definitely going to try out the aspirin mask :)

  12. I use tea tree!! =))
    Rinz @

  13. Another great post.. Thanks for all of the tips. Ive been into using lots of natural products lately.. I think i'm going to add tea tree oil to my list :)

  14. I think the point you made about changing linens frequently is excellent and of course the aspirin mask is a win win!! Thanks for another terrific post!


  15. I definitely need to start exfoliating regularly again!
    I lvoe the jewelry tree, that's so pretty.


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