What do a job interview, first date and party where you know that every photo will end up on Facebook all have in common? They’re all opportunities when you just know a big red blazing pimple will strike, that’s what!
Whilst the usual advice about early nights and a healthy lifestyle still hold true, there are thankfully plenty of products out there to help. Here’s our three-step guide/military campaign to dealing with the little, or should that be giant angry and red, blighters:
The best means of not having to deal with a nasty outbreak would be to never get a nasty outbreak in the first place – a lot easier said than done! Apart from a few general tips – use gel or foam-based, oil-free cleansers and moisturisers rather than rich and creamy ones, go easy on using aggravating products on the extra-sebaceous T-Zone – there will be a lot of trial and error before you manage to hit on the miracle skincare routine that keeps the blighters at bay.
Nevertheless, Clinique’s Anti-Blemish Solutions range, specifically designed to clear up and reduce breakouts whilst also calming and reducing the appearance of redness, takes some beating. Stringently allergy-tested (about 7200 times for each product!), fragrance-free and developed by bona-fide dermatologists, Clinique offer solutions for nearly every complexion and are especially good at catering for sensitive skin. The results are gentle, non-drying, non-abrasive products that seem to (touch wood!) genuinely work.
So all your frantic anti-zit methods have failed… what next? Once you get that familiar tingling feeling and feel a spot just bubbling to burst out, set your skincare routine to ‘kill’ before it heads to volcanic proportions. There are plenty of miracle cures that supposedly put your spot to bed before it has taken over your whole face but one of our favourites is Atorrege’s AD+ Medicated Acne Spots (available from selected Watsons).
The name might not make much sense (it’s a Japanese company) but the results certainly do! A cross between a gel and a serum, it contains ingredients like witch hazel, lavender oil and huang bo (a bark extract from a tree traditionally used in Chinese medicine) to calm inflammation, inhibit bacteria, prevent acne and lighten blemishes – all fancy ways of saying ‘make spots go bye-bye’. Non-astringent, non-drying and non-stinging, it seems almost too gentle to work – but applied quick enough, it can have your zits running for cover quicker than you can say ‘Cheese!’ for those Facebook photos.
Simply concealing your nemesis is reserved for the final stage of our campaign, when all else fails. Ideally, you should try and avoid wearing make-up altogether yet if you’re not comfortable with showing off your pimples to the world, here’s a few of our favourite products for keeping those zits undercover and undetected.
For industrial-strength concealment, Benefit’s Boi-ing hides all your nasties without creasing or fading (try blending two shades for the perfect match to your skin tone) whilst for on-the-go touch ups, Clinique’s Airbrush Concealer has a twist-up brush, is oil-free and gives a light even coverage.
Meanwhile, a tip I gleaned from a make-up artist is to use Becca’s Stick Foundation – and I haven’t looked back since! Easily-portable and ultra-convenient, it’s billed as the ultimate skin saviour and evens out skin tone and reduces the appearance of blemishes, all the while offering SPF 30+ and a soft creamy long-wearing formula in 30 different shades.
Just don’t forget to wash your hands or make-up brush thoroughly before and after application to ensure you don’t spread or add extra bacteria that might make your zits hang around for even longer!
Rachel is a writer, make-up maven and Girls Aloud addict who enjoys lusting after things she can't afford. Like what you see? Check out her blog, Though The Looking Glass, here.