Breakout prone skin + my Carbon Theory routine
Back in 2016 I had a huge acne breakout which at the time was such a taboo. Social media was full of selfies, food pictures and photos of material items, not makeup-less selfies of bare skin full of cysts. Now, daily accounts are set up by people wanting to embrace their flaws and celebrate the norm of breakout prone skin - I LOVE IT.
Acne, acne vulgaris, spots, breakouts, pimples, hormonal acne, breakout prone.
A skin condition that affects 90% of the population at some point in their life. A skin concern that is so common yet still shamed.
But how can you to improve breakout-prone skin? What’s the cause? Is there a quick fix or a secret product?
The Essential Steps
Studies show that there are some extremely effective treatments to help reduce breakouts such as tea tree, retinol, niacinamide and azelaic acid but besides the direct ingredients to help calm inflammation and redness there are other steps you need to consider.
Cleansing is a crucial step for any skincare routine as it is important to clean away dirt, sweat and bacteria that contribute to clog pores and breakouts. Makeup is another contributor to clogged pores therefore double cleansing is essential to remove products effectively, especially in the PM.
A huge myth that people tend to follow when experiencing breakouts is to avoid moisturiser however it is fundamental to hydrate the skin to restore and replenish what the skin loses naturally. Not only this but when the skin is sufficiently hydrated and at optimal health, redness and inflammation reduce much faster. And remember, just because your skin may be prone to breakouts doesn’t mean it is automatically oily, therefore skipping moisturiser could be even more detrimental to your skins health if you have dry or combination skin. A pea size amount is all you need.
As many of you will now know, wearing an SPF every day is essential to protect the skin from the consistent UVA rays as well as the UVB rays on sunny days. A factor 30+ is recommended however 50+ is even better! As a reminder, when applying SPF, ensure you are applying a liberal amount - a finger length of product for your face and a finger length for your neck.
I always recommend acid exfoliants to effectively remove dead skin cells that can become clogged in a pore and cause a breakout. The frequency of exfoliating though is very important as over exfoliating can become detrimental to the skin’s barrier. One or two times a week for breakout prone skin is enough to improve and prevent acne but not compromise the barrier.
Finally, aim to have one or two (AM/PM) direct treatments to apply to areas of concern but try not to overdo it. You don’t have to use the highest percentage or the harshest product to get results. In fact this can create the opposite effect by stripping the skin and drying out areas too much. As much as you may think that scrubbing away spots will help, speaking from experience it only makes things much worse.
The Main Takeaways
It is important to note that spots are non-discriminatory. What you may have grown up to believe - ‘after your teenage years they all disappear’ is completely false. You can get spots at any age and this shouldn’t come with sadness, guilt or shame.
Besides skincare, skin problems can be influenced by what you eat, hormones and lifestyle choices so if you feel like you are doing your utmost and following everything by the book with your skincare routine but still aren’t getting results, then it’s time to reach out and ask for help from a skin expert or dermatologist.
One final note: the best advice I can give to anyone experiencing breakouts is to stay consistent! It is easy to get caught up on the latest product releases as well as swap and change products regularly without giving them a chance, but this most commonly can cause breakouts to worsen. Consistency is key! Skincare is not fast fashion.
Makeup Remover - Bi-phase Cleansing Water
Cleanser - Breakout Bar
Exfoliate - Cleansing Pads (1-2 times per week)
Moisturiser - Facial Moistuirser
SPF - SPF 50+
Spot Treatment - Spot Paste / Overnight Detox Serum