Friday, 1 August 2014

How To Win The War Against Spots

The Battle Against Spots

Everyone gets spots. There is no ifs nor buts, every single person in the world will have had a spot at some point regardless of fame or class. Spots are horrible little (or big) things that cause a lot of frustration throughout life. For me though, the hardest part about spots was when you start to go through puberty - one minute your skin is a soft as a baby's bottom and the next it is speckled with spots of all shapes and sizes. For the first few years, without the correct advice or products spots become a living nightmare and they we for me as well. Not only did I get lots of them but I did the WORST thing you can do. I picked at them.

Yes, the worst thing that you can do is to pick and squeeze at spots - which is exactly what I did. Very soon my skin was a collection of red sores and scars and, as I scar easily, these remain. My skin was so atrocious I would get double takes as I walked to school. Not only did it look terrible but it wasn't healthy and my skin was cracked, sore and dry. I never stuck to a face washing routine and I refused to go to a doctor and see what could  be done. Why? I was embarrassed which is stupid because GPs see so many cases like mine so they have all seen it before. 

If you are reading this and you still aren't convinced that picking at your spots is the worst thing you can do here is a picture of me (pulling a very unattractive face) on holiday two years ago.

Look at the horrific condition of my skin.

But now, after using and doing all the things I will soon mention, I rarely get spots and even then they are usually small and easy to disguise. This is one of the few (recent) photos of just me that you can sort of see how much clearer my skin is. I am sorry if it still isn't clear enough.

But trust me when I say it - my skin is pretty much spot free. 

It's not scar free though, which is a tough reminder that you should always leave you spots be. It means that I am rarely confident enough to go outside without concealer (at least) on. 

So how did I improve my skin so drastically over such a short period of time. Well, there are three reasons.

Reason one: Duac cream (benzoyl peroxide)

So I ended up going to my local GP after all and it was fine and not embarrassing at all! I am really not kidding, as I already said: the GPs have seen it all before. They prescribed me this cream and it works wonders. You apply it once a day after washing your face - I would suggest using it in the morning or after you've had a shower. I wouldn't suggest putting makeup on straight after application as it will not work as well. Also I never put it on my nose as it does dry out your skin and your nose is particularly sensitive to becoming very dry. For that reason it is very important to moisturise or to use moisturising facewash everyday. But this cream works miracles. Seriously.

Reason two: Facewashing and routines

I have tried many face washing products and the two that you are going to see are just two of a number of excellent products; however these are the ones I keep using. 

As I shower at night I put my Duac cream on then as well, obviously this would change if I showered in the morning. 

The first thing that I do is run some warm-hot water in my skin and wet my face. Then I use my Clean and Clear Blackhead Clearing Daily Scrub to remove all the dead skin on my face.
This product does not foam a lot so don't waste it trying to make it do so.I love this stuff because it smells delicious and works a treat. Also it is very cheap at around £3.99 and it is available in the majority of drugstores and shops like Tesco. This facewash is a saviour and as it contains 150 ml, it lasts a while. I have use a lot of Clean and Clear products and I like the majority of them and they are all very good value for money but if you have to buy one I'd instantly recommend this one.

The second thing I do is use Amie Radiant Dawn Exfoliating Daily Wash. I normally use this every other day as my Clean and Clear one is also exfoliating and you don't want to over do the exfoliating. This facewash is very gentle and good for children of a younger age (13 and below) who are starting to get spots. This or the Simple range is excellent for that. It one foams quite a lot so only a little is needed. This fashwash isn't my favourite and I am most likely to switch this one up with other ones like: Garnier Skin Naturals Pure Active Intensive Charcoal Scrub or Garnier Pure Active Exfo-Brusher Wash.

The third thing I use is my Kiehl's Ultra Facial Oil-Free Lotion which is expensive but worth the money. This acts sort of like a moisturiser but it also reduces the oil on the surface of the skin. I do not use this everyday as it is quite an expensive product and I only have the travel size. Ignoring the price, this product is excellent and I normally give it 15-30 minutes to absorb into my skin before applying the Duac cream. This product is fairly new to me so I can not give an a great review; however what I have seen at the moment is that it is a great product and it could also be used in the morning to make your skin look more 'radiant'.

As I have put my Duac cream on there is nothing else I can do to my skin, so I tie my hair up and go to bed. As I sleep with and eye mask on the skin around my eyes can get quite greasy so I wash with my Amie facewash in the morning as well. In the morning I also moisturise and for this I only ever use one product and that is: Clean and Clear Morning Energy. This product is good value for money and smells very nice. The only downside is that as it is an 'energy' cream it has a little bit of glitter in which can take you by surprise if you aren't aware of it being in the product. The glitter is not enough to even notice when applying the product let alone cause irration.This product is my favourite moisturiser and I haven't used a different brand in over a year.

The last thing that I include in my 'routine' is more of a treat for my skin and I use it once a week (roughly). This is the Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask. This product is the type that you feel working - yes, it really is that good. This mask should be applied on clean but not too wet skin. Apply as much as you would like - I like to use a lot as I do not use it that often but it's all about preference.This product is not cheap as it is around £25 for the biggest size but it is worth it - Origins products are all natural and they make you feel fantastic after using them. When you first use this product it can be quite a shock when it begins to dry as it tightens on the skin which is a strange feeling. You should leave it to completely dry before washing it off but be warned: as it is charcoal it can be quite messy to wash off. It is best to do this topless to avoid mess. 

Reason three: Good old water (well not 'old' water)

Drink water. Lots of water. Just do it. I am serious. They say to drink 2 liters of water a day and that is hard and you may think quite boring. My tips to make sure that you do this is to carry a refillable water bottle with you where ever you go. You should also much sure to always have water by you as you work instead of soft drinks of coffee - yes that includes Diet drinks! Also try drinking water with a straw (as stupid as it sounds) it helps as well. To make the water a bit more interesting you may chose to slice up some fruit and add it to the water - I love to add lemon to it but berries are always a nice touch. You should also make sure that the water is fresh and as cold as possible otherwise you are unlikely to drink it.

These 3 reasons are why I now am able to love my skin and it is a good enough condition to (finally) get compliments by my ever jealous peers.

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