Clear Solutions Tackle Spots and Blemishes

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Clear Solutions: Tackle Spots and Blemishes

Spots, blemishes and blackheads are the scourge of skin care. Stop blemished skin in its tracks with a little insider information.

 Katie Campbell

Katie Campbell

Beauty Editor

Spots, blemishes and blackheads are the scourge of skincare. Stop them in their tracks with a little insider information.

Conquer Congestion

Unsightly and oh-so-tempting to squeeze, blackheads may appear harmless but ignore them and they could lead to bigger problems. “If bacteria enter a blackhead, it can cause a spot,” warns facialist Sarah Chapman. As blackheads are the result of a pore-blocking mix of dead skin cells and sebum, regular deep cleansing and exfoliation are your prime prevention methods. Arm yourself with a deep cleansing clay mask, like Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask to Clear Pores, which contains white clay. “Clay masks are great because they draw out impurities,” says Sarah, who also recommends a mildly exfoliating cleanser. “Regular exfoliation will help lift off dead cells. For blockages salicylic acid is best.” Try Biosource Clarifying Cleansing Gel. For stubborn blackheads, regular facials may help. “Steam facials and extractions done professionally will keep the skin clearer and peels can help on larger pores,” says Sarah.

You want…
Deep Cleansing Action: Try Origins Get Down Deep Pore Clay Cleanser; Botanics Pore Perfecting Clay Mask.
Visible Pore Purging: Try Biore Pore Perfect Deep Cleansing Strips.
All-in-one treatment and prevention: Try Bliss Steep Clean Toner Pads.

Outsmart Spots

Want to banish bad skin days? The secret, says expert dermatologist Dr Murad, is to address the four elements that contribute to spots – excess skin cells, excess sebum production, bacteria and inflammation.
  • Excess skin cells: “These build up on the skin’s surface, clogging the pores,” says Dr Murad. Look for: “Exfoliating ingredients such as salicylic acid, along with glycolic acid and retinol.”
  • Excess oil: “When mixed with dead skin cells, pores become clogged.” Look for: “Oil-free formulas with algae extract and hyaluronic acid to hydrate skin without adding excess oil.”
  • Bacteria: “P.Acnes bacteria live deep within the pore. They break down the sebaceous oil and create inflammation that causes breakouts,” says Dr Murad. Look for: “Triclosan and a hydrogen peroxide system.” Try Murad Clarifying Cleanser.
  • Inflammation: “An inflammatory response causes redness and swelling,” advises Dr Murad. Look for: “Ingredients such as sulfur, plus liquorice extract, arnica extract, chamomile extract and aloe vera.”

You want…
A speedy solution: Zeno Acne Clearing Device uses heat to safely kill acne bacteria and improve an angry spot within 48 hours. Skin Doctors Overnight Zit Zapper promises to dry out the offending blemish while you sleep.
Non-pore clogging hydration: Yes, even acne-prone skin needs moisture. Try Clinique Anti Blemish Solutions Clearing Moisturizer or Boots Expert Anti Blemish Day Moisturiser SPF 15 to hydrate problem skin without blocking pores.
To fight spots and wrinkles: Olay Total Effects Anti Ageing Blemish Care and No7 Beautifully Clear Age Defence Blemish Care promote a clearer complexion and contain anti-ageing ingredients to help treat signs of ageing.
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