Blemished skin can be hard to care for. Sometimes it seems the more you do, the harder you try to ‘dry’ out the skin, or scrub away those spots it just stays the same…. or gets worse. Actually, drying skin out and vigorously scrubbing will definitely worsen the condition. This guide will give you pointers on what may cause the condition, the best way to care for your skin when you have blemishes, helpful ingredients and great products to help in blemish control.
What are the characteristics of blemished skin?
- excess sebum (oil) secretion, which gives skin an overly shiny look
and the presence of one or all of the following:
- large pores
- presence of blackheads, whiteheads, pimples
- breakout which can be inflamed, red and sensitive
Blackheads- occur most often on nose, chin and forehead centre. They form when oil is trapped by dead skin cells as oil makes it way to the opening of the skin’s pore. If the oil is exposed to air, it oxidizes, creating the black appearance.
Whiteheads- they can occur anywhere but are mostly seen on forehead, cheeks and under eyes. They are small, hard, white lumps.
Pimples- There are different types of pimples, papules, pustules and cysts. Papules are red bumps which have a soft surface filled with oil and fluid. They can feel sore when touched. They occur when clogged pores rupture and bacteria grows, which causes inflammation and white fluid. Pustules are larger, and much more swollen than papules. Cysts are the largest and most painful of all pimples. Sometimes they don’t look like a pimple, they may be a red, swollen, hard lump. They occur within the deepest layers of the skin and if left untreated may lead to scarring. They are hard to treat and you should consult a dermatologist.
Possible causes of blemished skin
- excess sebum production trapped under dead skin cells
- bacteria causing infection within the blocked skin cells
- hormonal imbalance (consult a medical professional for advice in treating underlying cause)
- stress (consult a medical professional to treat underlying cause)
Care of blemished skin
The right skincare routine and cosmetic preparations can be very useful in the control of breakout and achieving a smoother, more refined complexion. As I mentioned previously if you have cysts, and also severe pustules, consultation with a dermatologist is highly recommended.
- choose products to help balance skin’s sebum production and control breakout without stripping the skin of it’s natural moisture. Trying to dry the oil from skin will only cause the skin to fight back by producing more oil, leading to an even oilier complexion.
- regular, gentle exfoliation is necessary. There are different types of exfoliation- manual (scrubs), which buff away the dead skin cells, and chemical (acid type products), which break down the bonds that hold the dead skin cells together. Using manual scrubs on inflamed, irritated pimples and pustules is not recommended. It can rupture the pimple, causing more inflammation, spread the bacteria and may cause scarring. It is better to use a less non-abrasive form of exfoliation, like clays and fruit or lactic acids, AHA’s or BHA’s.
- be consistent with your skincare routine. Cleanse morning and night and exfoliate regularly according to your condition.
Cosmetic Ingredients which may help
- Vegetable oils. Yes I am telling you to fight oil with oil. Some oils derived from natural sources are excellent to aid in controlling sebum production without stripping the skin of natural moisture. They also help deliver vital nutrients and healing properties to your skin. Hazelnut oil is lightweight and penetrates the skin easily to deliver soothing, astringent and firming benefits. Argan oil restores, rejuvenates and provides vital nutrients. Jojoba oil- is actually a wax- helps soothe skin and restore skin’s PH levels. It’s structure is similar to your skin’s own sebum. Castor oil- remains on the skin’s surface to protect, help heal blemish marks and soothe.
- Botanicals- Nettle and Witchazel- provide astringent benefits. Honey is a natural antibacterial cleanser and has antioxidant properties. Green tea, chamomile and calendula is soothing and great for antioxidant protection. Totara- high level anti-bacterial and antioxidant properties. A great feature of Totara is that it is a naturally occurring active that can be extracted from the dead wood of the Totara tree which eliminates the need to cut down live trees.
Clay- I love using pure healing clays. They are brimming with nutrients and minerals. They gently but efficiently detoxify, heal and rejuvenate. And essential oils like May Chang, Bisabolol, Rosewood, Tea tree, Grapefruit and Bergamot all help blemished, oily skins.
Best products to control blemishes from the Absolute Skin Tonics product range
Cleanse- Bergamot & Clay Cleanse. Gentle, deep cleanse to help oil control, purify and remove dirt, pollution and make-up. Use morning and night.
Tone- Chamomile Balancing Tonic. Antioxidant face mist to help oil control and deliver antioxidant benefits. Chamomile and vitamin B5 soothes the skin. Green tea delivers antioxidant benefits. Nettle root, witch hazel, may chang and rose geranium essential oil helps control oil.
Moisturise- Chamomile Face Lotion. Lightweight lotion to help control oil and blemishes. Chamomile and aloe vera help in soothing blemishes. DMAE helps de-age.
– Rosewater Eye Gel. Lightweight, moisturising and de-ageing gel which helps diminish lines, puffiness and dark circles. Extracts of gotu kolu and calendula refreshes and revitalises even the most tired eyes.
Treat- Serum Purify (nightly treatment). Helps oil and blemish control. Extract from the Totara tree, witchazel extract, lactic acid & essential oils of rosewood and tea tree help refine pores and control oil. Calendula, chamomile, and vitamin B5 help soothe the irritation sometimes associated with blemishes. Used nightly by itself or under regular moisturiser when additional moisture is required.
– Clay Face Mask. A multi action deep cleansing, pore refining and exfoliating mask. Helps draws out impurities, gently removes dead skin cells and brightens the complexion. Grapefruit and lemon help refresh and brighten the skin. Honey, zeolite and ghassoul clay deliver nutrient and cleansing benefits and give nourishing, exfoliating and rejuvenating properties.
– Bamboo & Lemongrass Radiance Polish. Removes dead skin cells. Purifies, unclogs pores and helps restore skin to give a radiant complexion. Helps give skin a more refined look and aids treatment products to work more effectively. Ingredient benefits: Perfectly round, fine bamboo powder and clays provide gentle exfoliation. Lemongrass and orange essential oils cleanse and balance skin. Oatmeal, lavender and cucumber extract soothe. Honey cleanses and gives natural antioxidants. Goats milk is a natural moisturiser that helps soothe and moisturize the skin and also helps balance the skin’s natural PH levels.
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