I don’t remember when I first got spots. But ever since then, they have been a blight on my life. I grew up hiding behind a fringe or my long hair. It didn’t help that I wore glasses too. Yes, I was an awkward, geek and incredibly shy teenager. Thankfully, as a girl, there was make-up, along with many lotion and potions promising to revolutionise your skin and kills spots dead.
While most of them actually dried my skin, creating a vicious circle of pumping out more sebum, then getting more spots, it did taught me was to look after my skin. At one point in my life, I thought I had finally beaten the dreaded acne. But on no. In the past few months, my face has erupted with painful cysts which are taking forever to go down, blackheads and open pores. Not exactly as great base for my flawless make-up.
However, I’m not alone. It affects 50% women and 25% of men. According to the British Association of Dermatologists – or BAD – the average age of people suffering from adult acne is 30. Most of us, at some point get the odd spot or two. However, if it becomes unmanageable it becomes just more than a blight on your life. It’s painful and makes you self-concious.
It’s hormones apparently. Blame the testosterone.
Here are some tips I have picked up over the years:
- Despite what your mother might have told you, spots are not caused by chocolate.
- Over washing can actually aggravate your skin. As it strips off the oil in your skin, if you don’t replenish that moisture (with an oil-free cream) you body will pump out more oil, resulting in more shine and more spots.
- The Pill can help.
- Your doctor can help.
- Tea tree is the stuff of wonder.
- Toothpaste does not work.
- Exfoliate once a week to unclog your pores.
- Don’t use anything with alcohol in. It’s an astringent and will strip the oil.
- Don’t suffer in silence.
Over the years I have spent obscene amounts of money to try and find the perfect product. As per usual, my skin doesn’t know if it’s coming or going. Too dry for oily products and too oily for dry and sensitive products. And forget about combination products. These days, I tend to smell of tea tree, known for its antibacterial properties and once a week I use a face mask that I bought back from Iceland.
The battle continues.