From pimples to wrinkles
Nobody’s skin is perfect – no, not even those seemingly flawless-faced models (they have armies of re-touch technicians working on them remember!) – so complexion concerns are bound to crop up at some stage of your otherwise fabulous life. Here, we help you identify and eliminate some common problems – no matter what your age.
Pimples and blackheads
The cause: A blackhead forms when an over-active oil gland becomes clogged with oil, dead skin cells, tiny hairs, and occasionally bacteria, while a pimple occurs when said bacteria breaks through the follicle wall and into your skin. “The body responds by alerting the immune system and white blood cells rapidly attack the bacteria,” says Emma Hobson, Education Manager at the International Dermal Institute. “It’s this process that causes the white/yellow head of a spot to appear.” Both can (and most likely will) develop if you don’t remove your make-up, cleanse your face after a workout, or regularly wash your make-up brushes!
The cure: Blackheads can generally be banished with good cleansing and a salicylic acid-based exfoliator. Unfortunately, most pesky pimples need to run their course and may last for five to six days (but that’s not to say you can’t minimise their life span with a spot treatment) – as long as you don’t squeeze. “It’s vital you are never tempted to squeeze a spot as this can spread the bacteria and make the spot worse, not to mention cause another spot or a scar!”, warns Hobson.
Try: St. Ives Blemish Control Apricot Scrub; Clearasil Ultra Deep Pore Gel Wash; Garnier Pure SOS Anti-Spot Pen.
The cause: Apart from the obvious late nights, poor diet is also believed to take our peepers to the dark side. “In Chinese methodology, the under eye area is linked to our kidneys and liver. They believe that if these organs are overloaded/stressed (due to excess consumption of stimulants such as caffeine, alcohol, nicotine and, sorry to say this, chocolate too) this can appear externally as dark circles under the eyes.”
The cure: A balanced diet and plenty of water is essential for glowing inner health and vitality, which will radiate outward and produce sparkling peepers. “For immediate results try using an eye cream that contains optical light diffusers. They reflect the light like microscopic mirrors on the skin’s surface and can dramatically reduces the appearance of dark circles,” Hobson recommends.
Try: Skin Doctors Eyecircle; Natio Eye Contour Treatment Gel; glominerals gloConcealor – under eye.
The cause: Rosacea is recognised by facial flushing/blushing (at times other than when you’ve just tripped down the stairs!), broken capillaries and general redness over the central part of the face. Triggers can vary from genetics and poor diet, to smoking, sun exposure and too much stress (tell that to your boss next time you’re forced to work overtime.)
The cure: If you’re a scarlet skin sufferer it’s best to avoid the sun, and limit stimulants such as alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, preservatives and chili. “Clients who modify their lifestyles, eating habits and reduce their level of stress often experience a much greater degree of rosacea clearing,” says Hobson. In the meantime, there are also a number of products designed to minimise redness.
Try: Clinique Redness Solutions Daily Relief Cream; Eventone Capillary Repair; Gatineau Paris Serenite Anti-redness Cream.
The cause: Pigmentation (otherwise known as the annoying dark patches on your skin) can be genetic, but is most often caused by environmental factors. “The number one culprit is U.V. exposure,” reveals Hobson, who adds that certain medications, artificial fragrances in perfume and hormonal imbalances can also make your skin more sensitive to light and cause discolouration.
The cure: Wearing a complete sunblock every day as well as using products to diminish discolouration will help minimise environmentally-triggered pigmentation. However, hereditary pigmentation is harder to treat and will probably require a visit to your dermatologist to discuss light therapy options.
Try: Cellex-C Fade Away Gel for Sun & Age Spots; Ultraceuticals Ultra C Diminish Cream; Ella Bache Great 30+ Facesaver.
The cause: Short of giving you a scientific explanation (which, let’s be honest, none of us really understand), I’ll just say that wrinkles are the annoying best friend of the process we call ageing, as well as a by-product of sun exposure.
The cure: Sorry to say ladies, there’s no real cure for wrinkles. But before you give up on all your attempts to age gracefully, keep in mind that while you probably won’t completely stop them from occurring (at least not in our lifetime) you can help to prevent and minimise with good, consistent sun protection and the right anti-ageing products.
Try: Olay Regenerist Enhancing Lotion with UV Protection; Estee Lauder Re-Nutriv Ultimate Lifting Creme Makeup SPF 15; Dermalogica AGE Smart Multivitamin Power Firm (for eye and lip area).