As a teenager I was one of the lucky ones, with barely a spot on my face. Fast-forward to my 30s and it’s been a different story so far. As soon as I stopped taking the pill, just over a year ago, my skin flared up. Initially it was a couple of spots, they would start to clear and then (frustratingly) a couple more would appear. The sudden change in my hormones definitely had a significant affect. I’m sure the pill has covered up many issues that would have otherwise been apparent on my skin. On top of that I’ve struggled with problems with my digestive system for years, thanks to a particularly horrid batch of antibiotics I was prescribed in my early 20s. Anything that’s going wrong in your digestion system will usually show in your skin. Treating these conditions is the most important way for me to deal with my spots but here are some of the best spot treatments that work for me.
A moisturising mask might not seem like an obvious choice when dealing with spots but bear with me. The skin is in trauma whilst dealing with spots, and needs something calming and soothing. This is not a heavy mask and, thanks to the honey it contains, is great for soothing and healing the skin. Use once a week on a Sunday morning after cleansing or use it last thing before you go to bed instead of a night cream.
Another effective mask, this one gives your skin a thorough cleanse without stressing it further. The AHA fruit acids help remove dead skin cells whilst the kaolin clay draws out impurities without leaving your skin dry or tight. Use it once a week for up to 10 minutes, removing it gently with warm water and the muslin cloth that comes with it.
When you have spots and blackheads you still need to exfoliate your skin regularly, to remove dead skin cells that contribute to blocked pores. This is one of the gentlest exfoliators I’ve ever used whilst still being effective. It’s a physical exfoliant (rather than chemical) that uses finely milled rice powder to lightly exfoliate whilst the charcoal powder it contains has an anti-bacterial effect. I use this every day or every other day. Dermalogica say you can use it twice a day but I don’t think that’s necessary and possibly a little excessive if you have sensitive skin.
This is, without question, the secret weapon in my spot fighting arsenal! Whatever you’ve read, spots do not disappear overnight but with this little pot you can certainly speed up the process. It has an unusual texture, somewhere between a clay and a gel, combining montmorillonite clay, kaolin clay and salicylic acid. I apply it to my spots with a cotton bud in the evening, after cleansing. I look as though I have Shrek-like spots on my face for the 10 minutes it takes to dry. I then remove it with warm water. And that’s it.
I usually stick to cream cleansers but this cleansing bar was recommended to me and I can’t resist a good recommendation. The main active ingredient is Dead Sea mud which reputedly contains 26 minerals that deeply detoxify, exfoliate and hydrate the skin. You can use it on its own or in combination with their Detoxifying Cleansing Oil*. I’d recommend using both when you’re taking off your make-up.