SPOTS! We all get them. Even though YOU my lovely are beautiful WITH (yes you read that right, WITH!) and without them, it’s always nice to have a bit of power up our sleeves when it comes to controlling breakouts. There is 1 very much overlooked cause of spots that is like the river feeding your streams, and it has a VERY simple solution!
IS THIS THE NUMBER 1 CAUSE OF YOUR SPOTS?
It’s as simple as DEAD SKIN. Yes that’s it. Dead Skin, full stop. It causes all sorts of havoc if it’s not ‘swept’ off of your face soon after it’s shed. It’s like trying to hold onto a beautiful flower after it’s picked. That flower is beautiful for AGES when it’s growing outside. When it’s picked it wilts away quickly and you get ‘vase sludge’. It’s the same for your skin.
Dead skin can (and will if given the chance!) block pores AND make them look bigger! Dead skin holds onto anything your skin makes, that includes skin oil, so it can make skin look ‘greasy’. Dead skin is also like chocolate cake for any spot causing bacteria’s (P.acnes being the main culprit!), chocolate cake mean that spot bacteria can thrive.
The solution to helping ‘skin that’s done its job’ in completing its life cycle down the plug-hole is EXFOLIATION.
MORE: This is one way that the spot fighting ingredient, of Vitamin A (also known as Retinol or Isotretinoin) helps to reduce acne, by literally making your skin (in my most proper scientific voice) ‘turnover’ more quickly. But why the heck use words like that when we can just say Exfoliates away skin *wink wink*.
WHY SKIN NEEDS HELP TO REMOVE ‘OLD AND A BIT TIRED’ SKIN CELLS
Sometimes skin can just be too good at ‘being’ skin and doesn’t know when it’s time to leave. Who could blame it, it’s enjoying its time in the spot light of your pretty face! Think of skin like bricks and morter #LegoPlaydate. Each skin cell, has ‘skin glue’ holding it together. If that glue is SUPER effective (usual for normal to oily skin types), then skin can cling on for a while too long. We want fresh skin cells that aren’t a chocolate cake meal to spot bacteria’s. Skin glue that is too effective could be your number 1 cause of spots.
Normal to oily skin types usually have really good skin glue. It’s one of the reasons why normal to oily skin types age really well! Now that is a reason to love your oily skin!! Along with that, if you are a pro at moisturising day and night, then you are helping your skin glue to be its best. That can also mean, even if you have a slightly dry skin type, that good skin glue could be the cause of spots. If you have a normal to oily skin type then you will need to bond with an exfoliator more than a normal to dry skin type to prevent dead skin being the cause of spots.
THE 2 WAYS TO EXFOLIATE TO STOP DEAD SKIN BEING THE CAUSE OF SPOTS
The first way to exfoliate is the most straight forward to think about. You literally rub or brush off those ‘past their best’ skin cells! Re-wind back a few years and facial scrubs would be your go-to. Now there are also a load of facial exfoliating brushes. We now have options lovelies! Lots of options to stop the cause of spots #SpotWeaponArsenal.
PRO-TIP: If you opt for a facial scrub, the environment is probably the LAST thing on your mind. We don’t mean to forget, it’s just not what you think about when shopping skincare! Some scrubs contain plastic beads, usually they have bright colours! They don’t degrade very quickly and end up on beaches and in fish bellies! Instead go for a natural rice grain, jojoba wax beads, or anything natural that will degrade and protect nature from our footprint. You can even join the ‘Beat the Microbead campaign’ if you feel extra passionate!
The second way to exfoliate to stop dead skin being the cause of spots is to use a skincare acid. Don’t worry, they won’t sting, skin is slightly acidic anyway. If your skin pH is ‘upset’ and made more ‘water like’, which is neutral on the acid scale, that can actually cause spots in itself – crazy ‘ey! That’s why water can actually irritate skin!
The most popular skincare acids are Salycylic, Glycolic and Lactic acid. These will all help dead skin cells OFF your face and down the plug-hole. #YAYtothat.
PRO-TIP: Salycylic acid works BEST for oily skin types and penetrates much deeper into skin as it’s oil soluble (code for oil lover!). Skin is naturally oily, and the places that dead skin cells get trapped, are even more oily. So if you want a skin acid to stop clogged pores being the cause of spots, choose Salicylic.
SNEAK PEAK: Next week, I have pulled together, (just for you lovelies) the ultimate guide to exfoliation! Whatever your skin type, it will help you find the BEST way of exfoliating for your awesomely unique skin. If that sounds like exactly what you need, then grab a seat on the Newsletter.
Is your skin glue, just too darn good at its job? Could this be the cause of your spots?
Cheryl Woodman is a scientist & award winning skincare formulator who’s more friend next door than bow tie wearing professor. As creator of Honesty For Your Skin her aim is to help you care for your skin in the best ways possible. She’s founder of the natural & fragrance free skincare brand Honesty while also hosting 1 to 1 skincare coaching to help you get your best skin yet. Find out more here.