"I want ask what I can do for my face. I have really bad whiteheads and blackheads around most places, and I have really irritated skin as well. I have tried every face wash as well as natural ways to get rid of my acne, but nothing seems to work. I was wondering if you could suggest anything that might help my skin — I just want then to go away! I don't know if it is because of hormones or exercise, or because of what I eat, but I just need to reduce both my pimples and my pores." — Sophie
Last year was all about fixing my skin. I've told you all about my struggle with hormonal acne after coming off the pill (it made me feel a little loopy and moody), and it's been a bumpy ride to get to my destination — supermodel skin. Ambitious? Why yes. But with all the products on the market, why can't we all be free of acne, blackheads, pigmentation, dark circles and large pores? We spend the money, we should get the results. Keep reading.
Acne: the word gets thrown around a lot, but do you know exactly what it means? "Acne is a common skin condition commonly found in young adults," dermatologist Dr. Paul Jarrod Frank says. "It is a disease of the hair follicle and the pores that lead them to the skin." More than just the typical pimple, the word "acne" encompasses everything from whiteheads to blackheads to inflamed cysts. That's right — even though you may not suffer from huge zits dotting your forehead, those blackheads that plague you also count as acne. Get all of Dr. Frank's tips when you keep reading.
Not popping a pimple is one of those cardinal beauty rules that is often broken, but there are things you can do to lessen the damage if you do choose to squeeze. Your best bet is to leave your extractions to the pros. But if you can't resist the urge, take some advice from celebrity esthetician Renée Rouleau. "If you are going to squeeze a zit or blemish, make sure you aren't making it worse and creating further damage to the skin," she says. "The issue isn't just the blemish itself, but the red, dark, or purple mark left over from picking can linger for months. So the goal is to get the infection out of the skin in the least invasive way." Learn how to do that when you follow these steps.
When it comes to miracle ingredients, retinol is high on our list. Not only does it help with things like dark spots and acne, but it also keeps skin firm and taut. Retinol, however, can be extremely drying. Luckily, we found three products that give you the exfoliation you need for a beautiful glow but also have hydrating properties. Read: red, flaky skin will be a thing of the past.
I've been pretty open about my struggle with hormonal breakouts, enlarged pores and not-so-great skin texture, so when one of Sydney's leading cosmetic physician's wrote me a prescription for tretinoin (a topical retinoid), I was kind of confused. She told me it was a form of vitamin A, and that it is most commonly used to treat fine lines and wrinkles, but also acne.
This news (and the results) were life changing for me. I had a problem area on my right cheek and it completely cleared up, and my skin had never looked smoother. My blackheads were less pronounced and I actually haven't had a major breakout since. I've since replaced the tretinoin with DMK's Revise-A, but because I'd never been told about topical retinoids before, I thought other acne sufferers might be interested in learning more. Dr. Naomi McCullum explains all, after the jump.
Bacne is an issue that people put up with all year, but it can seem so much worse in the Summer. Putting on a slinky string bikini when you have blemishes all over your back and shoulders can feel like someone's thrown a spotlight on you. But bacne is not something that's going to go away on its own. "You need to take on a lot of commitment with it," says Jamie Ahn, owner of Acqua Beauty Bar in NYC. To get Ahn's insight on how to prevent back acne and what to do if you find yourself speckled with unsightly bumps, just keep reading.
Pimples just tend to appear at the most inopportune times, don't they? And no matter what you try to do, sometimes concealer doesn't do a good enough job alone to cover it up. It's time to kiss those days goodbye. With the right army of products, you can mask those pimples in seconds flat, and they'll stay concealed all day.
- Leave it be: It's been said before, but it's still true: do not pop or pick at your pimple. Not only does it spread bacteria, but it makes it practically impossible to cover.
- Go green: After washing your hands, apply a green-tinted concealer, like the one in the Bloom Cosmetics Secret Weapon Concealer Kit ($20), to neutralise the red of the blemish. Pat it on with a clean makeup sponge, but do not rub.
- Conceal: Generously layer your regular concealer on top of the green with a clean sponge or brush, blending away any harsh edges left behind by the green.
- Powder: Dip a small brush into your regular powder and gently pat it on and around the blemish to set the concealers. Use a light, tapping motion to get full coverage from the powder.
- Finishing touch: If you still feel like you need some coverage, add a second layer of your flesh-toned concealer, but avoid another powder layer to avoid looking cakey.