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Grooming, Lifestyle

Fed Up Of Spots? This Expert Skin Advice Clears Things Up

Thought lockdown would be your chance to really clear your skin, but finding that, no matter what, you just can’t shift those spots? We’ve called in some help from a skin expert to clear things up…

As normal as they are, spots are one of the biggest confidence-knockers out there. And, as much as we’d all like to bring back our youthful looks, acne is something we’d happily leave back in our teenage years. If you’re struggling to clear your skin and find can’t get rid of spots or acne, you might find this useful…

Vishul Gudka, master of aesthetics, clinical director and lead practitioner of The Aesthetics Room, has kindly stepped in to help clear up our skincare concerns. Letting us in on his best spot secrets with plenty of useful – and realistic – tips along the way, here’s his advice on how to get closer to our skin goals.

 

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How common is acne in guys?

Women are more likely to suffer from acne than men due to different hormone changes however, acne in men tends to be more severe and longer-lasting. Men may find that acne developed in their teen years continues into adulthood.

 

What are the most common causes of acne?

 

How does acne occur?

  1. Increased production of sebum (a natural substance on the skin): When there is an increase in hormonal activity, the oil glands produce more sebum.
  2. Formation of blackheads and whiteheads: Our dead skin cells start to grow due to the hormonal activity, blocking the pores and mixing with the increased sebum.
  3. Bacteria: We naturally have a harmless bacteria living on our skin, however, from stages 1 & 2, bacteria thrives and multiplies.
  4. Defence: The body will sense an increase of bacteria and think of it as an infection, creating an immune response to fight it. This means sending your white blood cells to fight it, causing inflammation and redness – or in other words ACNE!

 

What are the basic steps for looking after our skin?

Cleanse – Remove dirt, oil and other impurities (am/pm).

Correct – Using active ingredients to treat the condition.

Hydrate – Increasing the moisture in your skin.

Protect – SPF is the number one skin ageing treatment.

 

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What (non-invasive) tips and tricks do you have for treating acne?

Keep your face clean: Wash your face once or twice a day with an acid-based cleansing facewash. This reduces inflammation, removes clogged up oil and dead skin and kills bacteria.

Don’t scrub with a washcloth: Use your hands to clean your face, and pat dry your skin with a clean towel, do not rub dry. Scrubbing can promote more acne.

Take care when removing facial hair: It can be best to use an electric razor rather than a blade, moving carefully in a downward motion. Clean the blade regularly and shave in the direction of the hair growth.

Keep hair clean: If you have oily hair, you may need to wash it more often than people who have dry hair as the oil can aggravate the bacteria on the face.

Avoid touching your face: Every time you touch your face, your hands transfer dirt and oils. Wash your hands with soap and warm water frequently.

Do not pick your spots. Ever: It will increase your chances of inflammation and can lead to scarring which is harder to treat.

Change your sheets/pillowcase at least weekly/daily: Dirt and oil sit on your sheets – especially pillowcases.

 

What long-term solutions are most effective for treating acne?

Medical peels alongside homecare treatment of retinoic acid would be the most effective as it helps stop overproduction of oil and removes dead skin cells. Long term, this would not only help acne but avoid acne scarring too.

 

Does workout sweat effect spots? How can this be prevented?

Sweating itself doesn’t cause acne (it can actually help acne as it is known to be anti-bacterial, flushing out toxins), however, you mustn’t let the sweat sit on your skin – it will clog up the pores.

This is easily preventable by washing straight after sweating (with antibacterial soaps and acid-based cleansers), washing your clothing straight away and by wearing loose-fitting clothes to avoid sweat trapping on the skin.

 

Are there any foods which can cause outbreaks?

Studies indicate that certain dietary factors, including skimmed milk and carbohydrate-rich foods (such as bread), may worsen acne. Chocolate has long been suspected of making acne worse.

 

And what about spots on the body, such as back and chest? Why do we get spots here, and how can we prevent them?

Hair follicles are connected to the oil glands which is why men tend to develop acne more on the back and chest compared to women. Oil glands are predominantly found on the face, neck, back and chest.

Using an acid-based cleansing wash can be effective in removing excess oil and dead skin cells, helping to kill the bacteria. I recommend lactic acid and salicylic acid.

 

Feature illustration by Beccallen Design. Check out her Instagram here.

 

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