There’s nothing worse than a big shiny spot! Most breakouts are caused by hormones and an excess of oil production that clogs pores and leads to the growth of the P. acnes bacteria that causes spots and acne.
Mpumalanga-based dermatologist Dr Claudia Khensani Ngobeni shares her six top tips on how to take care of and get rid of spots, from the skin-care ingredients to look out for and common mistakes to avoid.
1. No need to over-cleanse
A misconception that people often have is that because they have oily skin, they need to wash their face more often. However, over-cleansing one’s face can lead to the removal of the oil that the skin actually needs as a barrier to protect it. Over-scrubbing can also change the pH level of one’s skin, and make it even more sensitive, which can lead to more breakouts. “Don’t wash your face more than twice a day,” says Dr Ngobeni.
2. Wash your pillows regularly
Breakouts have many contributing factors, such as hormones, diet and stress. But we can be proactive by controlling what we can. “When you sleep, the oil on your skin (and even your hair) gets transferred onto your pillow. Changing your bed linen regularly can be helpful,” she says. She also suggests replacing your face towel frequently.
3. Vitamin C is your best friend
Dr Ngobeni suggests looking for gel or fluid products that have Vitamin C, as these have antioxidant protection that may help fade dark spots. One of the key ingredients of our Dual-Action Moisturiser is Vitamin C, which also helps prevents your skin from drying out too much. This non-greasy moisturiser also has Bio-Active Rooibos to soothe and calm irritated skin and Baobab extract to help reduce oiliness and shine.
4. As tempting as it is, don’t pop those pimples!
The skin has very fine blood vessels and popping pimples may lead to you injuring those blood vessels in the skin. “I find that some patients even use sharp objects which can cause an infection. Popping the pimple makes things worse because it can lead to scarring,” she says.
5. Take a make-up break
While Dr Ngobeni empathises with women who use make-up to cover up acne and boost their confidence, she says this may be the last thing your skin needs when going through a breakout. “You need to let your skin breathe,” she says.
Applying layers of make-up can clog your pores and make problems worse. There is also plenty of bacteria that can be found on make-up sponges and brushes, so she suggests you wash sponges and brushes regularly.
6. Wear a breathable mask
Due to the pandemic, there has been an outbreak of mask acne. This develops around the jawline, cheeks and chin, where one’s mask usually is, and hormonal acne mostly develops in the lower parts of the face too. “The mask acne is in the same area as hormonal acne, so it’s become difficult to tell which one the patient has and sometimes they actually have both,” she says. Surgical masks (the blue and white ones and the N95 masks) tend to be better, as their material is more breathable and not too thick.