As the silly season ramps up, we find ourselves wearing more makeup and using different products which may cause our skin to breakout. Blemishes are also caused by hormones, bacteria, clogged pores and you may even experience a ‘skin purge’ - when adding a new product to your routine as your skin starts to clear the pores. We’ve pulled together the top five ingredients you should have in your skincare products if you’re looking to banish blemishes, help prevent scars, and reduce redness.
1 - Salicylic acid
Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid (BHA). It’s well-known for reducing acne by exfoliating the skin and keeping pores clear. You can find salicylic acid in a variety of products including cleansers, serums and moisturisers. It’s also available in prescription-strength formulas for those who require a higher strength – talk to your doctor if you think this might be an option for you. Salicylic acid works best for mild acne (blackheads and whiteheads) as well as assisting with the prevention of future breakouts.
One of our favourite Salicylic acid products is Aspect Dr BHA Purifying Gel. It helps to purify the skin as well as calming and assist with blemishes. It can be used all over the face or localized to problem areas on the face or body.
2 - Lactic Acid
Lactic Acid is an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA). It is produced naturally within the
body and its also derived from milk products which is synthetically produced for skincare purposes. Lactic acid can be used as a gentle exfoliant, moisturiser or an in-clinic treatment. It can aid the control of pimples and acne by exfoliating dead skin cells that clog pores, decreasing the appearance of pores and smoothing out rough skin. Lactic acid is also the most hydrating and nourishing AHA, so you get the added benefits of improving your skin’s natural ability to retain existing hydration. For those new to the AHA world, lactic acid also is milder than others including Glycolic Acid, so it’s great if you have more sensitive skin.
Wash away those impurities with the Cosmedix Pure Enzymes Cranberry Exfoliating Mask. This gentle, exfoliating mask is refreshing yet powerful to clear up those last traces of blemishes.
3 - Glycolic Acid
Glycolic acid is another AHA used to treat several skin concerns including hyperpigmentation, signs of aging and acne. It’s considered one of the best exfoliant AHAs due to the keratolytic properties which break apart dead skin cells on the skin’s surface to open any clogged pores. Best applied during your bedtime routine, don’t forget to wear sunscreen in the morning to protect your newly exfoliated skin. Glycolic Acid can be used on active pimples to help to dry them out and help them clear faster, however shouldn’t be used on popped pimples or broken skin.
A great Glycolic Acid cleanser to try is the ASAP Daily Facial Cleanser. This is perfect for everyday use and is soft and non-drying to the skin. Even though you may be getting extra breakouts due to the change in weather or maybe forgetting to wash all that makeup off, it’s important that you don’t strip moisture from the skin. This cleanser will ensure you don’t have dryness or excel oil, all while leaving your skin refined and more youthful looking.
4 - Retinol
Retinol is a vitamin A derivative which, can help with anti-aging and treating acne and appearance of acne scars. It’s a popular ingredient in skin care products such as serums, wrinkle creams and overnight moisturisers. Retinol works by exfoliating to remove direct, dead skin cells and oil from the pores which can help
to prevent breakouts forming. It also works by getting under the skin to stimulate the production of collagen and elastin. The two-pronged approach helps to reduce appearance of pores and acne scaring over time. If you’re starting to use retinol in your skincare routine, it’s best to do it a night, only every few days and start with a small percentage of the ingredient. Don’t forget sunscreen during the day as well. Avoid retinol products if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
If you haven’t got a retinol product in the bathroom cabinet, then this one could be for you. The Medik8 Crystal Retinal 3 is a stable retinal night serum which is going to help actively reduce blemish-causing bacteria, to keep your skin clear and balanced. Plus, you’ll get all the other great retinol benefits including age-defying power to reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
5 - Niacinamide
Niacinamide is a form of Vitamin B3 which is an essential nutrient. It’s commonly used in a wide range of skincare products as well as can be found in oral supplements. It works to reduce swelling and redness associated with breakouts as well as helping to regulate oil production, regulating skin tone and fade skin discoloration – it almost does it all! It works nicely with other breakout busting ingredients to help maximize your regime.
The PCA Skin Vitamin B3 Brightening Serum is a multifunctional serum formulated to target skin discolouration including reducing the redness caused by your spots as well as other dark spots.