Hi all, I'm Siobhan, one of the Skin Therapists at the St Luke’s clinic.
This subject is close to my heart as I suffered from constant breakouts in my skin for six years, so I know just how frustrating it can be! Acne appears in the skin in many different shapes and forms, and there is no one individual cause. While we are homebound, below are some of my key tips for how you can combat acne.
- DONT STRIP YOUR SKIN- You may think the more you wash and exfoliate your face the quicker the spots will go away, however this has the opposite effect! Your skin has to maintain an appropriate pH level to function and harsh over-cleansing can break this barrier down, causing your skin to produce more oil, causing more spots! Your cleanser should be gentle and never leave your face feeling dry or tight afterwards.
- YOU STILL NEED TO MOISTURISE, EVEN DRY SKINS GET ACNE- A lot of my acne clients think they have oily skin, but actually their true skin type is dry. (I was even one of these people!).This is why it’s very easy to strip the skin's barrier down by using the wrong products. Vitamin A is also essential to the health of the skin as this normalises oil flow, and AHAs/BHAs can be beneficial ingredients when used in the right formula in the correct way.
- LEAVE EXTRACTIONS TO THE EXPERTS- Picking at your spots not only spreads bacteria, but you risk breaking down the follicle walls and this can cause scarring.
- MANAGE YOUR STRESS LEVELS- This is a stressful time for all of us at the moment and unfortunately, stress really can negatively affect our skin as it causes an inflammatory response in the body. If you think this is a trigger for you then try cutting down on alcohol and caffeine, and get to bed by 10 pm each night. I recommend yoga and meditation to help aid this.
- GUT HEALTH- There is growing evidence to show the link between gut health and the skin. I’m a big believer in giving our bodies a ‘tune-up’ every so often, and this can be done with ‘Regul8’ digestive tune-up, which is a high-quality herbal supplement which cleanses then restores our gut microbiome. If you suffer from constant bloating this is a must.
- HORMONES AND PERIODS-If you are getting breakouts when it’s that time of the month or just heavy or painful periods, you may want to try taking a high dose Evening Primrose Oil. I have found this extremely beneficial for myself and my clients.
- FOOD & DIET- Studies show foods with a high glycaemic index have the biggest link with acne. This means sugar and hidden sugars, so pay attention to the number of refined carbs, alcohol, sauces, and confectionery items you may be consuming and concentrate on foods that your skin is going to love instead. This could be oily fish, lots of green vegetables, avocados or berries. These foods aren’t just good for your skin too, but also your general wellbeing. For some dairy may also impact the skin negatively, so be mindful of this as well, but always make sure you maintain a balanced diet.