Every woman has an arsenal of anti-acne treatments they’ve used over the years – and every woman has an acne treatment-related horror story to match. From that time you gave yourself a chemical burn (that’ll teach you to mix your skincare acids) to that regrettable treatment that turned your face into a flaky mess, trying to control breakouts is no simple task.
But there are gentler – and by no means less effective – ways to deal with pimples in your twenties, thirties and beyond. Start by incorporating one or more of the below steps into your skincare regime now.
1/ Switch your cleanser
The right cleanser can transform your skincare routine, with many now containing active ingredients at low concentrations to keep breakouts at bay without causing irritation. Look for a gel formulation containing salicylic or lactic acid to effectively remove daily product and oil build-up plus target blackheads.
2/ Start exfoliating
But we’re not for a minute suggesting you use harsh scrubs, which can exacerbate acne and inflammation. Instead, treat your skin with the care it deserves by washing your face in circular motions with a muslin cloth daily (it will gently slough off dead skin cells as you cleanse). Use a powder or chemical exfoliant one to three times a week, depending on how sensitive your skin is, to accelerate the skin’s regenerative process and keep pores clear.
3/ Swap your spot treatment
If your skin tends to react to synthetic formulas containing benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid as the active ingredient, consider switching to a plant-based solution instead. Tea tree oil has long been considered a natural acne-fighting agent, with antibacterial properties that help maintain a clear complexion and control pimples and blackheads. Try the Thursday Plantation Tea Tree Blemish Stick, an invisible gel with a sponge tip applicator, which you can keep in your handbag to cover pimples that pop up while you’re on the go.
4/ Stick to non-comedogenic skincare and makeup
Acne-prone skin types will benefit from using only oil-free, water-based products – avoid thick, cloying creams and stick to lightweight formulas instead. You can even opt for a serum containing acne-fighting active ingredients (provided the concentration isn’t overly harsh) or niacinamide (Vitamin B3), which soothes reactive skin and calms the redness often associated with acne.