When, just when, will my skin realise I am a grown-up and stop breaking out?
I’m 38 and still waiting.
It’s not just at that time of the month, although at that time of the month the acne I get is normally one giant eruption that takes over my nose, forehead or chin. It’s incredibly embarrassing – it looks like swelling, then the pimple emerges later.
Um, hello, I’m in my late thirties. Get the hell off my face!
I now have the charming combination of wrinkles and pimples to deal with. I get little pimples, big pimples and I normally can’t resist squeezing them so then I have to deal with the scarring.
Dealing with acne for the past twenty years (sigh) has made me a bit of an expert. I can prevent, treat and disguise pimples like nobody’s business. And now I shall impart all my dodgy skin wisdom on you, my dear friends, because our skin should know better by now.
1. Clean your skin, but not too often
You must, must, must clean your skin twice a day, just like brushing your teeth. But don’t do any more than this because you will break out something rotten and spend the next two weeks dealing with the consequences.
I sometimes lose my mind and start washing, exfoliating and slapping on face masks all in the same day, and I can’t explain to you how much my skin likes to say, “Ha ha, sucker!” I wake up thinking my skin will look awesome thanks to my intense at-home facial – and instead I’m greeted with volcanic eruptions the likes of which I haven’t seen since I was 16.
2. Don’t exercise with makeup on
When you exercise your skin heats up and your pores open up, which means any dirt and grime that was sitting on top of your skin now has the perfect opportunity to sink right in and infect it in the form of pimples. Say to no to toned abs with a side of acne by removing your makeup before you exercise.
I try to time my exercise before I get ready for the day to avoid having to wash my skin too often. Or I just use makeup wipes.
3. Avoid the urge to put extra concealer and foundation on your pimple
An amateur mistake when it comes to your skin is to overuse concealer in an effort to hide acne, which in theory should work but it doesn’t really. What actually happens when you despairingly paint concealer on top of zits is you accidentally highlight your latest breakout.
So you’ve got a pimple or two, big deal. Just put on the same amount of foundation and a touch of concealer and then go about your day. You’ll soon forget about it. And we’ve all had zits. Nobody is going to point and laugh.
4. Highlight your eyes or your lips to get attention off your volcanic eruption
You know what is a really simple trick to bring misbehaving skin into line? Deflect and distract. Do you have a new shimmery gold eyeshadow you’ve been saving for a special occasion? Nothing takes attention off the acne on your chin/cheek/tip of your nose better than gorgeous eyeshadow or even bright lipstick.
To decide which area of your face to glam up – eyes or lips – choose the location furthest away from your latest breakout. So if the pimple is on your forehead, go for the lips. If it’s on your chin, hit your eyelids with plenty of bedazzling.