Troubleshooting 3 Common Skin Woes, At-Home
In the wonderful world of skin caring, issues can, do and will arise. These can happen at the start of any new skin journey or peppered throughout, because just like life, our skin has moments of peaks and troughs. Below, James walks us through some troubleshooting tips for 3 of the most common skin woes we see at the clinic...
A BreakoutPesky pimples, while annoying, are an inevitable part of being a skin-owner. Whether brought on by changes to hormone levels, a shake-up in products or mercury falling into retrograde, breakouts occur so please don’t get too down on yourself when one comes along.
First of all, it goes without saying that our recommendation is to always leave a blemish alone. But, if you can’t help yourself, here are some tips…
*Warning! Disclaimer! Caution!*
When you squeeze a blemish, you are often moving the bacteria around the skin which is why a new friend may pop up next door to a pimple after you’ve squeezed it. Additionally, don’t forget a pimple is essentially a small wound in the skin already, and when you go and attack it, you’re making that wound bigger which means it can take longer to heal.
Popping often results in a red mark (post inflammatory erythema) that lingers and if you’re prone to hyperpigmentation, chances are you’ll be left with a bigger pigmentation mark that can stick around for months, and sometimes even years.
That said, sometimes we just must squeeze, so if you MUST, please follow the below instructions.
- Hold a clean and warm face washer/compress gently to the area, which will help soften the skin.
- Then, take REALLY clean hands, and gently extract around the pimple. Moving your way around the blemish, trying to avoid making the squeezing movement in the same spot.
- Whatever will come out will then come out, please be gentle. Afterwards you must apply a spot treatment to the area, we suggest something with a bit of BHA or vitamin B to aid in the healing process. Blemish Clarifying by Société or Clarity by Cosmedix are our go-tos.
- The rest? Well, that’s in the hands of the skincare gods.
Impaired BarrierSometimes an outcome of over excitement for using a new product or using products that are a little too strong for our skin, our skin can be left with an impaired barrier.
Often clients don’t understand that they have an impaired skin barrier until it’s far too late. So, knowing some of the early signs and symptoms of an impaired barrier is really important.
Here are some common signs of an impaired barrier.
- A stinging or burning sensation after applying a product.
- When your skin is left feeling red, sensitive, itchy and rough to touch post application of a product.
What to do when you have an impaired barrier? Glad you asked!
First up find the product or products you’ve been using (anything new or via process of elimination) that may have caused the issues and take them out of your routine, stat. Let your skin recover and apply a soothing and restorative product to help it along.
For skin’s showing signs of barrier impairment or irritation, we will often recommend one of these two;
Calming Relief Balm by Société
Rescue by Cosmedix
Then when you think your skin is feeling a little more robust, attempt to reintroduce the product(s) in question at a lower dosage or reduced frequency. You might find that it is in fact the perfect product for you, but you just have to introduce it to your skin slowly.
Too much sun exposure
Now our bodies (namely our skin) were not made to sit outside in the sun all day. It’s not practical and it’s exceptionally harmful, particularly for fairer complexions.
An issue we see often in the clinic is that people aren’t using sufficient amounts of sunscreen. If you’re spending time outdoors or indoors, you must use at least a quarter teaspoon for your face and your ears, and then more so for your neck, chest and body.
If you’re yet to find your perfect sunscreen match, may we direct you to have a browse through our offering? We believe and back this cohort of both physical and chemical SPFs, and are always here to help you choose the one right for your skin and your lifestyle!
Another common mistake when it comes to the proper application of SPF, is the frequency at which people are reapplying. Sunscreens only work for a couple of hours (at best if you’re swimming and sweating) so reapplication throughout the day isn’t best practice, it’s a non-negotiable.
On a positive note, once someone has had a little too much sun exposure and have to live with the consequences (be they sunburn, heat, peeling, pigmentation or even blistering) they learn their lesson and take the proper precautions for it not to happen again (at least for a while).
If you’ve found yourself in a sunburnt pickle (*tsk tsk*, it does happen, you’re only human after all, we forgive you) please go easy on your actives in the days following, this includes your retinoids, your hydroxy acids and your exfoliants. Pair everything back for a handful of days and rely on hydrating products and restorative ingredients like oils (Remedy from Cosmedix) and vitamin B (Aspect's Multi-B Plus or Viviology Niacinamide + HA Serum), aloe vera or nourishing ceramides (Vivioloy Ceramide Moisturiser).
As always, best results are achieved when we’re on the same page, so if you have a skin woe you’d like some help with, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us/your dermal clinician.
If you’re new to the clinic, hello! You can book a chat with James via Dial-A-Dermal here.
We can’t wait to guide you through the troubleshooting process!