Spots, blemishes, acne, whiteheads, blackheads… the endless list of words to describe the frustrating and often physically and emotionally painful experience of at least 85% of teenagers and over 5% of people over 25 years old. Even the odd spot here and there can be confidence-shattering.
Effective skincare and treatments are often fantastically helpful, but it’s also important to practice self-compassion. What you see in the mirror may not reflect how others see you. Moreover – the people you want in your life aren’t the people who are foolish enough to judge you for the way you look.
If you’re looking for practical ways to reduce those pesky pimples, well - we’ve tried and tested many ways of combatting spots, and what we found as an essential foundation for better skin is*:
- Washing your face twice a day with a gentle cleanser (we love Paula’s Choice, we just wish they went plastic free!)
- Eating a diet plentiful in fruits and vegetables
- Not touching your face too much (this can cause oil build up and damage the skin)
But sometimes this just isn’t enough. You can talk to your GP for specific treatments such as antibiotics (in the form of a topical cream or tablets), or pharmacist for over-the-counter treatments like benzoyl peroxide, which helps dry up excess oil.
But there are gentler options out there too. Acne sticker patches are made from plant-based cellulose and don’t contain medication, but help to draw out the contents of existing spots to help them heal faster. Also, it’s helpful to control and reduce the amount of oil on your face throughout the day by using oil absorbing wipes/papers, so if there is bacteria at large (!) they can’t take hold quite so easily as there is less oil where they breed.
The most important thing though, is to be kind to yourself! It’s unlikely that you would criticise a close friend for having spots, and it’s also unlikely that that’s all you see when you speak to them. In a world where appearance is given way too much importance, we need to remind ourselves that our goals in life, kindness, family and fun are so much more important than how many ‘likes’ our pictures get on Facebook. Treat yourself with respect, as you deserve it.
*The content of this blog does not constitute medical advice. Please also see your doctor if your acne is severe.