Breakouts, enlarged pores, and pigmentation are never fun to deal with, especially if having smooth, clear, even skin is your ultimate goal. They can be hard to shift, and it can be frustrating trying to clear skin at the same time as trying to prevent future blemishes. Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take to clear your skin and maintain the results.
From how often to cleanse to which ingredients to look out for, scroll down for our ultimate clear skin advice.
Remove your makeup every day
No matter how tired you are, it’s important to always remove your makeup before bed. Makeup left on your skin will clog pores and trap dirt and pollutants in your skin. This can lead to congestion, an increase in breakouts, and can also contribute to signs of premature aging over time. A micellar water like Embryolisse’s Micellar Lotion is one of the quickest and most effective ways to remove your makeup in one go. Of course, it’s always best to follow up with a double cleanse (see below) but getting the bulk of your makeup off your skin is a super important step.
Double cleansing is the most efficient way to cleanse your skin, especially if you’ve been wearing SPF or makeup which is stubborn to remove. Start with an oil-based cleanser such as the Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm to break down anything not removed by your micellar water. Then, follow up with a water-based cleanser like a gel or foam. This will give your pores a deeper and more efficient cleanse, and will remove any lingering residue.
Wash your face twice daily
Your evening cleanse is important because it helps you to remove makeup, dirt, pollution, sweat, and oils that have built up on skin throughout the day. But cleansing in the morning also has benefits, such as removing product still on skin from your evening skincare routine, cleansing away any sweat or oil which may have built up in the night, and prepping skin for the beneficial products in your morning skincare routine (when your skin is clean, it’s better able to absorb ingredients). Use a gentle gel cleanser like Dermalogica’s Special Cleansing Gel so your skin feels comfortable and not stripped.
Keep skin well hydrated
Moisturising day and night is an underrated step, but hydrated skin is healthy skin and healthy skin is better at preventing breakouts and healing blemishes and pigmentation. If your skin is prone to congestion, use a light-textured moisturisier like the CeraVe Moisturising Lotion to boost your skin’s moisture levels without clogging your pores.
Try decongesting ingredients
If you have stubborn breakouts and blemishes then it may take a bit more than just a good cleansing and moisturising routine to clear your skin. Ingredients like retinol, glycolic acid, and salicylic acid are worth looking out for (although we wouldn’t recommend having more than one in your routine). They encourage dead skin cells to shed which helps to keep your pores clear of the congestion that builds up and leads to blemishes. If you’re new to retinol, try The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion, a gentle serum which also helps to target the dark spots that breakouts leave behind.
Target your breakouts
If you experience sore, inflamed, red breakouts or stubborn blackheads or whiteheads, then targeted breakout treatments will be your skincare best friend. These treatments are designed to be applied to individual spots as soon as you see or feel them appear, rather than as an all-over preventative, and they’re perfect for leaving on overnight. Look out for ones that contain ingredients like salicylic acid, zinc, AHAs, and sulfur. Check out the By BEAUTY BAY Salicylic Acid + Niacinamide Blemish Paste, which not only helps to reduce the size and sensitivity of the breakout, but also helps to prevent pigmentation and scarring.
Use face masks
A weekly face mask is a great way to stay on top of things as they can both treat existing blemishes and help to prevent new ones from occurring. Think of them as an opportunity to give your skin an occasional ‘reset’! If congestion and breakouts are your biggest concern then look out for clay or charcoal-based ones, like Upcircle’s Clarifying Face Mask. These hardworking ingredients give skin a deep cleanse and help to absorb excess oil which can clog pores and lead to more breakouts.