Spots are easily one of the most common skin concerns, affecting as many as 85% of teens. Unfortunately, research shows that more and more of us are continuing to suffer with spots well into our twenties, thirties and beyond - meaning that spots are definitely not just a teenage issue. In fact, it is estimated that 10 – 20% of adult women are still battling blemished skin. When you think that spots can lead to scarring, poor self-image and loss of confidence, this amounts to a big problem.

Before working out how to remove blackheads and spots, it helps to understand what causes them.

There are 3 main reasons that spots occur:
1. Excess sebum production Sebum is the natural oil produced by our skin and we start making more of it as adolescents, which is when spots begin to be a problem for most of us.

2. Build-up of dead skin cells Dead skin cells mix with the sebum and get trapped in our pores (a good hydrating moisturiser can be a real help here).

3. Bacteria Bacteria causes inflammation in the skin leading to the angry red bumps and whiteheads that we all dread. In addition, our genes, diet and lifestyle also play a huge role in the development of spots. We can’t change our genes, but there are a few lifestyle factors that we can try to address to keep spots at bay. From hydrating moisturisers to toners, here’s our list:

Here are our top lifestyle tips for removing blackheads & spots
1. Develop a skincare routine and stick to it every day. It is never too late to start, but it helps to get in the habit from your teenage years onwards. Cleanse your skin well twice daily, follow with a toner to tighten pores and then use a hydrating moisturiser designed for spot-prone skin. Using products that aren’t designed for people with breakouts or blemishes can actually make things worse, so choose carefully.

2. Stick to the items in your skincare routine and give them a chance to work. Unless you’ve had a bad reaction to a particular product, we would usually suggest using it regularly for 2 - 3 months before switching, if you haven’t noticed an improvement at that point. Don’t fall into the trap of using too many products or chopping and changing every couple of weeks. Similarly, don’t stop using the products when the spots are controlled as you could end up back at square one.

3. Whatever you do, don’t scratch, pick or squeeze; this can introduce bacteria, increased inflammation and may ultimately lead to scarring. Always clean your hands before applying your skincare products and avoid touching your face at other times.

4. Keep sugary, refined or processed foods to a minimum. This doesn’t mean that you can’t have an occasional chocolate or treat, however. Beyond this, there isn’t a great deal of evidence that cutting particular food groups out of your diet reduces spots. There have, however, been a few small studies suggesting that dairy, especially skimmed milk, may play a role in certain individuals and their breakouts. So, remember, always consult with a doctor before cutting anything out of your diet to ensure that you are still getting all the nutrients you need.

5. Lack of sleep and stress can lower your threshold for breaking out. Try to go to sleep at the same time most nights, don’t scrimp on sleep and find ways to let off steam. This may be through doing a hobby, taking a yoga class or relaxing with friends. If you’ve had a late night and are tempted to go to bed without removing your makeup, keep some cotton pads and a bottle of micellar water next to your bed.

GARNIER TO THE RESCUE !

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