Whatever your skin type, there are certain questions that come up when it comes to looking after it. Is it OK to squeeze my spots? Do expensive anti-ageing products work? Does greasy food cause acne?
Here we look at some common skincare queries and dig out the answers…
Do I need to cleanse, tone and exfoliate every day?
Your skin works as a barrier, protecting you from outside pollutants. Because of this, it is advised that you cleanse it every day. Harsh chemicals found in soap can strip the skin of oil and can be damaging, so make sure you use a gentle cleanser designed for your skin type.
Toning implies an improvement in skin texture, but dermatologists generally find it unnecessary so it certainly isn’t a ‘must’ for your skincare routine. Exfoliating can be helpful in removing dead skin cells, but used too often can aggravate the skin. Avoid using exfoliators every day and if you’re trying to clear blackheads, dermatologists recommend using a product containing salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide instead.
Should I buy an expensive anti-ageing moisturiser?
Most dermatologists agree that using a moisturiser is a good idea, however it needn’t be expensive. You’re advised to look for moisturisers that contain ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerol and glycerin as these attract water. If you suffer from acne, look for formulas that are described as ‘non-comedogenic’.
When looking for products to help with anti-ageing, topical retinoids are recommended – vitamin A derivatives help to boost collagen production for plumper skin. Try using one of these treatments at night and then use an inexpensive moisturiser to tackle hydration.
Should I ever squeeze a spot?
The generic answer from dermatologists here is ‘no’. This is because you risk damaging the underlying skin which can lead to an infection or scarring. If you must squeeze, wait until a white or yellow head has formed, disinfect a needle, prick the surface, use your fingers (wrapped in tissue) to squeeze gently from the sides. Stop if clear fluid or blood starts to come out.
Why do I get spots after puberty?
Our hormones control oil glands and sadly this can fluctuate during our whole life. For women especially, our hormones change with our menstrual cycle, when we take the pill, after we’ve had a baby and during the menopause. This, as well as stress, can cause spots in adulthood.
Do certain foods make acne worse?
Evidence for this is mixed, but it is thought that high GI foods like white bread and sugary fruits can trigger breakouts in some people. Most dermatologists will say that if you notice a certain food causes you to break out, it makes sense to cut down on that food.