Sunday, 2 February 2020

Skincare Sunday #4 Clear Skin


Another tried and tested product this week which has been in my skincare arsenal for many years: Effaclar Duo+ by La Roche Posay is a treatment moisturiser for blemished skin. I use it as a targeted treatment as soon as I spy any redness that may turn into a spot. It is not at all harsh, so sensitive skins should be fine with it, and what's more, it works fast.

Within 1-2 days, the spots in question are usually significantly less red and less raised*. 


For reference, I do not have acne on a regular basis and I am dry rather than oily. Despite this, this product is recommended for oilier skin types due to the additional mattifying properties. On me, I would tend to wear another moisturiser all over and/or an SPF cream. As skin will be sensitised from the acids in this product, an SPF is important.

The beast of a blemish I had has faded
nicely after 7 days of treatment

The niacinamide (vitamin B3) helps to diminish large pores or redness and the salicylic and lipo hydroxy acids help to work on the blocked pores right under the surface of the skin. Unlike Alpha Hydroxy Acids like glycolic and lactic which work on sloughing the dead skin cells from the surface of the skin, BHAs (Beta Hydroxy Acids) penetrate deeper as they are oil (rather than water) soluble.


*But let's be honest here, sometimes we all have the misfortune of those kinds of spots that just dig their dominatrix heels in and will not leave quietly. This week I had one of those situations. The spot in question decided to fight the force of Effaclar Duo+ more than the average pimple. Here are the steps I took to shrink the pimple and take down the redness:

1. Daily acid toner over the offending area

To offer more exfoliating power, I applied either Pixi Glow Tonic (an mild acid toner) every night and sometimes in the day. This meant that my skin was sensitised, but not at all painful (just vigilant use of SPF needed, but as I was mostly housebound from illness, I was not too concerned). I would then add a small amount of Effaclar Duo directly onto the spot. This gradually peels the skin and the salicytic acid cleans the pore.


2. Hydration masks


To counteract the extra exfoliation I was putting my skin through (I'm not an expert, but using multiple exfoliating acid products on top of each other is probably overkill), I babied my skin using hydrating products like samples of Drunk Elephant's new F-Balm Electrolyte Waterfacial Hydrating Mask. This lovely cream mask worked nicely to add back some moisture. I also adore Josh Rosebrooks's Advanced Hydration Mask which I've spoken about before here. Both of these glorious products really do provide the skin with a bit of protective buffering from any harsher treatments.


3. Vitamin C


As I started to see the blemish retreat and shrink, I used the amazing powers of Vitamin C serums during the night time to attempt to avoid acne scarring. I suffer from red marks which fade to brown spots, so a powerhouse like DCL's C Scape High Potency Night Booster 30 with a 30% concentration of L-Ascorbic acid helps to counteract this. 


And then when all else fails, faking clear skin works for me! My fave concealers are Nars' Radiant Creamy Concealer and Soft Matte Complete Concealer- both provide opaque coverage which blend in perfectly. There isn't much that these won't cover.


So, the take away from this post is that BHAs are your friends if carefully patch-tested first; maintain the skin's integrity through strategic moisturising; finally, pre-empt scarring by treating pigmentation before it settles in.

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