Hello fellow spot sufferer! I don’t know about you, but choosing skincare for spot prone skin feels like a MINEFIELD, I mean we have a ‘thing’ happening that we’d rather not happen so often, we don’t want to make it WORSE (O-M-G noway!) and we want something that is going to work in the short term AND long term. Mr.Commitment is great an’ all, sometimes you also need a bit of speedy ‘lustful’ magic too!
Knowing HOW to tackle spot prone skin AND choose the BEST skincare for YOU, is all about knowing what friggin’ causes those spots in the first place! Knowing the causes of spots, means knowing how to prevent them AND how to choose skincare that will be perfect in your quest for your most awesome skin. So fellow spot sufferer, these are the 3 BIG causes of your spots.
A traditional spot, the raised kind, the ones that get all pink, inflamed, juicy, red and angry. Yeh those guys! They are a sure sign that your birthing a new colony of bacteria’s in that pore. Bacteria are 1 of the 3 KEY causes of spots.
If you suffer from acne, then your skin has a bacteria that non-acne suffers don’t have – Propionibacterium acnes. Your skin really doesn’t like this bacteria, so it gets all angry about it. Your body and that bacteria go head to head in a FULL on battle, that is when spots pop up their heads.
Not only do spot sufferers have bacteria’s linked to spot causing, people who suffer from spots have less healthy bacteria. Think bio-live yogurt. Bacteria’s got a bad rep, you hear THAT word and it’s all about getting rid of them, but actually there are the good kind too! This is why some spot treatments can whack your skin outta balance – they kill the bad AND the good. This is why you should really only use a ‘targeted‘ spot treatment.
Things that HELP bacteria to feast and make spots: Dead skin, upset pH balance (more acidic), dirty makeup brushes/phone/anything that touches your face.
How to save your skin from spot causing bacteria: Pro-biotic skincare & food, the go to of anti-septic type treatments [these are hardcore blisters] Benzoyl peroxide, Benzyl alcohol, Witch hazel, Tea tree oil. There are a TON of spot fighting ingredients out there, sometimes that can make you feel super overwhelmed. I hear you! Grab your copy of my FREE skincare guide, this makes it super simple with 3 awesome, key ingredients for spot prone skin (oh and if you have oily skin too, there’s also 3 for that!). Want a copy? Download it here…
A spot without bacteria, that’s gonna look more like a black head. When there’s bacteria about town, you are talking white head or even those painful cyst type spots. Spot juice means there are bacteria a’ lurking.
2. THERE’S A BLOCKAGE! AND IT’S IN YOU PORE…
The next step in the 3 cause cycle of spots is BLOCKAGE! Just having spot causing bacteria about town, isn’t enough to make a spot. If you naturally have some of those bacteria’s, then they need FOOD! Luckily they don’t share our taste in Chinese takeout or a full on roast dinner, nope, these guys are more interested in your dead skin!
Spots are a bit like buses, you see zero THEN 3 come along at once. How does that happen?
A spot outbreak is that moment when a few bacteria turn into an army! It happens QUICKLY! Set them up with the right environment and they will multiply like crazy. Imagine you have a cat, that cat gets a little friendly with the neighbour’s cat and before you know it you’re a proud cat mum to a litter of 4 cat-bambinos. Those cat bambinos, before you know it they are adults (where did that time go?!) and suddenly each of those cats has another 4 cute-as-pie babies. Hang on a minute. Now you’re a cat mum to 21 cats! Imagine if that happened all over again, 69 cats!! Then, 213, it gets real packed, real quick!
This is how bacteria can take over the nest! They only need a blink of an eye to multiply!
The 2 things that help bacteria to multiply THE most? Dead skin AND sebum (it keeps dead skin on your face for longer). The answer? Exfoliation!
Things that HELP your pores to block: Dead skin, Dirt, Comedogenic skincare (skincare ingredients that actually block pores), Sebum (this is why oily skin types can be prone to spots, sebum helps stuff collect in your pores!)
How to save your skin from blocked pores: This is all about exfoliation, from simple straight forward face brushing or bead exfoliating to chemical exfoliates like Salicylic acid, Sulfur, Urea and Allantoin.
Hormones, they have a lot to take responsibility for! The most common type of spots which are hormone related are the dreaded, cystic chin kind! Hormonal chin spots! For women, this can be a side effect of birth control – periods get heavier, hormonal swings get bigger and BAMN – hormonal chin spots. Not just any kind, oh no, we get treated to the cyctic kind!
See hormones cause a lot of changes in the body. Hormones are like FedEx, they deliver letters all around our bodies. When those letters get read, our body does what it’s told to do in that letter! When you have a HUGE swing in hormones or you have an imbalance (could be puberty, stress related, ‘that time’!), it causes changes.
Some hormones cause more sebum to be made, that feeds into the cycle of clogged pores and a bacteria baby boom! Some hormones cause your skin’s immune system to be weakened, that means spot causing bacteria get a cosy arm chair while they go about their multiplying. Some hormones send your body all off balance and it forgets how to use essential healthy skin making tools like Zinc and Vitamin A.
Things that help hormones cause spots: Puberty, stress, not getting enough sleep, Eating an unbalanced diet.
How to save your skin from hormones causing spots: A healthy life balance (de-stress time!), a good diet, It might be time to re-think your birth control.
Which of these 3 causes of spots, is your biggest?
Cheryl Woodman is a scientist & award winning skincare formulator who’s more friend next door than bow tie wearing professor. As creator of Honesty For Your Skin her aim is to help you care for your skin in the best ways possible. She’s founder of the natural & fragrance free skincare brand Honesty while also hosting 1 to 1 skincare coaching to help you get your best skin yet. Find out more here.