If you deal with acne and frequent breakouts like me, surely you have tried everything under the sun to get clearer skin. Hopefully you’re getting results with your efforts like I am. if you are not getting any results, then you might be making these common mistakes.

Mistake 1: Using Acne Spot Treatments Incorrectly 

As soon as you start to feel an acne bump underneath your skin is when it’s time to take action. You should already be following an acne-fighting regimen that includes a cleanser that contains salicylic acid and a gentle, non-comedogenic moisturizer. Once you feel the pimple starting to grow under the skin, apply a tiny dot of benzoyl peroxide or Sulphur. You should only be applying the spot treatment maximum three times a day. Any more will dry out the skin and irritate it. If you over treat, it can become red and the spot can be irritated and could actually become worse. When you spot treat the correct way you will be lessening the severity and duration of the zit.

Under no circumstances should you pick or pop your pimple. Trust us when we say it will heal a whole lot better if you spot treat without any of the picking or pulling In fact, just touching it alone might make matter worse by spreading the bacteria and oil on your fingers to other parts of your face.

You can’t always prevent a blemish from appearing, but you CAN control what happens when it does. I encourage you to be patient and let the healing process run its course. Your skin will be clearer and less scarred. It’s always best to work with Mother Nature, and never go against her. And I also encourage you to check out our Acne Kit which contains all of the mentioned blemish spot treatment products.

Mistake 2: Skipping Sunscreen

People who get acne are often so focused on dealing with their blemishes that they overlook one surprising blemish product — sunscreen! Those with acne-prone skin types will generally shy away from sunscreen because traditionally, formulas feel too heavy on the skin. Some formulas can actually worsen breakouts. But did you know that NOT using SPF daily can make the post-breakout red and dark scars linger for even longer?

The biggest problem with those who have acne is not the actual blemish (since most breakouts will heal up in 4-7 days). It’s the discoloration left behind from the skin’s injury. Acne scars are the result of inflammation within the dermis layer of the skin. Inflammation triggers pigment cells, resulting in red or purple discoloration. The severity of the scarring depends on how much you picked at the blemish.

Pigment cells stay active whenever your skin is exposed to UV. This means a blemish scar takes longer to fade. Sunscreen keeps pigment cells calm, so the fading process for blemish scars begins more quickly. Wearing a lightweight, non-pore clogging sunscreen will protect the damaged cells and give them time to properly heal, recover and fade. Your skin can get even-toned much faster.

Mistake 3: Over-Exfoliating 

Brushes like Clarisonic, or all rotating brushes for that matter, are marketed as cleansing brushes. we are led to believe that the skin isn’t really clean if we aren’t scrubbing. What most people don’t understand is that these are exfoliating tools rather than just cleansing tools. The oscillating bristles are designed to remove dead skin.

Exfoliating the skin is very effective for preventing blocked pores, but using a brush twice daily (which is recommended by most manufacturers) is equivalent to using a facial scrub twice daily. Most people know better than to manually scrub their skin twice a day.

Acne is an inflammatory disease of the skin. If you’re scrubbing too much, you’re actually creating more inflammation. This is especially true for people who really grind those brushes down hard on their skin.  Over-exfoliating will damage your skin’s natural moisture barrier, leaving it unbalanced. When people add other exfoliating products in their routine (acid serums and acid peels), in addition to the brush, it really stresses out the skin and adds to the inflammation.

Many people find their breakouts, redness and dryness diminish once they cut back on using the brush. If you’d really prefer to use a brush rather than a facial scrub, I recommend using it 3 days per week. If you want to up your exfoliation game in a safer and gentler way to clear breakouts, start using an acid serum with salicylic acid a few nights a week. The benefit is that the antibacterial ingredients enter the pore lining and help clear out breakout activity.

Mistake 4: Not Using Moisturizer 

People with acne-prone skin are paranoid about using moisturizer. They worry that it will clog their pores and not let the skin “breathe”. There are a few problems with this type of thinking. First, wearing moisturizer does not directly cause breakouts. Acne occurs when the cells that line the inner pores fail to fall off properly and the pore becomes clogged. This process happens whether you moisturize or not.

Those with oily, blemish-prone skin must use moisturizer no matter what. Your skin needs sufficient water to keep it healthy and balanced. Skipping moisturizer disrupts the skin’s proper water levels, and this dehydration process stimulates more oil production. This potentially causes more breakouts, as it encourages the formation of bacteria and the buildup of dead cells within the pores.

So there you have it…my  advice on what NOT to do. But hopefully this clarifies what WILL help you in your quest to get clearer, less-blemished skin.

My Melasma Story 😊

It’s been a minute. I had promised to follow on with my progress after my groundnut attack! Lol. As I clearly failed to practice what I preached., I was plagued with very congested, and unhappy skin. To top it off, my Melasma came back with a vengeance.

So much has happened since my last post, and a tonne of lessons learned. I will have to break them down into a series of posts over the next couple of weeks. Today I want to focus on how I stumbled upon a product which appears to have done the downright miraculous for my melasma. My next post will focus on how I got rid of my congestion and the pigmentation that followed.

I have suffered from Melasma most of my adult life. It’s comes and it goes.. and over the years I’ve realised various hormonal and or stress factors bring it on. What is Melasma?

Melasma is a very common patchy brown, tan, or blue-gray facial skin discoloration, usually seen in women in the reproductive years. It typically appears on the upper cheeks, upper lip, forehead, and chin of women 20-50 years of age. It is thought to be primarily related to external sun exposure, external hormones like birth control pills, and internal hormonal changes as seen in pregnancy. Mine is almost always on my upper cheek and lower eye . Basically I look like a panda 😊. No.. I’m not pregnant (phew)… but asides being a practicing aesthetician, I also work as a project manager and my stress levels can peak during busy periods.

I was back home in Nigeria for 2 weeks in January/February, and as glorious as the Sun was ..sun exposure can cause or exacerbate melasma because ultraviolet rays affect the cells that control pigment (melanocytes).

My skin went from sad and angry to furious and miserable and surprisingly, none of my normal go to products were working, as a matter of fact, things were getting worse. I’ll do a separate post on how it’s important to adapt your skin routine when visiting different climates- it was a sobering lesson I need to share ha ha.

As chance would have it… I literally stumbled upon this product in Nigeria, on my sisters dresser. I passively asked her to decant a tiny sample in a pot for me ( I always have empty sample pots in a bag- #junkieparaphenalia).

I started using this product once a day, at night, on the areas of the Melasma and saw a marked difference within 4 days!!!! Within 2 weeks, my Melasma was all but gone. As I mentioned, I only decanted a tiny bit of this product and at the end of the 2 weeks, I had run out 😢😢!!! Will I order this product for myself ?? MOST DEF! I used it once a day, night time only, and continued with my daily routine, which includes daily SPF.

Now, this is not a paid post, and whilst I didn’t purchase the product before leaving Nigeria, I have every intention of ordering it and keeping it on my shelf for use if and when my Melasma reoccurs. I know there is a lot of negative hype about ‘lightening products’ and this clearly is one.. but I for one, will try most things once before giving an opinion, and for me? This worked, and I recommend you find out for yourself.

The product is pictured below and links to purchase can be found here: https://youtopiabeauty.com. Or check out @youtopiabeauty on Instagram.