So, something (unfortunately) close to my heart. I think, over the years, I’ve probably spent more money on these things than any other – that illusive quest for something that you put on a spot and it vanishes overnight without a trace … Hmm…. It doesn’t exist people! Sorry! However – I have found a few things that help. Yay!
So – as I’ve said before – I rarely get the teenage-whitehead-blackhead type spots. I do get one or two whiteheads every now and then – details on what to do with them below. My main ones are cystic: big, red bumps – under the skin. V v painful. Unsqueezable – and if you do give it a try in desperation – nothing happens except they scar. They normally take a good 2 weeks to go down and they rarely have a head on them. (Gross, I know). I’ve had this kind of hormonal cystic acne (I have PCOS) for about 8 years. That’s 8 years of trying to squeeze and learning the hard way. They are directly linked to the PCOS. I get them on my jawline, both sides, chin and neck – occasionally on my cheek.
For me – my spot treatments are about easing the problem – pain/redness/ugliness! The treatments are not a magic cure! The ones I’ve got here have worked in some way, for me, with the issues that I have; they may/may not work for you….
Here we go…
Mario Badescu Buffering Lotion.Beautybay.com £15 ish I think.
I dab this on the area when needed. NOT all over face. It is THE ONLY product specifically designed for cystic acne. It’s a v v runny liquid (really impractical to use!). It just takes down the redness and treats the big red lumps under the skin. I apply this on to the area when I can feel a lump coming and it is undoubtedly a cystic spot. I keep applying very directly until it goes down – usually within about 3 days. V v v good product – wouldn’t be without it now.
Avene Triacneal – boots/escentual.com £10 ish I think. New product but I like. Dab on to spotty areas – not specifically cystic spots – just spotty chins for instance, or between eye brows. Nice pale gel – not sticky. Def improves spot appearance by morning. Apply after a night cream/oil.
Origins Super Spot remover –origins.com. £14. This is my 3rd bottle of this. It is the more ‘stingey’ of the treatments – but does work at treating the spot/s. It is basically salicylic acid (a known spot treatment) in a gel. Again – takes down redness and designed for drying out whiteheads. If white spots are your main issue – this is for you.
LRP Redermic – boots/escentual.com -£20ish. This contains retinol (don’t use if pregnant!). Retinol is what is in the prescription acne medication. It isn’t as strong as that but it is designed to ‘do’ something. Retinol is used as a spot treatment, anti ageing treatment and a scar treatment. I only use this once/max twice a week. You need to use an SPF the day after using this as it is strong stuff! Dab over the spotty area quite sparingly after moisturiser. Don’t use oil that night. I mainly use it for clearing up spots/avoiding scarring. If I’ve pick/tried (in vain!) to squeeze a cystic spot/stabbed at it with tweezers (!!) until it bleeds – I use this to help the skin heal. You don’t want to be putting the Origins/Avene/Mario on a bleeding spot!!
Mario Badescu -Aaah spot scientist to the stars… Yes apparently Jennifer Aniston has him on speed dial!
Silver Powder – beautybay.com. This is fab stuff. Very fine white powder to sort out pores. Slightly wet a cotton pad, dip in to the pit and press on to your huge pores (mine are on nose, forehead and chin). Leave to dry for 10 minutes. Wipe off with a mild toner – Clarins Extra Comfort or other hydrating toner. Diminishes look of pores/clears them up. Makes them look less black. I use this about once/twice a month.
MB Drying Cream. Beautybay.com.This is a tinted cream (kinda stinks but still…). Use in the daytime after moisturiser and before foundation – though I have put this on after foundation on the spots. It’s designed to dry out (and keep dry) ‘wet’ spots (eurgh!) – the yellow headed ones. Good stuff.