Top Advice to Banish Breakouts
Emma Stone and Keira Knightley had theirs corrected on-screen with special effects, while Katy Perry and Jessica Simpson spent so long fighting theirs that they made a second career out of promoting skin products. We’re talking about spots, or more specifically acne – every star’s worst nightmare and not something that we much like dealing with either. But help is at hand! We’ve found the top tips and tricks to get your spots under control, without spending a fortune…
Celebrity dermatologist Dr Dennis Gross has dealt with the skin woes of a whole host of stars and is quick to point out that adult acne, which so many T’Towners suffer from, is very different to teenage spots. “The conventional acne treatment for teenagers is to dry them out and get rid of the oil. With adult acne, it’s a problem with the oil chemistry. As hormones change, oil does too — becoming more viscous. And as it flows through the gland and out through the pore, it gets stuck,” explains Dr Gross. And this is why, as adults, we get the blocked pores that lead to spots. “Sometimes, products designed to strip away oil just exacerbate acne by increasing inflammation. Plus, when skin is dry dead cells flake off, further blocking pores that already have a problem, leading to more acne.”
The Dairy Debate
And using harsh products isn’t the only mistake we make with our skin. It’s long been thought that chocolate causes acne, but this might not actually be the whole truth. New research suggests that while dairy can make acne worse, because of the hormones it contains, it is more specifically milk that can cause breakouts. And, weirdly, skimmed milk is worse than the full-fat kind because of the amount of oestrogen in it. Luckily you don’t need to dodge chocolate completely, just go for the dark kind as anything over 85 per cent cocoa contains pretty much no dairy. Result!
The Stress Factor
But diet’s not the only factor to consider if you’re trying to beat your breakouts – stress can also trigger spots. When you get anxious or stressed-out your adrenal gland secretes more cortisol, which causes acne breakouts, which in turn causes more stress. Regular exercise is a great way to combat this, especially as excess cortisol can also cause weight gain, especially around the dreaded muffin top area. Good luck, ladies!
T’Town’s Spotty Secrets
• Katy Perry, Jessica Simpson and Avril Lavigne all say that Proactiv products zapped their zits, but they were paid to say that. Proactiv ads were also banned in the UK for being misleading.
• Emma Stone admits her skin had to be digitally altered in her film Easy A because her acne was so bad. Makes us feel better about ‘perfect’ celebs, right?
• Cameron Diaz combats her acne with microdermabrasion and oxygen facials.
• Victoria Beckham cut dairy out of her diet to help her hormonal acne.
• Salma Hayek admitted her acne was once so bad it made her severely depressed. She now swears by a less is more approach and only cleanses her skin once a day.
Skin Saving Diet Plan
Good digestion is really important skin-wise. Start the day with a hot water and lemon, leave four hours between meals to allow your body to digest. Try not to eat after 7pm.
Hot water and lemon to cleanse the system and flush out toxins.
Porridge or cereal with soya milk or toast with olive oil instead of butter. Cup of herbal tea.
Large green salad with tuna. Oily fish is great for the skin. Replace tuna with avocado if you’re vegetarian.
Grilled fish with steamed vegetables, or soup if you’re not too hungry. Drink water or herbal tea between meals to stay hydrated. The occasional glass of vino is fine, just don’t overdo it.
• Dianette or Marvelon pills are known to help with hormonal acne.
• Ditch dairy, specifically milk.
• Drink more water – it flushes toxins out.
• Use oil-free foundation and natural products wherever possible.
• Sudocrem is a great cheap product to help dry spots up. You can grab it from Boots.
• Products with salicylic acid can help to unblock pores.
• Don’t pick or squeeze spots; get a professional to do it.