Lately I’ve had a few nasty pimples appear on my face, including a few of those deep, nasty bumps that hang around for ages and make you start to think you may have a tumour, as well as a field of little clogged pores. I mainly think it was diet and lifestyle (lack of sleep, possibly also my habit of eating a whole jumbo bag of chilli kettle chips in one sitting) which made them rear their ugly heads, but by the time you notice them, there’s no way to diet-and-lifestyle them away. At the same time, I was having horrible hay fever which made my nostrils sore and flaky.
|Chin bumps! 🙁
So with this combo, I turned back to these safe, non-irritant options:
Ground oatmeal – My irritated skin go-to. Oatmeal contains anti-irritant avenanthramides as well as moisturising beta-glucans – see my original post here for the juicy scientific details. My mum is a nurse who treated kids hospitalised for severe dermatitis with oatmeal baths when steroids weren’t effective, and the difference it made was astounding, as well as dirt cheap and risk-free.
I pulverise the oatmeal in a coffee grinder, scoop out a teaspoon and cover it with water, then mix it into my gel cleanser or clay mask. I also soak a teaspoon in water before bed, then dab it into the irritated parts before moisturising. I store a whole heap of pre-ground oatmeal in a classy plastic IKEA container:
Rose hip oil – In my excitement to try new products, pure rose hip oil sometimes falls by the wayside in my skin regimen, but when I need SOS treatment, I head straight for this miracle-in-a-bottle (original review here).
A’kin Lavender & Rose Repairing Anti-oxidant Night Creme* – This cream is pleasantly soothing, and hydrates my combination skin all over without breaking me out or leaving me dry. It was one of my top products of last year.
Salicylic acid – This stuff exfoliates inside oily pores to prevent future clogging (the science behind them here). I apply Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Skin Perfecting Liquid after the benzoyl peroxide cream has had a chance to dry (15-30 min), to the same T-zone area. I use my fingers, and even though I’ve had this bottle forever, I’ve barely made a dent in it.
Benzoyl peroxide – Brilliant antimicrobial for killing infected (i.e. red) acne (more on BP here). I’ve been dipping into my sister’s ProActiv Step 3 Repair cream, which is a 2.5% BP lotion. I cover my T-zone in a thin layer before bed, carefully avoiding the flaky, irritated parts (it can be a bit harsh).
Lush Ultrabland* – This is a new one for me. I decided to try it after finding out that it’s the Lush founders’ desert island product. It’s a cold cream style cleanser – a thin layer of the sweet almond oil base stays on the skin after wiping it off with a flannel soaked in hot water. I’ve been using this for two weeks so far and it’s been great. Since it doesn’t strip the skin of oil, it hasn’t been exacerbating my dry skin through the chilly weather we’ve been having, but it’s still effective enough to get makeup off without breakouts. I’m looking forward to trying out other cold creams once I get through this one!
What are your failsafe skincare products? Let me know in the comments!
Product marked * was provided for editorial consideration, which did not affect my opinion. For more information, see Disclosure Policy.