It’s not just teens who suffer with blemish-prone skin; from adolescent to adult, we are all at the mercy of our hormones. And, even if you thought you’d left the zits behind, a sultry summer plus the need to wear a face covering may well be wreaking havoc on your complexion. Indeed, the term ‘maskne’ has been this year’s entry into the beauty lexicon, describing the tendency for covered skin to break out.
Despite this, the need to keep skin cleansed, exfoliated and moisturised remains true for all of us. (NB: if the spots are taking over, or causing real suffering, it might be wise to get an appointment with the GP.)
La Roche-Posay have been working with dermatologists for over 30 years on their line of sensitive-skin friendly products. Their Effaclar Micro-Peeling Purifying Gel is suitable for use all over the body, including the face, making it great not just for acne, or maskne, but also backne. Salicylic acid helps exfoliate, zinc soothes inflammation. Our tester tried it in tandem with the Toleriane Ultra Dermallergo Serum which calms redness and irritation, and she states, “After applying these products my skin is left feeling very soft and supple. I have seen a huge difference in the way it looks and feels after using twice a day every day. The redness and appearance of spots have decreased dramatically and rapidly.” £14.50/£28 boots.com
One of the challenges of wearing an additional layer of covering over the face must be the inevitable claggy feeling. Our skin is the body’s largest organ and its natural shedding cycle is interrupted. Eve Lom’s Rescue Peel Pads are suffused with natural, skin-friendly acids to exfoliate and hydrate. The woven fabric is biodegradable and they are designed to be used at night, after cleansing. It doesn’t take much effort to swipe these over your face and the benefits are manifest. £60 evelom.com
Before exfoliating, any makeup needs to be removed, and Bioderma’s Sebiom H20 is designed for oily/combination skin. Our tester stated that this gentle micellar water “removes makeup thoroughly as well as cleansing my skin and leaving it feeling refreshed”. £10.80 naos-store.co.uk
For a more thorough cleanse, we love an oil-based cleansing balm. It’s something of a myth that oil should be avoided by the blemish-prone, and a balm cleanser will help the skin retain its natural oils, vital for skin health. Massage into dry skin to lift dirt and makeup and then run a flannel or cloth under the hot tap. Wring out and press the cloth against your face, inhaling those beneficial essential oils as you do so. Gently wipe off the balm to leave beautifully soft clean skin. Lyons Leaf Beauty Balm is both ethical and well-priced at £14.99 lovelula.com
If a breakout has occurred, topical treatment is needed: Avène’s latest drop, Cleanance Comedomed, should be dabbed on the skin after cleansing, both morning and evening. It mattifies, soothes and minimises inflammation. Be aware, this has quite a strong smell at first, but that disappears after a minute or so, once the active ingredients have been absorbed. £18.50 boots.com
Finally, but crucially, keep moisturising. Look for something lightweight and calming. Most of the brands mentioned will have something suitable in their ranges, but also worth mentioning is Codex Bia’s range which combines the best in science, dermatology, botany and biotechnology. The Day Cream melts effortlessly into skin and the sustainably sourced calendula and serrated wrack give it a refreshing, herbaceous and natural scent. £67 uk.codexbeauty.com