The best way to deal with a breakout

Brunette girl with red lipstick in the city

They’re a horrible thing to wake up to, but the reality is that at some point we’re all going to have to deal with breakouts, spots, zits, pimples and blemishes. The reasons for spots are many and varied; it could be hormones, diet, stress or many other factors. It might start with a bump or a spot of redness, but when they do develop it’s important to have a strategy in place so their tenancy on your face is short-lived. Here’s our guide to seeing them off as swiftly as possible.

Preempt the breakouts

If you’re prone to breakouts, or have sensitive, oily or congested skin, it’s important that your every day skincare is working with your skin type to keep flare-ups to a minimum.

For congested skin (you get blackheads, those irritating ‘under the skin’ bumps or even cysts), its important to keep your skin cell turnover healthy and exfoliate regularly with a skincare regime such as Elemis Dynamic Resurfacing Complexion Renewal Collection which includes a face wash, a day cream and exfoliating pads. Pixi’s Milky Skincare range is perfect for sensitive skin – it’s alcohol-free, has both hydrating ingredients and antioxidant properties. Oily skin types should opt for The Ordinary Simple Skin Collection, a balancing regime which hydrates skin without leaving it greasy.

Treat the spot directly

Tempting though it may be to immediately reach for a concealer, the first thing you should do is treat the blemish as soon as it appears. It always pays to have a spot-fighting solution such as the Tula Pro Glycolic 10% pH Resurfacing Gel in your bathroom cabinet. While you can use it all over, if you have a stubborn spot that’s taken root the morning of a big date, job interview or other such important occasion, you can always apply it with a cotton bud directly to the spot. Gatineau’s Clear & Perfect SOS Stick is also an amazing spot treatment that instantly calms and stops a spot in its tracks.

Don’t be tempted to squeeze

Ignore the fact it might be satisfying, disregard the idea your skin will go back to normal more quickly – it won’t – and step away from the magnifying mirror. Squeezing could actually prolong how long the spot sticks around so sit on your hands if you can. If you can’t, we do understand, so place a tissue over your spot and gently rub it. If nothing comes out, leave it and try again later. Don’t put two knuckles either side of it and push until it yields because you might make it worse and actually cause a lump.

Chose your cover up

Now’s the time when you can think about concealer, but find the right texture and shade is just as important as the coverage itself – get it wrong and you could actually draw attention to the blemish. Tarte Shape Tape Contour Concealer with Quickie Blending Sponge gives full cover in a radiant finish so the effect is coverage that looks like real skin.  If your breakout isn’t too noticeable and dry skin means thicker formulas don’t always sit well on your skin, then the water-rich formula of Bobbi Brown Instant Full Cover Concealer, is ideal for blurring away a blemish. You certainly don’t want your concealer to shift, crease or slip so press a little translucent powder like IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Poreless Powder over the top to ensure your concealer stays in place.

Make it seamless

In the same way you choose your formulas carefully, it’s worth having some tools in your kit so you can conceal with confidence. IT Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe Dual Airbrush Concealer Brush, has two ends that allow you brush on your product with the dense bristle end and buff lightly with the fluffier brush to achieve a seamless edge. Whatever formula you are using, it’s better to conceal with fine layers than expecting one heavy blot to do the job. If you’re using a cream, dab a small amount over your spot, dab with a thin layer of tissue and reapply until you get your desired finish.