i dodnt mind middel age acneTime to get grotty…

Lets discuss SPOTS aka acne, zits, yellow heads, pimples, horrible little creatures that take up residence on your face, unannounced, for an unknown amount of time. I’m sure most of you are already well acquainted with the bright red/yellow bumps that love to appear on your face just before that extra special occasion.

Many of you will have had a somewhat turbulent relationship with spots  in your teenage years and some may have only just met them in adulthood; don’t be fooled into believing that once those clammy teenage years are behind you, spots become a thing of the past, unfortunately this is a myth. Adults can get spotty too! So what exactly are these little gremlins? What do we do to treat and prevent them? Read on my lovelies…

Spot on…

Spots are part of a condition called acne. There is no real difference between acne and spots, although people tend to define spots as a few breakouts on the skin and acne as a more serious and widespread problem. It can be found on the face, chest, back, shoulders and (I am sorry to say) can even be found on buttocks. Spots can be caused by hormonal changes, hence lots of spots appearing around puberty, your period and even during pregnancy. Being stressed can also increase the risk of getting spots as stress triggers fluctuations in hormone levels; this is why we always seem to suffer a breakout just before that big event; brides beware!

If your breakouts are few and far between, it’s usually just a sign of a short term hormone imbalance or stress related issue,” says skin therapist Louise Thomas.
If you are feeling extra spotty and know that stress is the instigator, take some time out to rest, drink camomile tea, calmly talk through things with friends and do some gentle exercise like yoga. It’s important to note that if you frequently suffer from spots, especially around the mouth and chin, sometimes over the counter spot creams just won’t cut it, it would be wise then to seek your doctors advice for the appropriate treatment. If, alongside regular spots, you are female and also suffer from facial hair and infrequent periods, there is a small chance that the underlying cause to your spots could be poly-cystic ovary syndrome, so get yourself along to see the professionals if you are concerned.

Here comes the science bit…

A spot is the blockage of a gland near the surface of the skin called a sebaceous gland. These glands secrete a substance called sebum; an oily substance used to lubricate the hair follicle. Occasionally they can become blocked by excess sebum which mixes with dead skin cells at the opening of the gland and hey presto you have a black head. If bacteria living on the surface of the skin works its way into the blocked gland, the area can become red, swollen and produce a white pus (yes, pus), which result in those white-heads we so love to squeeze (naughty).

burts beesSo… to squeeze or not to squeeze? Some experts recommend that if the spot has come to a noticeable devastating white
head, you can squeeze it – fabulous news! Just make sure your hands are very clean (wrap your fingers in tissue to prevent your nails damaging your skin). Pop a bit of tea tree oil or an antiseptic cream on top of the squeezed spot to make sure it stays clean. Burt Bees Anti Blemish Targeted Spot Treatment, £9.99, promotes clean pores and reduces any redness or swelling. It is formulated with 100% natural ingredients including Tea Tree, Calendula, Yarrow and Parsley extracts and is a noncomedogenic serum that will have your troubled skin turning healthy in a jiffy.

Whatever you do, do not squeeze spots if they are red and have no head – no matter how tempting it may be. Squeezing unripe spots can actually make things worse by driving bacteria deeper under the skin and, in some cases, can lead to scarring. If you’re worried about scarring after exploding the volcano, Murad Blemish Spot Treatment, £19, is a healing spot zapper that contains Sulphur to provide on-the-spot control the moment you feel a pimple popping up and vitamins C and E to protect and restore skin’s health.

Spot off…

As discussed, sometimes spots just come and go and there isn’t a darn thing you can do to stop the little beasts, especially when hormones are to blame. However, if you suddenly start getting spots on your face and can’t put them down to stress or hormones, the first thing to think about is whether you’ve changed your skincare or make up products recently? Cosmetica acne (spots caused from make-up clogging pores) is easily remedied once you’ve eliminated the problem product. Are your makeup brushes clean? Does your skin care, makeup and even haircare products suit your skin type? Make sure you are doing the following…

  • Always ensure you cleanse and moisturise your face properly morning and nightvintage woman washing face
  • Find and use the best moisturiser you can afford suitable for your skin type dry/oily/sensitive etc
  • Exfoliate regularly to prevent dead skin building up and dirt clogging pores
  • Use clean makeup tools
  • Keep your dirty mitts off that face!
  • Change your bed sheets regularly
  • Wash yourself properly after exercise – and avoid wearing makeup while exercising (think clogged pores and a juicy build up of sweat- yack!)
  • Eating, drinking and living healthily

Moriginsaintaining a healthy lifestyle to reduce the chance of breakouts may seem obvious but your skins shows on the outside what is happening on the inside, and if you are fit and healthy your skin tends to radiate such dreamy behaviours. Exercise has an amazing effect on your skin – When you exercise the tiny arteries in your skin open up, allowing more blood to reach the skins surface and deliver nutrients that repair damage from the sun and the environment, it also revs up the skins collagen producing cells helping you to look younger. Wow. If that isn’t enough to get you exercising, I don’t know what is! Just make sure you stay clean before/after exercise and rev up the exfoliating – rose&bird loves Origins Modern Friction facial exfoliator, it leaves your face squeaky clean and smooth as a baby’s butt. Origins Super Spot Remover, £13, also works hard to get rid of pore-clogging debris with its super exfoliators, skin-calming caffeine and red algae to relieve redness and ease inflammation.

A healthy diet makes a huge difference on the appearance of your skin. Avoiding fast food, alcohol and sugar is a good way to start, the following is a list of food and drink that are full of skin goodness, eat/drink these – your skin will thank you…

Water – all day – everyday, it flushes your sins out
Lemon – pop a slice in hot or cold water and drink first and last thing
Green tea
Nettle tea
Peppermint tea
Red grapes
Oat milk

Dark berries
Cottage cheese
Sweet potato
Oily fish (mackerel, salmon)
Brown rice
Nuts (Pumpkin seeds and Brazil nuts)


Spotting the right product.

So you are eating well, drinking lots of water and skin friendly tea and getting lots of exercise – but you have woken up to a whopper… sometimes life is just cruel. What is the plan of action? There are many over-the-counter spot treatments available claiming to treat or reduce the severity of spots. But which ones work the best?

  • The pre-spot tingle is natures way of alerting you that a spot is on its way to ruin Christmas. Fear not, sibenifit zapmply take action when you feel the tingle and fight back by applying Clinique anti-blemish Solutions Spot Treatment Gel, £13.50. It stings a little on contact but before you know it, you’ll be riding the path of soothing and cooling delight… and a little bit of sting just means it’s working – right?!
  • For the big bad giant mountains Freederm Fast Track, £6.39, reduce redness within 3 hours, it targets the sebaceous gland to reduce irritation without leaving your spots feeling dry and flaky.
  • If you are prone to oily skin Dermalogica Clearing Mattifier, £42.00, contains silicon that melts into the skin to help diminish fine lines and smooth skin texture where spots have broken out. Apply in the morning to areas prone to excess oil production.
  • Sensitive souls in the skin world should opt for Benefit Boo Boo Zap, £13.50, it dries out your blemishes and eliminate redness and swelling. It’s gentle enough to be used over and over again during the day, but still packs enough punch to purify your zits. What’s not to love?
  • For quick results – ” go away in 48 hours or the wedding is off ” – Vichy Normaderm Hyaluspot, £7, stop spots in their tracks – it’s enriched with 1.5% Salicylic Acid which draw out the impurities and 1% Hyaluronic Acid to reduce swelling. Delightful!clinique anti blemish
  • If it’s just too late for prevention or you just can’t stand looking at the beastly things for a moment longer, then cover those bad boys up with concealer and foundation. Wear Neutrogena Visibly Clear Rapid Clear Treatment, £2.66 under your makeup; The oil-dissolving agents break through the oil barrier on the surface of the skin to deeply penetrate your pores with cleansing ingredients and remove pimple-causing bacteria to help prevent breakouts. Apply Clinique Anti Blemish Solutions Liquid Make Up, £22 on top as a foundation followed by The Body Shop’s Tea Tree Oil Cover Stick, £4.50, on top of the zits. It contains anti-bacterial tea tree oil to speed up the healing process whilst hiding them in the process.
  • Lets not forget our glorious men folk out there… Cliniques Anti-Blemish 3 step system travel pack for £30 contains cleanser, clarifier and moisturiser and is a perfect way to help the man in your life with his spot traumas. The 4 week long lasting travel pack contains fuss-free, easy to use, neutral smelling products that deliver results.

Give yourself the best chance of living a blemish free existence by following the rose&bird rules;

Say P Off To Spots