You left high school a long time ago, but your skin still seems to be stuck in your teen years : uneven complexion, blocked pores, redness, zits… Imperfections are ruining your life. Don’t worry, there’s no need to panic ! Whether they’re recurring or a one off, you can treat and prevent imperfections naturally.
What’s happening to my skin ?
Contrary to popular belief, imperfections don’t just affect oily or acne prone skin. Whether your skin is dry, combination or sensitive : all skin types get zits and blackheads from time to time. So what causes them?
Imperfections can be caused by a whole variety of things. Yo-yo hormones, stress, fatigue, an unbalanced diet, the wrong cosmetics, cigarettes and pollution can all make your epidermis activate its defense mechanisms. Sebum production goes into overdrive in tired skin – this makes cell renewal more and more difficult and layers begin to build up. Say hello to redness, shiny skin and a dull and uneven complexion. Once bacteria gets involved, imperfections start to appear : inflammation, blackheads, zits… everything ! These 5 good habits will help you keep your skin clear. A healthy life can save your skin
1. A healthy life can save your skin
You can’t just rely on cosmetics. To effectively get rid of imperfections with a routine that is really adapted to the needs of YOUR skin, you need to understand why your skin is suffering. The first thing to do is review the general healthiness of your life.
Take a look at your diet : imperfections are often a sign of the epidermis being overwhelmed by its excretive function. The skin, just like the liver and the kidneys, helps the body rid itself of toxic waste products. Fats, alcohols, additives, and pesticide residue are all removed via sebaceous and sweat glands. But there comes a point when too much is too much – blocked pores, spots and shiny skin are an SOS from your skin asking you to rethink your diet. Limit fried foods, alcohol, sugar, red meat and ready meals. Try to increase your consumption of fibres, vitamins and minerals with fresh and organic fruit and vegetables that are draining and detoxifying. You should also be aiming to drink at least 1.5 litres of water a day.
Getting enough sleep is important for boosting cell renewal and reducing the stress which can stimulate the sebaceous glands. Outside activities, sport, yoga, meditation and sophrology can also help balance your skin.
Finally, be wary of the sun. By exposing your imperfections to UV rays you risk causing lasting spots of hyperpigmentation and experiencing a big rebound effect at the end of summer. Always use maximum sun protection !
2. Let your skin breathe
Of course, it’s always the day you want to look your best when you wake up with a nice big red spot. It doesn’t just happen by chance : stress is a major cause of imperfections.
You simply can’t see past your zit so you try and cover it up, but be careful ! It can be so easy to make things worse.
You must stay strong and resist the temptation to fiddle with or pop your zit, as this can make it even more visible, cause inflammation or permanent scarring and spread bacteria. Instead, apply a drop of essential lavender or tea tree oil to the affected area to speed up healing and get rid of inflammation and infection.
Most importantly, let your skin BREATHE by avoiding occlusive ingredients. If you want to hide your imperfections, apply cosmetics lightly and choose a concealer or foundation made from mineral pigments and natural ingredients, free from hyper-comedogenic mineral oils.
Keep an eye out for synthetic ingredients in ALL your makeup and cosmetics : mineral oils, silicones and mineral waxes (parrafinum liquidum, petrolateum..) etc. They are derived from petrol and are very frequently used in conventional cosmetics, even high end ones, but are completely inert and useless. They do however leave a waterproof film on the skin that prevents it from breathing and blocks pores – the exact opposite of what you want.
3. Stop exfoliating
Though you may have long standing beliefs about skincare, they may not be entirely true . Contrary to popular belief – helping your skin to breathe doesn’t require harsh scrubbing, it needs gentleness ! Vigorous cleansing gets rid of the excess sebum in your T zone, but destroys the skin’s hydrolipidic film, making the dried out sebaceous glands increase sebum production to protect the irritated skin. This excess sebum just makes your skin more and more vulnerable to imperfections so instead of clear skin, you get yourself into a vicious cycle of drying out your skin and suffering the consequences.
More than anything, take care with harsh exfoliators that women’s magazines seem to brandish at the first sign of an imperfection. They won’t get rid of your spots, they’ll only aggravate things, giving you microcysts by causing inflammation. You also risk causing mechanical acne. If you REALLY can’t give up exfoliation, try enzymatic exfoliation. The best ones are gentle and natural exfoliators such as clay, rhassoul, oats etc.
4. When it comes to cleansing, look for gentleness and depth
Don’t fall into the reverse excess by not doing enough for your skin. Regardless of the state of your skin, you MUST remove your makeup and cleanse your face twice a day. Your skin must be deeply cleansed to get rid of all traces of pollution, dead cells, excess sebum and bacteria. It’s also important to be gentle : avoid conventional cosmetics that are full of aggressive surfactants at all costs. If your cleanser lathers a lot be careful as it definitely contains the polluting sulfate agents, SLS and SLES, that are found in industrial cleansers. You should also be aware that an organic label is not a guarantee that your product is natural. Do some research to find products that are as natural as possible, such as the oOlution range which uses ingredients that are 100% organic and from natural origin.
Always use products that are designed for your skin type. Start by removing your makeup with an oil or milk depending on your skin’s sensitivity and then finish with a purifying and regulating gel cleanser. We recommend our product Gentle Angel as it deeply cleanses without drying out the epidermis, even that of sensitive skin.
Finish by using a few sprays of a hydrolat with soothing, astringent and antibacterial properties. To be as gentle as possible, stop using chlorine bleached cotton pads which cause inflammation and blackheads. It’s best either to massage the skin with the tips of your fingers or use reusable cotton pads.
5. Hydrate, target, reinforce
A customized skincare routine with effective products will prevent imperfections. So what should be part of your routine ?
Skin with imperfections doesn’t need to be dried out. It actually needs to be hydrated and have its defences reinforced : this is the only way to regulate the skin and reduce sebum production. You might be worried about applying oils to your imperfections, but don’t be scared of products that are made from high quality plant-based oils as they are the most efficient method of rebalancing the skin. Certain oils, such as jojoba oil are even sebo-regulating, healing and astringent. It’s important to choose a moisturizer that caters to the needs of your skin : thicker and richer for dry or mature skin and light and fluid for combination to oily skin.
Using an anti-imperfections serum will literally boost the effectiveness of your skincare routine. Full of active ingredients and very effective, serums are designed for specific needs.
In order to fight imperfections. a serum must have purifying, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, healing and regenerative properties. The ingredients you should look for are those that you’ll find in our Game Over serum : Calendula oil and essential lavender and lemon oils, cleansing oils (Andiroba and Pomegranate), regenerative oils (Argan, Borage) and sebo-regulating and healing active ingredients (jojoba oil, fireweed and yarrow hydrolats, essential Ylang ylang oil). That’s everything that is needed to care for and reinforce all skin types.
If you frequently suffer from imperfections, try applying the serum every day, targeting the affected areas. If you have isolated flare ups, Game Over can be used as a “shock treatment,” that is both effective and gentle, to rebalance the skin. Think about using a preventative measure if your skin is sensitive to the change in seasons, the rich foods you eat over the festive period, holiday indulgence or if you get spots in time to your menstrual cycle. Add this serum into your routine 10 days before these imperfections arrive. Learning about your skin and its routines will make it more effective.
To fight against imperfections :
- Respect your skin and treat it gently by not exfoliating and avoiding comedogenic ingredients.
- Use a targeted and powerful skincare routine that includes a gentle and purifying cleanser and an anti-imperfections serum.
- Don’t forget to help your skin by improving the general healthiness of your life.
This post is also available in french.