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Monday, February 2, 2015

Breakout Buddies

breakout buddies (2) copy

Breakouts suck. Fact. Breakouts don't call ahead. Also fact; sadly. Since you never can know what will end up emerging from your once pristine complexion, it's smart to have a roster of tried and true blemish banish-ers, aka your Breakout Buddies- can you tell I love a little alliteration action? Read on selection of products that I keep on hand to save the day (or at least attempt to...)

the body shop tea tree blackhead wash and night fade lotion

I have never enjoyed the smell of tea tree oil, but when it comes to skincare, you can't deny it's powers. When my skin is feeling blargh, is broken out, or feels like it's on the verge of breaking out, I like to reach for The Body Shop Tea Tree Blackhead Exfoliating Wash. Don't let the blackhead portion of the name throw you, as this works well on skin that has never seen a blackhead in its entire existence. What it is, is a creamy tea tree cleanser with crushed apricot stones that gently slough away dead skin and smooth angry skin. The tea tree leaves skin feeling soothed, super clean and fresh, but not stripped.

I find any kind of blemish really leaves a lasting mark on my skin- I'm talking a month or longer for it to completely disappear- which really sucks. One product I've found to help, when used right from the first sighting, is The Body Shop Tea Tree Blemish Fade Night Lotion. The lotion contains tea tree oil, lemon tea tree, and tamanu oil, which work not only to fade spots, but also help prevent new blemishes and blackheads from forming, control excess oil and is lightly moisturizing too. Quadruple threat!

mary kay clear proof pore purifying lotion and impulse acne treatment bio toner

A product I reach for pretty frequently- regardless of my skin status- is the Mary Kay Clear Proof Pore Purifying Lotion. It works much the same as my beloved  La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo as it gets down into pores, unclogs what is there, prevents further buildup and prevents new breakouts. MK has a formula that does contain more salicylic acid than La Roche, so I don't use it daily, but it's especially useful when my skin is in mid-breakout.

Sometimes breakouts feel like more than just a few spots. You know your skin is behaving badly, and as such it just feels off. You know? I've found having a soothing something-something to spritz on can really make a difference. Impulse Acne Treatment Bio Toner is step two of a targeted acne treatment system that is formulated without Benzoyl Peroxide (a common ingredient in acne treatment products.) The toner contains a host of skin loving minerals and extracts (think aloe, green tea, cucumber, and camomile) along with tamarind seed extract which has the moisturizing effectiveness of everyone's favourite hyaluronic acid. The mist can obviously be used as toner before other treatments, but it's also great as an any time pick me up as it's so soothing on skin.


mary kay clear proof oil free moisturizer and yes to tomatoes daily moisturizer

When I was younger, and completely clueless about what to do when a breakout struck, one of my bright ideas was usually to skip moisturizer. Don't do that. It's tempting, I know, but your skin still needs, nay, craves moisture. A great option to see you through the worst of a breakout is Mary Kay Clear Proof Oil-Free Moisturizer as it's a simple, oil-free moisturizer that provides balanced (since your skin certainly isn't) hydration while controlling excess oil and leaving a soft-matte finish.

If excess oil isn't so much of an issue for you- it often isn't for me- then Yes to Tomatoes Daily Balancing Moisturizer is a great choice, The whole Yes To Tomatoes range is formulated for combination to acne prone skin with Lycopene (found in tomatoes) which has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that help protect skin from the baddies that contribute to clogged pores and breakouts. The moisturizer gives skin a lot of hydration in the areas I need it, but not too much where I don't and is formulated to control excess sebum which is what feeds and causes breakouts. Plus, it has a really great almost cinnamon-spice scent.

thursday plantation tea tree oil, garnier acne gel treatment, avon clearskin spot treatment
Thursday Plantation Tea Tree Oil* 25ml $15.99 USD | Garnier Pure Control Targeted Acne Gel Treatment* 15 ml $14.99 CAD |  Avon Clear Skin Clear Emergency Instant Spot Treatment 15 ml $6.99 USD / $8.99 CAD 

Most of the products so far have been aimed at skin as a whole, but sometimes what you really need is a targeted plan of defense. For that, my first stop is Thursday Plantation Tea Tree Oil. Yes, again with the tea tree oil, but the fact that it acts as an antiseptic is majorly helpful to our cause. Tea tree oil has the ability to kill bacteria, bacteria like Propionibacterium acnes, the bacteria living in your blemish (aka zit, but I really dislike despise hate that word.) It can be a bit messy to apply, since it is a liquid, but I dab a bit on a q-tip and pat it on affected areas.

If I really want to attack blemishes- and really, isn't that what we all want to do?- I'll follow up with a spot treatment. Garnier Pure Control Target Acne Gel Treatment and Avon Clear Skin Emergency Instant Spot Treatment are pretty similar products as they both contain 2% salicylic acid, but Garnier's version is a roll on and Avon's is a gel. The metal ball roll-on is cooling and soothing but you have more exact control when applying the gel with your fingertip. It all comes down to personal preference really, as I've had success with both products. They're especially useful when you first spot a spot as they can really nip it in the bud before it develops into something more and even more so when combined with tea tree oil.

Breakouts still suck. Fact; but at least you can always slather on a few of my Breakout Buddies. Oh, and concealer, it always works. Tried any of these products? Have any recommendations that always work for you?