The best acne treatments for blemishes and scars

The best acne treatments for blemishes and scars

The ultimate skincare kit to get rid of your acne and treat any scars it’s left behind

best acne treatments

You’d be forgiven for assuming that a spotty face is synonymous with teenage acne and everybody grows out of it. But acne can happen later in life too, so unfortunately you’re not immune, whatever your age. Which means you need to know about the best acne treatments on the skincare market.

Acne is one of the most common skin conditions in the world and it’s estimated that 80% of people between the ages of 11 and 30 will have it at some point, according to the NHS.

The number of adult acne cases reported in the past year has risen by 200% and around 50% of adults will experience acne during adulthood. As if that wasn’’t bad enough, more than 80% of cases of adult acne occur in women. Great.

So, how do you get nightmare breakouts under control? Arm yourself with our complete guide to combatting acne and soon enough, you’ll reveal clearer and calmer skin.

What is acne?

During your teenage years, acne normally occurs due to the heavy fluctuation of your hormones. But you can still get acne in your twenties, and some adults will experience it well into their thirties, forties and even fifties. It’s even possible to get acne for the first time as an adult.

Essentially, acne is caused by excess sebum. any things can cause your sebum production to become over-stimulated. This produces oil, which then mixes with things like the hairs on your skin or dirt. Your pores then become clogged.

Bacteria (especially one called Propionibacterium acnes) can then get trapped inside the pores and multiply. This causes swelling and redness — which is the start of acne.

Why do you get acne?

There is a range of factors that can contribute to clogged pores. Factors like pollution, cosmetic products like foundation, some medications, regularly wearing things that put pressure on particular areas (such as a headband) and smoking can cause your skin to break out.

But a lot of it comes down to good old hormones. They fluctuate during our period, while pregnant or if we suffer from hormonal conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome. So most of the time, what you think is causing you to break out may only just be part of the reason.

Acne is also genetic, so if your parents experienced (or still have) acne, the likelihood of you getting it too is high.

And while the NHS advises that there’s no evidence that your diet plays a role in the skin condition’s prevalence, many people find there are links between their gut health, and whether they consume dairy and acne.

Best acne spot treatments

The good news is, there’s a plethora of medicated and over the counter products that can help, and we’ve scoured the market for the best to ease and treat your acne. Unfortunately there’s no ‘one size fits all’ product, and it may take a bit of experimentation to find what works for your skin, but persevere and you’ll be able to ease your acne woes.

If, however, you don’t have severe acne and you were looking for a product to treat a few painful zits, you want a totally different treatment altogether – find the right one for you in our best spot treatments round up.

Best acne scar treatments

Dr Brandt Microdermabrasion Skin Exfoliant, £51.75, AllBeauty

best acne treatments

If you had acne as a teen, it may well have left you with some scarring. While there’s nothing wrong with acne scars, it’s understandable if you want to minimise their appearance as much as possible. Another treatment option is a microdermabrasion facial, a treatment that stimulates blood flow, which in turn increases the nutrition delivered to skin cells. Cell production is increased, which improves skin’s elasticity and texture and helps to minimise the appearance of scarring.

Alternatively, Dr Brandt offers a microdermabrasion exfoliating treatment you can use to treat your acne scarring at home.

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Best acne treatments for adults

Neutrogena Visibly Clear Light Therapy Acne Mask, £39.99, Boots

best acne treatments neutrogena

Generally speaking, adult skin can tolerate much stronger treatments, so you’re looking for solutions with the highest concentrations of active ingredients, like salicylic acid.

Laser treatments are another popular option to treat problematic acne. Light therapy has been used for years by dermatologists as an effective treatment for acne, but now it’s been honed into a mask for you to treat yours at home. Using a combination of coloured light to treat your skin, blue light works to kill the acne-causing bacteria, while red light lessens inflammation of the skin. Use for 10 minutes a day over a period of 12 weeks, and your acne will be seriously diminished.

And if you work in the city, you could also try adding one one of the best anti-pollution products for skin into your regime to minimise the clogging effects of the environment on your pores.

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Best acne treatments for teens

Clarins My Clarins Clear-Out Blemish Target Gel, £12.75 John Lewis

best acne treatments clarins


One product that’s particularly effective in teen skin is Clarins My Clarins Clear-Out Blemish Target Gel, a specially formulated gel that targets problem areas with clusters of sore, angry spots.

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Shop our round-up of the best acne treatments to get rid of breakouts (and your skincare woes, too).

It’s time to wave goodbye to problem skin…

The post The best acne treatments for blemishes and scars appeared first on Marie Claire.

The secret to glowing spot-free skin even on your period

The secret to glowing spot-free skin even on your period

Words by Maisie Bovingdon

Spots.  We all get them, and we all hate them.  As much as we try to cover them up with concealer or foundation, they still manage to make themselves seen.

There are a whole host of reasons why we suddenly breakout, but the main culprit is hormonal changes, especially throughout a woman’s menstrual cycle.

Within a 28-day cycle our complexion can change drastically; from crystal clear one minute, to pussy pimples the next, super dry and flaky to oily and unpleasantly shiny. We just can’t win.

But experts at Swedish brand FOREO has revealed exactly why our skin changes in the run up to our period, during and afterwards, and the tips to take to have radiant and acne-free skin even if it is your TOTM.

best way to cover a spot

Stage 1: The Menstrual Phase (Day 1 to 5)

The first phase starts with day one of your period, and it tends to be the peak time of the month when we are most vulnerable to breakouts *sigh *.

Within the first few days of Aunty Flo making her return some some people may feel spots brewing under the skin’s surface, and redness around the face, which means the dreaded zit is planning to show its face – literally.

During this time our bodies start to produce excess oestrogen, which triggers the production of oil and sebum, and causes skin – the main contributors to spots.

As much as we may feel sluggish during our period, it is paramount we take extra care of our skin by gently exfoliating and cleansing the face, especially the T-zone, which is often the main problem area as it is the most oily, as well as our chin, and around the nose too.

To use: FOREO recommend the Luna mini 2 device, with its small brushes that can removed 99.5% of dirt hiding in all crevices.

Stage 2: The Follicular Phase (Day 5 to 15)

The mid-point in a woman’s cycle is when we notice our skin has become dry and flaky, in comparison to the week before, which left us feeling like a grease ball, all because our oestrogen levels have dropped.

During these 10 days our skin, and body, is crying out for some extra TLC.  While last week we needed to cleanse, cleanse, cleanse, now it is time to hydrate yourself to repair the skin’s barrier after a week of going through the wars (well that’s what it feels like anyway, right?)

Hydrating masks, deeply nourishing moisturisers, vitamin sprays, and simply drinking all the H20 will work wonders on the skin and help to achieve the desired glow.

To use: Foreo H2Overdose UFO Advanced Collection Mask or Ultra Hydrating Face Mask for Dry Skin, which is infused with hyaluronic acid to combat dry skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Face wash

Face wash

Stage 3: The Luteal Phase (Day 15 to 28)

No, we didn’t know it was called that either, but it’s the last leg of your cycle, and the prime time to show off your radiant skin in all the selfies your camera roll can handle.

During these two-weeks ahead of your next period your blood circulation will increase, thanks to oestrogen, which instantly leaves us looking fresh faced with a bit more colour in our cheeks.  Although oestrogen will start to rise again it is not to the point where our face becomes too oily.

Our skin in this fortnight will easily absorb ingredients, which is why we still need to be mindful what we put on our skin, and in our bodies too.

A FOREO expert has advised women to use cleansers containing amino acids, and antioxidants including vitamin E and vitamin C, to boost cell function, collagen and reduce the appearance of wrinkles, dark spots and UV damage.

To use: FOREO advise using the Micro-Foam Cleanser because its lightweight formula, which is filled with skin-replenishing amino acids and vitamins, will provide a deep but gentle cleanse.

Spot-free, glowing skin all year round we’re ready for you!

Note: Every woman’s skin and menstrual cycle is different depending on their hormones, so listen to your skin too. 


The post The secret to glowing spot-free skin even on your period appeared first on Marie Claire.

Best baby products 2019: give your little one the Royal treatment

Best baby products 2019: give your little one the Royal treatment

best baby products 2019

Being a new mum can be daunting, you got through the pregnancy and took care of yourself by using the best pregnancy beauty products, but now there’s someone else in your life that needs your undivided attention that you need to look after. We would do anything to protect our babies, and that goes as far as their skin too. Because it’s more sensitive than ours, you can’t use the same products you use on yourself. What you need is the best baby products to make sure that you’re keeping your little ones baby-soft.

Much like the best products for sensitive skin, products formulated for babies tend to be free from parabens, dyes and alcohol. They help to nourish and protect the skin from irritation.

With the arrival of the Meghan and Harry’s Royal baby imminent, baby fever is well and truly in the air, so we grilled a group of new mothers about their must-have baby products. We asked them to tell us which products they just couldn’t live without and this is what they revealed…

Best baby products 2019 – the product recommended by every mum we spoke to

Aveeno Baby Daily Care Baby Moisturising Lotion, £2.99 Boots

best baby products aveeno

When we asked the group of new mothers, which products they rely on for their newborns and older babies, each one said Aveeno. There are seven products in the range, each one super gentle and kind on the skin. They work on all babies, even those with mild cases of eczema. There are creams, lotions, wipes and washes. The above is the perfect everyday cream to use after a bath on dry skin – it smells glorious and keeps skin soft. At £2.99 it’s also really affordable and purse-friendly.

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So if like Meghan Markle, you’re set to become a new mum very soon, keep reading for the rest of our roundup of the best baby products in 2019…

The post Best baby products 2019: give your little one the Royal treatment appeared first on Marie Claire.

The changes you should make to your skincare routine when you’re up the duff

The changes you should make to your skincare routine when you’re up the duff

pregnancy skincare

It’s no surprise that when you’re pregnant your skin changes. The rest of your body goes through its own transition, so why wouldn’t your complexion? When you’re pregnant skin can become more sensitive and some women might even experience bouts of acne, increased redness or pigmentation (nicknamed ‘the mask of pregnancy’) where they didn’t before. (It’s worth noting too that if you already suffer from rosacea or psoriasis, these can be exacerbated by pregnancy.) It’s not all doom and gloom though, because if you’re armed with the right pregnancy skincare regime, you can tackle these symptoms head on.

Here’s our roundup of the changes, how to treat them and which ingredients to avoid…

The main changes to skin when pregnant

‘Pregnancy brings about changes to your hormones, immune system, metabolism and blood vessels that influence the skin in various ways, explains Dr Ewoma Ukeleghe, founder of SKNDOCTOR.

Hormonal Acne

A surge in progesterone causes your body to produce more sebum, which can lead to hormonal acne in pregnancy. And annoyingly, it can affect your whole body so you could see a sudden increase in back acne and blemishes on your décolletage.

If this is something that you’re suffering from, then it’s even more important that you include the right products in your pregnancy skincare regime. You might have to pick up some new ones that you don’t have in your bathroom cabinet.

‘For particularly oily, acne-prone skin, I recommend you use products that contain AHAs (Glycolic Acid) and Azelaic Acid,’ says Dr Ukeleghe. These make for a great addition to you pregnancy skincare routine, because they’re also great for treating pigmentation.

The Mask of Pregnancy

The most common skin concern during pregnancy is hyperpigmenation. According to the British Association of Dermatologists, it can affect up to 50% of women during their pregnancy, because hormones are slightly out of kilter and your body starts to produce more oestrogen. Combined with an increase in photosensitivity, this presents itself as large patches of discolouration on the face. The increase in oestrogen is also why your areola (the round area around your nipples) darkens.

Dr Ukeleghe encourages daily SPF use: ‘Consistent sunscreen use will stop pigmentation from getting worse.’ You should be using a daily SPF of 30 or above anyway, but it is it particularly important during pregnancy, because your skin is more photosensitive.

This is why Jasmina Vico, a skin expert, recommends using a vitamin C serum every single day during your pregnancy to help brighten dark spots and pigmentation, as well as accentuating that maternal glowy complexion. She recommends Skinceuticals CE Ferulic or Phloretin CF (depending on your skin type) and Medik8 C-Tetra.

Sensitive Skin

Vico says the first thing you should do when you find our you’re pregnant is simplify your skincare routine: ‘Take out anything too harsh or abrasive, because your skin is much more sensitive at this time.’ She recommeds using as few products as possible as well, so stick to a good cleanser, toner, serum, moistuiser and SPF.

This increase in senstivity is what causes pregnancy hot flushes and a red tinge to the skin. Dr Ukeleghe suggest switching out your exisiting products for those that come from lines that are specifically for sensitive skin, like the Bioderma Sensbio range. But then she says, ‘Only slot in pregnancy-friendly actives if you have specific skin concerns, because excessive skncare routines and harsh ingredients can irritate.’

Ingredients to avoid when pregnant

1. Salicylic Acid (in high concentrations, anything below 2% is safe)
2. Vitamin-A (any product with retinol)
3. Skin lightening products (anything containing hydroquinoane)

Keep scrolling for our edit of products to introduce into your pregnancy skincare routine:

The post The changes you should make to your skincare routine when you’re up the duff appeared first on Marie Claire.

The best pregnancy beauty products Meghan Markle would approve of

The best pregnancy beauty products Meghan Markle would approve of

For legs, bums and tums

Pregnancy can be really tough on the body. Not only are you constantly exhausted and moments away from being sick, but your temperature is all over the place, you get more spots that normal, your legs and feet swell and that’s before we even get to the stretch marks. Your homones are all over the place and it’s your body that takes the brunt of it. Plus it isn’t just when you’re pregnant, the actual birth itself is one heck of thing and your body needs time and some TLC whilst it recuperates.

What you need is an arsenal of pregnancy beauty products that will help alleviate some of these symptoms and make your pregnancy journey that little bit easier.

It might look like Meghan Markle is sailing through her pregnancy (not a swollen ankle in sight), but she’s no stranger to investing in a good pregnancy beauty product to help take care of her skin during her pregnancy. In fact, she’s always been quite open about her favourite beauty products.

pregnancy beauty products

Meghan Markle Pregnancy Beauty Products

It’s been reported that both Kate Middleton, and now Meghan Markle, used Beuti Skincare’s Sleep Elixir during both of their pregnancies. The Elixir is made up of 14 plant-based oils, which have huge anti-inflammatory properties. After a couple of days notice, you’ll notice the change in your skin; your complexion will appear more even and glowy. Which when you’re tired and feeling a bit out of sorts is just what the doctor ordered. According to the founder of Beuti Skincare, the palace recieve regular supplies of the Sleep Elixir.

Beuti Skincare Sleep Elixir, £47

pregnancy beauty products beuti

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Meghan has also waxed lyrical about her love of Nivea’s Q10 Firming Lotion. She told Beauty Banter: ‘It’s honestly my favourite lotion on the market, it’s so affordable, and makes my skin look and feel amazing. I would buy a case of this at a time if I could find it,’ she added. The brand have now developed a Q10 Firming body oil that also targets stretch marks, so we reckon she might have given it a bash.

Nivea Q10 Body Oil Firming + Stretch Marks, £5.59 Boots

pregnancy beauty products nivea

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Keep scrolling through for more pregnancy beauty products that you can use during pregnancy and then once your little one arrives.

The post The best pregnancy beauty products Meghan Markle would approve of appeared first on Marie Claire.

Beauty Pie: What’s all the fuss about?

Beauty Pie: What’s all the fuss about?

Meet the brand being described as the ‘Netflix of beauty’

Beauty Pie reviews

In this new franchise we ask: What’s all the fuss about? There are so many products and brands that enter stratospheric realms of popularity – going from zero to hero in what feels like a matter of weeks – think Drunk Elephant, Milk Make-Up, and Augustinus Bader. But why are they so popular? We’ve decided to investigate…

Beauty Pie – the background

Founded by Marcia Kilgore – the beauty brainbox behind brands like Soap and Glory, Soaper Duper and Bliss Spa – Beauty Pie’s aim is to bring beauty lovers top quality products at factory prices. By cutting out the middle man and avoiding retailer mark-up, you can bag luxury products for much less of a price than you would at a high-end beauty counter. Simples.

The system is a fairly straightforward one: You pay a monthly membership allowing you to shop the factory prices, with a monthly spending allowance depending on your chosen membership level. Any unused allowance rolls over to the next month, so you won’t miss out on any spends – it’s really no wonder it’s been dubbed the ‘Netflix of beauty’.

Beauty Pie review

The Pie’s founder, Marcia Kilgore

Is it any good?

The answer you’re really here for is a resounding yes. Beauty Pie’s products are made using high-quality ingredients and in the same factories as some of the industry’s most luxury brands, which they claim means you get five times more for your money (or a bigger piece of the Beauty Pie).

Between them, the skincare ranges have pretty much every concern covered. Japanfusion packs a moisture punch for dry skin, while Super Retinol tackles the visible signs of ageing and Qi Energy gives lacklustre, exhausted skin the kick up the backside it needs.

So, which piece of the pie should you start with? Keep reading for some of the brand’s best-loved products.

Beauty Pie Everyday Great Skin Foundation

beauty pie foundation

The Great Skin Foundation is infused with micro-pearls for a soft focus finish and offers a good level of coverage, with a finish that’s slightly on the matte side and oil-free. Currently available in 15 shades, the brand has said on their website that they will be increasing their shade range ‘in due course’.

Typical price: £30

Members price: £7.52

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Beauty Pie Super Retinol Serum

beauty pie retinol

Unless you’ve been living under a rock you’ll know that retinol is a pretty super anti-ageing ingredient; nothing works quite like it. It increases collagen production, smoothes fine lines and improves skin’s elasticity and even the appearance of dark spots. Super Retinol is infused with both lactic acid to exfoliate and hyaluronic acid to hydrate, it’s a multi-pronged approach to getting great-looking skin.

Typical price: £80

Members price: £10.56

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Beauty Pie One Powder Wonder

beauty pie one powder wonder

One Powder Wonder is a seriously fine pressed powder that blurs, sets and adds a subtle healthy glow, and is so lightweight you’ll barely feel yourself applying or wearing it. The ‘Uberlescent’ shade is transluscent, so it works on all skin tones to reduce shininess and set make-up.

Typical price: £26

Members price: £5.27

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Beauty Pie Japanfusion Supreme Cream

beauty pie japanfusion

The Japanfusion range is a wonder cure for the effects of dry skin, getting deep into skin’s layers to boost moisture levels and making it happier in the process. As well as the range’s make-up removing cleansing balm, hydrating lotion and face serum, the Supreme Cream is a real gem – its consistency is a kind of thick gel, but not at all greasy or heavy and leaves skin feeling super soft and supple. Trust us when we say it’s one of the best moisturisers for dry skin ever.

Typical price: £100

Members price: £9.76

Buy now

Beauty Pie Candles

beauty pie candles

As well as the epic make-up and super effective skincare, Beauty Pie also makes divine luxury scented candles that won’t break the bank. Pomegranate and Baies Rose is a warming scent, while the Vanilla and Clean House options are equally delicious and comforting. Buy them in bulk as birthday presents.

Typical price: £40

Members price: Between £12.66 and £14.29

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Is it worth the hype?

Any affordable beauty line is worth the hype in our eyes, but Beauty Pie’s products have proven themselves as being seriously effective too. Their huge fan base of Pie-worshippers, who part with their hard-earned cash and rave about the products, is a testament to that. It’s a double thumbs up from us.

The post Beauty Pie: What’s all the fuss about? appeared first on Marie Claire.

How to make your beauty routine more sustainable and eco-friendly

How to make your beauty routine more sustainable and eco-friendly

Plus the brands that are doing their bit for the planet

It’s been a long time coming, but people are finally realising that it’s cool to give a crap about the planet we live on. From ethical fashion brands to upping our recycling, most of us are being a bit more conscious about our lifestyle choices and wastage.

‘As consumers, I think we’d all like to feel as though we’re helping make a change for the better; but sometimes it’s hard to know how to do that, and understand what impact a small change can really make,’ says Jo Chidley, founder of Beauty Kitchen.

‘For me, sustainability is a combination of things. It’s how we consciously develop and formulate products to the long term environmental impact they have.

‘We carefully consider the ethical sourcing, the packaging and the production and how we operate as a fully rounded sustainable business. Consumers want to know that as a sustainable business you truly care about them and the environment.’

With that in mind, keep reading to find out how you can gradually upgrade your skincare to be more planet-friendly.

What are some easy first steps you can take to make your beauty routine more sustainable?

Shop with a brand that follows environmentally friendly practices

From thoughtful packaging to sustainable ingredients, make sure they’ve covered the bases so all you have to do is decide on what products to try.

‘Consumers used to think that natural meant compromising on quality, smell, texture or all three,’ says Jo. But today, our products stand up against their synthetic counterparts and really do perform – proving that effective, natural and sustainable is possible.’

Ensure the brand is cruelty free and against animal testing

‘The leaping bunny is a guarantee that none of the products will have been tested on animals. If you can’t find it on the products, research!’ says Jo. ‘You’ll find brands are very good at telling you about all the work they’re doing to become more sustainable and eco-friendly, so if you still can’t find the answers you’re looking for, ask the brand directly.

‘We love to hear from our customers and will always answer questions and help arm them with the info they want whenever we can.’

Start with one product and take your time!

If you’re used to a certain routine it’s best to swap things out gradually to make your transition into a more sustainable routine all the more smooth. Start by buying just one sustainable product to incorporate into your routine, then gradually build it up.

What easy sustainable ingredient swaps can you make?

‘Understanding that we do not have an infinite resource of ingredients is an important part of the journey,’ Jo explains. ‘Look at Argan Oil – what was once a niche ingredient from Morocco is now a thriving industry. But how long can small communities work to meet demand? Trees and ingredients take time to grow and for us, it’s important to take our time and do things the right way.

‘Swapping from Argan Oil to Abyssinian Oil and using products that have marine extracts and algae in them is a great start. When these ingredients grow they turn carbon dioxide into oxygen and are truly effective on your skin.

‘You’ll get the same enjoyment from the products, but you’ll also be helping to ensure that those ingredients stick around for a lot longer as they’ll become more sustainable – and the cycle then becomes a totally renewable one.’

Beauty Kitchen Abyssinian Oil Concentrate, £12.50, Feelunique

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‘Here at Beauty Kitchen, we work tirelessly to ensure we’re doing things as well as we can – from the efficacy of our products, to the way we source ingredients right down to the packaging we use for each and every one of our products,’ Jo continues.

‘Being the most sustainable beauty company in the world is what I’m working towards.’

Other brands doing their green bit

As well as the brilliant Beauty Kitchen, there are other brands below who are working to reduce their ecological footprint, whether through recycling initiatives or using less harmful ingredients. Read more about them below.

REN has pledged to be a zero-waste brand by 2021, working towards 100% recyclable packaging, reusing ocean plastic and offering refillable services. They’ve also teamed up with Surfrider to clean up the world’s beaches, currently touring the UK.

Tata Harper‘s packaging is almost entirely reusable and recyclable glass, and everything is made on their 1,200 acre farm in Vermont, USA.

L’Occitane’s Teracycle Initiative will accept your used beauty products to be recycled (not just L’Occitane ones!). Simply take them to your nearest store and they’ll do the rest – as well as giving you 10% off your next shop.

WE ARE PARADOXX use no plastic in their packaging, instead opting for aluminium which, unlike plastic, can be recycled an infinite number of times. Using recycled aluminium requires only 8% of the energy used to make new aluminium.

Origins recycle their empties at counters, meaning consumers can take their empty Origins containers and the brand will ensure they are recycled. They also never use Styrofoam packaging or PVCs and  avoid using cartons where possible, but any that are used are FSC certified, post-consumer recycled fibre and made using wind and and hydro power. Cosmetic bags are made from 100% recycled materials, while shopping bags are 100% craft paper that is itself recyclable. Not bad, eh?

bareMinerals products are all free from chemical sunscreen, coal tar, formaldehyde, mineral oil, palm oil, parabens, peanuts, propylene glycol, phthalates, sodium lauryl sulfate, triclocarban, and triclosan.

Beauty just got a whole lot cleaner.

For more tips and tricks head to our Hair & Beauty section

The post How to make your beauty routine more sustainable and eco-friendly appeared first on Marie Claire.

How to squeeze your spots, according to Dr Pimple Popper

How to squeeze your spots, according to Dr Pimple Popper

Because if you’re going to do it, you need to do it right

How to pop a pimple
Lily Donaldson backstage

We all know dermatologists and skin experts say not to pop pimples. But how many of us actually adhere to their advice? If you’re honest with yourself, you’ll admit that there’s been more than one occasion where you’ve popped a pimple at home.

Thing is, there are a few things you should know before you pinch your fingers over that blemish. Which is why we sat down with the famous Dr Pimple Popper to find out exactly how to pop a pimple at home, safely.

Got a few pimple questions that need answering? Read on…

What’s the golden rule to popping pimples at home?

‘Let me start off by saying, that I don’t recommend that you pop your own pimples. However, I know that most of you won’t follow this recommendation. So I instead insist, “Know when to POP, and know when to STOP”.

‘If you really MUST, you shouldn’t pop anything on your face unless it has come to a white/yellow “head”’, she went on. ‘If the pimple has a head, at that point it is the easiest to extract, with the least risk of scarring because the bump is very superficial to the surface of the skin.’

What is the gunk? And why does it manifest?

‘Pus is composed of skin cells, bacteria, and inflammatory cells which are sent there by your immune system to fight off this localised bacterial infection in the skin. It’s also a protein-rich fluid called liquor puris that is usually whitish-yellow, yellow, or sometimes a little yellow brown in colour.’

Ok, but what are you meant to do once you’ve squeezed it? Should you dab with tissue? Leave to dry?

‘Clean the area with alcohol and leave the area alone, don’t keep squeezing it. You may want to apply a cool compress to help minimise the redness and irritation or use an over the counter topical steroid to minimise redness and inflammation.  Usually you know that a pimple has been completely drained if no more pus can be expressed, so if you see a little blood, stop squeezing!

Once a pimple has been popped, be sure to keep the area clean and let it heal properly to avoid scarring. It will sting a little, but you can disinfect the area with rubbing alcohol after popping.’

Why does clear fluid come out if you squeeze a pimple too much?

‘Clear fluid is just edema, fluid that accumulates in the area due to redness and swelling of the area. It is not pus, it’s not infection.’

dr pimple popper

Is there anything we should be aware of while popping pimples?

‘If you have a red pimple that hurts to touch, and is deep under the skin, it’s pretty impossible to pop it at that point. Usually if the pimple doesn’t have a head yet and is still under the skin, trying to extract it can not only be very painful, but you can cause irritation and even infection that will make it harder for the pimple to heal. Worse yet, if you really traumatize the skin, you risk scarring and that is likely permanent.’

How can I tell the difference between a cyst and a pimple?

‘Depends on what type of cyst we’re talking about. There is the cystic form of acne, which is a more severe form of acne vulgaris, and this type of acne created deeper, larger, more painful pimples under the skin that have a higher potential for scarring.

‘The cysts that you see me remove on my YouTube channel, are more commonly other kinds of cysts, such as epidermoid cysts, pilar cysts, steatocystomas. There are many types of cysts, and these are very different from pimples, and each other.

‘Cysts in general should not be squeezed because squeezing won’t resolve them, and in fact, can really cause many problems, like inflammation, infection, scarring.  Cysts should be evaluated by your physician and you may likely need a surgeon to remove them entirely.’

Why do you get clusters of pimples in certain places?

‘Pimples tend to occur in oily areas of the skin, which is why we commonly see breakouts in the “T-zone”. Also, hormones can trigger breakouts in certain areas, which is why for example, people with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome who have increased hormone levels (androgens), get more breakouts in the “beard distribution” of the face.’

Why do some pimples return in the same spot?

‘The pimple likely never completely resolved. When we have changes in hormone levels on a monthly basis, an increase in hormones can trigger increased oil production, increased risk of bacterial infection, and re-irritation of that pimple again.

‘Sometimes these reoccurring pimples are cystic and come back because they never form a head to be extracted. The pore is clogged under the surface of your skin and can enlarge and appear on the surface of your skin when your body is producing more oil.’

dr pimple popper

What can you do about under the surface pimples? How can you treat them at home? 

‘Pustules and inflammatory papules are white bumps with a red base, and they can often be painful to touch. When you have a pustule this means there are purulent contents inside, meaning localised infection… bacteria is involved and has a hand in creating this type of bump.

‘To treat them at home, always be sure to follow directions on the product or as directed by your dermatologist. It’s important to pay attention to your skin and if you notice drying or irritation, reduce how often you are using the product.

‘You can use acne products to treat current breakouts AND prevent future breakouts, so it’s usually OK to continue using them even after a breakout has improved and some people may opt for a spot treatment if they have specific areas that they are more prone to acne and breakouts.’

Dr Pimple Popper’s 6-step guide on how to pop a pimple

1. Sterilise the area and be sure to have clean tools, hands, and environment.

2. You’ll want to make sure you wash your face before with warm water, or better yet, take a steamy shower, to really open up the pores.

3. Use your fingers or a comedone extractor as I most often use in my videos, to place pressure on the skin immediately surrounding the whitehead, to push the contents out. If using fingers, increase traction by wrapping clean tissue paper around the fingers applying pressure.

4. A whitehead should come out pretty easily if it is ready, but if the pimple is not popping, there’s definitely a time to give up because forcing it and continually pushing and squeezing will only irritate your skin cause increased swelling, redness, and pain, and certainly increase your risk for local infection and scarring.

5. To finish I would recommend applying a topical corticosteroid and /or a topical acne spot treatment that likely contains benzoyl peroxide or an antibiotic, cool compresses if desired, or just try to leave the area alone.

6. See a dermatologist or skincare professional to help you get these extracted. In short, Know When To POP and Know When To Stop!

The post How to squeeze your spots, according to Dr Pimple Popper appeared first on Marie Claire.

The best aftersun to soothe your skin this summer

The best aftersun to soothe your skin this summer

After a day outdoors it’s essential that you apply post-sun skincare, regardless of whether you burned or not

best aftersun

We hope by now that we’ve drilled in the importance of wearing the best SPF moisturisers all year round and slathering on the best sun cream before heading outdoors. But equally as important is rehydrating the skin afterwards – enter the best aftersun.

There are various lotions, mousses, creams and gels out there to cool the heat of sun-soaking, prevent peeling and rehydrate your skin, getting it back to tip-top condition in no time.

Packed with hydrating ingredients like aloe vera, vitamin E, shea butter, almond oil and Omegas 3 and 6 to boost moisture levels, some also contain subtle tan enhancers to prolong your summer glow.

Keep in mind that speed is the key to cooling the skin – don’t wait until you start to feel itchy or overheated – so apply your best aftersun as soon as you’re back indoors or safely in the shade.

What does the best aftersun do?

Aftersun isn’t reserved only when you’re burnt; it can and should be applied every time you’ve been soaking up the sun. But, of course, it’s especially important in sunnier climes.

‘Heat, salty sea water, chlorine, winds and sand will all dry out your skin,’ says consult dermatologist Dr Sharon Wong. So, what’s the best way of caring for skin that’s been out in the sun?

‘Ensure all sunscreen, chlorine, sand and salt is washed off your body and face, before applying generous quantities of a good quality, hydrating moisturiser, to help restore the lipid barrier of the skin,’ she adds.

‘If your skin has been sunburnt, the red, sore areas can be treated with over-the-counter strength steroids, such as hydrocortisone, to reduce the inflammation quickly, and cool compresses and soothing agents, such as cold aloe vera gel, are also very calming for inflamed and sensitive skin.’

Dr Wong also advises that you use a thicker moisturiser when the skin is shedding, but that you should ‘keep it simple with fragrance-free products, as sunburn tends to make the skin more sensitive’.

Best aftersun lotion

Bioderma Photoderm Après-Soleil, £7.90, Lookfantastic

best aftersun Bioderma

Once you’ve been out in the sun, you need to slather on your aftersun lotion to restore your skin’s functions. Rightly hailed as one of the best European skincare brands on the market, Bioderma’s Photoderm After Sun is one of the best aftersun lotion buys. Its milky texture helps to soothe and reduce any inflamed, sore patches, but more importantly it helps to heal the skin and prepare its next trip out in the sun.

Buy now

Best aftersun to keep tan

The Organic Pharmacy Tan Enhancing After Sun, £35,

aftersun The Organic Pharmacy

While sprays are a favourite for convenience when it comes to aftersun, some people prefer to indulge in a thick and creamy formula. Although it’s named ‘Tan Enhancing’, The Organic Pharmacy’s aftersun doesn’t actually contain any fake tan. What it does do is help prolong a sun-kissed glow by repairing and replenishing the skin, with pure organic extracts of aloe, rosehip, carrot, calendula, green, white and red tea and nettles.

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Best aftersun to prevent peeling

Garnier Ambre Solaire After Sun Lotion, £7, Boots

best aftersun to prevent peeling Garnier

Ambre Solaire is one of the best trusted, go-to brands when it comes to sun protection and aftercare. Enriched with cactus extract and aloe vera, it’s a super hydrating formula that replenishes your skin with the right amount of moisture, preventing that nasty peeling skin we all love to hate.

Buy now

Be sure to always take care of your skin after being in the sun – even when you can’t see any visible damage. And remember, post-sunshine skincare is essential any time your skin has been exposed to the sun’s rays, not only when it’s hot!

Keep reading for the best aftersun reads on the market now.

The post The best aftersun to soothe your skin this summer appeared first on Marie Claire.

The best face oils to completely transform your winter complexion

The best face oils to completely transform your winter complexion

There’s a perfect face oil for every skin type (yes, really)

As a rule, the best face oils are your one-way ticket to a glowing, healthy complexion – whatever your skin type.

Although it seems counter-intuitive to apply oil to a complexion that is already naturally shiny, the right one can and will in fact regulate your skin’s oil production. It’s just a case of knowing your onions.

Oily skins don’t need to avoid all oil completely; you need oils that have low comedogenic ratings of 0, 1 or 2 at a push, as they won’t clog pores. Oils like Argan, Kukui, Camellia, rosehip, Calendula and almond are your friends here.

So whether your skin is wind-whipped because you’re the outdoorsy type, blemish-prone or goes through stages of being duller than dishwater, one of the best face oils can – and will – remedy your biggest skin concerns. Find the right one for you in our guide below.

Best face oils for dry skin

Kiehl’s Daily Reviving Concentrate, £38, Space NK

best face oils Kiehls Daily Reviving Concentrate

While those with oily skin may want to avoid applying oils in the morning – they’ll take longer to absorb as your skin isn’t crying out for moisturse – dry complexions will soak an indulgent oil up in no time. Kiehl’s Daily Reviving Concentrate is an everyday oil that repairs and keeps the skin soft.

The key ingredients are sunflower botanical oil, which strengthens the skin’s barrier, and Tamanu to soothe the skin. An effective daytime treatment, it really isn’t a surprise that both the Day and Night versions are bestsellers for the brand.

Buy now

Best face oils for glowing skin

ELEMIS Superfood Facial Oil, £45, Fabled

best face oils for combination skin Elemis Superfood

Your parents always nagged you to eat your greens, but we bet you’d not considered slathering them all over your face as part of your skincare routine. ELEMIS has a few face oil offerings in its stocks, but the Superfood oil is a firm favourite at MC. It’s packed with the goodness of broccoli, radish and Flax seeds and is a good all-rounder treatment oil for all skin types. Put on before bed and expect to wake with a healthy glow.

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Best face oil for oily skin

Sunday Riley U.F.O. Ultra-Clarifying Face Oil, £68, Net-A-Porter

best face oils Sunday Riley UFO

All of Sunday Riley’s oils are excellent and although you’ve probably heard all about LUNA, those with oily skin should make U.F.O. their first port of call. As oils go, this one is very lightweight – aside from the greasy finish (for want of a better word) that characterises an oil, when you squeeze it out of the pipette it’s incredibly fluid. Don’t let the bright green put you off though, as even oily skin will lap it up – with a 1.5% concentration of salicylic acid to help decongest pores.

We love the slightly medicinal scent, which is down to the tea tree and licorice, combined with a comforting smell not dissimilar to baby oil. Pricey, but worth every single penny.

Buy now

Best face oils for combination skin

Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Facial Oil, £34, Space NK

best face oils Drunk Elephant

Drunk Elephant’s offering is so lightweight that you’ll barely realise it’s an oil. The thin  cold-pressed formula is nourishing enough for dry skin but not so heavy that oily skins feel overloaded and greasy. The oil is naturally antimicrobial and soothing for the skin, reducing blotchiness and redness for an all-round smoother complexion, and also softens the appearance of fine lines.

Buy now

Read on to see more of Team Marie Claire‘s favourite face oil buys.

The post The best face oils to completely transform your winter complexion appeared first on Marie Claire.