Dealing With A Skin Freak-Out: My Top Tips

Tried and tested, BABY!

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In the past couple of months, my skin hasn’t been too impressed with me. I’m sure that this is new information to you because I haven’t mentioned it AT ALL round these parts. I jest. I originally put it down to my high consumption of croquettas in Mallorca, but I haven’t had a croquetta in months and they are still hanging around, making a big song and dance around the time that my period pops in to say hello too. Wonderful.

I’m guessing that’s a delayed reaction from me coming off the pill, mixed with stress and hormones; an unavoidable sum, but there is a silver lining in all of it. It’s made me ridiculously grateful for good skin days; feeling #blessed and all that. Plus it’s given me a chance to put some blemish-busters to the test on some real big juicy ones. All in all I guess Mercury Retrograde wasn’t too horrendous this time round, eh? Here are the steps that I do when a ‘good skin day’ just ain’t on the cards and the products I’ve found that personally do the trick…


ONE. Don’t panic. Whilst it’s tricky to write an exact list of what will help your situation, here’s one thing that definitely won’t speed up the process – stress. Stress and hormones are the main triggers for my skin acting up (it’s my chin that primarily suffers with them, which classically points to those two), so although it’s hard to do sometimes I just try my best to pretend that they aren’t there. Minimal fussing, minimal worrying and maximum chance of them healing quickly.

TWO. No picking. This one is SO HARD for me to avoid as I’ve inherited my Mum’s gene for picking and I even asked Mark if I could watch him pop a big spot he had on his chin the other day because I’m a weirdo who gets great satisfaction from it, but picking is the worst. I know this piece of information, yet I still do it. To stop myself I’ve made Mark hide my Tweezerman picker tool (which is great, but bad, but great!), and I avoid looking into my magnifying mirror too. It got to the point where the first thing I was doing when I got home was to look in a mirror and pick and pop and drain everything on my face and now I have the scars to prove it. Not cool man, not cool.

THREE. No cake concealer. What I’ve learnt over the years about my particular epidermis is that it doesn’t much like being layered on with pigment and product and when it’s angry and red and having a moment, it hates it even more. The temptation is to stick on a concealer or two and seal it in with a powder to stop it going anywhere, but I try to stick to products that I usually use and just apply a light layer over it to dim the redness, but avoid overloading it with product. Ultimately you can never erase texture anyway, so I find that just accepting that and giving it just a light wash of concealer is me and my skin finding the best compromise.

FOUR. Keep your routine. When my chin first starting erupting I freaked out and stopped applying all product to my face. Full stop. I cleansed and just left it there in the evenings. WOW. I felt like everything was breaking me out, but through halting all skincare I realised that my spots weren’t getting any better and the rest of my skin looked pants and lacklustre. So instead I’ve found it best just to keep calm and carry on using all my usual products; trying my best to make as few changes as possible and keep to things that I’ve used a load over the years and I know that my skin enjoys. Even if my chin skin isn’t looking great, then I can at least polish up the rest of my face.

FIVE. Shift your stress. Of course all the usual tips apply here too (and annoyingly always seem to help things along); drinking a shedload of water, eating plenty of greens and vitamin and mineral laden fruit and veg, taking a moment to press pause and be mindful, movement and exercise – all that good stuff. When my skin was at it’s worse I found the most effective thing to be increasing my water intake, which didn’t really help much with my blemishes, but it did help to make the rest of my skin look glowy and hydrated and less like a shrivelled raisin which is always a good distraction.


*Votary Blemish Rescue Oil (gifted) – When my skin started to have *issues* back in the late summer, this was the product that I turned to that actually felt like it did something. Although it’s always tricky to put skin improvements directly onto just the one product as in reality it could be down to a myriad of factors, once I started applying this morning and evening on the affected area, I felt like things started to heal and repair at a speedier rate.

*Odacité Pimples Serum Concentrate – In a similar vein to the Votary Oil, this is a targeted treatment in oil form that’s designed to either be dropped into and mixed with your moisturiser to beef up it’s credentials, or applied neat onto any pimples that are setting up shop. Personally I like to apply it just on the areas I need it and have found it to be extremely effective. It’s still early days with this product, but I’ve found it to perform well at drying out the area (in a good way), and pressing fast-forward on the ‘angry red juicy spot’ to dried out ‘we’re done here’ timeline.

Paula’s Choice Clear Purifying Clay Mask (gifted) – I’ve used many masks when it comes to the fight against blemishes, but I feel like this one does exactly what it says on the tin, and all with a reasonable price tag. It’s not stripping per se, but it’s definitely one that I reserve just for the areas that I need it and afterwards my skin feels comfortable and cleansed and clean; plus I find that it reduces redness and helps dull the ache of any painful ones that are bubbling away.

Synergie Skin Essential Vitamin A Serum – After giving a fair amount of Vitamin A serums a go, I’ve settled on this one applied twice a week, over minimal skincare and sometimes sealed in with a light tap of oil if my skin is feeling particularly dehydrated. Of course it’s main objective is to aid in reducing sun damage and fine lines, but it does help out with any breakouts that I’ve got going on too and the morning after using this treatment they always seem reduced. Seriously, is there anything that Vitamin A can’t do?! 


Photos by Mark Newton