What to do when you’re breaking out



So you’re breaking out. This could be down to a multitude of factors, but mainly it means that something isn’t right. The odd cystic bit of acne (if you’re acne prone) is hormonal, but red spots and a load of under the skin bumps that come out of nowhere is usually a sign that your skin is angry with you and that’s usually down to what you’ve topically treated it with.

After having the worst facial of my life at Face Place at the Rosewood (literally – worst experience ever) my skin got really really angry. I am pretty sure it was the salicylic acid peel they used which left my skin blotchy, flaky and angry and I’ve been attempting to calm it down over the past week. 8 days post facial I’m finally on track to regaining my (far from perfect but definitely better than this) usual complexion. So if you’re in a similar situation here are my tried and tested steps.

1) Don’t freak out: When you freak out you tend to put a million anti acne products on (like I did), masks, liquid exfoliants, oils etc. This only made things more angry. Instead look up products here and find ones with no acne or irritant triggers. Despite having a few triggers on the site I personally find Cetaphil works really well for me. It’s gentle and doesn’t strip my skin, it feels like a nice hug for my skin. I also love Environ Sebuwash (note – no triggers but it’s more drying). Then skip your serum/exfoliator stage – more products = more problems. Go straight for a gentle toner, I always rely on La Roche Posay Serozinc, it’s so gentle that mother’s use it on their babies bottoms for nappy rash. I spray a liberal amount on  my face and let it sink in. I then go in with one pump of La Roche Posay Toleriane Ultra and if my skin is dry then one pump of Bioderma Hydrabio Riche. They combo leaves my skin non greasy, nourished and most of all soothed. When my skin is freaking out I also use the LRP moisturiser as my eye cream – it is super hydrating.

2) Avoid Acne Food: The last thing you want when you’re having a topical reaction is to have hormonal acne, so I typically totally avoid gluten, dairy, sugar and greasy foods. I opt for brown rice sushi (no soya sauce) for lunch and a chicken stir fry seasoned with coriander and sesame oil for dinner, for breakfast I like to have an apple with almond butter. Drink plenty of water too and stay satisfied, don’t let yourself get hungry because when you do you’ll start craving acne food. I find that if you think of all the acne trigger foods as “acne food” then they become less appealing.

3) Don’t pile the  makeup on: As tempting as it can be, avoid heavy foundations. I find the Bareminerals Bare Skin Serum foundation is the best when my skin is freaking out, it has no acne or irritant triggers, the coverage is beautiful and a small drop can cover my whole face. It also leaves a healthy glow without being overly dewy or at all greasy. It’s my go to when things aren’t right.

4) Don’t fret: seriously, don’t worry about it. Stress can cause more breakouts, so stay calm and relaxed. I’m about to start introducing Enzymes into my routine before I eat a heavy meal – I know that my cystic acne is caused by my gut (hence my reticence to ever go on Roaccutane or other antibiotics), so I know that by being gentle on my gut then that source of acne will dissipate. The surface acne from irritants is best soothed through plenty of water, adequate sleep and a simple no frills, no fuss skincare routine.

I promise if you follow all of the above your skin will be awesome within a matter of days. Let me know if you have any other awesome tips I’m missing!



  1. Freiha
    November 2, 2016 / 10:05 pm

    Cetaphil works best for my skin too. It has some triggers, but its so gentle and moisturizing!

    And I totally agree about your philosophy of going with gentle products while the skin is acting up. It’ll be so amazing if you did a detailed post of what you eat in a day, either here or on your YouTube channel.

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