Tuesday, 7 June 2011

How to treat hormonal acne

I was lucky enough to sail through my teen years relatively pimple free. Sure, I did have the odd pimple. On one notable occasion, when I was 16 or so, I had a small pimple on the tip of my nose the morning of a party. I thought that if I squeezed it in the morning the redness would be gone by the party and no one would notice it. Instead, it got infected, quadrupled in size and was impossible to hide. I could barely concentrate because it was in my line of vision, sticking up off the end of my nose and I was sure everyone was staring at it (actually I was certain - the 16 year old boys at the party had stopped looking and my chest and were looking at my face!). I learnt a valuable lesson that day, NEVER SQUEEZE PIMPLES (but then, once the pimple healed, I promptly unlearnt my lesson and jumped right back on the squeezing bandwagon)!

So you can imagine my shock when I fell pregnant at 29 that, instead of the gorgeous pregnant glow everyone keeps going on about, I suddenly had a face full of adult acne. Anyone who has experienced adult acne will understand just how difficult it is to find products suitable for their skin. There is a myriad of products designed to treat acne prone teenage skin – some of these great ranges include Clean and Clear, Clearasil and Proactiv Solution. But finding something suitable for older skin was much more difficult.

In the end, after it felt like I had tried every product under the sun, I took myself to the Kit Cosmetics counter to get some advice on how to fix up my skin. It was there that I was introduced to the Mario Badescu and Cosmedicine ranges. So, I continued to use my current cleanser and moisturiser as normal but also added some specialty treatment products to my routine.

 After cleansing in the morning I would apply the Mario Badescu Control Cream to the affected areas, which worked to reduce redness and to sooth the skin to prevent flaking. This isn't necessary only for use in the morning; however, I found that it rubbed in easily and wasn't at all noticeable, so that made it ideal for day time use. I applied my normal moisturiser to the unaffected areas of my face and the Control Cream on inflamed skin (mostly around the chin). According to Mario Badescu, Balsam Peru is the active, soothing botanical ingredient in the Control Cream, that will make a visible difference immediately upon application.

In the evenings, before I went to bed I used Cosmedicine Speedy Recovery Acne Treatment Night time Blemish Powder and Mario Badescu Healing Cream on the blemishes. The Cosmedicine Powder  uses Salicylic Acid, Corn Starch, and Aloe Vera to fight breakouts, prevent redness and irritation, leave you with a far better complexion than you had. The jar contains 15g of the powder and I honestly think that would last you a lifetime as you only put the smallest amount on. It probably isn't too hygienic but I would tip some in the lid, dip my finger in it, and simply rub it over the affected area. If you are more concerned with hygiene than I am, you could always apply it with a Q-Tip. Side note - while I was researching this post it became apparent that the Cosmedicine powder has been discontinued. A few places seem to still have it available so if you think that it might work, you might want to try and get a bottle, whilst you still can.

I would apply the powder after cleansing. I would then brush my teeth, finish my night time beauty chores to give the powder time to work its magic, before applying the Mario Badescu Healing Cream onto the blemishes. This cream contains sulphur which speeds up the healing process. It also contains the Balsam Peru mentioned above.  Its healing properties work immediately on acne prone areas preventing minor pimples from becoming inflamed. I found this cream to be quite lumpy and so difficult to rub in, which is why I didn't like to use it during the day. I would spread it on quite thickly so it could put its super healing powers to good, overnight.
One annoying thing with the two Mario Badescu products was the jar was a little misleading in size. Its one of those ones with a false base so you think you are only half way through when suddenly you hit the bottom. It did have the volume on it - I think it was 27ml, but my brain didn't register how small that was as the jar looks the same size as a 50ml jar.

The addition of these three products to my routine worked wonders on my hormonal acne. It took a couple of weeks but it ended up completely clearing up the blemishes. I did find that if I got lazy and didn’t use the products for a couple of days then my acne would reappear, but I think this was due to the insane amount of hormones surging through my system! Once I used the products again the acne would clear right up. Since I added three new products to my routine at once I can't be entirely sure which one, or whether it was a combination of all three that cleared up the acne. My gut says it was Cosmedicine Powder or possibly the Healing Cream, but I can't be entirely sure. But whatever it was, the next time I get knocked up I am going to make sure that I have each of these products in my possession.

Have you found anything that helped fix your hormonal acne? Are there any other magic powders out there that work like the Cosmedicine one (that I can turn to once my precious supply finally runs out!)?