Why am I breaking out?
Breakouts. Why is it they always happen right before a big event? I remember the week before my wedding I had a rather large pimple pop up on my chin. I named him Frank but made sure he evacuated swiftly.
The truth is, we all get breakouts from time to time. In most cases, like for instance when we are teenagers or menopausal, it is hormone-related. But it can also be weather, diet and stress-related. It could also be your skin is purging from using new skincare.
So what is a pimple/spot/zit/frank?
Everyone’s skin is covered with small pores or holes that are called follicles. Each of these contains hair, and each hair follicle has a gland attached to it called a sebaceous gland. This gland secretes an oily fluid called sebum, which stops the skin and hair from getting too dry. If the gland produces too much sebum, this can mix with dead skin cells and block the hair follicle, causing a spot. The kind of spot will depend on the bacteria present and the depth of the blockage.
Different types of breakouts
Breakouts can vary in colour and severity.
- Whiteheads (closed comedones) – small spots just below the skin surface that bulge outwards.
- Blackheads (open comedones) – darker, more obvious spots on the surface of the skin itself.
- Once a comedone has formed, it can become infected by the normally harmless bacteria on the skin surface, causing a range of more severe spot types, including:
- Papules – solid round bumps that are raised from the skin surface
- Pustules – pus-filled bumps that are red at the base with a yellow head
- Nodules – like papules but much larger and embedded deeper in the skin
- Cysts – large pus-filled, boil-like lumps that can cause scarring if squeezed
Am I breaking out or am I purging?
As mentioned earlier, we can sometimes purge from using new skincare products. Purging is when your skin is adjusting to the new product, and persevering with the product will eventually make your skin better – in fact, the sudden crop of pimples means that it’s working as intended.
If you’re seeing breakouts in an area of your face where you don’t normally break out, it’s probably a response to a new product you’re using. Luckily, breakouts caused from purging heal much faster than pimples from a regular breakout.
I’m having a breakout. What do I do?
However tempting, the last thing you should do with spots is squeeze them as this may make things worse and harm your skin by spreading any infection across a wider area. Squeezing a spot can also leave a scar.
A regular breakout is when your skin is reacting because it’s sensitive to something in the product. It could be clogging your pores, or causing an allergy, or just plain old irritation.
If your skin is purging, you need to keep going. Purging usually occurs in areas when you are normally prone to breaking out. This is because it’s drawing those toxins to the surface.
HOW LONG IS THE PURGE?
Purging should only last for about a month, since that’s the length of time it takes for your skin to completely renew itself. If your skin isn’t getting better after around 8 weeks, then it may not be for you. Top tip: Don’t throw away those products if they don’t work for you. Instead, use them on your body or bottom of your feet.
How can I heal existing breakouts and keep my skin clear?
Less is more when it comes to adopting a new skincare routine. First things first…take a look at my skincare routine aka the BeeTox.
I’ve found clay to be my best friend when I’m breaking out. It draws all the dirt and toxins to the surface and speeds up healing. A clay mask once a week really can work wonders.
The Green Cream is loved by so many of my customers. This is our full spectrum CBD-infused cream. It helps with cell regeneration and healing. The fantastic thing about this cream is that not only does it help with clearing your skin, it also prevents and reduces scarring too.
The Coffee and Clay Scrub is another crowd favourite. It not only hydrates, but it also pulls toxins from the skin helping to reduce breakouts and keep skin clear.
Be aware of your haircare products. Shampoo, hair oils, and creams can clog our pores. Keep them away from your face when you are in the shower. It’s important to keep shower water away from your face anyway, as it’s usually too hot.
Visit a dermatologist every so often for chemical peels and extractions. This is a wonderful way to rejuvenate and brighten your skin. Please avoid using tools like dermaplaning at home. You could cause more damage.
Avoid touching your face. It’s a habit hard to break. But resting our hand on our chin could be the reason we are breaking out in that area.
Drink lots of water and eat lots of fruit and veg. Your skin will thank you for it. Yes, you can be the healthiest person in the world and still get breakouts, but it all definitely helps.
And lastly and most importantly, be patient. Clear skin doesn't happen overnight. It’s about finding what works for you. But you must remember that acne does not define you. You are still beautiful. Look in the mirror and see your beauty. And when you notice that pimple, make sure you tell Frank he needs to pack his bags! He’s not staying much longer.