How To: Rescue A Breakout

the style stories how to rescue a breakout spot fighters acne skincare

I've spoken before about my trouble with hormonal acne, but thankfully these days, things are far less dramatic. After finding a skincare regime that works for me, my skin and I are on far better terms these days, with only a few very occasional fall-outs every now and again.

But when breakouts do pop up, I've now got a routine in place which ensures maximum efficacy in double-quick time. These products have all proven their worth when it comes to problem skin and now whenever I do get a flare-up, I know I can rely on them to bring things back to normal.

So, without further ado...


After cleansing (which I do with a micellar water and then a lovely cleansing oil), I usually use a toner. It's only recently that I've really discovered the benefits of this - used twice a day, a toner has made a huge difference to the texture and clarity of my skin. I've been using La Roche-Posay's Serozinc face mist, which really is as good as everyone says. A light mist over the face, morning and evening, helps soak up excess oil and keeps skin looking fresh, and I think it actually helps to keep blemishes at bay too.

Twice a week, I'll skip the Serozinc in the evening and bring out the big guns, in the form of the Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Night Pads Extreme. These acid-soaked pads exfoliate the skin, loosen any dead skin cells, brighten everything up and also really calm down angry spots. If I use a pad on an angry red blemish, I can guarantee it will have halved in size and calmed right down by morning. Even when there's no blemishes on the horizon, using these pads regularly helps to refine the texture of my skin and keep it looking bright and healthy.


Keeping skin looking clear and fresh takes a little extra work, so I try to commit to using additional treatments too. Once a week, I use the L'Oreal Pure Clay Detox Mask, which uses active charcoals and clays to detoxify the skin and banish blemishes. On especially angry skin days, this tingly charcoal mask really helps to reduce redness and calm things down; a thick layer cools the skin, and then the gentle exfoliation of removing it with a flannel helps to keep skin looking bright too.

On existing spots, I use La Roche-Posay's Effaclar A.I., a correcting cream to be used specifically to target blemishes. This active treatment works to dry out spots and reduce their size and redness, and it really works beautifully overnight. It doesn't cake or flake either, meaning you can use it during the daytime under makeup if you've woken up with a real stunner of a spot. 


I have a three-pronged approach to moisturising problem skin. My one holy grail product is La Roche-Posay's Effaclar Duo +, a moisturiser which can be used night and day to address blemish-prone skin. I've been using this every day since February and my skin has never looked better; no more painful, under-the-skin spots, no lasting scarring, nothing painful. If I do get a spot these days, they're small little whiteheads (gross, I know!) that can be easily eradicated. Overall though, the quality of my complexion is amazingly improved since the start of this year, and I can only put it down to this hero product - for me, it's a must.

The only issue with spot-treating moisturisers is that they can be a little drying, so on days where I need extra hydration, I turn to The Ordinary's Hyaluronic Acid, which instantly leaves my skin feeling nourished and, for want of a better term, juicy. A couple of drops is all it takes to transform the feel and texture of skin, and as it's a natural product with no added nasties like fragrance, it doesn't aggravate sensitive skin or bring out new blemishes.

On evenings when I've really had to up the ante and use a face mask and the glycolic acid pads, I like to bring out the big guns with hydration too. My moisturiser of choice for these times is La Roche-Posay's Cicaplast Baume B5 - a thick, dense cream that can be used all over the body to treat pretty much any skin complaint, from spots to sunburn. It's too heavy to use as a daily moisturiser, but as a twice-weekly overnight treatment, this balm really wields results. After applying a light layer, I know I'll wake with smooth and bright skin, with any redness toned right down. It feels like a nourishing treat for my skin after going fully at it with acids etc., and it's a combination that really seems to work.

What do you use when a breakout attacks?