I read a blog post today discussing the fact that all we need to do to achieve a natural face that can comfortably go make-up free is to develop some good cleansing, toning and moisturising habits. Considering that 50% of women and 25% of men will experience acne or breakout-prone skin at some point in their adult lives, is this not a little misleading? Certainly, if I wasn’t so beauty obsessed and unaware of the fact that problem skin is rarely due to poor skincare and usually more to do with hormones, genes, stress etc then reading this article would make me wonder why it is that everyone is capable of achieving great, natural skin by washing their face properly, but not me.
The lucky 62.5% who manage to spend their adult lives breakout free can’t really understand how hard it is to be, for all intents and purposes, an adult fighting a skin problem that is usually associated with being an adolescent. Well before I became ‘skin savvy’ I genuinely believed that there was something wrong with me, as whilst my fellow teenage friends outgrew their acne, mine just seemed to gain strength and become resistant to everything I tried. In the past ten years I’ve spent thousands of pounds trying to get my skin under control which may sound dramatic, but if you consider how many lasers, peels, private dermatologist appointments, creams, lotions and treatments I’ve tried, it’s easy to see how that would add up.
What grates me about the general view that isn’t helped by articles such as the one above, is the assumption that people who suffer breakouts are somehow lazy in their approach to skincare. I remember being on Facebook during a series of The Apprentice where one of the contestants had obviously broken out skin and people were bitching about the fact that she clearly didn’t wash properly or wasn’t aware that Clearasil exists. Firstly, I can pretty much guarantee that if I were on The Apprentice (never going to happen, but stay with me…) the stress of it would absolutely break me out, as all I need is a bit of adrenaline to get my skin reacting, but secondly, the insinuation that she was suffering a breakout due to poor hygiene drove me mad, and the irony is that most spot sufferers will have the most carefully put together skincare routine you’ll ever witness!
The only way anyone ever manages to treat long-term acne is through trial and error, plus maybe a bit of medical help to establish it’s cause. Articles that suggest that a good cleanser, toner (don’t forget the toner! You’ll need that to completely remove your pores apparently) and moisturiser are all you need to go make-up free, I fear, ostracise the considerably large population of women and men who cleanse, tone and moisturise religiously, yet still get spots and don’t know why.