We’ve all been there. Friday night comes around and with it so does a monster blemish. Fed up, we turned to the experts to determine why this was happening. First stop was noted dermatologist Dr. Gary Goldfaden, author of “Your Guide to Healthy Skin The Natural Way” in which he writes about his belief in the synergy between living healthy inside and out and encompassing effective ways to deal with skin issues.
According to Dr. Goldfaden, “in the most simple terms, a blemish in the form of a pimple is a pore that has bacteria or dirt trapped in it, which causes a eruption of the skin’s surface. This can be a red bump, a white head or a back head. Blemishes or breakouts can be caused by hormonal changes, over sweating, infections or simply plain old bacteria and germs.”
So how do we avoid them? “Many blemishes cannot be avoided, as in a birth mark because you are born with it. However, acne can be avoided by maintainig a healthy skin regimen, not picking or touching your face. If you do suffer from acne, see your dermatologist as you may have an infection which needs to be treated with oral antibiotics,” Goldfaden says.
Looking for a quicker fix, we reached out to JoElle Lee, aesthetician to super-stylish First Lady, Michelle Obama. According to her, there are three easy steps to get rid of blemishes asap.
“Start by cleaning your face with hot water to open up your pores or steam the face in a hot shower," Lee says. "Then cleanse the skin with exfoliating cleanser or facial scrub to remove dead skin on the surface. Dead skin can clog your pores and cause blemishes.”
“Apply tea tree oil to the blemish. Tea tree oil has disinfecting and soothing properties and will penetrate the skin to unblock excess sebum, disinfect pores and dry out whiteheads, blackheads, pimples and other blemishes. Unlike other harsh synthetic ingredient based blemish treatments, tea tree oil will not strip your skin of its natural oils and cause further damage like inflammation, flaking and over drying of the skin.”
“Finish things off by applying a small amount of clay mask over the blemish or to the entire face to prevent additional breakouts for 10-15 minutes." According to Lee, "clay masks benefit the skin by absorbing substances on and beneath the skin's surface. They can absorb sebum, bacteria, water and various toxins and irritants from the skin and can exfoliate dead skin cells and blackheads without friction.”
And while this sounded manageable (and an at-home spa night sounded downright lovely), sometimes time is not on our side and we need solutions five minutes ago. With that in mind, we turned to trusted makeup artist and founder of Pixi Beauty, Petra Strand for expert tips on how to hide the darn thing – at least through Happy Hour.
“First, use green to neutralise any redness in the blemishes, this will really tone down the appearance of the breakout and even the skin tone - I recommend Pixi Redness Reducing Primer to any area with redness. Then, apply a light textured oil free base- this will look like a 2nd skin and make the complexion look fresh, but for a natural look stick to the lighter textured base all over the complexion. Use a richly pigmented full coverage concealer with a precision/pointed concealer brush and apply concealer to the head of the blemish and tap concealer into the skin with clean fingertips. This way the actual blemish will be fully covered where you need it opposed to large areas of skin with a very heavy base. I recommend: Pixi Illuminating Tint & Conceal.”
“If you feel that your base needs a little extra blending to create a seamless finish, use a slightly damp latex sponge and gently blend out with a rolling, this will take only the surface excess pigment away without disrupting the rest of the make up," Strand states. "Finally, set your make up with a translucent powder this won't add colour nor disrupt the final look but it will ensure that your make up appears pristine the whole of the evening.”
And with that, we’re out the door, blemish-free (or at least appearing that way!).