Clear skin check list: How to fix spot-prone skin and adult acne


There’s SO much information out there on how to get rid of spots and acne. I spent a year suffering from adult acne and after some proper research and lots of trial and error I finally have it under control.

When faced with bad skin, we often learn nasty habits that make it all the worse – like over-cleansing, using harsh products and squeezing! The worse our skin gets the more we tunnel into this spiral of behaviour, with stress only adding to the problem. I wanted to share with you some simple tips that really will make a difference to your skin and I’m sure they’ll be some that surprise you!

My skin was REALLY getting me down but you don’t have to live with spots. If things get really bad, see a dermatologist, they’ll help you on your path to clear skin – you don’t need to suffer alone! Read on to learn 20 skincare tips that will help banish those spots for good. Spotty skin will be a thing of the past!

20 tips for how to get clear skin

  1. Ditch the foaming face washes (and bars of soap) – they strip your skin, making the perfect breeding ground for spots. Use a cleansing balm instead. Try the Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm or Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm.
  2. Double cleanse in the evening if you wear makeup. The first cleanse to remove makeup and grime and a second cleanse to really clean your skin – but be gentle with your face. No scrubbing please!
  3. Wash your face with warm water and a face cloth. Do not use a sink/bowl of water and your hands – you’re just splashing the dirty water back in your face. Make sure to change your face cloth daily.
  4. Cleanse your face as soon as you get home from work if you have no evening plans. This could allow your skin an extra 4-6hrs to breath a day and less chance for sebum to clog your pores, leading to spots.
  5. Wash your face in the morning as well as night – you’d be surprised how many people skip their morning cleanse.
  6. Don’t you dare reach for a face scrub, use a facial brush or a face wash with ‘micro-beads’ – they will aggravate skin and erupt spots. Instead, use an acid toner daily, morning and evening. Look for one that includes Salicylic Acid. Try Pixi Glow Tonic or Cane + Austin Acne Treatment Pads. For more on acid toning watch Caroline Hirons’ video here. Start slow and build up the amount you use on your skin to give it time to adapt.
  7. If you have oily skin it’s temping to strip it from oils. Do the opposite – give it good oils! When you strip your skin of oil it says ‘help I’m dry’ and produces more oil. Oils have a purpose – they make your skin softer and more supple and they provide a protective layer to keep dirt out of your pores. Sunday Riley has a fantastic selection of facial oils.
  8. DON’T PICK! However if you have a visible white head and you really (really!) want to pop it, clean your skin and disinfect a needle, then use the needle to carefully pierce the head of the spot. Wrap tissue around your fingers and gently squeeze.
  9. Use a clay based face mask once a week for a deep cleanse – try Eve Lom Rescue Mask.
  10. If you’re having real problems, take it back to basics. Purchase products with natural ingredients only and simply cleanse and moisturise.
  11. If in doubt, stop using cheap skincare products – a lot include nasty, harsh ingredients like high levels of alcohol. Cheap products also often include mineral oils (a by-product of the distillation of petroleum to produce petrol) that make your skin feel moisturised but contain no nutrients and just sit on the skin, clog pores and prevent your skin from breathing.
  12. Avoid using ‘doe foot’ applicators or brushes that come in tubes of concealer – chances are you’re using them daily on spots and they’re crawling with bacteria. Instead, use a separate concealer brush that you can clean. I love the Real Techniques Setting Brush to blend concealer under my eyes and the Sigma F70 Concealer Brush to target spots.
  13. Wash your foundation and concealer makeup brushes every other day.
  14. Avoid ‘long-lasting’ or heavy concealers and foundations. They stop your skin from breathing.
  15. Use a clean pillowcase every 4 nights, flipping the pillow over after two nights. If you sleep with four pillows, flip the pillows every one to two days and change the cases once a week.
  16. Tie your hair back when you go to bed. You don’t want the oils or product in your hair to penetrate your skin.
  17. Take vitamins and fish oil supplements and if you’re having a bad skin week try and eat lots of salmon.
  18. Get outside for some vitamin D from the sun – I’m not talking sunbathing just some healthy daylight. Make sure to wear SPF.
  19. Wash your face last when having a shower. Especially when you wash your hair as shampoo and conditioner is not good for your skin.
  20. Drink water!

For more of my skincare recommendations watch my beauty haul vlog where I share some of my favourite skincare products.

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2 thoughts on “Clear skin check list: How to fix spot-prone skin and adult acne

  1. LOVE this post! My skin has been a nightmare for almost a year now and the spots I’ve had for 10 months now are only just starting to fade (don’t get me wrong, I still have crappy skin but it’s nice for it to actually change for the first time in forever)! Caroline Hirons’ blog has been my bible for the past 6 months and although it’s taken a long time for anything to actually happen I feel like I’ve learnt so much about skincare, loads of which has been super valuable and appear in this post 🙂

    Catherine xx

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