Spots and oily skin may get in the way of achieving celebrity-style complexion perfection, but the way we care for our skin may be getting in the way of actually correcting common problems, says dermatologist Dr Nick Lowe of the Cranley Clinics in London and LA, who's set out the most common myths...
Only teenagers get acne
"Fifty per cent of women and 25 per cent of men suffer from adult acne," Dr Lowe says. "Stress can be one of the leading factors in the development of oily skin or adult acne. Other factors include changes in the hormonal balance, such as pregnancy, menstruation, hormonal abnormalities and stopping contraceptive medication. Some dairy products can worsen acne from hormones that are fed to cows. Certain medicines such as the contraceptive pill, anti-inflammatory steroids, some anti-epileptic medications, lithium and related medications can lead to adult acne being triggered.”
Moisturising makes oily skin even worse
“Even the oiliest skin still needs a moisturiser in order to deliver hydration and protect against the elements – in fact dry skin often produces too much oil," Dr Lowe tells us. "Dryness results from the skin’s barrier between the oil glands being less efficient – caused by very dry weather or eczema, for instance. To help combat oily skin, avoid using a cleanser or toner containing alcohol as this will strip the skin of moisture and follow with a light, easily absorbed daily moisturiser."
Chocolate causes spots
“Some people believe that eating sweets and greasy foods are a cause of breakouts," Dr Lowe points out. "This may be true only in a few people who drink a lot of milk or eat a lot of milk chocolate as this can make acne worse by passing on hormones fed to or produced by cows. But being overweight causes increased insulin production that signals the body to release extra androgens - male hormones - which are involved in pimple formation," he continues. "The easiest solution to keep you and your skin looking its best".
Dr Nick Lowe's Anti Blemish skincare range, which contains oil-controlling active ingredients and soothing agents that target bacteria and reduce surface oil, is available from Boots, with prices starting from £8.76.