Puffy eyes, spotty chin, open pores - why do we keep encountering the same old problems? It's time to start treating them zone by zone.
Frustrated by that recurring blemish on your chin or the under-eye circles that won't shift no matter how much sleep you've had? Well, you're not alone. Despite women investing in the latest skincare technology, experts say many suffer recurring skin problems. The key to improving your complexion is to know your face. Rather than relying on a one-size-fits-all approach, create a "face map" and learn about the particular needs of each part. You can then target specific areas with specialist knowledge and use it to choose products that can make a difference. Let your face decide.
Cheeks are prone to congestion that shows up as bumps under the skin. Rosacea, or broken blood vessels that give the face a flushed appearance, is an increasingly common concern for women.
Using cosmetics to mask cheek problems can actually make them worse. Check to see if your blusher contains comedogenic ingredients, such as red dyes, wheat germ oil or cocoa butter. These are regularly found in make-up, despite their pore-blocking abilities.
We recommend mineral-based make-up to fight congestion. It doesn't block pores because it's not laced with clogging ingredients. Giving up smoking can help fight rosacea, and avoid alcohol and spicy foods, which also act as triggers. Combat redness with Clinique CX Rapid Recovery Cream which calms irritation and aids the recovery of distressed skin. Even tone Capillary Repair, reduces the appearance of capillary damage and Rosacure Intensive diminishes the visibility of dilated blood vessels, fighting facial flushing.
Chin & Mouth
Active oil glands cause monthly congestion around the chin area, while tiny blocked pores can appear along the lip line. These are often coupled with dry, cracked corners. Enlarged, visible pores can also be evident.
The chin is prone to spots because of stress and hormones. Open pores are also a problem. As we age, elastin and collagen slacken so pores become more visible. And regular lipstick-wearers often find blackheads around the mouth. Lip balms containing humectants exacerbate the issue by drawing moisture from the lips, leaving them prone to dryness and splitting in the corners of the mouth.
Each night, cleanse once to remove the grime, then again to clean deep down. Follow with an oil-free moisturizer. Don't squeeze blackheads, you may cause scarring. Use a microdermabrasion kit instead as it will exfoliate deeper and help refine open pores. Invest in pH Advantage Microdermabrasion Gel, or Philosophy The Micro delivery Peel. For more sensitive skin, exfoliate with a natural scrub such as Dermalogica Skin Prep Scrub, then apply a mud mask to soak up oil. Try Daintree Purifying Earth Mineral Facial Mask. Avoid lip blockages by using a silicone-based balm, which protects without drying.
The nose has numerous oil glands that block easily, resulting in that familiar abundance of blackheads. Team this with broken capillaries and dry, flaky corners, and your nose can seem like a beauty battleground.
Blackheads are caused when the pores become blocked due to trapped, unclean debris, this debris then blackens when it comes into contact with the air. Other nose niggles are equally avoidable. Broken capillaries are often caused by blowing your nose too hard and overzealous blackhead squeezing. And be careful not to over-scrub - harsh exfoliators can damage fragile skin, too.
Clever cleansing and gentle exfoliation will help keep pores unclogged. Products with retinoids or alpha-beta hydroxy acids can help purge pores of trapped dirt. Try Clinique Pore Minimizer, or SkinCeuticals Simply Clean Pore-Refining Gel Cleanser, to keep skin spotlessly clean. Invest in regular facials that include extractions to clear pores without scarring. Back this up at home with twice-weekly exfoliation using a mild, fruit-acid based scrub such as Origins Never A Dull Moment Skin-Brightening Face Polisher, for a clear, bright complexion.
The forehead is covered in sebaceous glands, so it's a prime area for congestion. Breakouts between perfectly plucked eyebrows are another common complaint.
You may think your fringe is great for hiding a multitude of sins, but it could actually be causing the problems in the first place. Hair falling on the forehead can promote excess oil flow and sweeping hair away means that dirty fingers touch skin and block pores. Plus, over-partying can lead to blemishes between the eyebrows. It's an indication of too many toxins in the liver. While clusters of small blemishes are often caused by eating heavy foods too late at night.
Clip your fringe out of the way to avoid touching it. Then unclog pores with an alcohol-free toner, such as Estée Lauder Soft Clean Silky Hydrating Lotion, or Biotherm Biosource Softening Lotion, which removes leftover cleanser. Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables for a week to detox the liver after a heavy weekend. Also avoid eating after 8pm. To calm your system, add Sohum Violette Silk Bath, or OP Therapy Fragrant Bath Salts in Shangri-La, to your tub.
Dark circles and puffy eyes are signs of late nights. Also look out for small white bumps under the surface, called milia, which occur where the cheek meets the eye socket.
Chinese diagnostics suggest that the eyes are linked to the kidneys, so dehydration and toxin overload can lead to dark, puffy eyes. The skin under your eyes is more delicate than the rest of the face and therefore should be treated accordingly. Choose a product with a light texture and avoid overloading the area, which can cause further puffiness. And be sure to remove make-up gently, avoiding oil-based products. Oily cleansers leave a residue around the eyes that, when left to build up, blocks pores and can cause milia.
Aside from a good night's sleep, assist your eyes by choosing cream wisely. We recommend tapping Olay Regenerist Eye Lifting Serum, lightly from the outer corner of the eye, along and underneath to the nose to help drain a build-up of fluids. Or try an eye cream that matches your current skincare regimen so the products work together without causing issues. Lancôme High Résolution Intensive Recovery Eye Cream, Anti-Wrinkle Cream, and Anti-Wrinkle Serum, work in synergy. Avoid waterproof mascaras that need oil-based removers, too. Milia that develop must not be squeezed. Have them removed professionally or you risk damage. Minimise your milia potential with Maybelline New York Lash Stylist Mascara. This formula stays put, but can be wiped away with a water-based remover, such as Christian Dior Dior Eau Magique Cleansing Water for Face and Eyes.