Your Embarrassing Skincare Questions Answered

We all have questions about skincare, but some questions are more delicate than others. The things we’d really like to know are sometimes clouded by our own insecurities (and we’re often embarrassed to admit that we’re doing something wrong!).

Skincare expert and founder of the high-end nutritional supplement manufacturer Fusion Laboratories, Rasheed Patel answers the questions you don’t want to ask anyone else.

Could my partying habits be the cause of my blemishes?

Absolutely! Excessive alcohol consumption, lack of sleep and exposure to cigarette smoke has a major impact on the health of the skin. Alcohol itself is not a direct cause of acne, but its effect on the skin can worsen existing acne and make you more prone to blemishes. Drinking regularly depresses the immune system (which is one of the factors responsible for keeping acne bacteria under control). It also shrinks skin pores (making them more likely to clog up) and dehydrates your skin which can aggravate existing acne. Smoking and second-hand smoke can have devastating effects on the skin. It reduces blood flow and depletes nutrients, leaving skin dry, discoloured and lacklustre. Plus, it’s a sure way of accelerating the skin’s ageing process. Bottom line? A healthy lifestyle and limited alcohol intake are key for a healthy complexion.

I get really bad breakouts around my mouth and chin about a week before my menstrual cycle. Why does this happen?

Breaking out a week or so before your period is due to hormonal activity in your body. When it comes to hormonal breakouts, even the strictest skincare regimen might not solve your problem. Hormonal breakouts happen along the lower third of your face and occur due to fluctuating levels of the hormones oestrogen and progesterone (both vary throughout the menstrual cycle). These fluctuations can lead to increased oil production in the skin’s pores. The breakouts occur most often when you are pre-menstrual, and they tend to pop up in the same place each month.

Why do I sometimes get pimples on other areas of my body and not just my face? How can I prevent this?

Though the face is the most common place to experience blemishes, other areas of the body affected by breakouts are the chest, back and shoulders. Body acne is caused by the same factors that trigger facial acne: excess dead skin cells, overactive oil glands and bacteria. Body acne is generally confined to the upper half of the body and can be triggered by certain types of clothing, sports equipment and sweat. The combination of heat, friction and sweat can cause irritation and inflamed follicles. To minimise irritation, shower as soon as possible after exercising and use a gentle cleanser containing salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. Take a high-quality daily supplement like Dermagen Skin Care to ensure your skin receives all the vital nutrients it needs to look its best and maintain healthy sebum balance. Acne does not have a one-size-fits-all solution. For stubborn and persistent body acne, visit your doctor to determine the cause and decide on the best possible treatment option.

Even though I’m an adult, I still struggle with breakouts. Shouldn’t this have cleared up after my teens?

Adult acne is becoming more common among men and women in their 20s, 30s and 40s. It can be caused by fluctuating hormones, stress, medication, skincare products or an underlying medical condition. Because there are so many factors involved, it’s important to discuss it with a medical professional to exact the cause.

I have a weakness for pizza and chocolate. Do I really need to give these up if I want a better complexion?

The food we eat has a major impact on our overall health and appearance, but the link between food and acne is a complicated one. Treating yourself to pizza or chocolate will not give you acne, but studies have shown that in some cases, regular consumption of dairy and high glycaemic foods (think white bread, potatoes, white rice etc) can trigger breakouts. A balanced, healthy diet will go a long way in promoting a blemish-free complexion, but that does not mean that you can’t enjoy a treat from time to time. Moderation is key!

I’m at an age where I have to deal with breakouts and wrinkles simultaneously. How can I manage both without neglecting one or the other?

As if fine lines and wrinkles weren’t enough to deal with, throwing breakouts into the mix can really complicate the situation. The key to managing them simultaneously is to establish a suitable daily routine. A mild cleanser and moisturiser are key: a wash formulated specifically for acne could over-dry the skin which triggers more oil production. A noncomedogenic moisturiser will hydrate the skin without clogging pores. Furthermore, a retinol (vitamin A) serum is a brilliant addition to your skincare routine as it has the ability to exfoliate the skin and unclog the pores, whilst stimulating the production of collagen. This tends to act as an acne and anti-ageing simultaneously. Invest in a high-quality nutritional supplement like Dermagen Skin Care to ensure your skin receives all the nutrients it needs for optimum clarity, radiance and health.

Author: Mariska du Plessis

Mariska is the editor of Fitness Magazine, Bootcamp Instructor, Writer, Photographer and Wellness Blogger.

Follow her on Instagram: @justmariska_