Like it or not, blemishes show up uninvited and like to spread their tentacles onto our skin. A-listers like Miley Cyrus, Jessica Simpson, Katy Perry, Cameron Diaz, Megan Fox and Britney Spears all suffer from these pesky fiends. Let’s face it, we’ve all struggled with spots at one stage in our lives. Unfortunately, some more than others.
However, international fashion makeup artist Rae Morris shows us how to kick those pesky spots off their thrones. Why should we trust her? Well, she’s worked her magic on celebrities like Naomi Campbell, Cate Blanchett, Miranda Kerr, Jessica Biel and Jackie O – just to name a few.
Most important of all, she’s been doing this for over 18 years. This lady knows what she’s talking about!
Things that don’t work include
- Using toothpaste to dry out pimples. Fluoride can actually make pimples worse (straight from the mouth of a dermatologist).
- Breaking open vitamin E capsules, extracting the oil and applying it to the skin for healing. Vitamin E oil has been proven to cause dermatitis.
- Having facials where they use a lot of oil and massage — an absolute no-no for blemished skin.
- Using extreme drying products such as PURE alcohol. I have even been told that methylated spirits does the job — not true! You will only end up with huge burns that take weeks to heal.
Things that DO work
- One of my favourite remedies is drowning the blemish in whitening or red-reducing eye drops. Leave for as long as you can and rinse off before applying makeup. The only eye drops you can’t use are ones that are tinted blue. I’ve learnt this the had way — it takes away the redness all right, and leaves you with a whopping dark-blue bruise type circle that will last at least a day.
- After extracting a volcanic whitehead, apply hydrogen peroxide (7-10% is the best strength) immediately. If you apply this twice on the first day the whitehead appears, it will sterilise the area to prevent further infection, reduce inflammation and stop the oil oozing out after extraction. Apply gently with a cotton bud for 10 seconds then wash off.
Step-by-step process to concealing blemishes
- Cleanse the skin. My favourite trick is to mix bicarb of soda with a water-based cleanser (Cetaphil is my pick). This gives the most amazing exfoliation and is great for getting rid of the crusty dryness around the T-zone area, especially the nose. Treat it like you would a normal exfoliant and use only once a week. Just don’t use this if you are already using an exfoliating product like retinol, Stieva-A, AHA or BHA and, particularly if you are on any acne medication.
- Tone if you want. But, as a rule, I think toners are overrated and, guess what, contrary to what you might think, they can’t close pores. Toners have a slightly different formula that rids the skin of excess oils, which is necessary for oily skin, but rarely needed on drier skin. I use them when the skin has already been cleansed but is still oiled up and also on women who come to me after a long day at work en route to a social function, or on young girls on their way to a formal occasion when I don’t have the time or the facilities to carry out the normal cleansing process. (You can also use alcohol-free baby wipes for these situations).
- Water-based moisturiser or a makeup primer. Don’t get sucked into applying rich lotions for this, that and the other before applying foundation because the foundation will just float on the skin and you want it to be absorbed into the skin. I have never known a top makeup artist to use more than one product before applying foundation. Trust me — I know! So when should you use a moisturiser? Always in dry skin conditions, but use a light, oil-free type. To protect the skin in harsh conditions, use a moisturiser under a sunscreen but wash both off when you get home. You should also use one when travelling for long hours in airplanes, as they have a very dry atmosphere. The best time to moisturise is in the evening after you have cleansed the face and waited an hour if the skin is irritable. You can then apply a light moisturiser. The skin surface becomes damaged during the day and requires repairing, and it does this while we sleep. (Note: as the eyelids do not exfoliate naturally like the rest of the face, they have a thin skin and eye creams are nice to apply, but again, remember that oils are only protective and not absorbed by the skin).
- Apply foundation. You should not use concealer before you apply foundation because, one, it would be a waste of time as the act of applying foundation will remove the concealer, and also, you would end up using too much coverage as most foundations will actually cover 50% of your blemish. Only after you’ve applied foundation should you apply the concealer to any areas which require it.
Types of foundation to use for concealing blemished skin
Only use two types of foundation.
- Water-based. The first is water-based because it rarely causes any reactions and it gives a great finish. All skin types can use it (especially acne prone skin) and it comes in different levels of coverage.
- Grease-based. Yes, I said grease… not to be mistaken for oil-based.