One of the most common recommendation requests I get from friends are products that will make your skin brighter, more even and ‘less bumpy’. These three symptoms are an indication that your skin is in need of a good exfoliation – but why is your skin exhibiting these symptoms in the first place, and what’s the best way to treat them?
When your skin is a little dull or uneven, it’s usually a sign that you’re not nourishing your insides with the ingredients you need to keep your lymphatic system moving along nicely and those key vitamins to the surface of your skin. But, when it’s bumpy, it could be a number of things.
If you’ve ever wondered why there are little bumps under your skin that don’t really turn into spots you can treat – here’s why:
Those little bumps are called comedones, they’re the result of trapped sebum in the pores of your skin. Now, everyone secretes sebum from their pores, but depending on the size of your pore and the amount of sebum you produce on your skin, you may be susceptible to something otherwise known as blocked pores. These are highly unlikely to turn into something you can pop away or even extract, like a blackhead (which is another version of a blocked pore). So, how do you avoid or treat blocked pores/comedones?
Well – first thing’s first, prevention is better than cure.
The things most likely to contribute to blocked pores on your face, are the use of products (synthetic or organic) that are high on the comedogenic scale. This means that they rank highly in terms of ingredients that aren’t easily soluble to those with certain skin types. Sensitive skin is particularly susceptible, or those with large pores. Some examples of ingredients that rank highly on the comedogenic scale are oils, like coconut and sea-buckthorn oil.
I use an oil to remove my make-up every night, and noticed that I’d get bumps on my skin after a few days that I couldn’t shift. It wasn’t until I did my research and found that the coconut oil I was using on my skin was making me break out – so I chose an oil closer to the skin’s natural PH and one that ranks low on the scale – Hemp seed oil, which I’ve been using religiously for months and have had no issues whatsoever. I’m also cautious about all of my make-up products and skin care items that could have ingredients in them that could make me break out.
So how do I treat them if I have them?
Exfoliation is the key here, and this is a good overall guide to exfoliation regardless of whether you have your pores clogged or not!
Now, exfoliation is a touchy subject for me, as I feel I am suffering the impact of a miseducation on how to exfoliate your face safely. I, like many, fell pray to the use of exfoliating scrubs in my youth – opting for big, bead like scrubs in the hope that it would remove the dead skin on my face. They may have invigorated my skin through vigrous motion but it’s certainly not as delicate as it needs to be to treat the skin on your face! Scrubs can give you broken capillaries, and scratch the surface of skin that doesn’t need to be. They also didn’t do a thing for my clogged pores – instead, they irritated them further.
As a result, many have turned to the use of acids as a means to removing the dead skin on their face, and we’ve seen them become more readily available in our skin care brands as well as the information on them.
Skin peels were reserved for the elite until affordable skin care brands started to churn out retinol, salicylic acid and the rest to the masses. It can be overwhelming to know which to turn to, but here’s what I recommend for a basic starter kit:
To help remove clogged pores, you need to be exfoliating regularly.
If you’re a first time acid user, mild acids like salicylic, glycolic and lactic could all be used 1-2 times a week to help introduce an exfoliation step into your routine. It’ll also help you build up your tolerance to using acids on your face, which can be a little drying.
You need to supplement this new routine with nourishing ingredients for your face – you don’t want to be exfoliating your skin only to reintroduce products that will perpetuate the cycle! Avoid ingredients in your products that will give you clogged pores and you should never see them again with this new step in tow.
A harsher acid, retinol, for example, may be used in conjunction with any of the above if you’re looking to amplify the results of your exfoliation routine. However, you must be cautious of which you choose and how often you use it – once a week is generally the absolute maximum! You should also be using an appropriate amount of skin care protection – opt for a SPF that is oil free, there are plenty of viable options out there now for all your skin care needs!
We share tips, hacks, and products receommended by the Amaliah community across the world. We all have different skin, hair and nails so we want to cover tried and tested methods used by Muslim Women in the community.