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Emma Hobson

Skin Expert

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Dull, congested skin 

Hi Emma!
I'm sick of having really dull skin! I use brightening scrubs and creams but nothing seems to work. I cleanse morning and night, and use an SPF moisturiser during the day and a nourishing night cream at bedtime. I also have problems with congestion through my t-zone no matter how much I cleanse, scrub or use a detoxing mask.
I recently had a baby so my skin is still a bit crazy from the hormones, and I have bumps along my jawline which no pimple cream can shift. Help?

Answered Wednesday 6 April 2011

Oh Rihannon! It does sound as though you need a little bit of TLC. Congratulations on the birth of your child, what an exciting (although stressful) time for you. So, let’s take a look at some of the skin care challenges you have described to me, and come up with some possible solutions for you so you can go back to simply enjoying this wonderful time in your life. If I may first of all begin with your first challenge of using brightening scrubs and creams that don’t work. When you are selecting products to achieve a brightening result on your skin, I have some great key ingredients that you will definitely want to be checking the back of any boxes for. The best ingredient to watch out for is Lactic Acid, an Alpha Hydroxy Acid which works to exfoliate, brighten and is also hydrating (how cool?). Vitamin C (the most effective one is Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate)- helps brighten, as does Camellia Sinensis (white tea), Giant Fennel root extract, licorice, mulberry and soybean. Dermalogica has a state of the art system of products completely focused towards giving you an illuminated and glowing skin. . It is called ChromaWhite TRx. The range includes an ingredient called oligopeptide-34. This patented peptide has been shown to brighten the skin in half the time of other brightening complexes. Brightening ingredients are also safer than ‘lightening’, ‘whitening’ and ‘bleaching’ agents. You have also mentioned you have quite a concern with congestion in your T-zone and stubborn bumps along your jaw. Being a woman we are highly susceptible to acne around the chin and jaw area, the reason being that we go through a lot of hormonal changes (particularly in pregnancy). Some other reasons why we can breakout could be high stress levels, an unbalanced diet or the presence of toxins and impurities. Similarly the T-zone is susceptible to congestion as we have more sebaceous (oil) glands through this area than anywhere else on our face, so this is why it is such a common challenge for many. To guide you in a direction that may be of benefit to your skin, Dermalogica also has a great product called Overnight Clearing Gel. Some of the key ingredients and benefits of this product include: Salicylic Acid - sloughs off pore-clogging skin cells to smooth away lumps, bumps and congestion, Niacinamide, Horse chestnut, Yeast Extract, Caffeine and Nordihydroguaiaretic Acid - all inhibit overactive sebaceous gland activity and purify, to keep those pesky bumps and congestion at bay. It is also very time effective, as you simply apply it to the affected areas at night, and while you sleep it detoxes your skin! When looking for skin care, some good, general advice you may find supportive so you don’t feel as though you are wasting money: Ensure you become an ingredient reader; avoid ingredients like Mineral oil, Lanolin, S.D Alcohol, Artificial colours and Fragrances. Many make-up’s and skin care products actually contain what are called ‘comedogenic ingredients’ that are know and proved to clog the pores, commonly D & C coal tar dies found in loads of makeup are the culprit or Isopropyl myristate) which is often used to give make up a velvety feel and smooth spread ability. How to avoid this, simply ensure you only use products both make up and skin care that state they are non comedogenic. I hope this has given you some ideas on how to tackle those challenges. All the best, Emma

Skin Expert

Emma Hobson

Emma is no longer available to answer questions but please browse our archive of answers.

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