Leading London facialist and skin fixer to the famous, Nataliya Robinson, specialises in holistic and natural acne treatments. We caught up with the sought-after therapist for some insight into the surprising common causes of adult acne. From bowel movements to chemical peels, Nataliya explains the triggers and how to avoid them here.
1. Not regularly doing a 'number two'
Nataliya says, 'A low fibre diet slows down your bowel movements causing a build up of toxins which ultimately have an impact on your complexion. Regular bowel movements are one of the keys to beautiful skin as this helps to eliminate toxins from the body.'
To help banish breakouts, try to include plenty of cruciferous vegetables in your diet and incorporate more oats, flax seeds, oat bran and water to keep you regular, 'which will in turn promote a clearer complexion,' she confirms.
2. Stress hormones
Lots going on at work or home? 'That stress can cause a hormonal imbalance, increasing the levels of androgen hormones in your blood and suppressing your immune system. A low immune system is then less able to fight off bacteria, leading to breakouts,' Nataliya explains.
'To prevent this, try and reduce stress levels by soaking your feet in hot water and 200 grams of Epsom salts. Salt contains magnesium which is great for calming tense muscles and the microsystem of your feet has lots of nerve endings which will transmit soothing signals to the brain,' she recommends. Watching your favourite TV comedy programme may also help, 'as laughing produces "happy hormones" which will reduce stress. Calmer mind can mean calmer skin.'
3. Working in an office
'Vitamin D is an important ingredient for promoting clear skin and helping to fight breakouts,' Nataliya says. 'We primarily get this when the skin is exposed to UV light, so if you're spending all day at your desk, you won't be getting the exposure you need.'
Try to step outside the office for 10-15 minutes during your lunch break to enable your skin to obtain a daily dose of vitamin D from the light. Supplements can help too, but always consult your doctor first. Nataliya adds, 'Also avoid sitting near the air conditioner at work as it dehydrates your skin and drink plenty of water.'
4. Over-cleansing your skin
It's often assumed that constantly cleansing your face will prevent breakouts. However, the opposite is true. 'Excessive washing and scrubbing actually disturbs the pH levels making it easier for bacteria to invade the skin', Nataliya reveals.
'To help reduce acne, use products containing zinc to promote healing and bentonite clay to detoxify and purify oily skin. Licorice root extract and the phytoestrogens it contains are beneficial too. Calendula can also help reduce inflammation.'
5. Excessive use of facial peels
If you've bought a peel you're likely to be experiencing problems with your skin and often the temptation can be to apply it too frequently. 'This is bad news for your complexion', Nataliya says. 'Overusing home peels or pads soaked in AHA acids can lead to more breakouts, plus cause further issues such as over reactive or sensitive skin and even dermatitis.'
'To avoid this, visit a professional skin care expert once a month. Gentle but effective facial peels can form part of the treatment, but only once the skin has been strengthened. When you boost its immunity, your skin will become strong enough not only to fight breakouts, but also help prevent them in the future.'
So basically, preventing breakouts requires equilibrium in ALL aspects of your life. If you can balance your work and diet, get plenty of rest and have monthly professional treatments, this will improve your skin's health and help it stay in tip-top condition.