I've mentioned my struggles with acne before on my blog and YouTube channel, however I'm lucky enough to say that those days seem to be moving further and further behind me. As I've grown up my skin has undoubtedly got better and consistent spots and blemishes aren't so much of a problem for me anymore. That said, I'm still prone to the occasional breakout; most of which seem to spring up when I add a new product to my routine that my skin just doesn't take to as well as I'd hope. I'm in no way a skincare professional and I can't promise that any advice I give will be of any help to anyone, however there are a couple of tricks I've picked up that seem to help my skin get over breakouts just that little bit faster (sometimes, at least).
From my experience it doesn't matter whether or not I skip makeup during the time of the breakout; any spots and pimples are likely to stick around equally as long whether I apply a full face of slap everyday or go foundation free. I do make sure to completely rid my skin of any cosmetics before I hit the sack though and have even been known to triple cleanse in order to get the skin squeaky clean before I snooze. I then apply something like the La Roche Posay Effaclar A.I - a lifesaving product that soothes any seriously painful pimples and often prevents them from getting any larger. I tend to use cleansing balms and oils on a nightly basis anyway, but it's especially important when my skin is suffering as they tend to keep everything better hydrated. Clay based masks are another one of my breakout bff's, especially the Sanctuary 5 Minute Thermal Detox mask. A thin layer of this applied directly to the problem areas means that my spots are noticeably less raised and visible once it's washed away.
I think it's a myth that drying out spots is ever a good idea - I've fallen foul of the old wives tale that includes applying toothpaste to the area overnight and have never found it does any good. In fact I make an extra effort to keep my skin well hydrated during rough times, as that way I find it a lot easier to apply concealer over the top of spots if nothing else. Makeup is kept light during this time and I don't use foundation to 'cover' the worst areas, instead I go in with a good concealer on a clean finger and use a light hand to pat it over the top of the blemish.
I've spoken about my dislike for abrasive exfoliators before, but once the breakout has settled I usually go in with a gentle scrub in order to get rid of any dead skin cells left behind. The No7 Total Renewal Micro-dermabrasion Exfoliator is my personal pick as it cleanses away the bad stuff without being too tough on the good.