Anyone can get a breakout no matter what their age or skin type but unfortunately some people are more prone than others. This often leads to hours of stressing which in turn makes the breakout worse. Talk about a vicious cycle! Now I can't sit here and say I suffer with acne or an abundance of spots but when I was in my early teens I definitely experienced my fair share of breakouts. Whether it was a patch of blackheads or a big juicy whitehead, you name it, I had em' all. Nowadays I don't often deal with breakouts as I'm very fortunate to have quite a 'normal' skin which only sprouts spots around my time of the month or when I've been a bit too generous with my facial oils. But even though blemishes aren't one of my primary skin concerns, they are to a lot of people, so I wanted to share my tips and tricks on how to stay blemish free. 
Cleanse Like You've Never Cleansed Before
This doesn't mean scrub your skin until it feels dry and squeaky, it simply means make sure that you are cleansing consistently and thoroughly. This entails cleansing every morning and every night. Twice in the evenings if you're wearing makeup or SPF! When dealing with blemishes it's best to lay off rich cleansing oils/balms and switch to something a bit lighter. Creams and milks are perfect for cleaning the skin and pores without stripping the natural oils or being too heavy. I personally love using the First Aid Beauty Milk Oil Conditioning Cleanser or Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish. Both great for keeping the skin clean and balanced.

Acid is Key
 AHAs and BHAs are great at removing dead skin cells, resurfacing and killing off bacteria which are all essential when treating breakouts. I started using Salicylic Acid when I was 14 and it instantly helped clear my skin. If you're a beginner I would start with something gentle like Lactic or Salicylic and then gradually move up to Glycolic which I find to be the most effective. My top picks are the Pixi Glow Tonic, Garnier Pure Active Pore Purifying Toner and the Nip & Fab Glycolic Fix Pads. Just make sure you use something that isn't harsh or full of alcohol. And always apply SPF in the day time!

Leave It Alone
Naturally our first reaction when we get a spot is to pop or squeeze it but realistically this isn't going to do anything except irritate it and perhaps make it worse. As hard as it may be, you've got to resist the urge to touch or pop it. This is probably what I struggle with the most. 

Use A Treatment
Carrying on from my last tip, a good way to avoid messing with your breakouts is by using a spot treatment. There are so many out there but my personal favourite is the Mario Badescu Drying Lotion. While you can't actually dry out a spot, this uses Salicylic Acid, Camphor, Zinc Oxide and Alcohol to keep it clean and soothed.

Keep Your Tools Clean
I think this step is one of the biggest contributors to my skin being blemish free. When I hear people say that they deep clean their makeup brushes every one-two weeks it literally makes my skin crawl. How is this sanitary? Even if you spot clean your brushes in between they are still going to contain old makeup and bacteria which will of course lead to spots and blocked pores. This may sound excessive but I deep clean my brushes, sponges and flannels after every use. No exceptions. Re-using a foundation brush after you've worked so hard to keep your skin clean is like eating healthily and exercising for 6 days only to have a massive McDonalds and chocolate binge on the 7th. Doesn't make sense does it?

Combat Scarring With Facial Oils
Sometimes even if we haven't popped a spot we are still left with unsightly scarring that doesn't go away for weeks and weeks. Being a fair skinned gal means that any kind of scar or blemish is instantly more noticeable, so I love using facial oils to nourish and repair the skin. My current favourite is the Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil. Rich in essential fatty acids, Vitamin C and Vitamin E, this oil helps to brighten, hydrate and protect against free radical damage. 

Thank you so much for reading!