Megan Fox with acne

Following on from my post on How to Get Rid of Mild Acne, this post delves on how to treat the more extensive 'Moderate' acne.

While mild acne is characterised by blackheads and whiteheads, moderate acne has more inflammatory lesions - small papules and pustules on the face and a few spots on the chest and back.

In this case, as well as the use of maintenance topical retinoids and spot treatment with benzoyl peroxide, antibiotic lotions and creams and hormonal therapies can be considered. These are available on prescription.

Let's break down the additional treatments for moderate acne below:


Acne 101: How to Get Rid of Moderate Acne?

Rihanna with Acne

Following on from my post on What is Acne Vulgaris, What Causes Acne? and How to Prevent Acne, this post delves on how to treat mild forms of acne.

Mild acne is typically restricted to the face and is characterized non-inflammatory closed and open comedones (whiteheads and blackheads) with very few inflammatory skin lesions.

For non-inflammatory comedones, the advised treatment are creams containing retinoic acid.

Topical Retinoids

Products containing retinoic acid are called retinoids. These are vitamin A derivatives that reverse keratinocyte desquamation and adhesion (one of four processes in acne formation), resulting in the break down of the comedone and prevents the development of new microcomedones. Several retinoids also have anti-inflammatory qualities. These are recommended for all acne cases, of course apart from when oral retinoids are being used. Improvement occurs within weeks with maximum benefit after 3 to 4 months.

Adverse reactions of retinoids include temporary skin irritation which can be avoided by selecting lower concentrations or reducing frequency of application (eg. every other day as opposed to everyday). Some individuals also experience an initial 'flare' of acne that goes away with ongoing use once the retinoid has changed the skin at a cellular level.

The most important side effect to know about is that these can potentially cause birth defects and complications with babies so ladies of child-bearing age need to think about birth control, expecting and breastfeeding ladies should also steer clear of these in that time.

A multitude of topical retinoids are available, such as tretinoin, isotretinoin, adapalene and tazarotene. There are also lower strength grades which don't require prescription. My favourite non-prescription one at the present is one by Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Moisturiser that has been perfecting my skin for months now.

When few inflammatory lesions can be found in mild acne, retinoids are ought to be combined with benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid as 'spot' treatments.

Benzoyl peroxide

Benzoyl peroxide is a non-antibiotic anti-microbial agents which kills bacteria (P. acnes) by creating reactive oxygen species inside the follicle. This quickly treats inflammatory skin lesions in contrast to retinoids and also weakly breaks down the comedones.

Benzoyl peroxide is available different concentrations ranging from 2.5% to 10%. Side effects include skin irritation, which is increased with greater concentrations and frequency of use. After a while your skin becomes used to it and the irritation resolves. Benzoyl peroxide can also whiten clothing, bed linen and hair. Lastly, due to the fact that most retinoids are unstable together with benzoyl peroxide, these agents should be used separately.

To reduce adverse reactions, spot therapy with these benzoyl peroxide can be used ie. only on the inflammatory lesions, together with retinoids as maintenance therapy.

A very popular over-the-counter product with benzoyl peroxide is our beloved La Roche-Posay Effaclar.

This is how to treat mild acne, but do you have acne on your face, chest and back? Stay tuned for my next post in this series - How to Get Rid of Moderate Acne.

If you've got a question or an opinion on this, leave a comment at the bottom of this post! 
Livia | The Skin and Beauty Blog Follow Us On Follow on Bloglovin ♥ ♥


Acne 101: How to Get Rid of Mild Acne

Following on from my post on What is Acne Vulgaris and What Causes Acne? this post is to dispel some myths about causes of acne and to provide ways to how prevent unwanted breakouts.

The Truth About Face Washing

There is very little evidence that frequent face washing helps solve acne. The central 'blackness' in blackheads is not dirt but rather it is oxidized melanin, a natural pigment-forming substance in the skin. Intense cleansing might result in skin irritation, which worsens active lesions and makes your skin more prone to side effects of acne treatments.

Basic care with washing your face twice a day and using a moisturiser that doesn't contribute to comedone formation is recommended (look for the word 'noncomedogenic' in your skincare). Avoid using scrubs and harsh cleansing on inflammatory spots.

The Truth About Chocolate

While myths about food triggers have already been largely dispelled, there are some reports of food influences on acne. They suggest that acne breakouts are linked to diets that are high in dairy and sugars (perhaps there was some truth into chocolate as a cause!). There is also a substantial dose dependent relationship between smoking and acne severity.

In short -- good facial hygeine with twice daily cleansers and noncomedogenic moisturisers, a diet low in dairy and sugars, and stopping smoking will help you clear your skin

Using regular skincare with retinoic acid (Vitamin A derivatives) also helps. These will be covered in a later post...

Stay tuned for my next post on How to Get Rid of Acne!
If you've got a question or an opinion on this, leave a comment at the bottom of this post! 
Livia | The Skin and Beauty Blog

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Acne 101: How to Prevent Acne and Dispelling myths!

Cameron Diaz with acne

Following on from my last post Acne 101: What is Acne? this post hopefully enlightens you about the key processes involved in the development of acne, which are all targets for treatment. 

What causes Acne?
Acne is an inflammatory condition of the hair-sweat gland complex that is a result of four processes:

1. Abnormal keratinocyte proliferation & desquamation leading to hair duct obstruction
This leads to the development of acne precursor lesion - the microcomedone. These are not visible to the naked eye but evolve into larger more visible lesions.

2. Hormones (androgens) causing a rise in sebum production
An increase in androgen hormones promotes sebum production that block the hair follicles and fill them with fat-rich material and form closed and open comedones (white heads and black heads).

3. Proliferation of a bacteria called Propionibacterium acnes
The sebum stuck in the hair follicles acts as food for bacterial growth, leading to P. acnes proliferation.

4. Inflammation
P. acnes releases chemical signals that promote inflammation that is spread by the burst of the comedones into the nearby skin. This inflammation causes thhe formation of acne papules, pustules, nodules and cysts.

In treating acne, all these four processes should be targetted depending on the severity of acne and the types of lesions acne-sufferers have. 

Stay tuned for my next post on How to Prevent Acne!

If you've got a question or an opinion on this, leave a comment at the bottom of this post! 
Livia | The Skin and Beauty Blog

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Acne 101: What Causes Acne?

Lorde with Acne

Acne is a problem that I have been seeing frequently in my clinics. It's a condition that has plagued us since the moment our hormones began surging in early adolescence and can have serious physical and psychological effects on affected individuals. In line with skincare and beauty, I thought it would be useful for my readers to find out more about acne, the current recommendations for treatment and suggestions of what's available over the counter. This is Acne week and I hope you will enjoy this new series and take something away from Acne 101

What is Acne?

Acne vulgaris is a very common inflammatory skin condition. While often thought of as a disease of teenage years, its prevalence remains high into adulthood. Virtually 90% of adolescents have acne, and half of them continue to experience signs and symptoms as adults. By age 40, 1% of men and 5% of women still have lesions. In the UK, acne accounts for in excess of 3.5 million yearly visits to their family doctors.

Acne has can cause harmful psychological and social effects, as well as physical effects as it may result in permanent scarring. The earlier it can be identified, the better it can be managed, and with more favourable outcomes. 

What are the Features of Acne?

Acne presents as a spectrum of skin lesions. They are broadly grouped into non-inflammatory and inflammatory ones. Non-inflammatory lesions include open and closed comedones (blackheads and whiteheads, respectively). Inflammatory lesions include papules, pustules, nodules, and cysts. This distinction is important in treatment. These spots can be found on the face, neck, chest and back - areas with the highest density of hair and sweat glands.

Other diseases can mimic acne such as rosacea, folliculitis, milia and keratosis pilaris, therefore it is important you seek medical attention to reach an appropriate diagnosis.

What are the Types of Acne?

There are different types of acne which and these are classified broadly into mild, moderate and severe:

Mild acne is typically confined to the face and is characterized by the existence of non-inflammatory closed and open comedones with very few inflammatory lesions.

Moderate acne is characterized by a greater number of inflammatory papules and pustules on the face and often mild disease on the chest and back.

Severe acne is when larger nodules and cysts can be found. In these instances, there is usually extensive acne on the chest and back.

The severity assessment is important as this predominately determines the best treatment method. This should be tailored to treat precursor lesions (microcomedones) and active inflammatory lesions. Milder cases would be best managed with creams lotions and ointments, whereas oral medications are suggested for more severe circumstances. Stay tuned for my next post on What Causes Acne?

Livia | The Skin and Beauty Blog

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Acne 101: What is Acne Vulgaris?

I am a big fan La Roche-Posay Skincare and with the hot summer coming I wanted to try something different - a sunscreen in their gel-cream formula. Here is a review of La Roche-Posay Anthelios SPF50+ Dry Touch Gel Cream.


La Roche-Posay Anthelios SPF50+ Dry Touch Gel Cream Review!

This week my face has been sporting peach: peach cheeks, peach lips, peach highlighter. This colour is quite versatile for work and play and works well with the rising temperatures... but in truth I was really feeling a little girly this week and this just did the trick!


The Weekly Makeup Edit #04

Which look are you going for this summer? Pretty pastels or bolds and brights? Whichever style you opt to rock, 2true has it covered with the NEW Fast Dry Colour Quick Nail Polishes. These surprisingly long lasting polishes dry quickly and give you excellent colour coverage with an intense gloss finish. Pick from a dozen new colours to create the ultimate new summer nail wardrobe.


New Summer Nails with 2True Polishes!

Benefit The Porefessional Face Primer

Have you tried the UK's No.1 Best Selling Face Primer?

I've picked up few little sample tubes of this primer before thinking of purchasing the full size and here are my thoughts on Benefit's The Porefessional so far.


Benefit The Porefessional Face Primer Review!

Pretty direct post title isn't it? I knew it would catch your attention. A lot of us try to deny the damages and risks that extreme sun exposure can do to our skin and just enjoy the sun without adequate anti-UV protection. The focus of this post is not really to remind yourself about that but of the measures we can take to prevent skin cancer without avoiding the sun. How about that? It's the best of both worlds!

The British Association of Dermatologists (BAD) runs the national campaign around skin cancer called Sun Awareness, and this May we had the annual national Sun Awareness Week. In line with this and the upcoming warmer summer months, here are some tips to have fun in the British sun while protecting your body’s largest organ: the skin.


How to Protect Yourself from Skin Cancer!

MAC Pro Longwear Concealer

MAC Pro Longwear Concealer is one incredible concealer. It does what it says on the tin. If I anticipate a long day ahead, in the summertime, needing full coverage for spots/scars/bad undereye circles, I use this product. It is great to conceal spots on the torso as well to reveal a flawless decolletage.


MAC Pro Longwear Concealer Review!

Bourjois Java Rice Powder Review!
Bourjois Java Rice Powder

Bourjois is one of those UK drugstore brands that continuously shells out high quality products at affordable prices. They never fail to please! The Bourjois Java Rice Powder is a reformulation of the original Java Rice powder released about 150 years ago popularised yet again today!


Bourjois Java Rice Powder Review!

We have been lucky with the weather this week, the sun finally decided to show up and reminded us that summer is here (or maybe it's another tease) but anyhow my makeup choices have been to match the bright weather with a glowy complexion. These products have made it to my makeup kit this week. Let's get started!


The Weekly Makeup Edit #03

Bobbi Brown Sheer Finish Pressed Powder Review

I'm always on the look out for a good powder to set my foundations to make them last longer. I have been a MAC loyalist for some time and I decided to try out Bobbi Brown's offering: Bobbi Brown Sheer Finish Pressed Powder.

Bobbi Brown Sheer Finish Pressed Powder Review!

Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation Review NC25

Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation is my foundation pick for when I want to look glowy and yet natural for everyday use. It is great for good-skin days.


Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation Review!

Hey everyone! In an attempt to search for the perfect purple lip color, I've tried so many combinations of my Sleek Pout Paints in 163 (Electric Blue) and 154 (Hot Pink). Needless to say, I ended up with this cute and unique pattern. It kind of reminds me of one of my favorite childhood candies, Wonka's Nerds.


Tutorial: Wonka Lips!

Dear everyone, we are going global! I am very excited to introduce you to a new USA-based beauty writer on The Skin and Beauty Blog. Her name is Shannon. You may have seen her initial guest post on What's In Her Make Up Bag and from now on you'll be seeing her posts more frequently. She is based in sunny California, a young and creative mind brimmed full of ideas. She is a lover of makeup, an adorer of beauty, a sweet and clever lady with killer cheekbones, she is my sister!
...And yes... from the same mister!


A New Writer on the Block!

Believe it or not, it was MAC Lustre Lipsticks that first got me into the MAC bandwagon (not mattes not amplified cremes!). I remember almost a decade ago, my dad bought me one of my first ever lustre lipsticks that was MAC Plink! Lipstick and I never turned back since. Lustres are still one of my favourite MAC Lipstick finishes - they glide on like butter and look like gloss! I would like to take this time to share my top five MAC Lustre lipsticks with you. Let's get started!


Top Five MAC Lustre Lipsticks!

Here's a doe eye look I wore to a night out with the girlsFor the products I wore in this look and the brushes I used, keep reading!


LOOK: Doe Brown Eyes

I just want to preface this post by saying...

I am in love with this concealer. 

NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer is a creamy and moisturising concealer. It works typically well for dry skin, but I would recommend moisturising beforehand for times like these. Despite its hydrating nature, it does not crease and does not accentuate fine lines. It has good lasting power and dries quickly.

The packaging is very practical. It comes in a clear tube with a doe-foot applicator. The black matte cap has the typical NARS packaging finish however... a dirt magnet. But otherwise, it is perfect! 

It has a great highly-pigmented formula that provides medium to full coverage. I find it adequately covers my dark circles with one layer, giving a luminous bright and wide-awake look. It can also be used to cover blemishes and red patches of skin, around the nose and mouth.

I have yellow-toned skin and typically MAC NC30. I use the shade Custard and the colour looks very natural on my complexion.

I apply NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer straight from the tube with the doe foot applicator and place a few dots on areas that need concealing. It can be blended with the fingers, but I prefer blending it out with a brush. I use either the fluffy MAC 224 Brush or the Real Techniques Contour Brush to give an even finish.

without concealer
with NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer applied to undereye circles

I know I look a bit startled in this photo, but promise I didn't intend to! It just shows how brightening this creamy concealer is and the glowy finish. This is a fantastic concealer and I think it will take me a while to finish this tube as a little goes a very long way. I will probably repurchase when that happens!

NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer (£22) is available from your local NARS counter.
If you've got a question or an opinion on this, leave a comment at the bottom of this post! 
Livia | The Skin and Beauty Blog

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NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer Review!

I really could not help myself could I? In another life I swear I was a magpie. I am utterly magnetized by shiny objects. I picked up a few more products from the MAC Alluring Aquatic Collection -- you can see my first haul here. This time I picked up a couple eyeshadows, another lipstick and blush. Let's get started!


MAC Alluring Aquatic Collection Haul, Reviews, Swatches Part 2!

Does your makeup bag need an update?

"What makeup should I buy?"

Makeup isn’t cheap, especially good quality ones. Through the process of building one’s kit, we waste a lot of hard earned cash on trial and error, but what if there was a recommended list of products we should check out first? After perusing the makeup bags of several of my good friends while doing their makeup, I realized that a lot of us need help out there to build their initial makeup kits and that is what this post is going to be about. This post is also useful for those with established makeup bags looking to try new makeup. Welcome to my guide to building your perfect personal makeup kit.


The Beginner's Guide to the Perfect Makeup Starter Kit!

Revlon Matte Balm in Audacious

Having loved the original Revlon Balm Stains and also a fan of mattes, I picked up a few colours of the Revlon Matte Balms. The formula is very creamy and glides on very well. Because its a matte, it can be a bit drying so you should make sure you prep your lips with some lip balm prior to applying this. You get amazing pigmented full coverage with the first swipe. It dries matte while feeling comfortable and does not feather or get patchy. It can emphasize some lip lines though. It lasts about 3 hours. They have the same minty scent that the original balm stains had. For photos and reviews of my matte balm collection, keep reading!


Revlon Matte Balm Swatches Audacious, Elusive, Sultry and Standout!

Are you keen to try a light-wearing water-based foundation that leaves a natural dew?

Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation is an award-winning foundation that claims to provide invisible, weightless coverage that looks like skin. It has won several awards including the Beauty Bible Anti-Ageing Award 2013, Foundation for makeup phobics and made it to The Guardian Best Beauty Buys 2013. That's a pretty good resume, but does it deliver? Let's see!


Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation SPF15 Review!

It is quite refreshing to find a product that does what it says on the tin, and that list would include MAC Pro Longwear Foundation it actually does long wear. This is my first line foundation for long 13 hour shifts, hot humid environments, special occasions with albums of photo taking, times when I want my look to last all day. I've worn this to weddings, to the mountains, and even to the beach - its that heavy duty!


MAC Pro Longwear Foundation Review - A Force to be Reckoned with!

Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Darling

If someone were to ask me what my favourite and most recommended drug store lip products were, the Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stains would definitely be it. They are easy dupes for the famous Clinique Chubby Sticks. They are pigmented, nonsticky, glide well and adhere to the lips to provide a sheen and stain. They are long-lasting, and the crayon like shape means you don't have the hassle of requiring lip liners. They twist up so you don't need to sharpen them either. They also apply evenly. They have a minty smell that is non offensive, I actually like it. I had problems with the Bobbi Brown Creamy Lip Colours that had a similar smell - they made my lips flake. But not with these Revlon babies - they are perfect! I picked up a few (perhaps an understatement) of these lippies over the last few months, and here is a post on my entire collection of the original Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stains! 


Revlon Kissable Balm Stain Collection Reviews, Swatches (Pic Heavy!)

Easily one of the sweetest beauty gurus in YouTube, makeup artist Tanya Burr has released an equally sweet line of lip glosses with Eye Candy. I have two contrasting shades here, a super pretty yellow based baby pink in Afternoon Tea and an almost fluorescent hot pink called Exotic Island. They both have candy sweet scents that I neither love nor hate, but some others may have stronger feelings about this. Both of these colours have cream finishes (no glitter flecks in sight!) which is a plus in my book. On first application, they seem a bit sticky that's just a tad mellower compared to the MAC Lipglasses, but once on they somehow lose the tackiness that makes me appreciate them more. The colours are brilliant and I'm warming up to the stickiness a little bit. Of course this is something I will perhaps avoid on the windy weather unless I've got my hair up - see more windy weather tips here. Swatches below -- Can you tell which one I like better?

The New and Delicious Tanya Burr Lipglosses!

MAC Alluring Aquatic FOTD

There are some gorgeous wearable everyday colours at the MAC Alluring Aquatic Collection and I'm pleased to share with you a rose-toned makeup look I created using the products I purchased from the said collection. Let's get started!


A MAC Alluring Aquatic Tutorial!

The heat, sweat and flaky skin - these are skin signs of impending summer. What you need is an energising refreshing treat and a good body scrub to remove all that sweat and grime. Enter Champneys Energising Lime Body Scrub!

Treat Yourself with Champneys Spa Energising Lime Body Scrub!

MAC Mystical Lipstick, MAC Sea Me Hear Me Blush, MAC Aphrodite's Shell Bronzer Swatches

Looking for glowy makeup?

I had a quick look at the MAC Alluring Aquatic Collection and its beautiful. The packaging is stunning, the blushes are satiny with pretty sheens, the eyeshadows are beautiful and lipsticks quite wearable shades. I picked out a few products to complement the rest of my collection.

Here is my first haul, snippets of reviews and swatches. Lets get started!


MAC Alluring Aquatic Collection Haul, Review, Swatches!

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