Banish the Blemish – 4 Top Picks to Zap the Zits

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Actor and Beauty Blogger Emma Overy

YES. You’ve landed that audition. You’re psyched, you’re prepared, you’re… pretty stressed out actually… and along with Mr. Anxiety comes some unwelcome reactions to your body. The dreaded zits, spots, blemishes, pimples, come out and play. It always seems to be that the day before, or the morning of a casting the little fiends emerge in their masses and have a massive red party on my face like a Facebook invitation gone wrong; and all of that self-confidence built up for that five minute slot plummets straight to the ground.

SCIENCE. A ‘whitehead’ (eeewww) is produced when excess sebum (oily stuff which stops your skin from drying out) produced has a little cocktail party with dead skin cells and together they block the hair follicles. This causes it to swell and push outwards – a bit like when hair gets stuck in a drain and water builds up in the shower.

SAVIOURS. Of course there’s the drink two litres of water, get eight hours of sleep and eat your weight in blueberries to consider, but I’m not being funny, after a long day of rehearsals I want a McDonalds, and I need to spend the night catching up on correspondence that I couldn’t do in the day (mostly Netflix series’)… and I like wine. So I’ve found a few products that have helped me cheat the system.

I have always suffered with spots and blemishes and have tried so many products and spent a tonne of cash to try to keep them under control, but here are a few of the ones that have really worked (tried and tested). 

1) Cleanser/Facewash: It is easy to become obsessed with washing your face – after all it makes you feel refreshed and clean. However it is possible to over-wash your face, not the worst thing you can possibly do to yourself, but it is true. Over washing your face can lead to your skin getting a bit angry with you; all that’s going on here is a removal of minuscule layers of skin which is going to eventually leave it red raw and in quite a bad mood. It can also dehydrate your skin which causes it to produce more oil!

Top pick: La Roche-Posay Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel (RRP £11 for 200ml):


Designed for blemish prone AND sensitive skin, this face wash is a winner all round. It has the power to abolish excess sebum and impurities but the brand also prides itself on being suitable for even the most sensitive of skin and doesn’t cause over drying. This is fantastic news as blemish prone skin face washes are usually quite unforgiving to someone with sensitive skin!


2) Facial exfoliation: Scrubs are important to exile those bits of dead skin that are an accomplice to the sebum in blocking up your little hair holes.

Top pick: Vichy Normaderm 3 in 1 Cleanser + Scrub + Mask (RRP £11 for 125ml):



Yes you read it right, not one, not two but this product does THREE things. This is great if you are in a rush or simply cannot be dealing with a rigorous skincare routine. The cleanser part of it helps reduce the sebum and impurities, the exfoliator unclogs the pores and the mask clarifies complexion. SOLD. This product also contains salicylic acid – this is a key ingredient when looking for blemish banishing products as it is bactericidal (this is a real word I promise), it kills and stops bacteria from reproducing; a very talented pore plunge.


3) Toner: As well as minimizing pores, toners also help to balance and restore the PH levels in your skin – instead of your skin producing more oil to do this, it does the job for you!


Top pick: The Body Shop Tea Tree Toner (RRP £5.50 for 250ml):



This is a hard core product, I will warn you that it is harsh, but if your skin is up for the challenge it delivers noticeable results of clearer skin within about a week. Do make sure to use a decent moisturiser after use because tea tree is an antibacterial substance, and this can dry out the face if you do not have naturally oily skin.

4) Treatment: There are a million ways to ‘treat’ spots, including some wild home remedies, however if you haven’t got time to be mashing up avocados (a waste of a good avocado in my opinion) or you’re not really feeling rubbing garlic on your face, here’s some other options.


Top picks: The Body Shop Oils of Life (RRP £28 for 30ml):


“If I put oil on my face I will breakout” – LIES, it is all lies. Facial oils should not leave the skin feeling greasy and slimy, they should absorb into the skin and leave it looking radiant and revitalised. This oil does exactly that. Great oils like this also fool your skin into believing that it can have a day off and not over produce its own icky oil. Oils of Life contains three seed oils and sevenessential oils of 99% natural origin. It is genuinely a magnificent product with not only anti-oxidising properties, but with the ability to repair any damage already done – so great for past pimple popping scars as well! (I would say don’t pop your spots, but I know this is a nearby impossible feat). I know that £28 is a hefty price tag, but as only a few drops per evening is necessary, it lasts for months!


Sudocrem: (RRP £2.99 for 125g / £5.99 for 400g):


This product will change your life forever. When someone gave me the advice to put this on my spots overnight, I laughed in their face (thinking it was only good for baby bum rashes). However this bad boy of a cream has superpowers and assassinates zits more or less overnight. Sudocrem has both strong healing properties and antiseptic properties, it is a magician of the acne world. Just dab on the affected area at bedtime and wake up and be pleasantly surprised!Another bonus is that you can buy a tub for £2.99 and it will last you about ten years because a little bit goes such a long way – unless you are of course also using it for butt rash.

Of course there is also an assortment of facial masks available for spot treatments – however that is an article in itself!

Always remember that your skin probably isn’t as bad as you think it is – people probably haven’t even noticed that spot until you have pointed it out. Over time we as humans have got really good at pointing out our flaws and neglecting our positive features, and as performers, it can mean we’re that teeny bit extra self-critical – just remember that nobody can wear a filter in real life!!


Follow Emma:

Twitter: @emmaovery93

Instagram: @emmaovery93

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