Covering the beauty beat and having bad skin is like being a hairstylist with mall bangs or a personal trainer that’s seriously out of shape. It’s a hard sell.
As a teenager, I dealt with the typical lumps and bumps of hormonal acne. Now I’ve been out of high school for over a decade, but my skin still hasn’t graduated from good ‘ole acne. My friends and I describe the condition as “wracne”: a Frankenstein-like hybrid of wrinkles and acne. What’s a girl (or should I say woman) to do? Teen-targeted pimple fighters are drying and exacerbate my fine lines, but rich anti-aging creams throw a pimple party on my face – and everyone invited.
So I’m on a mission to find clear skin, and my first step is to meet with dermatologist Dr. Lisa Kellett of DLK on Avenue in Toronto to get some answers. Kellett cuts to the chase: “I want you to tell me what you put on your skin from the time you get up in the morning until you go to bed,” she says with her pen poised.
Hesitantly, I rattle off the dozens of products I’ve been trying as of late and, based on her reaction, she’s not impressed with my supersize skin-care regimen. Apparently, my anti-aging efforts may be a part of the problem. While she admits that acne is the result of a number of factors, she is adamant that 95 percent of what’s causing adult acne in her patients is improper skin care. And by that, she doesn’t mean we’re not cleaning our faces; she’s saying that we aging beauties need to lay off the occlusive (ointment-based) creams that can cause clogged pores.
She instructs me to use a nonfoaming gel-based cleanser with small exfoliating beads in the morning and at night, and recommends I apply an acne treatment all over to treat breakouts before they start. She suggests a serum with one percent retinol concentration to use at night and a serum with a 25 percent or higher vitamin C concentration for morning.