Your top 10 skin problems... solved

You asked so we got the experts to answer... you can thank us later.


Emma Hobson — education manager at The International Dermal Institute
Amber Scott — national training manager at Ella Bache
Dr Katie Rodan, M.D. and Dr Kathy Fields, M.D. — dermatologists, creators of New Proactiv and authors of The Doctors' Secrets To A Lifetime Of Clear Skin

1. I have really sensitive skin that goes red in the shower. What can I do to calm it down?

EMMA: "Have cooler showers and avoid using too harsh a cleanser and soap. Also avoid scrubs on your skin. When you come out of the shower, pat-dry your face with a towel then spritz it with a calming mist to reduce the redness."

2. Sometimes I forget to take my make-up off before I go to bed. Is it really that bad for my skin?

AMBER: "Yes! Most make-up contains ingredients that if left on the skin for an extensive length of time, can clog the pores and cause breakouts. Cleansing is also important as it removes dirt, pollution and excess oil. Without cleansing and removing your make-up at night, your chance of breakouts is dramatically increased."

3. I have heaps of blackheads all over my nose. I also have some under my bottom lip. How can I get rid of them?

EMMA: "If you have blackheads, exfoliation is so important as it helps stop the skin from becoming congested. Use a scrub two to three times a week (if your skin is free from inflamed spots) or choose products that contain hydroxy acids — in particular salicylic acid — to de-congest your skin."

4. Help! I have bad stretch marks on my thighs, hips and boobs. Are there any products out there that will reduce their appearance? And are they suitable for sensitive skin?

EMMA: "While no product will completely get rid of stretch marks, there are some that will help improve the appearance of them. The trick is to start treating them while they're new. Look for products that contain Vitamin E and Vitamin A, as they help the skin repair and minimise the look of the stretch marks."

5. I have lots of pimples and I was told to stop moisturising or I'd get even more. Is this right?

DR KATIE AND DR KATHY: "Just about everyone with acne has skin that is both oily and dry at the same time. Some areas are really oily, like the 'T-Zone' of your forehead, nose and chin, while others are absolutely parched, like the sides of your face. You can manage the whole process and then manage your skin type with an oil-free moisturiser for the dry parts or an oil-absorbing lotion for the shiny, oily regions."

6. I get little white lumps on my cheeks — what causes them?

AMBER: "Little white bumps that often appear high on the cheeks or around the eye area are called milia and are a build-up of dead skin cells within the layers of the skin. When treating milia, you should avoid using nourishing products on the area. Exfoliation helps and a deep exfoliant that contains salicylic acid is perfect as it works on breaking down dead skin cell build-up in the skin."

7. If my moisturiser has SPF 15 in it, is that enough to protect me from the sun's rays when I'm at school all day?

AMBER: "Any SPF is better than no sun protection; however, an SPF 30+ is the best choice as it offers the longest sun protection. Always use a broad spectrum sunscreen to protect you from both UVA (the aging ray) and UVB (the burning rays)."

8. I use a cheap cleanser that I found in the supermarket but my friend told me only the expensive ones work. Is she right?

EMMA: "No. Sometimes price does determine quality but not always. It's what's in the cleanser (the ingredient) and the results that are the most important."

9. I always have dark circles under my eyes even after I go to bed early. Are there any products that will help?

EMMA: "For some people, dark circles can be attributed to their genetics and so can be very difficult to treat. For others, it can be a sign of illness or stress on the body. Try using an eye cream that contains Vitamin C (to aid skin lightening) and a foundation that contains optical light diffusers which act like microscopic mirrors to help reduce the appearance of dark circles. You can also apply a light application of concealer under your eyes to lighten the area."

10. I get really bad pimples on my forehead, nose and chin. How do I get rid of them?

EMMA: "Skincare is super-important. Follow this routine:

~ Cleanse morning and night with a medicated facial gel or a clay-based cleanser.
~ Cleanse down your neck, behind the ears and into the hairline — this is where we usually miss and breakouts can then appear.
~ Remove your cleanser thoroughly; leaving any behind can also cause breakouts.
~ Exfoliate using hydroxy acids — in particular, salicylic acid &#151 to de-congest the skin.
~ Use a deep cleansing sebum-controlling mask once or twice a week.
~ NEVER squeeze a spot — instead use products to help heal it quickly and effectively.
~ If your breakouts are really severe, see your doctor."