Problem Solvers

Your skin care questions, answered

If you follow us on {Instagram} (if not, where have you been!?), you’ll have seen our appeal for your skin care concerns. We asked our audience to tell us their complexion woes (from top to toe), and we pooled our resources to provide some tailored advice. Although we were inundated with ‘issues’ (thanks to all those who sent us their queries), there were a few concerns we came across repeatedly… read on to find out whether any of these resonate…

{Q} “At the age of 23, how often should I use an acid toner?”

{A} There’s no ‘right’ age when it comes to acid toning. As long as you’re an adult, acid toners can work wonders for a multitude of differing skin issues. Yes, they’re brilliantly youth-boosting for those concerned with fine lines, pigmentation and diminished density, but acid toning also help to maintain healthy cell function (so you look younger, longer).

If your skin is congested or prone to breakouts, use a gentle glycolic or lactic acid treatment every evening – the acid dissolves the ‘glue’ that binds dirt and dead cells to skin’s surface – or if your skin is sensitive, begin with a mild, 5% concentration applied 2-3 times per week and gradually build up your skin’s tolerance. Just remember, anything that sloughs away the ‘stratum corneum’ (the ultra-thin, uppermost layer of skin) will increase sun sensitivity, so always wear a sunscreen to protect from UV rays.

We recommend January Labs’ {Daily Brightening Tonic} which contains lactic acid alongside soothing extracts of chamomile, aloe and pore-purifying witch hazel, or fall for Pixi’s best-loved {Glow Tonic} – a fruity orange liquid that stars 5% glycolic to sustain skin’s youthful vibrancy.

{Q} “Is purging a thing?”

{A} Purging is what happens when your skin expels accumulated toxins. These are often so embedded that it takes an intensive treatment, or change to your usual skin care ritual, to draw the sebum, grime and ‘nasties’ to the surface. If you’ve tried a particularly active mask – something jam-packed with mineral-rich clays, such as Omorovicza’s {Deep Cleansing Mask} – your skin might continue to purge for up to a week but, once you’re over the hump, your skin should glow like woah. If the breakouts don’t clear up within this time though, it could be a sign of a reaction.

{Q} “How can I get rid of clogged pores without AHA/BHA? My skin is super sensitive!”

{A} Ingredients such as charcoal, colloidal silver and mastic tree gum (who knew!?) are just a few of the incredible pore-purifying wizards you should watch for. Great for preventing breakouts, charcoal behaves like a magnet – attracting the deep-rooted ‘gunk’ that contributes to clogged pores and blots on an other flawless visage, while silver is brilliantly anti-bacterial – battling the acne-causing bad bacteria that spreads infection. And mastic gum is a weird-but-wonderful rubber-y substance, that works like rubbing chewing gum across a carpet – in the same way the gum picks up fluff, dirt and grossness, the mastic picks up all the surface ‘scurf’ that leaves skin looking dulled and pimply.

We love NIOD’s {Mastic Must} mask – a clear treatment that instantly improves the look of large pores – or try Cor’s Silver Soap. Boasting colloidal silver, this ‘soap’ is great for problem-prone complexions; Team CB’s Chikay raved about it {here}.

{Q} “Apart from tubes of skin care product, what else do you recommend to keep the skin gorgeous?”

{A} Did you know that a toxic build-up in the stomach and digestive tract (your gut) can have an impact on the clarity of your complexion? Almost all chronic skin conditions – eczema, acne, psoriasis, rosacea – could be helped by pre- and probiotics. At the very least, taking a probiotic supplement is proven to be beneficial for digestion, so there’s no reason not to try for 6-12 weeks. It certainly won’t do you any harm!

The Nue Co.’s {Skin Food + Prebiotic} delivers anti-inflammatory benefits and feeds the friendly bacteria that thrive in your intestines to encourage the absorption of essential nutrients while assisting the expulsion of skin-compromising toxins. You’re bound to see a noticeable difference in the quality of your complexion – particularly if you’re susceptible to breakouts around your forehead, which are closely linked to your digestive health.


Verity Douglas

Verity Douglas

Content Editor

Cult Beauty’s Content Editor and a Cult Beauty OG, Verity loves nothing more than the marriage of language and lip balm. A quintessential Libran, she’s a self-professed magpie for luxury ‘must-haves' and always pursuing the new and the niche — from the boujee-est skin care to cutting-edge tech. Balancing an urge to stop the clock with her desire to embrace the ageing process (and set a positive example for her daughter), Verity's a retinol obsessive and will gladly share her thoughts about the time-defying gadgets, masks and treatments worth the splurge...