Modeltypeface Beauty: Battling Acne with Avene

Believe me – I take problem skin really seriously. Having had acne three times in my life so far (at 16, 19 and 21), I realise what it’s like to walk around feeling ashamed of your face.

My acne started literally the day I got scouted. I had a couple of spots, got signed, and then the next day I had a face full of angry weals. I can very easily take myself back to how it felt and I distinctly remember changing completely as a person…

My confidence suffered: I felt like all people could see, when they looked at me, was what I felt was my disgusting skin.

I felt anxious all the time – what was happening on my face now? Had I applied concealer correctly?

My body language changed – I hunched my face down, covering as much skin with my hair.

harrypotterHow I longed for Harry Potter’s Invisibility Cloak…

Oh and obviously work suffered: I lost out on jobs or I felt incredibly self-conscious when I was booked – I knew that having acne made the shoot slower (make up and lighting had to be adjusted) and more expensive with the amount of retouch needed. And I didn’t exactly feel beautiful, especially when all the other models seemed to have beautiful skin.

Since writing for the wonderful blog The Truth About Beauty, I’ve had the opportunity to meet countless skin experts, from the cutting edge of medical to the toppermost of the natural and organic ranges. Dealing with problem skin is about finding what works for you, so I’m happy to be able to present you with in-depth knowledge for you to assess and then make you own mind up.

Today I want to talk about what I learnt from an evening with Avéne (one of my all-time favourite skincare brands – I’ve used their UV Legere moisturiser for 6 years).

It’s completely personal, and what works for one person might have no effect on another. However, these are what I would do if I had an outbreak tomorrow:

Cut out alcohol: top dermatologist Professor Rino Cerio, who also has the friendliest face ever…


…said that alcohol is the worst for acne, as it inflames the skin and leaves it susceptible to infection. Try no booze for a month…I’ve done it myself, and it’s easier than it sounds.

Cut out dairy: unlike many others, I don’t think that dairy is bad for you – but I do think that the hormones many farmers pump cows full of are. Lots of acne sufferers give up dairy and see in improvement, including Ruth Crilly of A Model Recommends, so I’d at least try it very strictly for a month.

Cut out sugar: sugar is bad for you, anyway – and cutting it out will help the modelling! Make sure you cut out processed sugar and even consider cutting out fruit, if only for a month to see if you can see a difference.

– Eat only unprocessed food, cooked from scratch: Some people say there are no links between diet and acne, but I do think it’s worth trying cutting out the junk food and filling your diet with wholesome foods. It will benefit you anyway so there’s nothing to lose. Check out my Modeltypeface Kitchen posts for ideas.

Sleep: Sleep is when your body recuperates and your skin has time to rest and heal. If you find it hard to nod off, turn off the TV by 7 and head to bed way earlier than you usually do. At least then, you’re resting.

puppysleepTeddy optional but recommended

– Simplify your skin regime: use the lightest oil-free products for now, and wear make up as little as possible (Creme de la Mer is for when you’re of Joan Collin’s vintage!)

It’s tempting to layer up the treatments and then the concealer, but it’ll stress your skin.

OK so those are lots of my tips. Now for the products: here are some of the Eau Avéne Thermale products that I recommend through seeing results by truly trying them out, either on me of my guinea pig boyfriend who suffers with spots.

1) Cleanance Mask £15 from Boots


Honestly, just try it. Applied to angry, greasy and spotty skin, this washes off to reveal a softened, calmed complexion with spots that are far less angry. It neutralises the sebum production without stripping the skin. I’d do this the evening before a big casting or shoot.

2) Cleanance Micellar Water £11.50 at Farmaline


Micellar water is a very gentle, watery cleanser. You want to avoid stripping your skin, but so many acne products on the market are all about bashing your skin around with harsh, stripping chemicals that smell like turps. Overly drying out your skin actually increases sebum production – so all you’ll get is a tight-feeling face and then loads more spots. Please take this from someone who once WASHED HER FACE WITH DETTOL!!! Weirdly, water can also be drying for some, so if you have sensitive skin this micellaire water is brilliant for using instead of a face wash.

It gently removes make up and dirt, but it’s very soothing and anti-irritation so your skin remains calm. Perfect to cleanse skin before a shoot so make sure you arrive with skin that is as clean and calm as possible.

3) Cleanance MAT Matifying Emulsion £12 at Boots


So like I said – you want to your skin to be moisturised, without it being overly oily or irritated. This is brilliant for moisturising and matifying skin. Some skin brands recommend using face oils, but Professor Rino was dead against them, and I trust his advice – so you want an oil-free emulsion like this.

I’m sure you’ll want to wear make up sometimes, so this is the perfect base as your skin won’t feel too clogged. Apply after toning with their Matifying Toner.

4) Cleanance Expert £15 coming out in January! 


THE BIG GUNS! This product also really shows how much Avene care about us and our skin problems. And Cleanance Expert is super-special and exciting. I could totally bore you with the science but I’ll break it down for you into what *I* think are fascinating bite-sized chunks.

OK, so:

Our skin has lots of bacteria, good and bad. Some of these are called P. acnes – but some of them are good! We want a good balance on our skin.

A lot of the creams that doctors prescribe contain mega-strong ingredients that basically kill everything. So your skin can get very dry, angry, tight and red – believe me, I know, having been shouted at by a photographer when I was on treatment aged 17 for my dry skin (thanks, mate).

Cleanance EXPERT doesn’t do this. It contains:

Monolaurin – which helps regulate sebum production

X-Pressin – gently exfoliates to prevent the build up of dead skin cells.

Diolenyl – OK so this is the mind-blowing part. Diolenyl disguises itself as a triglyceride, which is present in sebum and P. Acnes loves to munch on.

triglycerideMmmmmm YUMMY!

But it’s not really a triglyceride – it’s a Diolenyl! It sits there, doing nothing, until P. Acnes goes in for the kill – then it splits and releases anti-bacterials and anti-inflammatories that kill the nasty spot causing P.Acnes – but doesn’t upset your skin.

So this is a gentle moisturiser that’s kind to your skin – and fights spots like a little ninja!



So! Very excitingly, I have an Eau Avene Thermale Cleanance Toner and MAT Emulsion, a prize worth £23, to GIVE AWAY to my over-18, UK-based readers!


Alls you have to do is click on the link below which will ask you to:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

1) Tweet me, @rebeccapearson, with this message: ‘#outsmartacne with #modeltypeface ‘s @rebeccapearson by entering to #win 2 #Avene Cleanance products! #giveaway’

2) Follow me on Twitter! (@rebeccapearson)

It’s as easy as that!

Good luck!

Rebecca x

Here’s Avene’s website and Twitter

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