Pretty Normal Me readers, meet Alexandra Soveral, the ULTIMATE skin guru! Alexandra has created the wonderful Soveral brand and hand blends all her (AMAZING) items personally. Before launching her skincare line, Alexandra dedicated her time to understanding skin and so you’ll understand why we simply HAD to pick her brains!
(Apart from being the ultimate skin-wizard, Alexandra is also a wonderful lady and friend to Pretty Normal Me. In my whole life I have never felt better than after a trip to visit her…)
1) We think that one of the most common misconceptions is that your skin miraculously clears up when you come through puberty; this more often than not is NOT the case! Is there an age that we can look forward to when our spots will just clear up?
I wish I could say yes but the truth is that there isn't a rule for all. Every case is different, for example, I never had spots during puberty but had severe adult acne in my early thirties that went on for about 5 years!! Nobody really knows for sure what triggers it off, most cases are hormonal but then lots of people go through hormonal changes with completely clear skin.
2) We are told all sorts of rumours about different foundations/excessive foundation use causing spots, is that true? Does it?
It may do for those prone to spots in the first place. Most foundations are formulated with microfine minerals that may clog the pores if over used or not removed properly at night. In my view, young skin should not need foundation, it creates insecurities too early in life. Invest in a good light concealer that perfectly matches your skin tone and then just add a bit to the T-zone to even out the skin.
3) Makeup wipes, are they as bad for our skin as we are lead to believe?
Yes they are. Nearly all makeup wipes contain either alcohol or a kind of solvent to dissolve the makeup, these ingredients over dry the skin and a residue is left behind that is full of nasty chemicals. Go back to a milk or oil based cleanswer and you will delay premature ageing by quite a few years.
4) How many times a day should we be washing our faces and moisturising? We're told all the time about being careful not to strip our natural oils or to clog the pores, it's so confusing. Help!
First of all, you should NEVER wash your face, foaming agents are too drying and too stripping. You should do a thorough cleanse in the evening by doing a double cleanse if you wear makeup. First cleanse with a milk cleanser to remove all the makeup and then do an oil cleanse to deep cleanse the pores. Soveral Angel Balm is of course my favourite option for this. You should then just apply a light face oil in a nice simulating massage.
In the morning you don't need a lot of cleansing, just a light milk cleanins is enough, then just apply face oil or moisturiser... or both.
5) So, it's Autumn now and getting colder every day, we're breaking out and drying up all at the same time, what should we be doing this winter?
There is a whole blog post about this on Alexandra's website, check it out here:
6) Okay so this is a big one, obviously as girls there are certain times of the month when it feels like our skin is conspiring against us! If we know the week before/during/after our period is 'bad skin' week, is there anyhting we can do in the build up? Pre-emptive action as it were?
Well the best advice I can give is to not pick the first spot that comes up... just ignore it. If you pick it then it will spread. I would also look at taking Evening Primrose for that week and eat foods rich in pyto-oestrogen such as fennel, celery, parsley and oats.
7) Face masks, every single sexist cliche ever has women wearing these the day before their weddings, is this not really brave? Do they not cause mental breakouts?
Yes, I agree it is a rather risky thing to do if you are using a purifying mask, for those women with problem skin this is a recipe for disaster, any congestion will just be brought up to the surface. However for those with dry and dull skin that they want to nourish for a bridal glow, using a nourishing mask on the morning of the wedding could make a huge difference.
8) How much of what we eat causes bad skin? Are there some super foods out there that we need? Or is as simple as swapping the Haribo for a bunch of grapes?
I'm less into super foods and more into variety! Super foods are something marketing people promoting normal food love to latch on to. To me, nothing is more powerful than a varied diet rich in lots of different vegetables, fruits, nuts and sources of organic protein. This way we are covering all bases and not just relying on the so called 'Super Foods' taht may offer us some good things. No super food can offer us everything we need. Also some well known super foods in very high quantities may be toxic.
9) This is a long shot, but is there ever a quick fix for a big spot? I had one on my chin the day before my birthday and I'd have done anything to banish it! Sudacream? Toothpaste? Do they work?
Nothing works better than just ignoring it! When they are persistent go to my website on the emergency spot advice page:
10) Now we realise by answering this you would be releasing precious trade secrets but help a girl out, what is your one golden skin rule?
Throw away ALL your magnifying mirrors!!! Stop picking, it will become a habit you will not be able to give up and will eventually mark your skin and spread bacteria. Also make sure you cleanse properly and learn how to massage your face efficiently. All my products come with step by step instructions on how to do this.