At a recent lunch with Pedro Garcia Maggi, founder of Skeen (the no- nonsense men’s range coveted by woman all over Europe), my ears pricked up when he mentioned the hard-working, high-flying women he meets who have developed problem skin. 'These women work so hard, sleep very little and have higher stress levels than most,' he says.
Maggi told me that when we are stressed, tired and overworked we produce large amounts of adrenalin. ‘Adrenalin stimulates the activity of the sebaceous glands in the skin, resulting in higher sebum production,' he says, which creates oily and shiny skin. Reccurring and, for some, first-time acne is increasingly becoming a problem among women who are well out of their teens.
This, says Dr Anthony Bewley, consultant dermatologist at Whipps Cross and Barts Hospital in London, ‘can be psychologically damaging, affecting confidence and even people's performance at work.’
Bewley gave a talk at Avène’s recent launch for its spot-busting, inflammation-taming facial products. They have created a line gentle enough for sensitive skin but packed with scientific know-how to banish bad skin. My favourite of the Cleanance range is Anti-Shine Purifying Lotion, £8.75. It eliminates impurities, dead cells and excess sebum as well as shrinking pores and keeping breakouts at bay.
Another natural range for problem skin is Burt’s Bees Anti-Blemish Solution. Made with willow bark extract, tea tree and parsley extract, it tackles spots without drying or irritating the skin. But no matter how many products you fill your bathroom cabinet with, reducing your stress levels, getting more sleep and eating a healthy diet are the key to better skin.