Acne. Ugh. There are lots of things I don’t miss about being a teenager; curfews, bad hair, chemistry lessons, but bad skin is certainly up there. In the last year though, not only did my skin start to become more spotty, my face gradually became covered in acne. Adult acne, it turns out, is very common. But what to do? It’s a big market out there, with endless creams,  moisturisers, tools and diets – I’ve sifted through all the lotions and portions to bring you the best acne creams and treatments out there.

1. The Needling: AQ Micro-Needling with Dr Vincent Wong

The Lowdown: This is the seriously scientific option. AQ Skin Solutions were created by a Californian immunologist, and it seems to be a genius elixir – helping wounds heal, acne scarring, facial rejuvenation and also hair regrowth/thickening and strengthening, and we tried it for acne. The facial incorporates Micro-Needling, which is thousands of very small needles on a small stick allowing the serum to get deeper. If you can’t get to a clinic, AQ sell their Active Serum, a less potent but similar version to use in your own bathroom.

 Why: This is the first time people not in the business have been able to buy the product. The procedure takes no more than 10-15 minutes, and feels mildly uncomfortable. Dr Wong, quite possibly the coolest doctor I’ve ever met speedily penetrated my skin with the formula. Afterwards, you just walk out with all the benefits of a chemical peel and the laser but nothing to show for it, other than a few red marks. This procedure is genius, and there’s good reason that many celebrities and those in the know are going for it. My skin felt immeidately pumped after, and over the days, with the application of the serum I took home, my acne really started to clear.

Where: Dr Vincent Wong based in his clinic only 5 minutes from Victoria and for products click here.  

2. The Facial: Fern Skincare

The Lowdown: Founded by skincare specialists Lisa Collins and Nicki Giles in 2004, Fern Skin Clinic has become the North London’s address for beauty treatments galore. With over 30 years experience in the beauty industry between them, Lisa and Nicki feel that skincare is not just about pampering and luxury, it’s about getting serious, long-lasting results. Go for the 60 mins Fern Facial – it begins with a proper examination of your skin under a bright light, and each treatment is tailored to the needs of your skin. Mine severely dehydrated, peeling and spotty, was given a efficient extraction and mask.

Why: This is a serious skin education. School teaches you about trigonometry, but does it teach you to tackle blackheads and zits that make you shy to show your face. I learnt that all the techniques I had been deploying in my skincare regime, were not doing me any favours. My therapist Melinda was so helpful, jotting down details for me, and restructuring everything I had been doing. You leave Fern with plump, glowing skin but more importantly with an idea of what to do moving forward. I should also mention that it’s extremely relaxing, once the extraction is out of the way. My skin felt looser and rejuvenated –  most important when heading into the drying winter months. It’s also worth noting, that with most facials in the past one can expect a bit of a flare up in the days to follow, but I was ready for my non-existent red carpet the next day.

Where: 18 England’s Ln, London NW3 4TG

3. The Dermatologist: Dr Daniel Glass

The Lowdown: A quarter of the population suffer from skincare problems, but only 20% of those people will actually seek medical help. The skincare market is HUGE, and it’s important to make informed decisions where you won’t waste your money. Dr Glass at the Dermatology Clinic London will give you the truth, unaffiliated to any brands or methods, and scientifically backed up by hard facts on the matter. Thoughts that have been funnelled to me as essentials, SPF even in the heart of the winter were shrugged away by him. If something hasn’t got a peer reviewed paper behind it, it’s unlikely to be the real deal.

Why: If you’re in a really chronic state, you might be in need of something a bit harder than over the counter and Dr Glass can prescribe medicine from lotions to pills, combined with gentler approaches. He is a hugely experienced doctor, so if you have any concerning moles along with your acne, he is worth a trip too. I really appreciated his mindfulness and intelligent approach in a world available with options and flushed with millions of serums, lasers and lights. Whatever choice you are making, have a deep think and maybe refresh your biology GCSE with a bit of research.

Where:  The Dermatology Clinic London, 55 Harley Street, London, W1G 8QR

4. The Capsules: Lion Heart 

The Lowdown: Think of Lion Heart as the king of the capsules; it’s the only fish oil in the UK with over 3,000mg of EPA & DHA in a single spoon, and is the only one certified by the International Fish Oil Standards. This means the fish oils are completely free from heavy metals, PCBs and other nasties often found in polluted seas. It’s made of Omega 3, an essential fatty acid that our bodies cannot produce; we therefore need to consume it in order to function properly. It greatly supports our physical and mental wellbeing and its benefits include a glowing complexion.

Why: Because good skin does come from within. It isn’t just about lathering lots of stuff onto your skin, you need to support with your diet, but also, from time to time, supplements.  Think of Lion Heart as an internal moisturiser for your skin, with its anti-inflammatory properties which help battle your acne, but also any inflammation and eczema. It is also very easy and hassle free to pop four little capsules daily with your brekkie.

Where: Buy online