It's something we've been writing about more and more recently, and it's safe to say, without being hysterical about it, that skin problems are almost at an epidemic stage among women long past the age of puberty.
Clinique brought out a suite of spot-zapping products a while ago, and they've now added to the Anti Blemish Solutions line with two new bits - a Clearing Concealer, €20, and an Oil Control Cleansing Mask, €25. Both will be availble from the beginning of May.
So what's the thinking behind the range? It's important firstly to note that this is not a medical line. If you have cystic acne, this is not going to cut the mustard for you. Anti Blemish Solutions is for the person who suffers from break outs, or who always has a couple of spots on the go.
Tom Mammone, Clinique's executive director of biological research and development points out that "it is not true to say that everyone with blemishes has oily skin. Blemishes are a skin condition, not a skin type and therefore, there are people that have quite a bit of oil production and blemishes but whose skin in between the oil glands is quite dry. This requires them to balance their blemish treatments with moisturisation."
Aha - this is me, completely. I don't have acne, but I regularly get outbreaks on my chin and occasionally on my nose and cheeks. And barring my gunk-laden chin, my face has the same moisturisation levels as Tutankhamun after a few thousand years in a sandy tomb. Not very moist, then.
So what causes the little buggers? Clinique - who have a Blemish Task Force, if you don't mind - say that that zits are prompted to errupt due to "heightened sebaceous gland activity triggered by a genetic predisposition, hormonal influences, impurities, clogged pores and individual irritation response. Stress, environment (dirt, sweat, etc), fluctuating hormonal changes and other imbalances can also play a role in break-outs."