Skin blemishes. We all have them. Some more than others. And, let's be honest, no one really knows what’s the best treatment to get rid of them. Do they go away on their own? Do we need to see a dermatologist? What the heck are we supposed to do about them!?!
These pesky little marks are a common occurrence, especially if you suffer from excess oil production or naturally have blemish-prone skin. While they are not typically dangerous, they can be unsightly and embarrassing.
So, do you have a breakout that just will not go away? Are you at your wit's end with all of the products you've tried? If so, this blog post is for you! Blemishes can be frustrating and hard to get rid of but don't worry, we are here to help!
In this post, we’ll tell you everything about what blemishes are, and give you some tips on how to reduce them. So read on, and start feeling better about your skin!
WTH are blemishes?
So, what are blemishes? Blemishes are any kind of mark or spot on the skin. They can be red, brown, black, or white and can be caused by a variety of things, such as acne, age spots, sun exposure, hormonal changes, ingrown hairs, and the list goes on.
While they may not always be aesthetically pleasing, blemishes typically aren’t harmful and usually go away on their own over time.
Types of skin blemishes from A to Z
Blemishes are not only about red pimples and blackheads. In fact, there are many types of blemishes that could be affecting your skin:
Acne is by far the most common type of blemish and can affect people of all ages *yes, even if you have already gone through puberty*. It occurs when the pores become clogged with natural oils, dirt, and dead skin cells, resulting in red, inflamed, and sometimes pus-filled bumps *iugh*.
Moreover, after the inflammation goes away, you could develop acne scars and dark spots, which are also considered to be blemishes.
There are three main types of acne blemishes: blackheads, whiteheads, and pimples.
These are blemishes caused by clogged pores with too much oil and dead skin cells. The blackhead is the result of oxidation, which causes the pore to turn dark brown or black.
Whiteheads are also caused by a build-up of sebum and dead skin cells, but they do not turn black. Instead, the sebum and skin cells are enclosed in the pore, which gives the blemish its whitehead appearance.
Pimples or “the little red things everyone loves to pop in every viral, and somehow satisfactory, videos, are a combination of bacterial infections and excess oil that clog pores. The bacteria causes an inflammation reaction in the skin, which leads to the redness and swelling associated with pimples.
Papules are small, hard bumps on the skin that are typically less than half an inch in diameter. They can be red or pinkish in color and often have a central point or plug of dead skin cells.
These little things form when you have clogged pores with oil and sweat. This can happen when you wear too much makeup or sunscreen, when you don't wash your face enough, or when you have oily skin.
They can cause uneven skin tone and inflammation.
These facial blemishes are pimples that are filled with pus. They're typically yellow or white in color and have a dome-shaped head.
Most blemish-prone skin people like to squeeze this type of skin blemish because it can hurt a little, however, this actually can cause acne scarring that is quite difficult to get rid of. So it is better to leave them alone!
Nodules are large, painful bumps that are lodged deep in the skin. This skin condition forms when a clogged pore swells up and ruptures.
It can take weeks or months for them to go away and even when they finally disappear, they could leave you with dark patches, acne scarring, and other skin concerns.
Cysts are sacs that form on the inner layers of the skin as a consequence of infected pores. This skin blemish is usually filled with fluid or pus and, just like nodules, it can worsen blemished skin if you try to pop it out.
The most common type of these blemishes is sebaceous cysts, which are small and caused by overactive sebum production that clogs pores.
This infection can spread to the surrounding skin and cause more cysts, so it is important to treat them asap.
Hyperpigmentation blemishes are dark spots or brownish patches that can occur on the skin. They are caused by an increase in melanin, the pigment that gives skin its color, and are most commonly seen in people with darker skin tones, but it can occur in anyone.
There are several different types of hyperpigmentation blemishes, including:
Age spots *aka liver spots*
These are small, darkened areas that typically appear on the face, hands, and arms as people get older or when they decide to stop doing their skincare routine and face premature aging *it’s not our fault if you feel attacked!*.
Similar to age spots, sunspots are darkened areas that form as a result of too much sun exposure without using sunscreen.
Melasma blemishes are caused by an increase in pigment cells. They can be dark or light and their shape can vary from patchy to diffuse.
This noticeable imperfection is more common in women than men and is often aggravated by sun exposure.
Chloasma has the same causes as melasma. The pigmentation usually appears as dark patches on the skin.
These types of blemishes are a consequence of hormonal changes like pregnancy.
Ingrown hair blemishes are caused by hair that has grown back into the skin after performing hair removal techniques, like shaving or waxing. Hair follicles become inflamed and a pimple-like lesion appears.
Blemishes can be caused by a variety of things, including skin cancer.
Skin cancer is a serious condition that can cause tumors or lesions on the skin. That’s why it is so important to go to the doctor if you notice any new blemishes, that way you can determine if they are cancerous cells or not.
Cold sores are a type of blemish that can be caused by the herpes simplex virus. They typically appear as red, blister-like lesions on the lips or around the mouth.
You can actually be born with blemished skin and that’s totally normal. Many people come into the world with blemishes, some dark and some with skin discoloration.
Birthmarks affect the skin texture but are not painful.
How to get rid of blemishes depending on the type
We know blemishes can be really annoying, but with so many types, how do you know what treatment is the best for your skin type and concern? Here is our definitive guide on how to manage blemishes depending on the ones you have:
Our fave ingredients to get rid of acne blemishes
Acne treatments are the way to go if you suffer from blackheads, whiteheads, or the more serious types of acne. These are our top skincare ingredients for you:
Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid that is used to treat blemish-prone skin and other skin conditions. It works by helping to remove the top layer of skin cells, which can unblock pores and decrease excess oil. This ingredient penetrates deep into the dermis layer and has anti-inflammatory properties, which can help to reduce skin irritation.
There are a number of different products that contain salicylic acid, including face washes, creams, topical gels, and pads. It is important to read the instructions carefully before including them in your skincare routine, as they can vary in strength.
You can use it twice a day to see the best results.
Benzoyl peroxide is a chemical compound that is used in many over-the-counter acne treatments. The ingredient works by destroying the bacteria that causes acne. Additionally, it has a mild drying effect, which helps to get rid of the oil and dead skin that can clog pores and worsen the skin condition.
You can use it on the blemish and the skin surrounding it to make sure the bacteria won’t spread and you will keep your skin healthy and clear AF.
Azelaic acid is a natural substance that helps to kill bacteria and reduce inflammation caused by acne. Moreover, it can lighten dark spots on blemished skin, improving skin texture, so it is a good ingredient to treat hyperpigmentation too.
You can find this ingredient in topical creams, cleansers, and serums.
Must-have ingredients to get rid of hyperpigmentation blemishes
There are many anti-aging and dark spot treatments that can reduce the appearance of blemishes caused by hyperpigmentation. Here are our buzzworthy ingredients for you:
Vitamin C is an effective treatment for hyperpigmentation. It helps to lighten sun spots, age spots, melasma, and even out skin tone. This antioxidant can be found in over-the-counter and prescription medications, as well as in topical treatments and skincare products.
Retinol is a form of vitamin A that is used to reduce the appearance of blemishes and hyperpigmentation on the skin. This little guy works by increasing cell turnover, which helps to get rid of dead cells that can clog pores and cause blemishes.
Moreover, it helps to increase the production of collagen, which can fade scars and hyperpigmentation spots.
Retinol is all the rage right now and you can find it in many skin care products, however, if you have a sensitive skin type, it is better to stay away from it.
Licorice root extract
Licorice root is a rising star in the skincare industry and for a good reason: it contains glycyrrhizin, a compound that has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. That’s why it can help to reduce the redness and swelling of blemishes, and it may also help speed up the healing process.
Niacinamide is a form of vitamin B that has been shown to be effective in treating blemishes. It works by reducing inflammation and sebum production, which can help to clear up any skin mark quickly and prevent them from appearing again.
This ingredient can be used for all types of skin and can be found in the form of serums and face masks.
Alpha-hydroxy acids are a popular choice for blemish-prone skin. They work by breaking down the bonds that hold the dead cells together, which helps to remove the top layer of skin and reduces the appearance of blemishes.
There are two main types of alpha-hydroxy acids: glycolic acid and lactic acid. Glycolic acid is more effective at removing dead cells, while lactic acid is better at hydrating the skin. Choose an alpha-hydroxy acid treatment that best suits your needs.
You can find these ingredients as chemical peels, exfoliants, or serums.
Other treatments for blemishes
Even though most blemishes can be treated with topical products or just go away with time, there are faster options you can ponder like surgical removal
This is a great way to remove blemishes. It can help to get rid of the dark spots and pigmentation that are left behind after a blemish heals. It can also help to reduce the redness and inflammation associated with blemishes. Laser therapy is a non-invasive treatment, so it is a great option for people who want to get rid of their blemishes quickly and without any pain or discomfort.
If you are interested in getting this treatment to remove your blemishes, make sure to consult with a dermatologist first. They will be able to recommend the best treatment plan for you and help you achieve the best results possible.
4 Quick tips to get blemish-free skin
Want some day-to-day tips to take care of your skin and prevent blemishes from appearing? Here is our list:
- Have healthy hygiene habits: Make sure to wash your face twice a day with a gentle cleanser. This will help to remove any dirt or oil that may be clogging your pores and causing blemishes.
- Don’t underestimate the power of spot treatments: If you have a specific blemish that you want to get rid of, use a spot treatment on it. This will help to dry out the blemish and reduce its size.
- Apply ice: if you have a red or inflamed blemish, apply ice to it. This will help to reduce the inflammation and make the blemish look better.
- Wear sunscreen every day: that way you will prevent sunspots and premature aging spots.
Where to find the best products to treat blemishes?
Now that we have told you everything you need to know about blemishes and the best ingredients to treat them, it is time to do some shopping to keep your skin clear and healthy.
We know blemishes are annoying AF, but most people have them, and getting rid of them is not impossible. In fact, Asian Beauty Essentials have many skin care collections with ingredients like salicylic acid, niacinamide, and licorice root extract to help you get started.
So, what are you waiting for? Visit our shop and exile those blemishes off your face.