Blemishes: What Are They & How Your Skincare Routine Can Help
Let’s face it—we’ve all dealt with some form of a blemish at some point in time. Maybe you got a pimple the night before picture day or have acne scars leftover from your teenage breakouts. Regardless of what kinds of blemishes you’ve experienced, there’s nothing more satisfying than finally banishing a pimple. Still, they’re one of the most common skin concerns among teenagers, young adults, and even older.
There’s one question about blemishes that is asked more than any other: how can you get rid of them? The world of skincare has promised to get rid of blemishes for generations, but what actually works? There are so many products that promise similar outcomes, but they’re not all made equally. In this guide, you will learn which skincare routines really work.
So what causes blemishes, and what are they to begin with? If you’ve never given much thought to what these little annoyances actually are, the science behind them might surprise you. Read on to learn everything you need to know about blemishes, the different types, what causes them, and how your skincare routine can make a difference.
Different Types of Blemishes
Everyone’s skin is different, which means there are many different ways blemishes can appear on the skin. The most well-known blemishes include acne, hyperpigmentation, and more.
Let’s take a closer look at a few different types of blemishes, what characterizes them, and the factors that can cause them.
Acne and Acne Scars
By far, the most common type of blemish is acne. Acne occurs when pores of the skin become clogged with hair follicles, oil, bacteria, dead skin cells, or excess product. These clogged pores can lead to what we know as pimples. This type of blemish is raised and often appears reddish in color.
In addition to pimples, you may experience acne via whiteheads, blackheads, papules, nodules, or even lesions in the skin. Some types of acne are more irritating than others, while some are only uncomfortable.
Many different factors can lead to acne, but one of the most common factors is sebum production and hormones. Sebum is the natural oil produced to keep our skin hydrated and healthy. When overproduced, our pores can become clogged more easily and lead to acne. Sometimes our hormones are responsible for triggering excessive sebum production.
For example, when the hormones cortisol or androgens change or are thrown out of balance, our skin can develop acne as a result. Depending on the cause of your acne, it may be in a specific area of the face or all over.
Acne scars are a result of acne blemishes that become inflamed. Some acne scars can be shallow and are only on the outermost layer of skin, while others are much deeper. The deeper scars may take longer to heal.
Age spots are a type of blemish that occurs as we get older. You might have heard these blemishes referred to as “sun spots” or “liver spots,” but they’re all basically the same. Age spots are small spots on the skin that aren’t raised or textured like acne is. Instead, they tend to be a deeper shade than your skin but flat to the touch.
Age spots are caused by sun exposure and are typically found in areas that see a lot of sun, such as the face, hands, arms, and legs. These spots look like freckles and tend to group together on the skin. Luckily, it’s easy to prevent this type of blemish by taking simple precautions against sun exposure.
Wear adequate sun protection by using SPF and reapplying every two hours, wearing extra layers of clothing when you’re out in the sun, and staying in the shade when you can. In addition, avoid being outside during peak UV hours.
Hyperpigmentation and Melasma
Hyperpigmentation occurs when areas of skin take on a deeper tone than other areas. You might notice uneven skin tone, discoloration, or patches of skin that appear deeper than other areas. Age spots are a form of hyperpigmentation that occurs from sun damage.
Other types of hyperpigmentation may be from internal causes as well. For instance, melasma is a type of hyperpigmentation that can take place during pregnancy or during hormonal changes. These hormones signal for larger deposits of melanin in the skin than normal, releasing more pigment and causing dark spots. Melasma is common on the face, stomach, and other areas as well.
While wearing your sunscreen, staying out of peak UV sun, and layering your clothes can help prevent further hyperpigmentation, skincare plays an important role.
Resolving the Appearance of Blemishes With Skincare
While nobody particularly wants blemishes, they’re very common. You can experience blemishes when our hormones change, and this is a normal physical response. Our bodies are constantly working to keep us healthy and strong, so it’s important to remind ourselves of this when we feel frustrated with our skin. Still, if you’d like to learn how you can reduce the appearance of blemishes, the key lies in skincare.
The best way to reduce the appearance of blemishes is with your skincare routine. This doesn’t mean you need a complicated routine with many different products. Simple skincare can help support skin health and reduce the appearance of blemishes, too.
Before You Begin: Cleanse and Moisturize
The first two steps of your skincare routine are the most essential. Start out by cleansing and moisturizing your skin. Use a gentle cleanser that’s good for all skin types and moisturize afterward.
If you have naturally dry skin, you may want to moisturize up to twice a day, but either way, make sure you moisturize after washing your face. This will get rid of excess oil and bacteria that may be on your skin and lock in moisture so your skin stays hydrated.
Reduce the Appearance of Blemish Scars
If your main skin concerns include blemishes like acne and acne scars, here are a few skincare tips for how your routine can help:
Use skincare with ingredients like retinoids, azelaic acid, alpha-hydroxy acids, benzoyl peroxide, and tretinoin. These ingredients target acne and help fight the development of pimples and blemishes.
Fight dry skin! When skin is dry, our bodies can increase sebum production to compensate for it. When we have too much sebum, our pores can become clogged, and we can break out. Instead, make sure your skin stays hydrated throughout the day. Choose hydrating skincare products to help.
Exfoliate with a mechanical or chemical exfoliant. Be aware that chemical exfoliants may cause irritation and dryness, and mechanical exfoliants may cause pain if used too aggressively. However, when used correctly, exfoliating skin helps remove dead skin cells and reduce clogged pores.
Use non-comedogenic makeup and skincare products. These are less likely to clog pores and cause acne than comedogenic products, so using these may help.
Be kind to your skin. Using synthetic ingredients, parabens, sulfates, and fragrances can cause irritation and harm to the skin. This can lead to blemishes when prolonged. Instead, choose products that are kind to the skin and include gentle yet effective ingredients.
If you have acne and acne scars, consider using our Matcha color corrector to neutralize blemishes and help minimize their appearance.
Reduce the Appearance of Hyperpigmentation and Melasma
If your biggest skin concern is hyperpigmentation from the sun or melasma from hormonal changes, Marrakech helps reduce the appearance of these spots and acne scars. Made with Sweet Almond that contains omega-6 and nine fatty acids, Beta-Carotene, and vitamins A, B3, C, and E, Marrakech helps reduce the appearance of dark circles, spots, acne scars while keeping skin hydrated and feeling fresh.
Marrakech works by color correcting blemishes like age spots and melasma to help even out skin tone and reduce the appearance of blemishes altogether. While working to neutralize color and even skin tone, it also works double-time to nourish skin and minimize the appearance of dark circles and spots in the long term.
To use Marrakech, apply a small amount to the back of your hand and warm it with clean fingers. Pat onto skin or use a small concealer brush to apply on hyperpigmented skin or spots. You may reapply until you reach your desired results, but keep in mind that a little bit of product goes a long way.
Enjoy this moisture-friendly skincare that not only helps reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation at the moment but helps address the underlying issues over time.
Just like a bad hair day, nobody wishes to wake up with blemishes. Fortunately, reducing the appearance of unwanted blemishes and spots has never been easier. By finding products that are gentle on the skin and knowing how to use them, you’ll be able to take care of your skin and reduce the appearance of blemishes over time.
If you’re not sure what skincare products are best for you, consider taking our skincare quiz. This will help you narrow down your skin concerns so you can find a routine that’s simple and effective for your skin.
What is Acne? Definition & Types | NIAMS
Acne Scars: Causes, Diagnosis, Types & Treatment | Cleveland Clinic
Age spots (liver spots) - Symptoms and causes | Mayo Clinic