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An overarching term for imperfections, blemishes on face are usually associated with acne-related concerns but can actually refer to a range of superficial experiences.

Different types of skin blemishes can be caused by varying sensitivities in skin. Those who have oilydry or sensitive skin each have the capacity to experience blemished skin – though what are blemishes for each type is usually restricted to one form.

To understand how to support blemish prone skin you’ll need to determine which triggers cause your dermis to become sensitised – including daily habits that may have a negative impact on skin. To address stressors such as acne related blemishes and red blemishes on face, we’ve compiled a simple breakdown of this term, and which efficacious ingredients can help to support them.


Put simply, blemishes are spots, marks or discolourations that appear on the surface layer (also called the epidermis) of skin. What defines blemishes for you will depend on your skin type. For maturing and dry types, blemished skin can refer to discolouration and uneven skin tones. Sensitive skin types experience redness, and ‘papules’, which refer to eczema-prone and dermatitis-prone symptoms. Those who have acne-prone skin tend to experience blemishes as breakouts across the face and body. Acne blemishes themselves vary, and can include:

  • Whiteheads: also known as ‘closed comedones’, these blemishes occur when pores become clogged but not exposed to air.
  • Blackheads: similar to whiteheads, pores become clogged with dirt and dead skin cells which then oxidise and darken once exposed to air. Blackheads are therefore also termed ‘open comedones’.
  • Pimples: are localised infections in pores, which when clogged with oil and bacteria known as acne, become inflamed, swollen and with an amount of pus trapped in the skin.
  • Nodules & cysts: the most uncomfortable form of acne blemishes, the range of infection here is higher, meaning that deeper cysts form.


As with types of skin blemishes, what causes blemishes relates to your skin specifically. Genetics is the biggest determiner in blemished skin – so addressing this concern then falls to supporting natural skin strength and protecting against external stressors with healthy habits and effective skincare. So, what are blemishes on face otherwise caused by? Common behavioural triggers include touching your face, not removing makeup and using the wrong skincare for your skin type, alongside:

  • Bacteria
  • Dead-skin cell build-ups
  • An excess of sebum (the body’s natural oil)
  • Sun exposure
  • Hormones
  • Diet, stress and lack of sleep

Supportive routines for blemished skin

To help reduce the appearance of blemishes and improve the look and feel of skin, every skin type requires sunscreen application. Alongside SPF, gentle ingredients can rebalance dermal features through brightening, cleansing and hydrating substances. See which products to include in your routine for blemish prone skin below. ALWAYS READ THE LABEL. FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS FOR USE. Apply 20 minutes before sun exposure. Sunscreen is only one part of sun protection so wear protective clothing and seek shade. Avoid prolonged sun exposure. Reapply every 2 hours and after swimming, towelling and perspiring in accordance with directions.


An excess of sebum and impurities on skin are generally the cause of acne-prone blemishes like pimples, blackheads and whiteheads. By addressing oil-flow, skin purification and proper levels of moisturisation, you can help to reduce the appearance of blemishes on face. Proper exfoliation and cleansing is key here, as they help remove pore-clogging stressors and keep skin’s texture clean.

  1. To improve visibly blemished skin, begin with a deeply exfoliating cleanser like Effaclar Micro-Peeling Purifying Gel Cleanser – formulated with salicylic acid, LHA and Zinc to unclog pores, purify and refine skin. To help prevent blemishes from recurring, gentle Effaclar + M Purifying Foaming Gel Cleanser eliminates impurities and excess sebum.
  2. Follow with deep-reaching daily serum Effaclar Anti-Acne Salicylic Acid Serum –  with ultra-concentrated salicylic acid and anti-bacterial glycolic acid to continue to reduce the appearance of blemishes.
  3. Proper levels of moisture in skin help to establish balanced oil-flow. Alongside this, skin’s texture and appearance benefits most when hydrated. Effaclar K (+) Anti-Blackhead Moisturiser is formulated with Airlicium™, which absorbs sebum up to 150 times its own volume.


Blemish prone skin that results from sensitivities are in part due to a weakened skin barrier. Certain ingredients can assist in strengthening this skin layer, including antioxidants and natural oils like those found in shea butter. For redness-prone and irritation-prone skin, focus on hydrating and cleansing ingredients.

  1. To reduce the appearance of red blemishes on face, a gentle cleanser that doesn’t remove moisture should be used. Toleriane Caring Wash Hydrating Cleanser is developed with niacinamide, vitamin B5 and thermal spring water - and without soap, fragrances or preservatives.
  2. To help strengthen the moisture barrier in sensitive skin, a daily serum should be used. Toleriane Ultra Dermallergo Hydrating Serum helps to reduce discomfort and the appearance of redness on skin with the inclusion of Neurosensine™, which hydrates skin for up to 48 hours.
  3. Help to protect skin from external triggers like weather and bacteria with daily application of moisture rich Cicaplast Baume B5 Balm Barrier Cream. Ingredients include vitamin B5 for nourishment and madecassoside to help strengthen skin.

Keep reading to discover what happens when you pop pimples.


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