What's with the spots?
Blackheads, whiteheads, blind pimples (ouch!) – we’ve all had them, but one thing’s for sure, none of us have ever wanted them!
Before you can achieve a clear complexion, it’s important to understand what causes pimples. We give you the lowdown on the most common blemishes, and throw in a few key dos and don’ts for good measure – and more importantly, great skin!
What’s the spot? Whiteheads
According to Emma Hobson, Education Manager at The Dermal Institute, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, a whitehead (also known as a ‘closed comedone’ or ‘milia’) occurs when a plug of congestion (dead skin) has hardened in a follicle and in the opening/surface of the follicle. Whiteheads are commonly found where the skin is finer, such as around the eyes and tops of the cheeks.
What’s the spot? Blackheads
A blackhead (also knows as ‘comedone’) is an over active oil gland that is clogged with dead skin cells, tiny hairs, and sometimes bacteria, which all combine to make a plug. “The surface of the plug is in contact with light and air at the opening of the follicle, so it oxidises and turns black,” says Hobson. “That’s why, when you remove a blackhead, the top is black but the rest is a whitish colour.”
What’s the spot? Blind pimples
A blemish often begins as a blind pimple (also known as a ‘papule’). According to Hobson, a blind pimple occurs when the congested plug causes so much pressure within the follicle that the content of the follicle is emptied into the skin. “The body responds by alerting the immune system and white blood cells attach to the spot, hence a sore, red lesion is felt,” says Hobson.
Bh’s spot to-dos and spot not-to-dos:
Don’t: Pick your pimples.
Picking and squeezing your pimples not only irritates your skin, causing redness, but it can also increase the spread of bacteria, which in turn can lead to the formation of new pimples.
Do: Get a beautician to extract your blackheads
If you hate the site of your blackheads, you can have them extracted – but it’s vital that you get it done by a professional. A beautician will know which blackheads are ready for extraction, and will be able to do it in a way that doesn’t damage your skin.
Don’t: Aggravate your skin
A common knee-jerk reaction for people with pimples is to cleanse with ultra-harsh products in an attempt to clear the pimples as fast as possible. This can actually be more detrimental to your skin as it can strip your complexion of its natural oils and cause dryness.
Do: Use a daily cleanser designed to combat pimples and congestion
If you suffer from pimples, use a daily cleanser that’s specifically formulated for oily or pimple-prone skin, like Clearasil Daily Clear Oil-Free Daily Gel Wash. The formulation of this daily cleanser helps to remove dirt and bacteria, is also gentle enough to not strip your skin, so you can use it twice a day without your skin feeling tight or dry.
When you have breakouts, what sort of spots do you get?