If your skin has frequent acne or breakouts with uneven skin tone, you are likely to have acne- or blemish-prone skin. This skin type may also be oily due to the overproduction of sebum, which leads to clogged pores and causes blackheads and breakouts.
One challenge to having blemish-prone skin is finding products that work for your skin or those that can improve associated symptoms. Continue reading as we explore and understand what blemish-prone skin is and what you can do to reduce blemishes and take better care of your skin.
Understanding blemish-prone skin
The skin naturally produces oil or sebum to keep it hydrated, as well as protect it from moisture loss and damage caused by external aggressors. However, some factors such as hormonal fluctuations and certain medications can increase sebum production, which can block the pores and lead to spots, blemishes, and inflammation.
It is likely for blemish-prone skin to:
- Be oily
- Appear shiny (or greasy)
- Be more prone to comedones, pimples, or cysts in some cases
- Have frequent spots, blackheads, or acne
What are blemishes?
The term blemish refers to any type of spot, mark, or flaw on the skin. In most cases, blemishes appear on areas of the skin where there is an overproduction of sebum. There are different types of blemishes, such as:
- Acne (including blackheads, whiteheads, papules, pustules, and acne cysts)
- Hyperpigmentation (age spots, acne marks)
What causes or triggers blemishes?
Having blemish-prone skin does not necessarily mean that your skin is dirty or you have poor hygiene. There are several factors that can make you more susceptible to acne or blemishes than others. These include:
- Genetics – genes determine your skin type. Having parents who have had acne or blemish-prone skin can make you more likely to have the same condition or skin type.
- Medications – certain medications can cause hormonal changes and trigger or aggravate acne symptoms.
- Diet – diet does not necessarily cause acne but it can contribute to or worsen it. Foods that trigger spikes in blood sugar cause the body to release insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1). This can cause the sebaceous glands to produce more oil, increasing your risk of acne and inflammation.
- Stress – this can make acne or other blemishes worse by stimulating sebum production. Being under constant stress also slows down the healing of wounds, including acne.
- Smoking – this habit is associated with delayed wound healing, premature skin aging, and increased risk of skin infection. Higher nicotine dependency is also said to aggravate acne.
- Poor skin care – using harsh cleansers and products, as well as scrubbing your face and washing it with hot water can disrupt its natural balance. These can also compromise the skin barrier and worsen acne symptoms.
Skincare products/ingredients to avoid
Some ingredients or skincare products can worsen the symptoms or cause further irritation to your skin. These include:
- High-comedogenic or oleic oils (such as coconut oil, shea nut oil, olive oil, and camellia oil)
- Occlusives (petrolatum, vegetable and mineral oils, beeswax)
- Alcohol-based products (they can potentially dry out the skin and increase oiliness)
- Rough (beaded or grainy) physical exfoliants that can disrupt or damage your skin barrier
Taking care of blemish-prone skin
5Here are a few tips on reducing blemishes and improving associated symptoms.
Cleanse daily, but don’t overdo it – Doing so can help reduce blemishes and their severity. It is recommended to use a face cleanser that has mild salicylic acid, which exfoliates and helps get rid of dead skin cells that clog the pores. Make sure not to over-cleanse, as it can strip the skin and lead to increased sebum production.
Go bare-faced or use mineral makeup – Some cosmetic products can aggravate blemishes, so it is best not to use too much of them. You can still wear makeup, but opt for mineral-based ones, as they soothe the skin and don’t clog pores. Check out the 5 makeup mistakes that can hurt your skin.
Protect your skin from the sun – Overexposure to the sun can cause dark spots or make your blemishes more likely to cause pigmentation. Certain acne medications and treatments can also make you more sensitive to UV rays. So, make sure to wear broad-spectrum sunscreen daily and practice other sun protection measures.
Get treatment for your acne – Over-the-counter spot treatments work well for mild acne and blemishes. If these don’t work for you, contact a skin or aesthetic doctor for acne medication and other treatment options. They can advise which is right for you, as well as explain possible side effects.
Maintain healthy habits – This means looking after yourself by eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and getting an adequate amount of sleep. It is also important to manage stress, which is known to cause hormonal changes and worsen acne, as well as quit smoking and limit alcohol consumption.
Consider aesthetic treatments – At Cutis, we have several procedures that can improve acne and related symptoms. Some of the treatments worth considering include:
- VI Peel Purify – is a chemical peel formulated for acne and oily skin. It contains a blend of ingredients that can unclog pores and increase cell turnover, kill P. acne bacteria, and soothe redness and inflammation.
- Laser skin rejuvenation – uses laser technology to gently heat the upper dermis and stimulate collagen regrowth. It can improve enlarged pores, scarring, pigmentation, redness, facial veins, fine lines, and wrinkles.
- HydraMaster – is a 14 in 1 hydra dermabrasion platform that cleanses, exfoliates, hydrates, and nourishes the skin. It works well as a standalone solution or pre-rejuvenation facial treatment.
Schedule a consultation
Does your blemish-prone skin make you feel self-conscious? Contact Cutis Medical Laser Clinics in Singapore to learn how we can help you or schedule a consultation with our aesthetic doctor.