Banishing Blemishes | Ultimate Guide to Get Rid of Face Blemishes
What exactly is a blemish?
This is a difficult term to define because it can apply to so many types of imperfections on the skin - we just know we’d prefer to minimize blemishes!
A blemish really refers to any type of mark on the skin - it could mean a pimple, a mole, a dark spot, or a skin tag. Because there are so many kinds of blemishes, there’s not one root cause for each kind - some are environmental, some are congenital (you’re born with them), and some develop over time from environmental or other causes.
The majority of blemishes are harmless, but since they’re on the face, many people choose to take steps to eliminate them. Some blemishes have a more sinister root cause, like skin cancer; these are far more rare and necessitate medical intervention.
The most important step in treating blemishes is to understand what types you’re most prone to developing; once you identify the blemish, you can take steps to treat and prevent them in the future.
What are the different types of blemishes?
We will review some various types of blemishes below; many are familiar, but some may be new to you if you’ve never experienced them before.
Acne: Caused by an overproduction of oil, often tied to hormonal fluctuations (that’s why we suffer most as teens or during menstrual cycles). Some different kinds of acne include:
Whiteheads - Clogged pores that have a white appearance at the surface.
Blackheads - those little plugs of dark sebum that are sooooo tempting to pop.
Papules - Hard bumps on the skin, usually very small and often red in color. These are the result of the material present in blackheads and whiteheads traveling deeper under the skin’s surface.
Pustules - These are a lot like papules but contain pus that is generally white or yellow (like in a whitehead). Again, these are a result of dead skin, bacteria, and sebum (oil) getting underneath the skin’s surface and causing an infection.
Nodules - When a pore gets clogged, a nodule can form; these are larger blemishes that, once again, are made of excess oil and dead skin and lead to inflammation and sometimes infection. These blemishes are known to cause scarring.
Acne Cysts - Another scarring risk, cysts form when the lining in a pore is damaged and bacteria and oil spread to the skin around it. A membrane forms around the blemish, creating the cyst.
Age Spots: Also referred to as sun spots because they’re often the result of repeated exposure to the sun over the course of a lifetime, age spots are a type of hyperpigmentation, a condition we’ll explore more below.
Birthmarks: These appear at birth or sometime shortly after; some are permanent and others fade over time. They can be flat or raised and can vary vastly in size; a port wine stain can cover entire swaths of skin, or be a tiny pinpoint of thickened pigmentation.
Some appear as red or brown stains, but they can even be blue in appearance, in addition to tan, pink, etc. Though their formation isn’t completely understood, they’re thought to be due to factors like blood vessel malformation, cell clumping, or cell overgrowth.
What causes Blemishes?
There can be many different reasons for blemishes, few are listed below:
Skin Cancer: Few, but some, blemishes can be skin cancers. Look for signs and seek medical treatment immediately if a new mole appears or becomes irregular in shape, grows rapidly, or itches or bleeds.
Cold Sores: Cold sores form around the mouth because of the herpes simplex virus; they’re often painful and fluid-filled, and they’re extremely contagious, so contact should be avoided during a breakout.
Freckles: Appearing anywhere on the body, these flat pigmentations can be inherited, but they can also be the result of sun damage.
Hyperpigmentation: Any spot darker than the rest of the skin that can’t be identified as another specific type of blemish can be referred to as hyperpigmentation, an excess of color in the area.
Ingrown Hair: When a hair doesn’t properly emerge from the follicle but instead grows back into the skin, it creates a blemish known as an ingrown hair.
Melasma: Also referred to as the mask of pregnancy, this is a form of hyperpigmentation that develops from hormonal shifts that increase the production of melanin, or pigmentation, in the skin.
At-home Treatment for the Most Common Types of Blemishes
Many blemishes don’t require treatment; freckles and moles are often referred to as beauty marks and are unique and beautiful features beloved by bearer and observer alike. Others will not fade or disappear without intervention. Some should always be treated by a physician (looking at you, big C), but most can be dealt with at home.
The type of blemish will, of course, determine the proper course of treatment, if any. We’ll concentrate below on the blemishes that can be easily treated at home.
Skincare Routine: The best defense is a good offense! Thoroughly cleanse your skin morning and night, and use a toner. Apply a targeted serum based on your identified needs. Finish with moisturizer and always use sunscreen. Exfoliate once a week.
Eat Well. Your diet can have a huge effect on the health of your skin! Get your 5-7 servings of fruits and veggies daily, and avoid excess sugar, oil, and dairy, which can be inflammatory.
Sleep Better. Get your 8 hours, and try sleeping on your back for wrinkle prevention. Drink water instead of alcohol to improve your sleep and your skin!
Reduce Stress. Cortisol levels and hormonal fluctuations are some of the biggest offenders with regard to blemishes - practice self-care to reduce your overall stress levels.
Exercise. Exercise makes you feel better, and it also flushes toxins from the skin as you sweat.
Topical creams like benzoyl peroxide, manual and chemical exfoliants, and salicylic acid are among the easiest treatments to try first. Keeping the skin clean can also help, along with retinoids and medications for the most stubborn cases.
Always shave in the direction that the hair grows, and exfoliate before you begin. Try using a shave gel and a fresh razor.
Home Remedy For Blemishes
These are some tried and true home remedies for common skin ailments - take them with a grain of salt!
Aloe Vera: can help new skin cells grow, and astringent tomato juice, packed with vitamin C and antioxidants, is also rumored to help. Egg whites and lemon juice can be used as lighteners and brighteners - other compounds that perform the same functions are yogurt, baking soda, honey, and apple cider vinegar.
BelleCote Esthetician Advice: wipe your breaking out area or single pimple, cyst acne with Azelaic Toner, then with a Q-tip put a spot treatment on your pimple Drying Lotion. It will kill bacteria inside your pimple overnight.
Also use Azelaic Toner for ingrown hair. It exfoliates the skin around and makes your ingrown away.
Blemishes are any mark or imperfection on the skin; most are harmless, but many people prefer to reduce the number of blemishes on their skin. If you’re dealing with a blemish that you cannot identify, see a doctor! If you know what you’re dealing with, try implementing the wellness routine described above, and then choose a more targeted treatment for your specific problem.
Banishing Blemishes with BelleCôte
1. Every morning and night use Marine Volcanic Mud Cleanser for Oily/Combination skin with blemishes to heal and repair the skin.
2. After cleansing, apply Azelaic Toner to control breakouts, fight acne-causing bacteria and lightly exfoliate the skin. If you have sensitive skin, dilute the toner with water.
3. Apply Drying Lotion, a spot treatment, every night to treat individual blemishes.
4. Use Vitamin C-3 Serum every morning to reduce blemish and acne-related inflammation and hyperpigmentation, and treat acne scars. We love BelleCôte Paris Vitamin C-3 Serum Booster, which boasts a unique formulation of green algae and black currant extract, plus other antioxidants that combine to bring deep healing properties to the skin.
5. Apply Mineral Double Sun Protection Cream SPF 30 every day as sun exposure is a foe to acne and blemishes. Designed with Zinc Oxide for acne-prone skin our non-comedogenic formulation with a matte finish protects from sun exposure without compromising your skin barrier.