You plague our teen years with self-consciousness and worry, and just when we think we’ve gotten rid of you in our 20s, you can pop up again without even bothering to give us two week’s notice.
You’re a real bummer, you.
The worst part, though, is that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to nixing you for good.
But what exactly are the different types of acne you should be looking out for? We’re so glad you asked.
Whiteheads fall under the most common type of acne: comedonal acne. This is a pretty mild form of acne that appears on the skin as small to medium-sized white or skin-colored bumps.
It might be tempting to pop whiteheads, but we don’t recommend it, because it might cause acne-scars.
Make sure to add witch hazel to your routine as it’s an effective and natural treatment for whiteheads and other types of acne, which is why it’s such an important part of our Clear Skin Kit.
Like whiteheads, blackheads are clogged pores. Contrary to popular belief, blackheads are not formed by dirt in your pores. The black stuff is just oil and skin!
Getting monthly pore-cleaning is the best way to get rid of blackheads, but you can also treat and prevent them at home by using a toner twice daily.
Our pick? Luminous Complexion Toner, which is formulated with fourteen botanical ingredients that clean out pores while boosting nutrition for the skin.
Papules are characterized as small red bumps. Papules happen when excess oil and dead skin cells clog a pore, forming a comedone. If the comedone ruptures into the skin, your body will respond to the infection with inflammation.
Soothing botanical ingredients like green tea, camellia, pink clay, and raspberry seed oil can help to treat papules.
Pustules are classic pimples, and they happen when a papule becomes infected. They’re most commonly found on the face, chest, and back.
One of the best ways to prevent pustules is by regulating your skin’s sebum production. But reducing sebum production does not mean skipping moisturizer. In fact, skipping moisturizer can dry out your skin, causing your pores to produce even more oil to compensate.
Using a moisturizer formulated to hydrate and nourish acne-prone skin is the best way to get those skin oils under control and prevent breakouts.
Nodules are similar to papules but start deeper in the skin. Nodules look like a small bump under your skin. They might be skin-colored or red, but never have a “head” like a pustule. They feel hard and are painful to the touch.
You can help relieve some of the pain from nodules by applying a cold compress. Wrap an ice cube in a paper towel or a clean wash cloth and apply it to the nodule for 10 minutes.
Whatever you do, do not try to pop nodules! Doing so will only increase inflammation and scarring.
Cysts are another form of severe acne and look like large, red boils. Like nodules, cysts are painful.
Out of all the types of acne, cysts are the most likely to leave a scar.
It’s important to leave cysts alone, since popping them will increase the likelihood of scarring and it actually makes cysts bigger. Keep your hands off and protect your skin from UV rays, which can worsen cystic acne scars.
Cystic acne is not caused by poor hygiene. But following a nourishing skincare routine designed for acne-prone skin can help to keep cystic acne under control and prevent future breakouts.
Milia - the pesky little cysts are very small, light bumps that often cluster around the nose, cheeks, and eye area.
They crop up when too much keratin, the protein responsible for keeping your hair, skin, and nails strong gets trapped underneath the skin, causing small, hard bumps to form.
Some topical retinoids with a boost of vitamin A have been effective at combating milia in a non-invasive way. Both freeze and heat therapy are also viable options, as well as traditional extractions by needle (in the hands of a carefully trained dermatologist, mind you!)
We hope you learned a thing or two about acne’s many forms. Most types of acne can be improved by regular cleansing and moisturizing with products formulated for acne-prone skin, like our Clear Skin Kit.