mins read

types of spots and how to treat them

age bright clearing serum bottles

What causes a spot.

Clearing blackheads & congestion.

Treating inflamed breakouts.

Fading post breakout marks.


Are you struggling with spots and wondering why they keep appearing and how you can effectively treat them? You’re not alone! Breakouts can be one of the most stubborn and challenging skin conditions to treat, with over half of people affected saying it considerably affects their confidence. Whether its blackheads, hormonal breakouts, or ‘bacne’ you’re struggling with, read on to understand how best to treat these different kinds of spots and tackle breakouts like a pro!

what causes a spot?

One of the primary contributors to all types of breakouts is oil. Our skin produces natural oil (sebum) via our sebaceous glands, and although it may not always feel like it, it’s a critical component for healthy skin. Sebum helps to keep the skin hydrated and supple, whilst reinforcing the skins defensive barrier, making it more resilient to external factors. For breakout-prone skins however, the sebaceous glands can produce 4-5 x more sebum and at a much thicker consistency. This contributes to congestion and pore blockages.

Sebum production can also be affected by lifestyle such as hormone levels and diet. It’s this over production that can lead to oily shine, blocked pores, and blemishes. The first step for controlling oily skin is to have an effective double cleansing routine, ensuring skin is clean and excess oil is being thoroughly removed. Active Clay Cleanser is a purifying cleanser with the power to absorb impurities and feed the skin with prebiotics – a game changer for oily skin.

blackheads & congestion

Many of us will experience blackheads and under the skin bumps that we call congestion. Essentially your pores become blocked with excess oil and trapped dead skin cells. Often, it’s assumed that blackheads are trapped dirt inside the follicle, which is what gives them their black colour, this is false! In fact, a blackhead is a clogged pore that is open at the surface, meaning the clogged matter oxidises as it’s exposed to air and turns black. If you’ve ever squeezed a blackhead, you’ll notice it’s only black on the very surface.

The key to clearing this congestion is exfoliation and specifically with an ingredient called Salicylic Acid. Imagine a corkscrew working its way into the cork and drawing it from the bottle, that’s how Salicylic Acid works in our pores. This chemical exfoliant has a unique ability to not only remove dead skin cells from the surface, but also the pore-clogging impaction. Try out Sebum Clearing Masque on areas of congestion 1-2 x a week. This is powered with both Salicylic Acid and Kaolin Clays for a targeted and purifying effect.

inflamed breakouts

Now we’ve discussed congestion, you may be thinking, how is this different to a spot? Those red, painful, and pustular breakouts that vary in size and severity. The answer is bacteria. Breakout-causing bacteria, also known as Cutibacterium Acnes (or C acnes) live anaerobically and feed off sebum. A blocked pore is therefore the perfect environment for them to thrive. This bacterial growth triggers an inflammatory response which is what we see and feel as redness, swelling and pain. It is, however, important to understand that our bodies need certain bacteria, think of it as ‘good’ bacteria vs ‘bad’ bacteria. Anything ‘antibacterial’ can wipe out the good as well as the bad leading to more skin issues such as dryness and sensitivity. Our goal is to maintain harmony within the skin’s natural microbiome.

Our patented ‘TT technology’ is a unique ingredient blend which targets and kills breakout-causing bacteria in just 15 minutes without disrupting the skins healthy balance. You can find this in our Age Bright Clearing Serum. This highly concentrated serum helps to relieve inflammation, smooth skin texture and clear and prevent breakouts. We would recommend this for larger areas. If you get the odd spot pop up here and there, (period spots anyone?) you can also find this technology in Deep Breakout Liquid Patch. A spot treatment which transforms from a liquid into an invisible patch to soothe, clear and prevent future breakouts. Apply this as soon as you feel the breakout forming to help clear it before you can even see it!

post breakout marks

If you’ve experienced inflamed breakouts, you’ve likely experienced the darker marks left behind once the spot is healing. The reason for this is skin is very sensitive to inflammation and as part of the wound healing response, skin produces more pigment. It’s worth noting that picking and squeezing your spots makes this worse and should be avoided. Age Bright Clearing Serum not only tackles active breakouts but also contains actives such as Niacinamide and White Shiitake Mushroom to help fade those marks. If you’ve been left with post-inflammatory hyper pigmentation, reach for PowerBright Dark Spot Serum to fade dark marks fast.

Remember, breakouts are totally normal! Understanding them and how they affect your skin is the first step to taking back control. Check out the full Active Clearing range to see the full suite of products.

professional treatments

At Dermalogica we also have a wide range of professional services offering the most advanced formulas to help you achieve the best results possible. Our targeted service, Pro Clear, includes pore softening techniques, microbiome balancing actives and advanced resurfacing options to help you reach your goal of clear and calm skin. Find your nearest Professional Skin Therapist with our store locator to book yours now.

To start your journey to clearer skin chat live with one of our Professional Skin Therapists. It’s time to break free from those pesky breakouts!