How To Address Blemishes


Breakouts, but what really are they, and what can you do to combat them? Breakouts can occur for a wide range of reasons, and pinpointing the cause can be a bit tricky.

Today, we’re diving into the nature, common causes, and potential ways to manage blemishes and breakouts.

What Are Breakouts?

When we think of breakouts, images of teenage years may flash in our minds. But breakouts are, unfortunately, not limited to adolescence — in fact, blemishes and breakouts can occur at all ages, due to stress, diet, sweat, hormonal fluctuations, and more.

What Causes Breakouts?

Hormones and genetics both play a significant role in the development of breakouts, but breakouts are a multifaceted issue.

Hormones like androgen can cause an increase in oil production, which may lead to breakouts. These breakouts may manifest as blackheads or whiteheads when oil and dead skin cells cause clogged pores. Sometimes, these breakouts can also take the form of deeper cysts or nodules, especially around the jawline.

Your menstrual cycle can also influence breakouts. Fluctuations in estrogen and progesterone levels before and during menstruation can stimulate sebaceous glands to produce more oil, potentially triggering breakouts. Menopause, marked by significant hormonal changes, is another period where you might see a resurgence of blemishes.

Aside from hormonal causes, your diet, stress levels, sun exposure, and skincare routine can also contribute to skin blemishes (and overall skin texture, too).

It’s crucial to remember that everyone’s skin and hormonal balance are unique — it’s always best to consult with a healthcare professional or dermatologist to address individual skin concerns. That said, understanding the role hormones play in breakouts can guide us towards helpful measures for managing our skin’s health, and so understanding your breakouts — or your client’s breakouts — on a deeper level is never a bad idea.

What Causes Blemish Marks?

Severe or improperly handled breakouts can sometimes result in dark spots or areas of uneven skin tone. If your breakouts are particularly severe, they might also lead to blemish scars and discoloration, even if you didn’t pop them or otherwise handle them improperly.

In terms of location, blemish marks appear where your breakouts occurred — if you broke out around your jaw, the dark spots or marks will be left behind wherever a blemish previously sat.

Are There Any Over-the-Counter Solutions for Breakouts?

Over-the-counter skincare products can help manage the appearance of breakouts.

These solutions, which include creams, cleansers, moisturizers, and topical retinoids, contain ingredients known for their skin health benefits and can work wonders for teen and adult breakouts alike when used as part of a consistent routine.

What Ingredients Should You Look For?

Benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid are common ingredients in many blemish treatments. These ingredients are known to help exfoliate the skin and remove excess oil, which can contribute to glowing, clear skin.

Topical retinoids, derived from vitamin A, are often used in creams and gels to help promote cell turnover and prevent the clogging of hair follicles.

It’s important to note that everyone’s skin reacts differently to these treatments, and what works for one person may not work for another. Especially if you have sensitive skin, a lot of these ingredients — particularly chemical exfoliants like skincare acids — can leave your skin dry and irritated, exacerbating your blemishes.

When you start using a new product, remember to test it on a small area of your skin first and to discontinue use if you experience a negative reaction.

What Do the Professionals Recommend?

It’s always best to consult with a board-certified dermatologist for advice that’s personalized to your skin’s needs. Treatments can range from topical treatments to oral medication, depending on the severity of your breakouts.

Oral contraceptives or birth control pills, for example, are often recommended to help manage breakouts in women as they can regulate fluctuating hormones. Similarly, a medication like Spironolactone, which helps to reduce androgen levels, might also be suggested. Other treatments like Isotretinoin are often reserved for severe cases.

Supplements, including certain vitamins and minerals, could also be part of a dermatologist’s treatment plan. It’s vital to remember that these treatments should be administered under the guidance of a dermatologist or doctor, as they can have potential side effects and may not be suitable for everyone.

Can You Prevent Breakouts With Skincare?

Managing blemishes often involves more than just treatments — it also calls for preventive measures and consistent skincare routines. Implementing a daily routine tailored to your skin type and concerns can help manage the appearance of breakouts.

A basic skincare routine should include at least three fundamental steps — cleansing, moisturizing, and protecting your skin from the sun. But if you’re dealing with breakouts, there are some additional products that are worth considering, so let’s talk about them!

A Cleanser That Also Exfoliates

Exfoliating, in general, is a good step to add to your routine if you struggle with breakouts, but folding it into your cleansing step is a stroke of genius, because it gives your skin the refresh it needs without allowing it too much time to sit on your skin and irritate it.

Our Exfoliating Cleanser is sulfate-free and enhanced with the purest quality full-spectrum CBD in addition to helpful botanicals to gently exfoliate your skin all while removing makeup, oil, and dead skin cells to help reveal radiant skin. And if you’re stocking up, this exfoliating face wash comes in larger, backbar packaging so you can deliver brighter, clearer skin to all of your clients.

A High-Quality Toner

You should apply a toner after cleansing and before any other step in your skincare routine. The purpose of a toner is to remove any dirt or impurities left behind from cleansing, to balance your complexion’s oil levels, and to create the perfect blank canvas for the next steps of your routine.

Our Balancing Acne Toner is the ideal alcohol-free toner to help brighten and balance your skin post-cleanse. It’s enriched with breakout-busting AHAs, BHAs, and witch hazel to help rejuvenate your complexion, refine your pores, and support a healthy balance of sebum production.

A Lightweight Moisturizer

Believe it or not, moisturization is key, even for clients who are prone to oily skin or breakouts. Excessive skin-stripping and dryness can further exacerbate blemishes, so a light, non-comedogenic moisturizer is crucial for maintaining proper levels of hydration.

Our Anti-Aging Moisturizer offers lightweight hydration with ingredients like probiotics and micro-algae to smooth, soften, and boost radiance.


SPF should always be the last step in any daytime skincare routine — not only does it help ward off sun spots (also called age spots) resulting from UV rays, but it also helps keep skin protected from sunburns and irritation that may worsen existing dark spots.

Our Sheer Defense Tinted SPF 46 is fast-absorbing, with a universal tint that matches most skin types. Added ingredients like niacinamide and hyaluronic acid help hydrate skin, while zinc oxide protects your complexion against UVA and UVB rays.

Can You Manage Breakouts With Lifestyle Changes?

Your lifestyle also plays a crucial role in your skin’s health. Consider your diet, for instance. Some research suggests that a diet high in dairy may trigger breakouts. And although in general your diet isn’t going to totally determine what your skin looks like, maintaining a healthy, balanced diet can only do good for your body overall.

Regular workouts can also help to reduce stress, and lower stress levels can help manage breakouts caused by hormonal fluctuations, so maintaining physical wellness can also be key!

Lastly, ensure you’re getting enough sleep. Lack of sleep can throw your hormones out of balance which can potentially cause blemishes. In addition to other treatment options, making sure you’re getting your beauty sleep is more than just a pithy saying.

Putting It All Together for a Brighter Outlook (and Complexion)

Navigating the landscape of blemishes and breakouts can be challenging, but understanding what it is, what causes it, and the many ways to help manage it can empower you on your skincare journey. From over-the-counter solutions to dermatologist-recommended treatments, there are various options to explore.

While these tips can help manage the appearance of blemishes, everyone’s skin is different, and what works for one might not work for another. And even options for blemishes that do work can take time and consistent application to yield results. Be patient with your skin, and remember that achieving healthier skin is a journey, not a destination.


The Role of Androgen and Androgen Receptor in the Skin-Related Disorders | National Library of Medicine

Adult Female Acne: A Guide to Clinical Practice | National Library of Medicine

Dairy Intake and Acne Development: A Meta-Analysis of Observational Studies | National Library of Medicine


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