Posted on: June 23, 2008 Posted by: Nicole Harding Comments: 10

Blemishes are actually some of the trickiest beauty flaws to remove. There’s hope though, because they can be removed. However, you best bet is to prevent them from happening in the first place.

The dictionary defines a blemish as a “loss of perfection.” In other words, a blemish on your face can either be acceptable or unacceptable, depending on your personal beauty standards. If you’re like Courtney Alice-Shayne in that 1999 dark comedy flick “Jawbreaker” who uttered, “they’re associating that greasy pizza with your shiny face. A blackhead, a zit, a cluster of pores. Life is hard enough for another vexing stress!” Some people may find this movie wisdom quite narcissistic, but Courtney’s right. Why not live a blemish-free existence when your face is the basis of many first impressions?

A blemish may come in all shapes and sizes. It depends on where it actually came from. Did you get a blemish from a pimple? (Learn how to get rid of pimples) A blackhead? A whitehead? An acne scar? Almost everyone knows how a blemish from a pimple came to be because once the pimple shows up, our first desire is to rid it from our face!

A pimple basically starts from a hormone that triggers excess oil production in your skin pores. Whether you have an abnormally-shaped pore or there’s simply some blockage, the oil gets trapped and results in build-up inside your pores.

Bacteria called propionibacterium acne moves into these clogged pores, creating a pimple. If the inflammation and proliferation of bacteria is improperly treated, the permanent blemish is sure to follow. This means you must take extra care in popping that zit. If not, you might end up creating a blemish that’s like a grave-marker on your face.

Studies that links blemishes with one’s diet are very limited. However, there are certain individuals who have an allergic reaction to certain foods like salmon, nuts, or dairy products, which all can trigger pore inflammation that leads to blemishes.

If you happen to be sensitive to these foods, research from the Journal of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology (October 2000) indicates that dietary supplements that contain zinc or vitamin A won’t do you any good. The Journal of American Academy of Dermatology (August 2002) and the European Journal of Dermatology (June 2000) even stressed that too much zinc and vitamin A supplements are unhealthy for your acne. Lucky for us, there are ways to fight blemishes.

The first step to combat blemishes is to clean the face the right way. Here’s how you can treat your blemishes while cleaning your face.

Find the Right Facial Wash!

When cleaning your face, always use a gentle, water-soluble cleanser. This means that you shouldn’t use a facial cleanser that contains pore-clogging ingredients, which are common in many bar cleansers and soaps.

Many people believe that the tingling or cooling sensation they feel whenever they use a cleanser means that the product is working. Think again – the “tingling” feeling is actually a skin irritation that hampers the skin’s healing process. This makes scarring worse and all the more encourages the bacteria causing the pimples.

Read the labels of your facial wash. What you need to find is a water-soluble cleanser that is “for normal to oily skin” or “normal to dry skin.” The best facial wash for getting rid of blemishes should possess the following qualities:

  • It can wash off make-up without drying the face.
  • There is no presence of synthetic fragrance that may irritate your skin.
  • The product is so gentle on skin that you can just splash it off without using a washcloth.

Remove Make-up

Anyone who has experienced removing make-up knows that splashing water on the face is not enough – removal requires a washcloth. To treat and remove blemishes means two things: one is to make sure all traces of make-up are removed before you go to bed and the other is to use the right washcloth. Below are anti-blemish make-up tips you need to consider.

  • Using a clean and fresh washcloth every time you remove make-up is of highest importance because pimple-causing bacteria can actually thrive in a washcloth, as can fungi that can harm your skin.
  • It’s always best to use a soft cotton cloth. There are also beauty shops that sell special cotton pads for removing eye-makeup. You don’t want to unnecessarily tug at your eyes by using a washcloth, sagging your skin’s elastic fibers much faster than you’d like.


Exfoliation is the best way to fight breakouts. There are people out there who develop blackheads, whiteheads, or facial acne as fast as an average man’s 3 o’ clock shadow. These are instances when exfoliation comes in handy. (Tips on exfoliation, read how to exfoliate skin)

To combat blemishes, make sure you use an exfoliation formula that many experts recommend. The exfoliation agent should at least have 1-2% beta hydroxy acid (BHA) or 8% alpha hydroxy acid (AHA).

The rule of thumb is that many experts prefer a BHA over an AHA for treating breakouts because the BHA is known to effectively cut through the oil inside the skin’s pores. This chemical action exfoliates the pore lining, which is necessary to get rid of a blemish. However, there are people who get allergic reactions from BHA, which is why they must use the much-gentler AHA.

There are also mechanical exfoliants that are the combination of topical scrub and washcloth. However, this may not be as effective as BHA, AHA or any topical prescription treatment. What it effectively does is remove dead skin cells. The skin’s ability to heal may be disrupted by too much abrasion, so take extra care not to over-scrub your face.


Disinfectants are a must when you’re dealing with blemishes, because killing the bacteria is the most effective way for these imperfections to heal. Many experts consider benzoyl peroxide the most effective choice of over-the-counter topical disinfectants and its effectiveness has been demonstrated in many exhaustive and conclusive research studies, as outlined by the American Journal of Clinical dermatology (April 2004).

What is it about this disinfectant that makes it so effective? One of the most notable attributes of this substance is its ability to seep into the hair follicle to reach and kill the problem-causing bacteria with a very low risk of irritation. Secondly, blemish-causing bacteria can’t develop a resistance from exposure to benzoyl peroxide, an aspect that many prescription topical antibiotics fail.

Benzoyl peroxide is the best option to disinfect a blemish. You can also use alcohol and sulphur, but the drawback is that they may dry or irritate the skin. Dryness and irritation only makes matters worse, instead of helping the skin heal. Another promising option is the use of tea tree oil, which lessens skin oiliness. You can also use a topical antibacterial and exfoliant to win the battle against blemishes.

Excess Oils

You have to control the excess oil if you want to get rid of blemishes. Since oil production is triggered by hormones, there are no topical ointments you can apply to stop them. The best thing to do is avoid products that contain emollient products or oil. Clay masks and milk of magnesia are very good choices. The frequency of use depends on your skin type.

When All Else Fails

There are times that the advice given above may not yield great results. This is when it’s necessary to consider birth control pills (if you’re female) designed to lessen breakouts or take hormone blockers. You should know that there are side effects, so please consult your doctor. One of the most popular choices is accutane. Accutane can cure oily skin and breakouts, but never consider these drugs if you’re pregnant.

Remember that the exfoliants, facial masks and disinfectants are enough to do a great job. It’s just that you need to be patient because your skin needs to adjust; often, it can’t handle the frequency of application. Using a prescription drug means that you still need to apply AHA or BHA. If you’ll be using antibacterial prescriptions, you still need to use some blemish fighting solutions on your skin.

If any topical agents are irritating your skin, you don’t necessarily have to stop using them; you just have to cut back on the frequency of application. Rule of thumb: never use Retin A with benzoyl peroxide because dermatologists have warned that it’ll be too harsh for any skin type.

Remember that blemishes are areas of discoloration caused by whiteheads, acne (for acne prevention, read how to prevent acne), blackheads and pimples. Port-wine stains are also blemishes, but these are discolorations a person is born with. There are cosmetics that can cause blemishes too, called comedogenic. If you have a predisposition to blemishes, find products that are labeled non-comedogenic. If you enjoyed learning from this article, you’ll surely enjoy reading how to get clear skin.

10 People reacted on this

  1. Have you ever heard about sandwich spread for an expoliant? can try it and see for your self how it works..It works really 🙂

  2. I have a scar on my nose which is very prominent.this hyperpigmentation on my nose makes me so embarass .ihave that scar from the past please advice me what shouid i use to get rid of hyperpigmentated scar.reply as soon as possible.

  3. i have had problemed skin since i was 11-12 and my mother always said it was because my skin was dirty and i needed to wash it more often. i was washing my face twice a day at that time. i am 21 now and have sensitive skin. my friends used to ask me why i washed my face so often and maybe that was my problem. It was a very large part of it. i dont wash my face everyday anymore and my skin has SIGNIFICANTLY cleared up. i also pick at my face when i am nervous which can cause scarring, i dissinfect with bactine or sea breaze (for sensitive skin) (hydrogen peroxide works too) and then apply neosporin. That has also greatly helped my complexion. please try it if you struggle with unclear skin! if i only knew then what i know now!

  4. well hello.
    I have extremely clear skin. And this is because i wash.
    You will find you won’t have a problem if you just start cleaning your face.
    I hope that helped.

  5. WHat is the best face wash system to clear your face up and keep it clear. I have this porblem where a face wash really works for about a week and i’m completely clear, and then by the end of the week im broken out again and have to look for another face wash.

  6. To those freaks that think that washing the face is the simple solution, wowwow you are geniuses!! They’ve been researching the cause of breakouts for years and years, people have been trying different products and failing, andcwho knew the whole time you just had to…wash your face….

  7. i do have a question does acnezine blackheads removal really work and can it be bought from over the counter

  8. You shouldn’t recommend or mention the drug Accutane. Accutane has been clinically proven to cause Crohn’s, Colitis, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, and other types of bowel diseases.

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