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what kind of acne do I have?

Learn how to clear and prevent blackheads without damaging your skin.

How to get rid of blackheads

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  • Acne comes in many forms. Knowing which kind you have can help you clear it faster and minimize collateral damage to your skin.
  • See redness? That’s a sign of inflammation or possible infection. See a professional skin therapist to avoid scarring or spreading bacteria.

Got a breakout? Knowing what kind it is will help you choose the right product or treatment so you can get rid of it faster without compromising your skin’s health. Here’s our handy guide to common forms of acne – and how to treat them (swipe right to see more):

How to get rid of blackheads

blackheads

Appearance
Dark, small and common in the T-zone.

How to Treat It
Apply a mask or scrub that contains ingredients like Kaolin Clay, Sulfur and Activated Binchotan Charcoal. Or get a professional extraction (ask about express services).

How to get rid of blackheads

whiteheads

Appearance
Small, white/yellow bumps with no redness.

How to Treat It
Use a scrub or leave-on exfoliant that contains ingredients like Salicylic Acid, Tea Tree Oil and Niacinamide. Or get a professional extraction.

How to get rid of blackheads

milia

Appearance
Hard, small, white bumps. Often mistaken for whiteheads.

How to Treat It
Use a leave-on exfoliant that contains ingredients like Salicylic Acid. Or get a professional to lance it (see a dermatologist).

How to get rid of blackheads

papules

Appearance
Pink or red, without pus or a visible opening, aka “not ready yet!”

How to Treat It
Use a leave-on booster or serum that contains ingredients like Salicylic Acid, Tea Tree Oil, and Thymol with Terpineol. Or see a professional skin therapist or dermatologist for best results.

How to get rid of blackheads

pustules

Appearance
Pink or red bumps, swollen with pus and white/yellow tops. Often mistaken for whiteheads.

How to Treat It
Use a leave-on booster or serum that contains ingredients like Salicylic Acid, Tea Tree Oil, and Thymol with Terpineol. Or see a professional skin therapist or dermatologist for best results.

How to get rid of blackheads

nodules

Appearance
Bumpy, swollen red areas that contain clustered papules and pustules.

How to Treat It
See a professional skin therapist or dermatologist for best results.

How to get rid of blackheads

cysts

Appearance
Large, widespread bumps or areas that contain no visible pus. Often singular (not clustered).

How to Treat It
See a professional skin therapist or dermatologist for best results.

In general, blackheads, whiteheads, papules and pustules are treatable with adjustments to your skin care routine and lifestyle. If you need help, consult a Dermalogica skin therapist for complimentary guidance. If your acne is inflamed (aka red and painful), consider supplementing your efforts with medical advice from a doctor.

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