What are Skin Blemishes and What Causes Them?

What are blemishes? After all, it can get confusing at times given there are so many names for different types of acne and skin concerns. Pimples, blackheads, whiteheads—these are just a few names for those little skin enemies. So again, what is blemished skin and exactly what causes blemishes? We’re here to help you define a blemish and offer up ways to manage blemished skin. Read on to learn what they are, what causes them in the first place and everything else you’ve been wondering about those pesky spots.


{ "@context": "https://schema.org/", "@type": "WebPage", "speakable": { "@type": "SpeakableSpecification", "cssSelector": ["speakable-content"] }, "url": "https://www.lorealparis.com.au/what-are-skin-blemishes-and-what-causes-them" }

Trust us here - it’s simpler than you thought. Whilst the dictionary defines a blemish as a noticeable imperfection, when it comes to skin care, the term blemish is used interchangeably to describe acne.

Acne typically refers to the appearance of blemishes or small, inflamed bumps on the skin’s surface. The best way to think of a blemish is as a visible mark, bump or spot on the skin. Did you know there are several types of acne blemishes? We’ll break them down for you.


These black and white marks appear when your pores are clogged with excess oil, bacteria and dead skin cells. When the pore closes up, a flesh-coloured or white bump will develop—AKA a whitehead. However, if the pore fills with debris and remains open, a blackhead will form.


Papules are commonly known as pimples, forming when excess oil, bacteria and dead skin cells move deeper into the skin—which then causes inflammation.


If you’re suffering from pus-filled bumps, these are commonly known as pustules. Similar to papules, the main difference is that these bumps are filled with yellow fluid. They may show up with a white or yellow-coloured centre.


These blemishes will be bigger than your standard pimple. They’re known for penetrating deeper into the skin, and unfortunately may leave certain types of acne scars once healed.

{ "@context": "https://schema.org/", "@type": "WebPage", "speakable": { "@type": "SpeakableSpecification", "cssSelector": ["speakable-content"] }, "url": "https://www.lorealparis.com.au/what-are-skin-blemishes-and-what-causes-them" }


{ "@context": "https://schema.org/", "@type": "WebPage", "speakable": { "@type": "SpeakableSpecification", "cssSelector": ["speakable-content"] }, "url": "https://www.lorealparis.com.au/what-are-skin-blemishes-and-what-causes-them" }

In order to understand why blemished skin occurs, you’ll need to understand the causes of acne. Sensitivity to hormones, plus the combination of surface bacteria and lipids (fatty acids) within oil glands contribute to acne. Acne will often start as a clogged pore, progressing to papules and pustules as the bacteria spreads. The development of fungal acne (an overgrowth of yeast within hair follicles) can also cause blemishes.

{ "@context": "https://schema.org/", "@type": "WebPage", "speakable": { "@type": "SpeakableSpecification", "cssSelector": ["speakable-content"] }, "url": "https://www.lorealparis.com.au/what-are-skin-blemishes-and-what-causes-them" }


Now that you know what acne-prone skin is, and why blemishes occur, let’s learn how to tackle these pesky spots, reduce their appearance and help to prevent them once and for all!


Regardless of the types of pimples or blemishes you’re dealing with, the first step to skin restoration is to use a facial scrub. ThePure Clay Red Algae Exfoiliating Face Scrub is perfect for deep exfoliation, reduction of blackheads and blemishes, and skin purification. This scrub combines three fine sugars with kiwi seeds to instantly reveal a clearer complexion and smooth, baby-soft skin. When exfoliating, be sure to listen to your skin! Some people can handle everyday exfoliators, whilst others with sensitive skin may need to limit them to once or twice a week.


Benzoyl peroxide works as an antibacterial treatment to get rid of blemishes. It’s often found in creams, gels and cleansers—so get your hands on one of these products to keep your skin in top form.


As hard as it may be, try not to touch your face too much when dealing with a blemish. This can cause bacteria to spread—which leads to more blemishes and prevents your current ones from going away.


Whilst we may wish that one use of our skin care products would instantly fix our acne problems, your skin will require some time to adjust. It’s advised to allow your skin treatments 4-6 weeks to begin working. One product that we recommend adding to your regimen is the Pure Clay Marine Algae Anti-Blemish Face Mask. This mask combines three pure clays with the soothing properties of Marine Algae Extract (how cool!) to help clear blackheads and tighten pores. With regular use, your skin will become more purified, smoother and radiant.


Consulting with a certified dermatologist is never a bad idea. Your dermatologist will be able to explore what causes blemishes for you and offer advice on treatments and products that can assist in clearing your skin.

The best way to prevent blemishes is to find a skin care routine that keeps your face looking and feeling fresh. Discover the basics by reading our article on Our Foolproof Skincare Routine for All Skin Types!

{ "@context": "https://schema.org/", "@type": "WebPage", "speakable": { "@type": "SpeakableSpecification", "cssSelector": ["speakable-content"] }, "url": "https://www.lorealparis.com.au/what-are-skin-blemishes-and-what-causes-them" } { "@context": "http://schema.org", "@type": "Thing", "subjectOf": { "@type": "ItemList", "itemListElement": [ { "@type":"ListItem", "position": 1, "url" : "https://www.lorealparis.com.au/skin-care-hub", "item":{ "@type": "Article", "mainEntityOfPage":{ "@type":"WebPage" }, "headline":"Skin Care Hub", "image":{ "@type":"ImageObject", "url":"https://www.lorealparis.com.au/-/media/project/loreal/brand-sites/oap/apac/au/articles/local-articles/skin-care-hub/skin-care-hub-banner-v2.jpg?rev=4b51c317b74141c390a2b5791b02d3da", "height":900, "width":2000 }, "datePublished": "2020-12-03T00:12:00+00:00", "dateModified": "2023-12-05T06:46:15+00:00", "author": { "@type": "Brand", "name": "L'Oréal Paris" }, "publisher":{ "@type":"Organization", "name":"L'Oréal Paris", "logo":{ "@type":"ImageObject", "url":"https://www.lorealparis.com.au/-/media/project/loreal/brand-sites/oap/shared/baseline/navigationext/loreal-paris-black-logo.svg?rev=a43411e171da48ef888a91b0e2ef7b7c", "width":189, "height":60 } }, "description":"<p style="font-size:22px;"><strong>Care about your skincare? So do we.</strong></p><br /> At L’Oréal Paris we create advanced, effective <a href="https://www.lorealparis.com.au/skin-care"><span style="color: #E32847;">skincare</a></span><span style="color: #000000;"> – for all skin types and concerns. From our tolerance-testing to our independent clinical trials, you can be safe in the knowledge we are committed to the safest skincare that really works.<br /> <br /> Our latest obsession: glowing, dewy, youthful skin. The key to your best skin yet? A dedicated skincare routine carefully tailored to your skin type and concerns. With skincare products for <a href="https://www.lorealparis.com.au/face-care/anti-ageing">anti-ageing</a></span><span style="color: #000000;">, brightening, and more, the L’Oréal Paris range is designed to replump and reinvigorate any complexion at any age. With products designed to suit every skin type, whether your skin is <a href="https://www.lorealparis.com.au/face-care/normal-skin"><span style="color: #E32847;">normal</a></span><span style="color: #000000;">, oily, <a href="https://www.lorealparis.com.au/face-care/dry-skin"><span style="color: #E32847;">dry</a></span><span style="color: #000000;">, <a href="https://www.lorealparis.com.au/face-care/sensitive-skin"><span style="color: #E32847;">sensitive</a></span><span style="color: #000000;"> or combination, build your best skincare routine with L’Oréal Paris.<br /> <br /> Not sure which skin type you have? Our experts have made it easy with our foolproof skincare routine . Formulated with active ingredients, such as hyaluronic acid and retinol, our skin <a href=" https://www.lorealparis.com.au/skin-care/face-care"><span style="color: #E32847;">face care</a></span><span style="color: #000000;"> products deliver effective results. Learn more about the <a href="https://www.lorealparis.com.au/retinol"><span style="color: #E32847;">benefits of hyaluronic acid</a></span><span style="color: #000000;"> and <a href="https://www.lorealparis.com.au/hyaluronic-acid"><span style="color: #E32847;">how retinol targets signs of ageing</a></span><span style="color: #000000;"> from our experts. Whether you are building the ultimate anti-ageing skincare routine, mastering hydration basics, or finding the perfect facial serum, our <a href="https://www.lorealparis.com.au/beauty-magazine/skin-care"><span style="color: #E32847;">Beauty Magazine</a></span><span style="color: #000000;"> has the answers for you. Discover our expert tips and tricks, and our range of day moisturisers, night creams, cleansers, facial serums, face masks, and more." } }, { "@type":"ListItem", "position": 2, "url" : "https://www.lorealparis.com.au/hyaluronic-acid-skin-benefits", "item":{ "@type": "Article", "mainEntityOfPage":{ "@type":"WebPage" }, "headline":"Hyaluronic Acid Skin Benefits", "image":{ "@type":"ImageObject", "url":"https://www.lorealparis.com.au/-/media/project/loreal/brand-sites/oap/apac/au/articles/skin-care/contextualized/a-serum-to-suit-my-skin-hero.jpg?rev=76513282ec344e0dbf39335a0e5b779e", "height":900, "width":2000 }, "datePublished": "2020-06-22T08:00:00+00:00", "dateModified": "2023-12-05T06:43:21+00:00", "author": { "@type": "Brand", "name": "L'Oréal Paris" }, "publisher":{ "@type":"Organization", "name":"L'Oréal Paris", "logo":{ "@type":"ImageObject", "url":"https://www.lorealparis.com.au/-/media/project/loreal/brand-sites/oap/shared/baseline/navigationext/loreal-paris-black-logo.svg?rev=a43411e171da48ef888a91b0e2ef7b7c", "width":189, "height":60 } }, "description":"<p>Uncover the secret behind youthful skin and discover how to maintain fresh and youthful skin at any age. We are all born with naturally radiant, elastic and soft-textured skin, however, these features fade with age due to water loss in our skin cells. To maintain this fresh and youthful plumpness, we must understand that the skin component controlling these features is<a href="https://www.lorealparis.com.au/hyaluronic-acid"> Hyaluronic Acid</a>.</p>" } }, { "@type":"ListItem", "position": 3, "url" : "https://www.lorealparis.com.au/serum-guide-which-one-will-work-for-you", "item":{ "@type": "Article", "mainEntityOfPage":{ "@type":"WebPage" }, "headline":"Serum Guide: Which One Will Work For You", "image":{ "@type":"ImageObject", "url":"https://www.lorealparis.com.au/-/media/project/loreal/brand-sites/oap/apac/au/articles/skin-care/still-life/serum-guide-which-will-work-for-you-hero.jpg?rev=27619b090ae04f5d85ec3046d01bf1e9", "height":900, "width":2000 }, "datePublished": "2020-04-24T17:23:00+00:00", "dateModified": "2023-06-21T00:54:46+00:00", "author": { "@type": "Brand", "name": "L'Oréal Paris" }, "publisher":{ "@type":"Organization", "name":"L'Oréal Paris", "logo":{ "@type":"ImageObject", "url":"https://www.lorealparis.com.au/-/media/project/loreal/brand-sites/oap/shared/baseline/navigationext/loreal-paris-black-logo.svg?rev=a43411e171da48ef888a91b0e2ef7b7c", "width":189, "height":60 } }, "description":"Serums have quickly gained popularity in the skincare world as they are lightweight while delivering active ingredients deep into the skin. But which one should you go for ? See our guide below for some tips." } }, { "@type":"ListItem", "position": 4, "url" : "https://www.lorealparis.com.au/what-is-retinol", "item":{ "@type": "Article", "mainEntityOfPage":{ "@type":"WebPage" }, "headline":"What is Retinol", "image":{ "@type":"ImageObject", "url":"https://www.lorealparis.com.au/-/media/project/loreal/brand-sites/oap/apac/au/articles/our-ingredients/banners_retinol_5.jpg?rev=0a133fb67e804181acdad7b1fd038762", "height":900, "width":2000 }, "datePublished": "2020-11-19T23:36:00+00:00", "dateModified": "2023-06-21T00:54:42+00:00", "author": { "@type": "Brand", "name": "L'Oréal Paris" }, "publisher":{ "@type":"Organization", "name":"L'Oréal Paris", "logo":{ "@type":"ImageObject", "url":"https://www.lorealparis.com.au/-/media/project/loreal/brand-sites/oap/shared/baseline/navigationext/loreal-paris-black-logo.svg?rev=a43411e171da48ef888a91b0e2ef7b7c", "width":189, "height":60 } }, "description":"Let’s face it, wrinkles and fine lines are inevitable. Signs of ageing are simply a part of getting older. Have you started to notice some sneaky lines pop up? Wondering what you can do about it? Look towards <u><a href="https://www.lorealparis.com.au/5-anti-ageing-all-star-ingredients" target=_self>powerful anti-ageing ingredients</a></u> with proven results. <a href="https://www.lorealparis.com.au/face-care/proretinol" target=_self>Retinol</a> (and retinoids in general) have been touted as a powerful and effective anti-ageing ingredient in recent years – and we’ll tell you why that hype is deserved. So what are retinols and retinoids, and how can they be used to improve the appearance of your skin? Read on to get the lowdown on what retinol and other retinoids do, and how you can incorporate these effective <u><a href="https://www.lorealparis.com.au/face-care/anti-ageing" target=_self>anti-ageing ingredients</a></u> into your <u><a href="https://www.lorealparis.com.au/skin-care" target=_self>skin care routine</a></u>." } }, { "@type":"ListItem", "position": 5, "url" : "https://www.lorealparis.com.au/skin-care-routine-all-skin-types", "item":{ "@type": "Article", "mainEntityOfPage":{ "@type":"WebPage" }, "headline":"Skin Care Routine All Skin Types", "image":{ "@type":"ImageObject", "url":"https://www.lorealparis.com.au/-/media/project/loreal/brand-sites/oap/apac/au/articles/skin-care/humanity/what-is-your-phototype-article.jpg?rev=f4f5381bc39a44bbb4cfc87f31f11b08", "height":900, "width":2000 }, "datePublished": "2020-11-19T23:36:00+00:00", "dateModified": "2023-12-07T04:03:31+00:00", "author": { "@type": "Brand", "name": "L'Oréal Paris" }, "publisher":{ "@type":"Organization", "name":"L'Oréal Paris", "logo":{ "@type":"ImageObject", "url":"https://www.lorealparis.com.au/-/media/project/loreal/brand-sites/oap/shared/baseline/navigationext/loreal-paris-black-logo.svg?rev=a43411e171da48ef888a91b0e2ef7b7c", "width":189, "height":60 } }, "description":"Curating an effective and streamlined <a href="https://www.lorealparis.com.au/skin-care" target=_blank>skincare</a> routine, that you are realistically going to use, can be challenging. With so many different products claiming to be miracle workers it is hard to know which deserve a coveted spot in your <a href="https://www.lorealparis.com.au/skin-care/face-care"><span style="color: red;">daily face care</a></span><span style="color: #000000;"> routine. When it comes down to it, often essential face products are all you need for an effective skin care routine. Keeping it simple with a streamlined skin care routine of effective products means you’re more likely to actually be able to follow through morning and evening and stick to the ultimate rule of skincare – never sleep in makeup. Keep reading for an easy skin care routine that works for everyone, along with product recommendations from L’Oréal Paris that are suitable for all skin types." } }, { "@type":"ListItem", "position": 6, "url" : "https://www.lorealparis.com.au/the-secrets-of-anti-aging-serum", "item":{ "@type": "Article", "mainEntityOfPage":{ "@type":"WebPage" }, "headline":"The Secrets Of Anti-Aging Serum", "image":{ "@type":"ImageObject", "url":"https://www.lorealparis.com.au/-/media/project/loreal/brand-sites/oap/apac/au/articles/skin-care/humanity/what-is-global-anti-aging-hero.jpg?rev=7f5ceb44f09d482da133263ae63f9fa7", "height":900, "width":2000 }, "datePublished": "2020-04-24T09:35:00+00:00", "dateModified": "2023-04-06T03:19:27+00:00", "author": { "@type": "Brand", "name": "L'Oréal Paris" }, "publisher":{ "@type":"Organization", "name":"L'Oréal Paris", "logo":{ "@type":"ImageObject", "url":"https://www.lorealparis.com.au/-/media/project/loreal/brand-sites/oap/shared/baseline/navigationext/loreal-paris-black-logo.svg?rev=a43411e171da48ef888a91b0e2ef7b7c", "width":189, "height":60 } }, "description":"The anti-aging serum is an essential part of our beauty regime, it is packed with active ingredients and wonderfully effective. What are the secrets of the serum ?" } } ] } } { "@context": "http://schema.org", "@type": "BreadcrumbList", "itemListElement": [ { "@type":"ListItem", "position": 1, "item": { "@id": "/", "name": "Home" } } , { "@type":"ListItem", "position": 2, "item": { "@id": "https://www.lorealparis.com.au/beauty-magazine", "name": "Beauty Magazine" } } , { "@type":"ListItem", "position": 3, "item": { "@id": "https://www.lorealparis.com.au/what-are-skin-blemishes-and-what-causes-them", "name": "What are Skin Blemishes and What Causes Them" } } ] }