Bring breakouts under control with our guide to caring for blemish-prone skin

Breakouts are a pain…in more ways than one. Clusters of red, sore pimples can do serious damage to your self-confidence, especially now that 'off-duty model' is the beauty trend of the moment.

Learn how to manage blemish-prone skin with our deep dive on the causes behind breakouts. We share the two most common types of breakout we see in our skin clinic and some of the ways you can heal acne scars while preventing new pimples.

What causes breakouts?

Each pore on your face contains a hair follicle and a gland — the gland produces oil (sebum) that travels up the hair and out through your pores to keep your skin supple. If the path is blocked with dirt, excess oil, or dead skin cells, the sebum can't escape. It builds up, causing bacterial growth and, eventually, an angry red blemish.

What is a pore?

Identifying the two types of breakout

Pore blockages can be caused or exacerbated by any number of things: stress, allergies, food intolerances, shaving, physical irritants, hormones, the wrong skincare routine, and even dehydration. However, there are two main types of breakout that our aesthetic experts regularly see in our exclusive skin destination.

Compromised care routine

People often assume their breakouts are caused by using the wrong skin care product. In most cases, the actual cause is poor exfoliation. As a result, pores get blocked quicker, leading to a painful blemish or breakout.

Our skin experts also encounter people who try to avoid using hydrators on their blemish-prone skin because they think it'll exacerbate the breakout. In reality, the opposite is true! By avoiding hydration, the skin becomes drier and tighter, causing the epidermis to form a hard layer that hinders the skin's ability to breathe and continue its cell turnover process, causing more blockages.

Our experts recommend avoiding oil hydrators and swapping to hyaluronic acid or lipid-based hydrators. They'll help keep the skin moisturised while leaving the pores open and free to breathe, so they can purge dirt and debris without causing breakouts.


Do you get breakouts on your chin, forehead, or jaw? Breakouts like this are linked to perspiration and excess sebum production, often caused by your hormones. 

Hormonal blemishes tend to be rooted deep in the dermis and often have a layer of skin covering them, increasing pressure on the build-up and causing pain. In cases like this, our experts perform an extraction and use peels and exfoliants to encourage a quicker skin cell turnover. We recommend adding retinol into your home-care routine as part of your long-term hormonal acne care plan.

Book a skin consultation

Stop breakouts

How to stop breakouts with a 360° plan

1) Expert salon treatments for breakouts

Blemish-prone skin types and acne sufferers benefit massively from regular salon treatments. Trying to solve the issue yourself at home simply isn't an option — you'll need expert guidance on your blemish type and recommendations on which acne treatments suit you.

Expert aestheticians can perform safe extractions on your skin, thoroughly clearing the blocked pore and limiting scarring. Expert exfoliating and deep cleansing treatments can gently remove dead skin cells through a combination of AHAs and BHAs to eliminate bacteria build up, unblock the pore, and reduce inflammation. 

Regular facial peels and microdermabrasion treatments are effective for removing dead cells. Our experts recommend combining in-clinic treatments with the right home maintenance products to control oil production, keep pores clear, and encourage skin cell turnover.

See our full skin treatment menu

2) Home care products for breakouts

The right daily care is essential for keeping those blemishes at bay. We've pulled together an edit of our favourite, most-recommended skincare products for breakouts and blemish-prone skin. We recommend getting expert advice before you commit to a new home-care regimen (the wrong one could make things worse!).

SkinCeuticals Blemish + Age Defense 

Blemish + Age Defense is a targeted, oil-free way to treat imperfections at home. Its potent blend of salicylic and dioic acids help control the level of excess sebum your skin produces, making it much easier to keep pores clear.

SkinCeuticals Blemish + Age Cleanser

This SkinCeuticals decongesting cleanser is specifically formulated for oily, blemish-prone skin. It combines glycolic acid, LHA, and salicylic acids to penetrate deep into the skin for a thorough cleanse. It removes excess sebum and helps accelerate skin surface exfoliation.

SkinCeuticals Retinol 0.3 

Anyone looking to accelerate cell turnover should reach for this SkinCeuticals overnight retinol serum. It's mild enough for first-time retinol users yet potent enough to accelerate skin cell turnover, and makes a great acne scarring treatment, too.

Eminence Organics Eight Greens
Eminence Organic formulated the Eight Greens collection using organic fruits and vegetables. It combines phytoestrogens and antioxidants to calm the skin while controlling oil. You'll notice a visible improvement in skin texture and problem areas.

Start the journey to clearer skin — book a consultation with our aestheticians or visit our skin destination for a deep cleanse and exfoliation. You can find our edit of blemish-busting products in our online shop.