Why do we get spots?

Why do we get spots?
Spots, blemishes, zits - whatever you call them, they’re no stranger to any of us. Yep, no matter what skin type or tone you are from oily to dry, we’ve all got spots in common from time to time. But do we really know why? In honour of our all-new Non-Drying Spot Treatment, we’re talking the science behind spots and breakouts, with the help of our Technical Education Manager, Susanna Saiu.
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Skin structure and spots.

Our skin has pores that connect the oil glands to attached hair follicles under the skin surface. These sebaceous glands produce an oily substance called sebum to stop skin and hair from drying out. Great for skin, however if they produce too much oil (triggered by say, hot weather or hormones) this can mix with dead skin cells to form a plug in the hair follicle, and you see where this is going… 

Spots appear when these plugs create an anaerobic environment within the pore, producing a bacterial overgrowth. Bacteria can be harmless and even good (microbiome story in mind) but given the right conditions, bad bacteria can contaminate and infect the plugged follicles creating inflammation and swelling, leading to spots. 

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Spot your spot type.

That said - not all spots are created equal. If a blocked follicle is close to the skin surface, it usually swells toward the surface creating a whitehead. If it grows towards the inside of the skin, it can create a cyst and if the blockage is on the opening of the pore - this usually creates a blackhead. Here’s how you can help banish these three blemishes.

Blackheads. Small black or yellowish bumps usually on nose and cheeks. They’re not actually filled with dirt - the darkness is caused by pigmentation. Using Ready Steady Glow around these areas will help cleanse pores from within, while our spot treatment will help dissolve the blockage.

Whiteheads. Firmer spots that are risen and sometimes yellow. Don’t pop ‘em, please. Apply Non-Drying Spot Treatment directly on the spot to dissolve the pore-clogging debris. 

Cysts. Under the skin, large and swollen - the ones you can feel coming. Apply our spot gel as soon as you feel the swell, and top up a couple of times daily to stop the spot surfacing, and minimise any chance of scarring.


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Why am I breaking out?

From diet to stress, there's a range of triggers for skin breakouts. The most prominent = hormones. Androgens specifically, cause the oil-producing glands next to our hair follicles to produce more oil, thicken the lining of the hair follicle and increase cell renewal - which is exactly the cause of spot formation. 

t’s no secret - hormones fluctuate during teenage years, but adult acne can appear at any time and sad news girls - it’s particularly common in women, 80% in fact. Times like pregnancy, during our period and during menopause are (and we’re sure you know) times when hormones are in flux. And the last thing you need on top of all that emotion is a breakout. But here we are…


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Break out of your breakout.

Including our new spot treatment for targeted spot fighting - you can adopt a routine for blemish-prone skin. We’ve developed ours with gentle clay, sulphur and natural acids so they’re not stripping at all - and you can use them when you’re coming up to a stressful time you know you’re going to breakout. And it goes like this:

Cleanse with Clarifying Clay Cleanser

With Kaolin Clay to detoxify plus Willow Bark and Mayblossom to keep spots at bay. You can use this during a breakout, or if you’re just wanting to reduce oil and minimise the chances of a spot flareup, opt for T-Zone Control Cleansing Gel with the same Willow Bark and Mayblossom, but without the slightly drying effect of clay.

Target active spots with Non-Drying Spot Treatment

Tap our blemish gel onto your spots or massage onto a spot-prone area to reduce redness and promote healing. Let it dry before moving onto your moisturiser, or press on your moisturiser to minimise displacing your spot treatment. 

Hydrate with Replenishing Gel Cream.

Treat spots while hydrating your skin. Our gel cream is lightweight, while soothing discomfort that comes with spots. It uses seaweed and licorice extract to reduce irritation, while keeping skin balanced with moisture.