Why understanding the spot lifecycle will help you clear breakouts faster
We’re just going to say it; skincare can be confusing. There’s a huge choice of products and ingredients out there, which is fun but sometimes makes it difficult to know exactly what’s going work for your skin, especially for treating spots and blemishes.
After discussing this problem with our skincare formulators and technical experts, we found that understanding more about the lifecycle of a spot really helps you tailor ingredients and products to each stage to get the best results from your skincare.
The 3 parts of the spot lifecycle are broken down into the BIRTH, GROWTH and DEATH of a spot.
the birth of a spot
The birth of a pimple begins in the pores. If a pore becomes blocked with sebum, dead skin cells and bacteria this can create the starting point for bacterial growth and inflammation. A classic sign of this going on is the area starting to look and feel red and raised, and at this early point you might also start to see whiteheads or blackheads:
- A whitehead is a closed comedone and is essentially all the gunk that has built up in the pore which is covered by skin
- A blackhead is an open comedone, and when the trapped sebum in a pore comes into contact with air it oxidises and turns the clogged pore a dark colour
How do I prevent from spots forming?
Make sure your skincare routine contains products that focus on:
- Normalising oil production to reduce excess sebum
- Exfoliating to help unclog pores and remove dirt and oil
- Keeping your skins microbiome and bacteria in a healthy balance
- Look out for ingredients such as Salicylic Acid, Zinc PCA, Niacinamide and Bakuchiol to help your skin maintain normal levels of oil production
- AHAs, BHAs and PHAs are the ingredients you need for exfoliating. Try introducing Salicylic, Glycolic and Latic Acids and Betaine Salicylate to keep pores from becoming clogged
- For normalising microbiome and bacteria on the skins surface try Zinc PCA or Fluidpure
the growth of the spot
In this phase of a spot trapped bacteria can create an infection, and the body’s immune system works to fight the infection. Not every spot will get to this stage but if they do you might experience:
- Papules: Red bumps
- Pustules: Red bumps with white pus
- Nodules: Deep bumps beneath the surface
- Cysts: Deep pus-filled bumps beneath the surface
How do I treat spots once they start to appear?
In this phase your skincare routine should focus on:
• Calming and anti-inflammatory products to reduce the signs of redness and irritation
• Anti-microbial products help to reduce unwanted bacteria which can cause infections (the growth of spots) within your pores
• Targeted exfoliating ingredients to encourage cell turnover and help remove any pore blockages
What ingredients help to reduce a spot in the growth phase?
• Anti-inflammatory and anti-irritation ingredients to look out for include Niacinamide, Chamomile Water, Zinc Oxide and Glycerin
• For anti-microbial ingredients try out Salicylic Acid, Bakuchiol and Zinc Oxide
• Exfoliation and cell turnover is great for targeting individual spots or smaller areas of breakouts. Salicylic Acid is a leading ingredient for this job
Try our range of treatments such as the amazing Clear Skin Days Blemish Repair Paste (a personal favourite!), Hydrocolloid Patchesor Clearing Drops to target areas of breakouts and calm inflamed skin.
THE DEATH OF A SPOT
When any infection is gone the spot will reduce and skin will start to repair itself.
Sometimes, a scab forms in this phase as new skin cells are produced. Where the spot was there can also be a mark or scar, which is post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH), caused by an excess of melanin-producing cells triggered by inflammation. These darken the skin and remain after the spot has recovered.
Over time these uneven marks will start to fade, but the good news is that your skincare can help speed up this recovery process for you:
How do I help my skin to recover once a spot starts to reduce?
After your breakout has calmed build in skincare products that focus on:
• Reducing and fading hyperpigmentation
• Increasing cell turnover to help skin recover from uneven texture
• Moisturisation to help any dryness or peeling recover
• Strengthening the skin barrier
What ingredients help skin to recover from a spot?
• For fading pigmentation Retinol is once of the best ingredients you can bring into your skincare routine, alongside Mulberry Extract and Gluconolactone
• Increase cell turnover and improve texture with Salicylic Acid, Glycolic and Lactic acid
• Focus on hydration and barrier repair with ingredients like Glycerin, Panthenol and Niacinamide
GET IN TOUCH
We hope that you've found this blog helpful - if you have any questions or would like to share your skincare journey with us, we'd love to hear from you. You can get in touch via the form below or by DM on IG.