Fair haired model with freckles

Spots, blemishes, breakouts… why do we get them and what’s the best way to treat them? We’ve rounded up 10 of the most common triggers, along with the most effective spot solutions...

Young, fair skinned lady with freckles in a white vest

The Triggers

1. Dirty makeup brushes

Are you guilty of going weeks, or even months, without cleaning your makeup brushes? Our makeup brushes are breeding grounds for bacteria and when we apply them onto our faces over and over again it can cause skin problems. Remember to wash your brushes on the regs to avoid breakouts. Tut tut!

2. Not taking your makeup off before you go to bed

Leaving your makeup on overnight is a beauty sin. Cleansing, toning and moisturising before bed is a must to prevent residue makeup plugging the pores. For those times when you’re too exhausted to remove your makeup properly, use a cleansing wipe – but try not to make a habit of it.

3. Picking, poking and generally annoying spots

Picking at spots or blemishes on your face spreads germs and leads to more redness, inflammation and even scarring. Try to avoid touching your face at all.

4. Not changing your pillowcases often enough

If your breakouts tend to be on your cheeks, a dirty pillowcase could be to blame. Change pillowcases at least once a week.

Young, fiar skinned laduy removing eye makeup with a cotton pad

5. Not getting enough Zzz's...

Missing out on sleep not only leaves you feeling tired, but it can skin problems, too. Not getting enough sleep raises your cortisol (the ‘stress hormone’) levels, which makes you feel cranky and leads to breakouts. Struggle to snooze? Try our Mindfulness Techniques to help you sleep.

6. Do you need to be more gentle when cleansing? 

If your skin feels tight or inflamed after cleansing, you could be using products that are too harsh for your skin type. Try switching to a gentle cleansing routine, designed for sensitive skin, and you could notice an improvement.

7. Are you addicted to your phone? (Probs). 

There’s nothing wrong with chatting on your mobile for hours – as long as you clean the screen regularly. Using an antibacterial wipe once a week helps prevent breakouts on your cheeks, where you hold your phone.

8. Could you pores be blocked? 

Using the wrong products for your skin type can clog up pores and cause breakouts. Change to non-comedogenic products, which won’t cause pores to become blocked.

How to clear up spots fast model with Superdrug B Day Cream

9. Are your hormones playing up? 

If you suffer from breakouts on your chin or jawline around that time of the month, you can probably put the blame on your hormones, which overstimulate your skin’s oil glands and cause breakouts. If you’ve tried everything and are still suffering, see your GP, who can give advice and medication that may help.

10. Are you a constant worrier?

Ever wondered why you get a spot just before a big event? It’s usually because your cortisol levels become raised when you’re anxious or nervous. Reducing your stress levels through exercise or relaxation techniques will benefit your skin, but in emergencies, opt for a blemish-busting treatment that can be applied directly to the spot after cleansing.

Fair skinned model with B by Superdrug Chamomile facial spritz

The Solutions

Cleansing routine

Make sure your cleansing routine works for you and your skin type. Blemish-prone skin tends to be oily or combination, so using products that combat excess oil without drying skin is key. Face scrubs and masks should also be a permanent fixture in your weekly routine.

Emergency spot treatments

These are fast-acting formulas that help tackle blemishes quickly and effectively. The advantage of these targeted formulas is that you can apply a stronger concentration of the acne-fighting ingredients to blemishes than when using a treatment that’s applied to your entire face.

Best spot-fighting ingredients

Targeted treatments often contain salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide – two of the best acne-fighting ingredients. They target pimples to reduce the size, swelling and redness without drying out the skin.