Blackheads - Spots - Pores - VISIBLY CLEAR® - NEUTROGENA®

Causes & Symptoms of Skin Imperfections

Skin Imperfections
  • What causes Spots?

    What causes Spots?
    Woman looking at spots on her chin

    Spots are small raised bumps on the surface of your skin that may have a red, inflamed appearance and a whitehead caused by the build-up of pus(1).

    Causes Spots are commonly related to overly-oily skin. The sebaceous glands that are attached to the pores of your skin create oily sebum to protect your skin and keep it hydrated. The problem starts when hormonal changes in your body cause your sebaceous glands to produce too much sebum which becomes trapped in your pores with dead skin cells. The sebum in the clogged pore promotes the growth of spot-causing bacteria, which results in the formation of a spot.

    Solutions Keeping your skin clean by washing your face with a mild soap or cleanser is an important step towards preventing new spots from appearing. Limiting the amount of make-up you wear and using oil-free products that don’t block your pores will also help you to get clearer skin. Lastly, although it may be tempting, try not to squeeze your spots as this can make them worse. See our recommended products to help tackle spots.
    (1) - Symptoms of acne (NHS website, 2012)

  • What are Blackheads?

    What are Blackheads?
    Woman looking at blackheads in a mirror

    Blackheads are enlarged pores, also known as comedones, with a blocked opening that has a black discoloration.

    Causes Blackheads are caused in a similar way to spots. Oily sebum, created by the sebaceous glands within the pores of your skin, protects your skin and keeps it hydrated. If these glands are stimulated to produce too much sebum, usually due to hormonal changes, the excess sebum can become trapped in your pores with dead skin cells. If the pore is clogged at the opening to the skin, the accumulation of dead skin cells and sebum may become black in colour due to exposure to the air.

    Solutions Stubborn blackheads are difficult to shift and sometimes a simple face cleanser isn’t enough to remove them. Using a Salicylic Acid-containing cleanser to wash your face can be a good way to help prevent and eliminate blackheads. Meanwhile, avoid trying to squeeze-out your blackheads as this may make the situation worse. See our recommended products to help eliminate blackheads.

  • Visible Pores & Shiny Skin

    Visible Pores & Shiny Skin
    Woman looking in mirror at her pores

    Enlarged, visible pores and excess sebum (shiny skin) are common skin concerns.

    Causes Shiny skin is caused by the over-production of sebum (skin oils) by the sebaceous glands within your pores, usually due to hormonal changes within your body. Meanwhile, scientific research has shown that shiny skin is linked to visible pores; the higher the amount of sebum that’s produced by your sebum glands, the larger the size of your pores(2).

    Solutions Clean skin is the first step to that fresh, flawless complexion, with shine-free skin and minimised pores. To tackle shiny skin, use a facial cleanser that’s clinically proven to remove excess sebum without over-drying the skin. See our recommended products to help tighten Pores & Reduce Shine.


    (2)Sebum output as a factor contributing to the size of facial pores (M. Roh et al, 2006)

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