So . . . How do I actually get rid of blackheads?
Most of us are pretty confident when it comes to identifying a blackhead, but treating them can be a whole different ball game. Noreen suggests treating with purifying masks that will work to draw out any impurities, such as the Irish Moor Mud Masque.
What even is cystic acne?
In its most basic form, cystic acne is an infection deep under the skin that creates a red and tender bump, without a typical white head. When it comes to cystic acne, the best advice is to just leave it alone, as hard as that might be. "You can use salicylic acid, but it's best to keep the skin clean and exfoliated," Noreen says. "And chances are if it's a really deep, cystic pimple, you need to get yourself to the dermatologist."
Help me . . . I've got white heads and they are freaking me out!
Don't freak out! According to Noreen, white heads are probably the easiest form of acne to deal with, so count yourself lucky. "If you're using a good exfoliator and a good skincare routine, they should resolve themselves," she says. However, if you're really keen to clear them up quickly, Noreen suggest using invisible acne dots that contain salicylic acid and tea tree oil to treat the individual spot. "What this does is target the medicine right to the pimple, without it spreading around. In eight hours when you peel it off, either one of two things has happened: either the pimple has completely gone, or to be slightly gross, it's formed into a head that will easily pop out."
I've heard somewhere that retinol can be good for breakouts . . . Should I be using it?
Retinol is great for cellular turnover, but Noreen recommends only introducing it to your routine once you have your acne under control. "If your skin can tolerate retinol, it can be really successful in treating acne-prone skin." The best advice would be to start using a gentle retinol product (think 0.01% strength) and slowly work your way up to a higher strength formula.