How Can I Remove Acne Blemishes?

Megan Shoop

Many factors can contribute to acne blemishes, such as large pores, overactive hormones, buildup of dead skin, and stress. Fortunately, there are many commercial and natural products that exist to help you remove acne blemishes. You may prefer to combine natural and commercial products, or stick to one or the other. Either way, the steps to remove acne blemishes typically include keeping your skin clean, applying proper moisturizer, using a spot-acne treatment, and exfoliating.

A woman applying cream to her face to remove a blemish.
A woman applying cream to her face to remove a blemish.

Keeping your skin clean is the first step to fighting acne blemishes. Such pimples often form as a result of clogged pores, so unclogging the pores by cleansing your skin at least twice a day often reduces acne significantly. A gentle, oil-free cleanser generally does the trick. Cream-based cleansers are often less drying than gel cleansers, though you may want to avoid cream cleansers with exfoliants in them. Exfoliating too often may damage your skin.

Aloe vera is a common ingredient in acne products, since it's antibacterial and moisturizing.
Aloe vera is a common ingredient in acne products, since it's antibacterial and moisturizing.

The second step to help you remove acne blemishes involves moisturizing. This may sound counterproductive, as acne-prone skin is often oily, but it usually helps the problem. Dry skin produces extra oils to try to re-balance the moisture. By applying lotion daily, you eliminate extra oil production and therefore remove acne blemishes. Oil-free moisturizers generally work well, as does clear, alcohol-free aloe vera gel. Aloe vera is antibacterial as well as moisturizing, so it may help heal infected pores.

A close up of acne.
A close up of acne.

Almost any dermatologist will tell you not to pick or squeeze existing acne blemishes. What you can do is treat them as they arise with a benzoyl peroxide spot treatment. This gel should contain no more than 10% benzoyl peroxide. Formulas containing higher percentages may severely dry and damage skin.

Rubbing a small dab of spot treatment gel into each blemish should reduce redness and swelling slightly right after the first application. Regular nightly applications often help remove acne blemishes considerably. You must wash off your spot treatment each morning to avoid very dry skin. A rinse with your regular daily cleanser should work well.

Exfoliating properly not only makes your skin feel soft and smooth, it rids your face of dead skin flakes and grime that may be lodged in your pores. Apricot scrubs, sugar, salt, oatmeal, and baking soda are all options for exfoliating. You can use any of these items to exfoliate by gently rubbing them in small circles over your dampened skin. Afterward, you should gently cleanse your face with a cleanser and then moisturize. Applying moisturizer allows the skin to fill the pores with moisture instead of new dirt and grime.

There are many scrubs available specifically for acne-prone skin.
There are many scrubs available specifically for acne-prone skin.

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Discussion Comments


How do you keep yourself from squeezing your pimples or picking at your acne?

I know they say this makes it worse, but the first thing I want to do when I see a pimple is to pop it.


I have found that making sure my skin is clean, and exfoliating really helps when it comes to getting rid of blemishes.

There is a fine line between too much exfoliating and not doing any at all. I have found using oatmeal to be better than anything. There are a lot of products on the market that include this, and I have also found a lot of great recipes online to make your own.

If I get lazy and don't exfoliate my face on a regular basis, it feels rough and I find that I start to get some pimples.


@LisaLou-- You are not alone in your struggle with acne. I am an adult, and my hormones have caused me to have adult acne, which I am told is very common.

Common or not, I don't like having acne. For me I ended up getting a prescription for antibiotics to take when I would break out.

I am not thrilled about this, but it is better than being a mom with pimples on her face.


I always associate acne with oily skin. Whenever I get acne, I try to dry up my skin, thinking the acne will go away quicker. It sounds like I am doing the wrong thing.

If I just have one or two pimples, it isn't that big of a deal, but if my face has a lot of acne, it can really be a challenge.

Scrubbing my face only seems to make it worse and makes my face very red. I have used many over-the-counter products, but my acne still keeps coming back.

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