ACNE Defined

There are so many acne products to choose from it can be very confusing!
There never is a one size fits all for clearing up acne, every skin is different and unique. We do not recommend “self-diagnosing”, all forms of acne should be correctly identified by a skincare specialist, Medical Esthetician, or a Dermatologist to ensure you are using the right products and have the correct home care routine to clear up your skin.

Let’s start with the most common word for acne, the pimple! Acne pimples fall into 7 basic categories: milia, whiteheads (comedones), blackheads, pustules, papules, nodules, and cysts. Though you can treat most types of acne with medical grade skincare products and the advice of a skincare specialist such as a Medical Esthetician, deeper more complicated cystic acne may require prescriptions, injections, and the care of a Dermatologist.

Here is a list of some common types of acne and what their characteristics may look like.

The milia grain. Milia happens when the dead skin cells don’t slough away. Instead, they get caught under the new skin, harden, and form a milium. Milia can also happen because of: Skin damage from something like a rash, an injury, or sun exposure. There is also some research that exists that indicate milia can also be caused from using products that are too rich for the skin. Milia grains or pearls as they are often called usually cannot be removed by extraction. They are deeper and if extracted harshly may cause permanent broken blood capillaries or scarring. Milia can be removed safely by a skilled professional using a lancet or by electrocautery to simply melt the grain. Ensure you see a professional skincare expert to identify and help rid you of these pesky white pearls. Milia can happen in all ages, even babies!

Then there is the whitehead, whiteheads are congested pores or hair follicles, that a layer of skin has closed over, commonly called a closed comedone They are simply white spots that are trapped oil (sebum) and debris (dirt). A low dose Retinol every evening is a great option as retinol helps to increase cellular turnover to help open the pore and shed the congestion within the pore. Your skin will need at lease 3-4 months of regular low dose retinol to see significant results with clearing congested skin. Retinol is usually available in .25%, .05% and 1.00%. Be sure to discuss Retinols with your professional skincare provider and that you begin on the lowest dose to acclimatize your skin to turning over more quickly.

Moving onto the blackhead…. Blackheads are the same form of closed comedone; however, the oil and debris have oxidized within the pore and simply turn black. Now, the clogged pore is very visible! Time to really seek some assistance with your skin. We have found that salicylic acid and/or lactic acid is your best choice to clear those pores. These ingredients usually come in the form of a cleanser, a serum, or a moisturizer. Again, your skincare professional can steer you in the right direction and regular facials also help with removing them safely.

Then starts the basic acne pimple which occurs when the openings of pores or hair follicles become clogged and blocked with oil and dead skin cells. When the clogged pore or hair follicle becomes infected with bacteria, it forms a true pimple, a small red bump which may or may not contain pus at its tip. Pus indicates infection and infection then causes an inflammatory response. With the inflammation, the raised papule lesions then fill with pus, and becomes a pustule. A combination of these pustules, inflammation and bacteria then leads to deeper cysts. Cystic acne is much more difficult to treat and requires consistency and patience.

The feeling like your skin is out of control acne… that’s probably the cystic acne. Cystic acne is usually deep within the skin, dealing with cystic acne requires dedication, time, patience, and the advice of a professional. Combinations of salicylic acid, retinols, benzoyl peroxide, even prescription topicals along with regular in-spa visits with your Esthetician. This type of acne is sore, sensitive, has inflammation and redness. The right combination of diagnosis, treatments, products, and follow-up will keep your skin manageable.

The ghost from acne’s past… the acne scar! Acne scars can be pale pigmentation, dark pigmentation, pink and even red pigmentation along with many levels of pitted, depressions in the skin. Usually all the pain, sensitivity and pimple mess are long gone, and its remnants are left behind. Acne scars no matter how old can be improved! You must seek the advice of a skilled Medical Esthetician or Dermatologist to use resurfacing technologies to help your skin form new collagen matter to help smooth out the surface. Deep microdermabrasion, laser, microneedling, chemical peels, CO2, and any combination of these along with home care techniques for gentle collagen induction and exfoliation can dramatically improve scaring left from acne.

All forms of acne are embarrassing, stressful and sensitive. There is light at the end of the tunnel if you are diagnosed correctly and take an active role in the healing process of your skin.

Here are a few great tips:


  1. Don’t touch your face, any touching can spread the beast.
  2. No harsh scrubbing or exfoliating as this can also ramp things up.
  3. No sharing face cloths or bathing towels.
  4. Use a fresh pillowcase every day when you have breakouts. Yes, more laundry but less breakouts!
  5. Use Sunscreens that are oil-free and contain ingredients like resveratrol, niacinamide, and/or zinc oxide as these reduce inflammation and address bacterial concerns.
  6. Wash makeup brushes and applicators often.
  7. Do not sleep with makeup on, wash, treat and hydrate every evening.
  8. Keep your hair and scalp clean.
  9. Absolutely NO picking!
  10. Seek out regular detoxifying facials.
  11. Drink enough water to help your system flush toxins out!
  12. Be positive, everyone has experienced some form of acne in their lifetime, you are not alone… it will pass.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us for more information.

Our PRFX Perfect Fix Skincare line respects the physiology of the skin and contains vital ingredients that are perfect for the skin complications that you may be experiencing. Our products are made in Canada, contain no added dyes or fragrances, and are not tested on animals. If you are looking for results driven skincare routines, email us at to consult with one of our skincare experts.

We also ship throughout Canada on our website

The PRFX™ Perfect Fix Skincare Team

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