Subclinical acne – what it is and why you have it.
If your forehead is covered in lots of small colorless or red bumps, you may be dealing with subclinical acne. This type of acne can cause the skin’s surface to look and feel uneven, without ever developing into the typical “pimple” – pus-filled and inflamed. Rather, subclinical acne is simply congested, clogged pores. Luckily, it can be fairly easy to treat this type of acne, if you do it right!
These little bumps are caused by an excess of sebum – the waxy, oily substance that your sebaceous glands naturally produce. When there is an excess of sebum, dirt, and dead skin cells on the skin’s surface, your pores become clogged, resulting in protruding follicles and a bumpy texture. Subclinical acne can occur in large numbers on the cheeks, nose, chin, or forehead. It is usually most common on the forehead and cheeks, because the oil glands on these two parts of the face are highly active!
Subclinical acne is most often tied to your lifestyle, stress, and/or hormonal changes. Below, we list our favorite tips for treating this type of acne, naturally!
1. Up your cleansing game
Since we know that subclinical acne is caused by clogged pores, the first (and potentially only) step in getting rid of them is to improve your cleansing technique. Often times, even after washing our faces, our skin is still covered in a layer of dirt, oil, makeup, and other impurities!
First off, look at what cleanser you’re using. The best type of cleanser to use, especially for getting rid of subclinical acne, is an oil-based cleanser, like our Organic Facial Cleansing Oil. Oil dissolves oil, making it an essential component of unclogging your oil-filled pores! Foaming or soap-based cleansers can be drying to the skin, which can actually lead to MORE oil production, as your body will try and make up for what you’re stripping away!
On top of using an oil-based cleanser, another technique to utilize is double cleansing. This may seem counterintuitive – especially if you’re used to drying cleansers – but double cleansing with an oil cleanser can make a HUGE difference for your skin! Think of the first round of cleansing as prepping your skin for the deeper cleanse. Gently, but thoroughly, cleansing your skin twice will help to clear pores, remove dead skin cells, and relieve your skin of all impurities. You can use a cotton pad with the cleansing oil to make sure there is nothing else left on your face after cleansing!
Do a double cleanse only once a day — and we prefer to do this at night, when your skin really needs it after a day of makeup, dirt, and pollutants!
2. Did someone say tone?
We did. Lots of times! That’s because we know how ESSENTIAL toning is for finishing the cleansing process! On top of helping to extract any leftover oil and dirt left on your face (which is possible even after double cleansing!), using a toner helps to balance your pH levels, which can help decrease excess oil production.
If you’re struggling with subclinical acne, that means that your pores are filled with excess oil. For you, it’s probably best to use a toner that has a lower pH level so you can restore your healthy acid mantle. We recommend our Raspberry Vinegar Toner, which has a pH of about 3.5, and has anti-inflammatory properties! Our Organic Rosewater Toner, however, is also a great choice and is gentler than the Raspberry Vinegar as it has a pH level of 5.5. Both toners will help deeply cleanse and purify the skin, keeping your subclinical acne at bay.
3. Steer clear of makeup for a few days
In order to most effectively and quickly beat the subclinical acne, it’s important to not put any irritating or clogging products onto the pores that you’re trying to clear. While you may have the urge to cover up, the best option for your skin is to leave it as clean as possible. Heavy foundations and makeup can trap excess oil and dirt in the pores, causing them to clog and develop into subclinical acne. If you feel like you can’t go bare-faced, then opt for an all-natural, lightweight facial powder that will allow your skin to breathe – like our Facial Powders, which are packed with good-for-your-skin, natural coloring and covering superfood ingredients! (Psst… our Primer Drops are also skin-friendly, and will make your powder last longer!)
4. If they’re still not gone – check your diet
We’ve talked a lot about how diet affects your skin – and for subclinical acne, that can be true too! If you are taking all of the right steps to treat your skin on the surface, and still aren’t seeing results, the issue may be in your gut. Certain foods, like soy and dairy (yes, all dairy!), can cause your hormones to fluctuate, leading to an imbalance that can cause excess oil production, aka, blemishes. Refined sugar and processed carbs are also a no-go, as they cause inflammation in the body, which also stimulates excess oil production.
We know it’s difficult, but our recommendation is to steer clear of gluten, sugar, and dairy…especially when you’re dealing with stubborn subclinical acne! Load your diet up with leafy green veggies, fibrous non-grain foods, and zinc-rich foods like pumpkin seeds!
5. Drink a ton of water
Drinking enough water is essential for keeping your skin clear! Our cells are nourished and hydrated by water, and dehydration could lead to the appearance of acne and blemishes. Double certified MD, Dr. Amy Shah, told us recently that she recommends drinking between 10-14 glasses of water a day! For some extra flavor and benefits, try adding lemon or other fruit to your water!
6. Don’t pick
As tempting as it is to try and pop these annoying blemishes (trust us, we know), avoid picking at all costs. This is especially important for subclinical acne, which does not normally break the skin on its own, as the bumps are often not pus-filled, but, again, are just congested pores. Picking at them could lead to inflammation and scarring, and can cause the acne to SPREAD, as you can spread and introduce bacteria to your inflamed blemishes.
The best bet is to let your skin naturally regenerate to flush out the congestion.
We hope that this post helped clear up the mystery around those pesky forehead bumps – and that it will also help clear up your skin! The key factor in treating subclinical acne is to keep your pores clear – through your routine (give that double cleansing a shot!), lifestyle habits, and diet. If you have any questions at all, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!