The 6 types of acne you need to know

Ever wondered why is your skincare product not working to reduce your spots? One reason is that you are probably not using the right ingredients for your spots.

There are 6 types of acne, and each of them requires a different type of treatment. Don't be confused - we lay it out here for you.

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Non-inflammatory acne (comedones)


This is the spot that is the easiest to identify. It caused by the accumulation of dirt and sebum in your pores. It has a dark head because of the oxidation process when it comes into contact with air. Blackheads are often found on the forehead, cheeks, and chin.

However, it can be easily confused with sebaceous filaments, which are dominant around your nose and the areas around your nose. Sebaceous filaments are essential for oil production and oil processing, and cannot be reduced. Blackheads are hard and small spots while sebaceous filaments are flat on your skin.

Constant exfoliation helps with the turnover in your skin and prevents dirt and sebum from clogging your pores. The two best ingredients are Salicylic Acid/BHA (for mild blackheads) and Adapalene/Differin (for moderate to severe blackheads).

Find your product match here.


Whiteheads and blackheads are similar, except that the pore is closed and thus whiteheads appear to have a small white head or even no head. Unlike the usual pimples that you know, whiteheads are hard and do not have redness around it.

The treatment for whiteheads is similar to blackheads. Use products with BHA or Adapalene gel to reduce spots.

Find your product match here.

Inflammatory acne


Not many people know about papules. It is a small/medium-sized red spot that does not come to a visible head. It is formed when clogged pores become infected with the P.acnes bacteria. Papules are commonly found on the forehead, although in females it is often found on the jawline during your monthly period cycle.

Normal papules may respond well to benzoyl peroxide and antibiotic creams/tablets, or a combination of both (for severe cases). Hormonal papules may require an extra look into your hormones and your cycle. Ask your doctor for testing and treatment options.


Papules are also known as pimples. They are red from the infection of clogged pores and appear to have a white or yellow head. These are small spots and are on the skin's surface, ready to pop. But never pop your face as it can introduce more bacteria and cause more spots and inflammation.

Pimples, like papules, respond well to benzoyl peroxide and/or antibiotic creams/tablets, or a combination of both, for severe cases.

Severe inflammatory acne

Severe inflammatory acne happens deep within the skin.


Nodules are large and can appear on the face and the back. It is large (at least 1 cm), bumpy, and may not have a visible head on it. This is one of the most severe forms of acne and will require prescription medication such as antibiotic tablets/cream, or Roaccutane/Accutane.

Cystic Acne

Cystic acne often happens in people with oily skin. They are large (at least 1 cm) and contain pus underneath the bump. Like nodules, they require prescription medication such as antibiotic tablets/creams, or Roaccutane/Accutane.


Now that you know what spots to look out for, why not give our FACEMATCH tool a go and find the perfect treatment for your skin?