Polka Dot Face

Source: etsy.com via Connie on Pinterest

Dear Miss Beauty Nead,

I have so many annoying little bumps all over my forehead… I’m assuming that they are clogged pores cuz they eventually turn into zits :( How do I get rid of these clogged pores before they turn into zits??? THANKS!!!

Dear C,

I could have easily posted a huge blemish-ridden face for this post, something everyone wants to see I’m sure, but I thought I would choose a more abstract and cheery representation of zits instead – how cute are these pink polka dots! You like? :)

Ok, let me stop making light of the situation, and acknowledge it for what it is. Zits are simply a BIG nuisance. You are right, the little bumps on your forehead are the result of clogged pores, the first stage of zit formation. If you have slightly larger pores (many people do in their T-zone area), and over-productive oil glands, you may be more prone to breakouts. There are several reasons for this. First, dead skin cells and dirt settle more easily into larger pores, and excess oils trap them inside. Such a condition becomes a breeding ground for acne-causing bacteria. The bacteria then turns dead skin cells into fatty acids, which are particularly irritating to the skin. Final stage – inflammation occurs giving off the least flattering shade of pink …. and before you know it? Polka dots where you least want ’em!

Typically for breakouts, I like to recommend using products with chemical exfoliants. I would try and avoid physical exfoliants (i.e. sugar scrubs, salt scrubs, etc.) because they can aggravate the skin further. Instead, try to select blemish products with at least 2% salicylic acid to help keep the bacteria under control. My first choice would be Bliss’ No ‘Zit’ Sherlock system*, but unfortunately, you cannot purchase this product in Canada (as far as I know). If you really want to purchase this product, you can buy it off sephora.com, but shipping to Canada will be about $10 extra. However, I thought I would still mention this line because it is one of the few acne systems formulated with probiotics. This means that the formula works to actively promote skin’s natural, ‘good’ bacteria to ward off the ‘bad’, acne-causing bacteria, which is essential for prevention of future zits! It contains 2% salicylic acid and is formulated to keep the skin soothed and hydrated (many acne products dry out the skin and only work temporarily).

My second choice would be a selection of products from La Roche-Posay. Below are products either from the Toleriane line (formulated for normal-combination + sensitive skin) and the Effaclar line (formulated for oily skin). It sounds as though most of your zits are occurring on your forehead, which tells me you probably have combination skin. If so, you may want to try the (1) La Roche-Posay Toleriane Purifying Foam Cleanser and the (3) La Roche-Posay Toleriane Soothing Protective Cream (normal to combination). That way, you can do a deep cleanse of your pores, keep blemishes at bay, and also rehydrate and protect your skin. Don’t forget to also use a good toner. You can try the (2) La Roche-Posay Effaclar Toner Astringent Lotion, which has micro-exfoliating LHA, as well as sebum-regulating and pore minimizing abilities. For specific spot treatments, you can try the (4) La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo, which has bacteria-fighting and pore de-clogging properties. Because every skin type (even combination or oily skins) may be slightly different, I would try to get samples of these products to try out before you commit and make the purchase. Depending on your skin type, you may need more or less hydration, and you can adjust your selections accordingly. Tip: Use the Effaclar products where you are most oily – i.e. forehead and/or T-zone area.

Oh! And if you want to get tech savvy with your skin care, I have been hearing rave reviews about Zeno’s Hot Spot, the zit zapping device. Again, if you are willing to order from the US (I don’t believe it is sold in Canada), you may want to try that as well. Basically the Zeno Hot Spot uses heat to kill acne-causing bacteria, directly on the zit itself. Just place the treatment tip on top of your blemish, press a button, and wait for the indicator to tell you when the treatment is complete. Warning: results may be magical! And don’t worry, it’s painless :). Many reported a visible improvement in just one hour. Each treatment takes just 2 and a half minutes. I’d have to say, their clinicals are pretty impressive: Zeno’s studies have found that 90% of blemishes have been eliminated or significantly reduced in just 24 hours. Wow. You may need to do 2 or 3 treatments, though. My friend swears by it!

Hope these tips will keep you polka dot free – well, off your skin at least! Polka dots do kinda look cute on these shoes though…


  1. *I have worked on the development of this product during my employment at Bliss. Please note that I am not compensated by the company in any way to review the product. As always, my reviews reflect only my true and honest opinions. For more information, please take a look at the full disclaimer.

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