Pinterest tag Comedonal Acne: Symptoms, Causes, & Treatment – Rael
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Drawing of a woman with comedonal acne on her face walking through tall green grass.

Comedonal Acne: Symptoms, Causes, & Treatment

We’re about to change your mindset about breakouts. If you think acne is the worst, we feel you, but you don’t have to live with it, and you don’t have to use harsh chemical treatments that can irritate your skin and even make your acne worse.

Let’s talk about comedonal acne, what it is, what is causing it, and what you can do to treat it naturally. 

What Is Comedonal Acne?

Comedonal acne is the most common form of acne. Almost every adult experiences some form of comedonal acne at some point in their life. Comedonal acne differs from cystic acne, forming large sores that may require a trip to your dermatologist.

Comedonal acne is also different from fungal acne, which arises from an overgrowth of yeast and bacteria on the skin (we’re looking at you, sweaty sports bra). 

Normally, comedonal acne can be treated with at-home remedies or over-the-counter products. There are two basic types of comedonal acne.


Blackheads form when dirt and sebum (the oil the skin produces naturally) clog the pores on your skin. Sometimes, these clogged pores don’t form a cover. In other words, the pore is left open, allowing oxygen to reach the material inside. 

Oxygen causes the dirt and oil to oxidize and change color, forming a black spot on your skin. Blackheads may look like they are sunken into your skin, or they may be raised if they are profound. 


Whiteheads are also formed by excess sebum and dirt clogging a pore. However, a whitehead has a closed top and is always raised over the surface of the skin. Because the top of a whitehead is closed, the material inside doesn’t oxidize. 

The inside of a whitehead will look white to yellow, depending on the amount of dirt and oil beneath the surface. These are the classic pimples most of us are used to having. 

Red Bumps

It’s possible to have flesh-colored or red-colored bumps that are also comedogenic. These red bumps may resemble a rash which can resemble an allergic reaction. These bumps are called papules and may stay in this red stage for days. Others may develop into whiteheads. 

Symptoms of Comedonal Acne

The most common symptom of comedonal acne is blackheads or whiteheads on the skin. You may also experience itching, excess oil, and even dryness near breakouts. 

Comedonal acne may also happen during certain times of your menstrual cycle. If you are ovulating or expecting your period in the next few days and develop a rash of bumps on your skin, it could be comedonal acne. 

What Causes Comedonal Acne?

There are numerous causes of comedonal acne. Pinpointing the cause might help you treat it more effectively, but if the reason is genetic or hormonal, you still have options. 


We hate to say it, but you might get it from your parents. Heredity is a major contributing factor to the development of comedonal acne. If one or both of your parents suffered from acne, or if you have a sibling who has it, you are more likely to develop acne, too. 

Luckily, your genetics don’t mean you are doomed to a life of bumps and blemishes. There are definitely ways to take better care of your skin and treat your comedonal acne bumps to get rid of them fast. 


Hormones also play a role in the development of comedonal acne. Your hormones change from day to day and week to week. If you notice that breakouts happen during particular times of your monthly cycle, hormones are probably to blame. 

Androgens are known for making your skin more oily, so if your progesterone or testosterone levels are a little higher than normal, you might develop a few blemishes. These hormones also change your skin’s natural oil texture, making it stickier and easier to bond with dirt and makeup that can clog your pores. 

Dietary Ingredients

We’ve all heard that pizza and chocolate will give us pimples, but that’s not necessarily true. Most of the time, diet isn’t to blame. However, if you eat excessive dairy or sugar, you might be causing more breakouts.

A new study showed promising research that linked a diet high in dairy and sugar to more acne in adults. Dialing back on your dairy and sugar might be able to help you clear up some of your pimples. 

Bad Skin Care

Still, using the same skin care you used in middle school? It’s time to level up. The wrong skin-care can interact with your skin and cause breakouts. Using products that contain harsh chemicals or questionable ingredients can irritate the skin, dehydrate it and cause your skin to produce more oil. 

Rael’s entire skincare line is based on K Beauty technology that strives to keep your skin healthy and hydrated naturally. Our ingredients are natural and largely plant-based and designed to soothe your skin. 

Acne Treatment Products

Surprised? We get it. The truth is, some acne treatment products don’t do anything to help keep your skin clear. Drying ingredients designed to soak up excess oil can actually make your skin dehydrated, causing your sebaceous glands to produce more oil than usual. 

Acne products can also expose you to ingredients that aren’t safe. At Rael, we think skincare should inspire beauty, not cause harm

How To Treat Comedonal Acne

No matter the causes, you just want your comedonal acne gone-lightening fast. Here are three ways to reduce comedonal acne at home without exposing your skin to harsh chemicals or using questionable ingredients that could put your body in danger. 

1. Pimple Patches

You’ve seen your friends using them and wondered how they worked; now it’s time to learn. Pimple patches are small, barely visible stickers that you place over your bumps to virtually hit the delete button on them and erase them. 

Pimple patches work by using hydrocolloid wound dressing technology. Hydrocolloid bandages create a barrier on a blemish that protects it from dirt and oil while simultaneously pulling pus and oil from the blemish. 

After just a few hours, you can remove the pimple sticker to reveal clearer, more clarified skin. 

Pimple patches even work for large breakouts. Rael’s pimple patches are available for small bumps and large acne “hot spots,” so no matter what you wake up to, you can treat it easily and quickly. 

Have an under-the-skin bump? We can help. Rael’s microcrystal patches are the solution for diving deep into your pores and gently lifting out the dirt and oil causing the painful bump. Side note: they also protect your bumps from your fingers if you find it’s hard to keep your hands off! 

2. Better Skin Care

Using better skin-care can help you keep your skin clearer long-term. While pimple stickers are good for emergency treatment, taking better care of your skin can help you avoid breakouts altogether. 

When you have oily skin, you probably opt to use products designed to dry it out. The problem is, sometimes oily skin is really dehydrated. When your skin is producing too much oil, it can be because it is dehydrated on deeper levels. 

Rael’s Moisture Melt Snowball is a great way to give your skin lasting hydration, naturally. Packed with hyaluronic acid, just one treatment can keep skin hydrated for up to 100 hours. 

3. Hands Off!

The worst thing you can do is to pick or pop your pimples. We know it’s tempting, but touching your skin spreads bacteria, and popping and picking make your bumps more irritated. The reality is you’ll never be able to get all of the pimples out, and you’ll create a much worse situation on your skin. 

Pimple patches are great for people who find it hard to keep their hands off their skin. A little patch over your pimple can prevent you from touching it and mask whiteheads and blackheads, so no one else sees them either. 

Get Rael

Rael is your source for holistic acne treatment and better skincare. You already trust us for your period care products, now you can trust us for your skincare. With Rael, you don’t have to worry about your comedonal acne ruining your day. Grab our pimple care products and be prepared to deal with anything. 

If you’re looking for next-level period care products and haven’t tried our lineup, what are you waiting for? We have everything from the basics to the latest in period care products. Our organic cotton tampons and pads are safe and gentle on your body and our reusable period panties and menstrual cups are easy to use and environmentally friendly. 

Feel empowered by your period, and your clear skin, with Rael. 


Association Between Adult Acne and Dietary Behaviors: Findings From the NutriNet-Santé Prospective Cohort Study | Acne | JAMA Dermatology 

The Toxic Twelve Chemicals and Contaminants in Cosmetics | EWG 

Comedonal acne |

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