You might think a spot-is a spot-is as spot, but in that you'd be wrong. From blackhead to blighter, knowing your nemesis is the first step towards wiping it from the face of your face, so here's a glossary to what you're dealing with (and our advice for battling those unwelcome eruptions).

{Mount Vesuvius}

When a volcano erupts your instinct is no doubt to take cover. A lone ranger, these monstrous spots pick their moments to stake a strong claim to your chin, forehead, eyebrow... preferably somewhere conspicuous and agonising, in order to ruin your day/night/WEEK. Angry, ouchy and demanding of attention, these horror-shows are invariably the cause of hedonistic living - too much booze/sugar/fast food/partying/passing-out-in-your-make up, and you might as well make Mr. Zit your 'plus one' to the party.

You need chemical warfare to deal with this ogre - something fast-drying and clarifying to put you back in charge of your skin's fate. Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare's {Clarifying Colloidal Sulfur Mask} is packed with redness-reducing, gunk-eliminating sulphur to set spots quaking... use as an all-over mask, or on-the-spot treatment to zap zits overnight.

{The Untimely Uprising}

Spots have a habit of choosing their moments. Special event. CHECK. Passport photo. CHECK. These psychic zits can read your schedule like a book, and unfailingly choose the inopportune time to make their debut. When you need to make a pimple vanish STAT, reach for a featherweight (yet heavy-duty) camouflage - to disguise offending blemishes without exacerbating issues.

Cover FX's 'intelligent' {Custom Cover Drops} come in a swathe of shades and can be added to your favourite, blemish-fighting day cream to create a bespoke camouflage. Increase the coverage on problem areas (you can even use 'neat' to conceal), and customise with oils, illuminators or your go-to mattifying primer to control shine and blur visibility of imperfections. Now you can go the ball (sans paper bag).

{Hormonal Horrorshows}

If you've a smattering of pimples on your chin/along your jawline it's as good a sign as any that Aunt Flo is due to visit. Hormonal breakouts are tough to treat topically - but if you know when they're expected you can do your best to stop spots in their tracks.

Make sure that you eat well/drink plenty of water throughout the week leading up to your period, and try switching your usual cleanser to something with an antibacterial/pore-purifying agent such as Tata Harper's {Purifying Cleanser}. It's also worth taking pre-emptive skin care measures - try slathering skin with January Labs' {Retexturizing Night Cream} which is packed with lactic acid to prevent deal cells from clogging up your pores (and speed up spots' demise). 

{The Regular}

Not so monstrous that it feels like the main focal point of your face, yet not sufficiently insignificant for you to forget all about it, this breed of pimple is most often the result of 'urban grime' getting lodged in enlarged pores. The best way to keep these unwelcome face guests at arms length is by ensuring pores are kept clear and that your skin's 'scaffolding' is fortified.

An acid peel - Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare's {Alpha Beta Universal Daily Peel} is perfect; not only will this work to dissolve the dulling (and pore-clogging) scurf but will stimulate cells to create collagen which in turn, strengthens pore walls and helps to prevent them expanding.

{The One That Won't Leave}

Like that friend at the end of the party, this spot simply won't take the hint. Stubborn, immoveable and wont to leave a lasting (far-from-favourable) impression, this type of deep, cystic spot is prone to scar or leave a pigmentation patch long after it's left the building (much like the wine stain that's ruined your carpet).

Thankfully, you don't just have to grin-and-bear-it. Targeted treatments, such as Sonya Dakar's {Blemish Buster}, boast a cocktail of extracts to target the spot and diminish the aftermath. With a super-charged cocktail of purifying acids, detoxifying mineral clay and calming camphor, this pretty pink potion is like the taxi that turns up to escort your drunk pal to their bed. Praise be!


Purely caused by impurities making their nests in your pores (everyday grime binds with sebum and turns black when oxidised), blackheads are easily remedied. Regular exfoliation is the key to keeping skin clear and 'strawberry seed-free' - incorporate Konjac Sponge's {Bamboo Puff Sponge} into your cleansing ritual, and use a clarifying mask one or two times a week, to combat congestion and leave you nose practically poreless. 

Peter Thomas Roth's {Pumpkin Enzyme Mask} is incredible; waging multi-pronged attack on blackheads, this exfoliates chemically, enyzmatically and physically to polish your face to perfection. Or try Aesop's {Parsley Seed Facial Cleansing Masque}, which acts like a magnet for dross - drawing out dirt to restore your skin's clarity.