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Medically Reviewed by Dr. Eva Simmons-O’Brien

Dr. Eva Simmons O’Brien received her MD from Yale University and is a board-certified dermatologist. With over 30 years of experience, she has worked for hospitals, established her own private practice, and consulted for organizations such as the FDA. Today, Dr. Eva runs her own practice in addition to serving as our Chief Science Officer.

blemish prone skin

Tips for Blemish Prone Skin

Tips for Blemish Prone Skin



Blemishes aren’t sexy; in fact, they’re anti-sexy. The problem is, your skin may not have gotten the message. Bumps and pimples can put a serious damper on your fresh skin game, and if you’ve got blemish prone skin, it can seem like a never ending warzone on your face. 

When you have blemish prone skin, trying products can feel like playing Russian roulette; will it cause a massive breakout, or will it not? 

Don’t worry man, we’ve got answers for you. Your friends at Disco know mens’ skin and what can be causing your blemishes. We can help you figure out what’s causing the bumps and how to treat them.

Why is My Skin So Blemish-Prone?

It seems like no matter what you use, your skin breaks out in a rash of pimples. Why is your skin acting like such a delicate little flower? There can be numerous reasons, but here are some of the most common. 


Blame your bumps (and your good looks) on your mama. Your genetics play a huge role in whether or not your skin is sensitive and prone to breaking out. If your parents dealt with acne and blemishes, there’s a much higher chance you will, too. 

Other skin conditions, like psoriasis, eczema, and dry skin, can also be handed down to you in your genetic inheritance. 


Pimples and acne bumps are considered a hormone issue. Hormones are responsible for triggering the sebaceous glands in your skin to secrete sebum (oil). When your hormones are imbalanced, the sebaceous glands produce too much oil, which can clog pores and cause a breakout. 

This hormone/breakout relationship is why so many of us are plagued with acne as teenagers. Hormone levels change rapidly, and our sebaceous glands start producing oil in overdrive. 

You aren’t done with hormones when you become an adult, though, which is why you may still experience blemish prone skin during certain periods of your adult life. 

The main offender is testosterone, which is an androgen. Androgens are what trigger the sebaceous glands to produce oil, which can result in an increase in bumps. 

Androgens can also change the way the skin cells shed, making them less likely to shed on their own and instead pile up in your pores, around hair follicles, eventually becoming pimples. 

Stress can cause breakouts too, but it’s all related to hormone activity. When you’re stressed, your body releases the hormone cortisol. Cortisol affects your sebaceous glands the same way androgen does, making them produce more oil which can lead to more blemishes.  


It’s not chocolate, coffee, or pizza that are ruining your skin -- that’s a myth. However, an imbalanced diet can lead to more breakouts. The main components of a Western diet, i.e. the kind we eat in ‘Murica, are sugary, starchy carbs and dairy. 

Both dairy and sugar can stimulate androgens, and from there it’s a domino effect. Androgens trigger sebaceous glands, sebaceous glands produce excess oil, oil creates more blemishes.  

If you’re really experiencing skin that breaks out constantly, you can try an elimination diet to see if removing some carbohydrate foods and/or dairy products gives you any relief. 

Irritating Skincare Ingredients

You may have been using the same products on your skin since you were a teenager, but if you’re breaking out consistently, it means they aren’t working any more. 

As you mature, the needs of your skin changes, and ingredients in your products which your skin used to tolerate may now be causing irritation. 

Some of the most common offenders in skin care products known for clogging pores and causing blemishes are:  

  • Synthetic fragrance. In the U.S., fragrance is considered proprietary, which means it’s the property of the company that makes the product and they don’t have to release their ingredients to the public. 

    This is why you’ll see “fragrance” listed on an ingredients list. You really have no idea what is included in the product that gives it its scent, and it could be an ingredient (or ingredients) that are causing you to get blemishes and bumps.
  • Lanolin. Lanolin is excellent… for clogging pores. It’s also not a cruelty free product.

    Lanolin is the protective “grease” that sheep make to keep their coats moisturized. Lanolin is “harvested” from sheep's wool by either brushing it off the wool or taking it from shaven wool.

    Lanolin is used as an emollient in many moisturizers, but sheep hair grease is known for clogging pores and causing breakouts. 
  • Sulfates. Sulfates are added to products to give them suds that make them lather. 

    Sulfates are very popular in cleansers, shampoos, and body washes. Sodium lauryl sulfate can strip skin of natural oil, causing it to overproduce sebum to compensate. Sulfates are also very alkaline which can affect the natural pH balance of your skin. 


Shaving is notorious for causing bumps, blemishes, ingrown hairs, and other skin irritations. Most often it’s due to old razor blades that need replacing, shaving products that contain harsh ingredients that cause your skin to swell or become inflamed, or the direction you shave. 

You should change your razor blades out every five to ten shaves. Razor blades can harbor bacteria that can cause blemishes on your skin. You can also opt for shaving products that are fragrance free and formulated for sensitive skin. 

If you’re really struggling with ingrown hairs and shaving irritation, there are different methods of shaving you can try and also some of our tips and tricks to make shaving go a lot more smoothly

Tips for Blemish-Prone Skin

You’ve got the why, now you need the how. How do you help protect and soothe your blemish prone skin, and get rid of breakouts when they happen?

Cleanse Gently

Using a harsh cleanser may seem like the best way to rid your face of excess oil, but the result will only lead to more irritation and an even worse breakout. Instead, try a gentle, yet effective cleanser that hydrates and nourishes skin as it gently removes oil and dirt. 

Disco’s Charcoal Face Cleanser Stick contains deep cleaning charcoal to dive deep into your pores and clean out the gunk, while coconut oil bats clean up and leave skin feeling moisturized and hydrated. 

Phytic acid also helps gently exfoliate your skin so dead skin cells don’t pile up in your pores. Our cleanser stick is easy to use, all-natural, and non-toxic, so it’ll never cause your skin to breakout. 

Use a Mask

No, not a face mask, although we’re pretty sure you’re probably using one of those, too. 

In order to really get your pores in the best shape possible, using a facial mask is a must. Disco’s Purifying Face Mask is an easy way to treat areas of your face that are most prone to blemishes. Swipe it on and let it set.  

Bentonite clay goes to work drawing out impurities while charcoal eliminates skin impurities. Willow bark extract helps keep skin soft, moisturized, and improves texture so your skin isn’t left feeling dry or dehydrated. 

The best part? All this action happens while you scroll your matches or catch up on work emails. Once the mask dries, rinse it off to reveal healthier, happier skin. 

Upgrade Your Shaving Routine

In addition to changing out your blades regularly and using shaving creams and products for sensitive skin, exfoliating can really improve the quality and comfortability of your shave. 

When your skin cells turnover, the old skin cells sit on the top of your skin and eventually get washed off or flake off, etc. 

The problem with blemish-prone skin is that the texture of these dead skin cells is sometimes much stickier, causing them to hang around on the surface of your face longer than they should.

These skin cells can clog pores, and are famous for getting trapped below the surface of your skin when you shave, which can lead to painful, unsightly ingrown hairs. 

Exfoliating prior to shaving can help eliminate dead skin and prep your face for a closer, more comfortable shave. Disco’s Exfoliating Face Mask contains gentle exfoliants that will work effectively but gently so your skin doesn’t end up irritated and red. 

Our exfoliator also contains aloe, apricot, and chamomile, so your skin is hydrated and soothed and never stripped of moisture or “scrubbed.” 

Use All-Natural, Toxin-Free SkinCare

If you haven’t already started a skin care regimen, now is the time. If you’re a little intimidated by all things skin care, we’ve got you covered. Our ultimate guide to skincare can put you on the right track, so you can take care of your blemish prone skin. 

Your skin may be blemish-prone, but that doesn’t mean you have to live with constant blemishes. Seriously, stop using your significant other’s pimple paste and get some serious skin care. 




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