Acne 101: The Six Different Types of Acne and How to Treat Them

Acne 101: The Six Different Types of Acne and How to Treat Them

Oh acne, we hate to be rude but…

And we despise that your clogged pore and crusty pimple-like presence can take on multiple forms, too.

It’s easy to generalize acne as having the occasional zit here and there, but when you’re continually faced with spotty skin, it’s important to know what kind of acne you’re dealing with and its level of severity to determine the best course of action to help combat these unwanted visitors. So today, we’re sharing the most common types of non-inflammatory (doesn’t cause swelling) and inflammatory (causes swelling) acne and the best pore perfecting and pimple preventing MOZ products to treat them!

The Six Types of Acne

Non-Inflammatory Acne


A head that’s white is sure to give you a fright! Whiteheads, also known as closed comedones, form when hair follicles become clogged by dirt and dead skin cells. But unlike a blackhead, the top of the pore is closed and covered by a thin layer of skin, which makes treatment a bit more tricky. If you do, however, choose to extract a whitehead, they can become red and irritated and potentially form into poppable pimps!


Ugh, we dread this clogged black pore attack.

Blackheads, also known as open comedones, are like whiteheads but instead of being closed, their heads are open. When the trapped dirt and debris is exposed to air and oxidizes, it causes the surface of these little guys to turn black, hence the name.

Inflammatory Acne


Papules are lesions and when they inflame, they can cause some pain. They form when comedones rupture, allowing the bacteria to freely disperse into your skin’s tissue. The result? Hard, clogged pores that are often pink or red and sensitive to the touch. Papules also have no visible pus. If they do, however, develop pus, a pustule is what has formed.


The difference between a papule and pustule is that the latter contains pus that is either white or yellow.

And remember, don’t bust a pust, as attempting to do so can further aggravate skin, increase the chance of infection, and lead to acne scarring. But if you can’t stand the appearance of a pus-filled pimple, pimple patches may be worth looking into!


Nodules like to get deep into the skin and basically ruin your life. They occur when clogged pores become severely irritated and inflamed and grow a lot larger than the average pimple. Simply put, they’re pimples on steroids. And because they are so deep and tend to not develop any sort of head, treatment is often in the hands of a dermatologist.


Okay, so this is where things become a lot more painful, as cysts are the most severe and inflamed form of acne. They are deep within the skin, the largest in size, contain large pus-filled heads, and often resemble boils. Because of this, cystic acne is the most difficult to treat and requires dermatological expertise and prescription medications.

MOZ Product Picks for Mild to Moderate Acne

The Serum Set

If you’re looking to banish breakouts (and save some bucks), check out our Serum Set which contains our hyaluronic acid and vitamin C serums. Our Hyaluronic Acid Serum with vitamin C + E absorbs quickly, provides moisture, keeps skin firm and soft, and helps give that extra glow while reducing the appearance of pores and acne. Our Vitamin C Serum has similar benefits, but is an even better option for those looking to tighten, brighten, and increase collagen production. It also helps to fade age spots and treat skin discoloration.

Acne Treating Serum

If you’d like to target large pores and pimples specifically, our Acne Treating Serum is your best blemish bet! This natural acne treatment is made with tea tree oil, salicylic acid, manuka oil, and other cleansing ingredients, which help hydrate, balance, and clarify skin while fighting acne breakouts and blemishes. Use them separately or combine them for additional benefits!

Rose Water Toner

Toner is important for those with acne-prone skin, as it helps to exfoliate dead skin cells and control sebum production, which we know leads to blackheads and blemishes. To help keep skin clean and soft, tighten pores, reduce redness, and more, try our Rose Water Toner made with organic Moroccan rose water. Its gentle formula is free of parabens, GMOs, phthalates, mineral oil, petroleum, fragrances, and artificial colors, and won’t further aggravate acne.

Dead Sea Mud Mask

Let’s get muddy!

This muddy and moisturizing mask will surely become your new mate! It deeply cleanses pores and can improve the appearance of blackheads, breakouts, and acne scars. Its natural formula absorbs excess oil and helps remove dead skin cells, dirt, and impurities to reveal fresh, soothed skin. Our mask also refines the skin’s texture and clarity, leaving behind a purified and hydrated complexion.

The Truth About Acne

Friends, just like sh*t happens, acne happens. You can have a superb seven-step skincare regimen, drink an abundance of H20, limit sun exposure, and still find yourself in spotty situations every now and again. It’s normal. Annoying yes, but totally normal. Remember to be persistent with any form of acne treatment and continue to persevere, no matter how large and in charge your pores and pimples may be. You’re still amazing, acne and all!