woman avoiding acne

The NIVEA Acne Treatment Guide

Everything you need to know about what causes acne and how to get rid of it.


Acne can affect everyone at some point in their lives. It causes spots, inflammations and it can be painful. If you’re looking for a way to improve your acne,  want to know more about the different types of acne, or are looking for a routine to care for acne-prone skin, you’ve come to the right place.

So, what is acne?

Acne refers to prolonged breakouts of spots or blemishes.

People often find they experience acne breakouts across their faces. However, some people experience acne breakouts across their back or even their chests. In these cases, it’s a good idea to seek medical advice as you probably have a more severe case of acne. 

Who gets acne?

Anyone can experience an acne-related breakout. In fact, about 95% of people aged 11 to 30 are affected by acne to some extent. And about 3% of adults over the age of 35 will experience acne. It’s a widespread skin concern that can impact anyone. 


Here are the 6 main types of acne, but it can be difficult to distinguish between them. 
woman cleaning her face with a cotton pad


1. Blackheads – these are small clogged pores. They can appear black or yellow in colour. They can become inflamed if picked, so it’s advisable to put your tweezers away and opt for a good cleanser instead.

2. Whiteheads – these are similar to blackheads, but are often white (hence the name).

3. Papules – small, red spots that can be quite painful. 

4. Pustules – papules often become pustules. The contents can become inflamed, and pustules often present with a white tip. Please, don’t be tempted to pick them! Opt for a treatment cream instead. 

5. Nodules – large hard lumps that build up beneath the skin's surface and can be painful

6. Cysts – these can be extremely painful. They’re similar to under-skin boils and because they happen deep in the skin, they carry the greatest risk of scarring. 

woman with a scrub gel on her face


An acne breakout can, at first glance, look very similar to a skin purging episode. So, the skin may become very blemished, oily, red, and irritated. But there are some key differences.

Skin purging tends to happen after you try a brand new skin product with stronger chemicals, such as a product that includes the anti-ageing ingredient Retinol. It can be quite a localised reaction – so it might only show up where the new, stronger product was applied. 

Does that sound like you? If not, read on for some key causes of acne breakouts. 



There are a lot of things that can cause acne breakouts. From your diet to the cleanliness of your makeup brushes. Sometimes, using products that don’t suit your skin type can even cause a bout of acne. 
Black girl with a pink flower

Here are 4 key factors that can cause more serious, prolonged acne breakouts:

1. Hormones
Acne is often linked to a shift in hormones, which is why people will often experience their first bout of acne throughout their teenage years. But it’s important to note that it can occur at any point in your life. 

2. Blocked pores
Excess oil, dead skin cells, and even makeup can block your pores. This build-up promotes bacterial growth which in turn leads to spots.

3. Environmental causes
If you live or work near major roads and cities, your skin is exposed to pollution and the air is full of dust and dirt. This can stick to your face and block your pores – so it’s a good idea to wash your face at the end of every day.

4. Genetics
Unfortunately, you can inherit a genetic predisposition to acne. This can decide how severe your breakouts are. 



Here are a few easy ways to prevent acne breakouts. 
woman smiling

1. Adopt a specific skincare routine

NIVEA acne treatments and remedies can help you prevent – and minimise – acne breakouts. Discover our range of NIVEA Micellar waters, made with gentle formulas to help clean and soothe the skin. They are ideal all-in-one cleansers, helping to remove dirt, makeup, and bacteria.

How does it do it? Well, micellar water is pumped full of super small particles called ‘micelles’. These attract and trap dirt and impurities so you can sweep them away with your cotton round, leaving your skin clean and fresh. 

2. Improve your daily habits

Knowing what products to use is the first step. But making sure you use them can be another challenge in itself. 

Make sure to wash your face morning and night - this is crucial as it’ll keep your skin clean and free from impurities.

Read the labels on all of your products to make sure you’re not over-using anything. For example, some chemical exfoliants should only be used in the evening and only twice a week. So if you exceed that, you might be damaging your skin barrier further. 

3. You are what you eat

Make sure to drink plenty of water to help flush out your system and keep your skin clear. You probably already know that skin needs a lot of hydration, but you can’t do it solely through topical treatments. Try to drink 8 glasses of water a day consistently, and you should start seeing a difference. 

Eating vitamin-rich foods like spinach, carrots, kale, papaya, honeydew melon and sweet potatoes can help keep your Vitamin A levels high - it’s vital for healthy, glowing skin. And Vitamin C doesn’t just keep colds away – it contributes to healthy skin too. So make sure to grab an orange, or add some lemon to your water when you can.  

It’s good to steer clear of chocolate normally if you’re battling breakouts… but dark chocolate is the exception to the rule. It contains high levels of Omega-6 fatty acids that stimulate skin regeneration and hair growth. It's also good for bone health and can even help regulate metabolism. So having a square or two per day is actually a good idea.

NIVEA Derma Skin Clear Range for symptoms of acne

As mentioned prior, adopting the perfect skincare routine acts as a way to prevent acne. But picking the right set of products to combat acne breakouts can often be an overwhelming process. Below you can find information about our latest acne skin care products, the NIVEA Derma Active Range, and how these products can act as solutions to acne problems.

Consisting of four different products, The NIVEA Derma Skin Clear Range addresses the challenges often experienced with blemish prone skin by reducing the visibility of acne and preventing acne appearances on your skin. This is done through the motive of acknowledging all skin-types, curating a vegan-friendly formula that is effective and suitable for all, providing a rejuvenating skin care experience for long-term use. The Derma Skin Clear Overnight Exfoliator enriches and renews your skin through high concentrations of Salicylic & Glycolic acid. The exfoliator helps remove dead cells, smoothing the skin’s surface, allowing it to combat against blemishes and preventing them from further emerging.


Acne is a skin condition that can cause substantial discomfort. But there are a lot of things you can do to improve your skin complexion. And remember, try not to stress yourself out – it can make the issue worse.

Read on to find out if acne can disappear on its own, how long a breakout can last, and discover some acne treatment options. 
How to get rid of acne

How long does an acne breakout last?

There’s no finite answer to this question. It’s frustrating, but an acne breakout can last months. It really depends, from person to person.

Painful, highly visible breakouts can cause a lot of stress - so if you’re feeling down because of your skin, NIVEA advises that you consult a medical professional for help. 


How to get rid of acne


woman smiling

1. At-home remedies

There are at-home balms and tinctures you can try in order to try and improve an acne breakout. Remember to tread carefully and check with a dermatologist or medical professional before trying these – especially if you have sensitive skin.

Some essential oils like Tea Tree and Jojoba can boost healing – but don’t apply the oils alone as they’re highly concentrated. Instead, try mixing these with a gel or moisturising cream and applying to your face. 

Aloe vera is another great option. It’s naturally antibacterial and anti-inflammatory, so it should have a nice and soothing effect on breakouts. Always make sure to apply the Aloe Vera gel to freshly cleaned skin.

Don’t have those around the house? Check your kitchen for Honey. It’s an amazing antimicrobial treatment for spots. Using a clean finger and freshly cleaned skin, apply a dot of honey to spot-treat your breakouts. 

2. Medications

If you’re looking to take a medication to treat your acne, a pharmacist is a good place to start. They can often recommend treatments and creams that don’t require a prescription to get your hands on. 

However, if these over-the-counter treatments don’t work and you’re losing hope, you should consider a prescription treatment. This, of course, requires that you visit a doctor or licensed dermatologist for more specialised care – and of course, a prescription.

3. Alternative therapies

Some people have luck with more natural, alternative therapies. There are options like Ayurveda, kinesiology, Bach flowers, traditional Chinese medicine and bio-resonance therapies which people claim have helped calm and even heal breakouts. 

Be sure to consult your doctor or a licensed physician before embarking on these treatments to make sure they won’t harm you or make anything worse. 


Using quality products and adopting a good skin care regime will help keep your skin free from impurities, but it can be tough to keep on top of at times. With a huge selection of skincare at NIVEA and easy-to-follow skincare tips, mean finding your perfect skincare routine should be simple.

Remember, if you’re experiencing acne breakouts that last longer than 2 months, or if the severity is having a significant impact on your happiness, you should contact your doctor for further help and advice.