When your revved-up hormones prompt your sebaceous glands to produce lots of sebum, that oil has to go somewhere. Normally, it flows through passages called follicles and out through the pores on the surface of your skin. Each follicle also contains a tiny hair that grows out to the skin.
This movement of oil is a natural process that carries dead skin cells to the skin's surface. There, the oil may drive you up the wall with the need to blot and wash.
But, annoying as oily skin can be, things can get worse. If the oil doesn't make it out to the skin, it may begin to block the follicle. Then the hair, the dead skin cells and the oil can all glop together to plug up the follicle. When a follicle gets plugged, something's got to give. That's where pimples come in.
Prevent pimples by cleaning the oil away from your skin. Wash your face two or three times a day with non-oily soap. Wash with warm water to open the pores and then rinse with cold water to close them, and to keep out bacteria and dirt. For the back, use an antibacterial soap and a clean brush.
If you do get pimples -- blackheads, whiteheads or any other variety -- resist the urge to pick at or squeeze them. Touching pimples usually makes things worse and can leave scars or dark spots.
Sometimes, things get worse anyway. Read on to learn about acne.