But What Is a Pimple, Really?
We’re all familiar with pimples being red/pink, annoying, sometimes painful, and almost always badly-timed. But what’s really going on when your skin turns up with red, white or black points of irritation, and why would a Clearasil pad make any difference?
To know a pimple, you first need to know your pores and the sebaceous glands that go along with them. The pores are just openings in the skin, but the glands are there to excrete sebum, which lubricates our skin and hair. Bacteria generally lives there too, and most of the time, the system is balanced and your skin looks fine.
But if things go askew, you end up with too much sebum and too much Propionibacterium acnes building up in the pore. At that point, your immune response kicks in turning the area pink and puffy to isolate and clear out the problem. This kind of imbalance is most often due to the pore being clogged and blocking the natural excretion of sebum, although high-sugar diets have been linked to extra bacteria growth as well. If testosterone levels are off (think puberty here), that can also trigger higher amounts of sebum, leading to pizza face.
So clean skin is nice, but scrubbing and disinfecting it to extreme degrees may not really be the best way to handle knocking the system back into balance.
Source: What are pimples (zits, spots)? What causes pimples?, Medical News Today Knowledge Center