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Listen to Your Breakouts: Here’s What Your Acne Is Telling You

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You tried dozens of skincare products to treat your blemishes, but your pimples keep appearing in the same spots over and over again? It must be annoying, but actually, that can reveal some interesting stuff. Acne mapping is a thing since ancient times, but that’s not why we trust it. All the reasons why breakouts arise in the same spots are strengthened by studies, experiments, and real facts. But first, a bit of background.

How does acne produce?

Your sebaceous glands produce sebum, that oily substance that has the role of moisturizing your skin and protect its barrier. If the glands produce more sebum than they should, it leads to acne. When there’s excess sebum and can’t pass smoothly out of the pores, it gets stuck inside, mixing with dead skin cells, creating breakouts. But acne is not only triggered by excess sebum. Hormones, dead skin cells buildup, bacteria, all these may influence when breakouts arise. 

Acne face map and solutions 

The area on your face where pimples appear may indicate something, like your well-being or how some personal choices affect you. Trust me, this is not only ancient Chinese medication. Acne mapping is a thing. Although there’s no evidence that acne mapping works, all these facts are backed up by scientific studies. Hence, there must be a reason your pimples appear every time in the same areas. And here I’m not talking about those monthly breakouts on your chin which’s cause we all know. That’s because the changes that happen in your body during the period boost testosterone level, and more testosterone means more sebum. Nevertheless, you shouldn’t ignore when you develop breakouts on the same area over and over again. Your acne says something.


Around the hairline

When breakouts arise around the hairline, it may indicate a type of allergy to some hairstyle products, headwears, or sweat buildup. Not using a clean brush, comb, or hair accessories may also be the cause. As well as overwashing your hair.

But the most common cause is the use of some hair products, which can cause oil buildup, bacteria, and dead skin cells. Many ingredients in your hair care products may lead to hairline pimples apparition, such as silicones, SLSs, ammonium, and petroleum. All these products may be great for your hair but not for your skin. Their drying effects on the skin might cause dehydration, making your skin produce more sebum than necessary, clogging the pores, and causing breakouts.

There are more chances to develop hairline acne if you’re fan hats, headbands, bandanas, or if you wear a helmet pretty often. First of all, these accessories can cause irritation. They can even serve as a way to spread excess oil from the hair to the forehead, producing a sebum excess that can clog pores and cause acne along the hairline and forehead.

If you work out and you’ve got hairline acne, things are pretty simple. While exercising, sweat and debris on your skin can get mixed up, a thing that causes breakouts, past all doubt. How to fix it? Right after exercising, wash away all the sweat. If you can’t do that, at least spray some thermal water or use toning pads to clean away the sweat and impurities that might clog your pores.

Do you enjoy hairspray? Ensure you always shield your skin when you use that one.

On the forehead

 If you struggle with breakouts above the brows and you’re a teenager, rest assured, you’ll get rid of your forehead acne once adolescence is over. During the teenage years, the forehead is the most common area to develop pimples, clearing up once this period is over. However, if you’re not a teenager, forehead breakouts may be related to hairline acne. This means that all I’ve mentioned before can be applied here as well, such as hair care products or accessories. From hats to headbands, they can all make pimples appear on the forehead — mainly because of the sweat. Have you got bangs? Here’s another reason for your forehead acne. 


Also, if you’re a biker and wear a helmet pretty often, there it is — another cause for your forehead acne. That is called mechanical acne, meaning it arises when an object irritates your skin by friction. The friction itself bothers the skin, disturbing the tissue, leading to clogged pores and inflammation. Bra straps, tight clothes, helmets, bandanas are all famous for inducing mechanical acne.

Do you use oils on your hair? If so, you might want to reconsider it. IK, coconut oil is great for hair but can be one reason you have breakouts on your forehead. The same goes for gels, waxes, pomades, and hair oils.

There’s a thing about food-grade oils that many women apply to their hair and scalp. Olive oil and coconut oil are such examples. “Edible products applied to the skin can increase microorganism’s growth on the skin,” says Dr. Purvisha Patel, a board-certified dermatologist and founder of Visha Skincare for Byrdie. Insufficient sleep, poor digestive health, stress, and poor blood flow are also linked to forehead acne. If you have pimples between the eyebrows, it may indicate that you overeat fat or drink too much alcohol, and your liver may be affected.

On cheeks 

Cheeks have more chances to get irritated and develop pimples than the rest of the face. Acne on the cheeks can indicate lung issues, allergies, malnutrition, or too much junk food. Hence, keeping a tab on food consumption might be what you need to recognize the culprit. If you spend a lot of time inside might also be a reason for your cheeks acne. Do some exercising, breathing yoga, and surround yourself with greenery.

Using dirty makeup brushes can make breakouts arise on the cheeks. When your makeup brush gets gunked up with bacteria and sebum, it can clog pores, hence, the breakouts. If you use your makeup brushes or sponges every day, clean them once weekly, undoubtedly. Now, two other common factors that can produce cheeks acne are pillowcases and a dirty phone. You got it right. Change your pillowcase once every two days and swipe your phone with alcohol as often as possible!

Forehead and nose (T-zone)

First thing first, observe yourself. Do you touch your face often? As that might be a reason for your t-zone blemishes. Stress or poor diet can also lead to breakouts in the t-zone. That’s linked to the fact that there are more sebaceous glands than the rest of the face, and breakouts arise where pores are more likely to get clogged. The t-zone is that area that accumulates excess oil, blocking pores and forming pimples. A correct skincare routine meant to cleanse oil and dirt buildup will help keep t-zone blemishes at bay. Cleanse, tone, and apply an acne treatment twice daily.

Chin and/ or jawline acne

When you’ve got pimples all over your chin or jawline (or both), it may indicate some hormonal fluctuations, gynecological problems, or kidney issues. Or you may even be allergic to your toothpaste. Try to change your toothpaste, stop touching your face, rest and hydrate enough.

A hormonal imbalance may trigger chin and jawline acne. Once monthly, our levels of androgen are higher than estrogen, which means more oil is produced in the skin, causing clogged pores and blemishes. Don’t stress and wait for the period to pass. To help hormones balance, add omega-3 and proteins to your diet, and avoid sugar and refined carbs.



The reasons you have breakouts on your back could vary. From excess sebum to tight clothes or bras (mechanical acne), not showering after exercising, long hair, or body lotions (or sunscreen) that are too heavy and clog the pores. BTW, do you ever let your shampoo or conditioner running on your back? Their compounds may clog pores. As well as long baths in which you add bath bombs that might contain artificial fragrances. Better opt for organic ones. 

Pick lightweight, oil-free products, and don’t omit to exfoliate once weekly. And if you use a scrub infused with salicylic acid to remove the excess sebum on your back and unclog pores, you hit it big. 

This research published by the American Society of Dermatology indicates that a high glycemic index can boost blood sugar, which in turn can lead to worsening your acne. Do you eat a lot of white bread, pasta, rice, and potatoes? Then you might want to reconsider your diet. Add as many vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and proteins as possible to your menu.

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