Acne breakouts on face

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Why Is Your Normally Clear Skin Breaking Out? 8 Ways To Stop It

Where I fell short with the height genes (no pun intended), I lucked out in the skin department. Most of the time, my face stays pretty clear — a little redness here, a few blackheads there, but ultimately problem-free. Then, out of nowhere, my normally clear skin starts breaking out, seemingly without any warning whatsoever. Why was my clear skin getting acne?

Up until about two years ago, I had no idea why, and I just didn’t question it. Then I started getting into holistic health, clean living, and nutrition, and the first thing I learned was that absolutely nothing your body does is merely “bad luck” or a “coincidence.” When your body reacts in such a way, it’s because it is reacting to something specific, and your skin is probably the biggest example of that theory. When otherwise-clear skin starts to break out, it’s time to listen to it, and it’s time to ask yourself some questions.

What’s causing this? What have my sleep patterns been like? Everything from hormones to the chemicals in your skincare regiment have a huge effect on the look and feel of your skin, so if you wake up one day with three new and unexpected blemishes, here are a few possible reasons why.

1. Your Harsh Daily Cleanser Could Be Irritating — Try Gentle Rosewater, Instead

Alteya Organic Bulgarian Rose Water, $16, Amazon

When you’re having a particularly temperamental skin day, regular water might not cut it, but reaching for a harsh over-the-counter product can feel drying and irritating. This Alteya organic Bulgarian rose water contains only 100 percent pure and USDA-certified organic rosewater, steam distilled from natural petals that are loaded with essential vitamins and minerals to nourish your skin. It’s also anti-inflammatory and balances the pH of your skin, and people love it as a toner or a wash because it smells incredible and leaves skin feeling silky smooth. One thrilled reviewer says, “I use this on my face as a ‘toner’ morning and night, after cleansing and before moisturizer. I have changed nothing else (using the same oil-free cleanser and moisturizer that I have for years), and my skin looks better than it ever has in my life.”

2. Your Exfoliator Is No Match for Inflammation; Heal Skin With Moisturizing Honey

Tree Hut Shea Sugar Scrub, $19, Amazon

Honey is a great all-natural remedy for mild and occasional skin issues, as it is anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, moisturizing, and filled with vitamins that nourish the skin. This Tree Hut shea sugar scrub makes for a gentle and cleansing exfoliator, as it’s filled with real honey, shea butter, sweet almond oil, primrose oil, avocado oil, sugar grains, and bits of almond to buff away old skin and hydrate the fresh layers underneath. The ratings on this guy are incredible, and the reviews put it pretty simply: “This scrub is absolutely amazing; I cannot rave about it enough,” and “Smells amazing and exfoliates like a dream.”

3. Your Body Is Producing More Oil Than Usual — Detox Pores With Charcoal

Body Merry Charcoal Mud Mask, $17, Amazon

An oily face isn’t something that plagues me every single day, but three or four days before my period, it’s like a deep fryer up in this place. Constantly attempting to control oil production is counterintuitive — it’ll cause your body to create even more oil to compensate, but an occasional all-natural mud mask is a great way to balance skin during an onslaught of oil. This Body Merry charcoal mud mask is a number one new release because it has awesome ingredients like charcoal powder and bentonite to pull out any excess oils and impurities, as well as blackberry, raspberry, and cranberry extracts to deliver antioxidants and heal skin. A natural glow, a gentle exfoliation, and a difference after a single use are only some of the great results that are being talked about.

4. You Might Be Low On Healthy Fats — Work Coconut Oil Into Your Meals, Or Even Use Topically

Island Fresh Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, $22, Amazon

If you have sudden and unexplained breakouts, remember that meals high in healthy fats and lipids can bind to G-receptor proteins to balance hormones. If you think you’re not getting enough good fat, coconut oil is one of your best options, and this Island Fresh organic extra virgin coconut oil is some of the highest quality out there. It’s cold-pressed, virgin, unrefined, USDA-certified organic, and non-GMO, which means that it’s created in such a way that leaves all its health-giving qualities totally intact. While it’s actually incredible for topical use as a moisturizer, too, people cook with it, bake with it, make smoothies with it, spread it on toast, and some even put it in their morning coffee.

5. Your Soap Is Stripping Essential Oils And Flora — Turn To African Black Soap, Instead

Organic African Black Soap, $15, Amazon

We have two serious misconceptions in this country: First, everything needs to be sterile. Second, oil leads to breakouts. In actuality, good oils and bacteria on the surface of your skin help to keep it clean, moisturized, and healthy, and by stripping these things with harsh antibacterial soaps, you might end up with dry and acne-prone skin. This organic African black soap has nourishing and hydrating ingredients like coconut oil, unrefined shea butter, plantain skin ash, and vitamin E, all of which treat breakouts gently and without killing your skin’s natural flora. It’s got incredibly high reviews because it smells great, leaves skin feeling amazingly smooth, and treats everything from blemishes to eczema.

6. You’re Allowing Stress And Cortisol Levels To Go Through The Roof; Counteract Anxiety With Aromatherapy

Stress Relief Blend, $8, Amazon

Are your breakouts and public speaking events directly related? There’s a huge chance that stress is the culprit. When you’re constantly tense, your body creates cortisol, which causes inflammation, an imbalance in hormones, excess sugar in the body, and — you guessed it — acne. Switch from sympathetic mode (fight or flight) to parasympathetic mode (resting) with this stress relief blend. This aromatherapeutic formula has a stress-relieving blend of bergamot, patchouli, blood orange, ylang ylang, and grapefruit, without any fillers or carrier oils, so you get the most potent and effective result. Put it in a diffuser for aromatherapy use, into your bath water for a spa-like evening in, or right on your skin for a therapeutic scent that follows you around all day.

7. You’ve Got A Build-Up Of Dead Skin Or Sweat; Help Regenerate Fresh Cells for A Natural Glow

Stimulite Facial Sponge And Bath Mitt, $34, Amazon

Sometimes the occasional pimple on your face or body is just a build-up of dead skin, sweat, or a lack of circulation. This Stimulite facial sponge and bath mitt set is made from a recyclable honeycomb material, and it’s absolutely wonderful for unclogging pores, getting rid of dead skin, promoting circulation, stimulating lymph flow, and helping new cells to rejuvenate. It leaves skin feeling clean without irritating it or causing rashes, and because it’s naturally antibacterial and anti-fungal, it’s much more sanitary than your typical loofa or sponge. These facial and body exfoliators dry quickly after a shower and are great for travel, and because they’re super durable, you’ll be using these for a while.

8. You’re Letting Sweat Sit On Your Skin — If You’re Slow to Shower, Refresh Face With Soothing Botanicals

Basis So Refreshing Facial Cleanser Cloths (25 to a pack), $26, Amazon

When you let sweat sit on your skin directly after a workout, there’s a chance the sweat mingling with dirt can clog your freshly opened pores. If you’re nowhere near running water, these no-water-needed facial cleansing wipes are an awesome alternative to face washing, if you’re in a hurry. Why? They’re filled with natural botanicals safe for sensitive skin. One pleased reviewer said, “I use my wipes, when in a hurry, and after a long day of work to remove the day’s grime and my make up. Wonderfully soothing!”

Bustle may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently from Bustle’s editorial and sales departments.

Images: Neill Kumar/Unsplash; Amazon (8)

Subclinical acne – what it is and why you have it.

If your forehead is covered in lots of small colorless or red bumps, you may be dealing with subclinical acne. This type of acne can cause the skin’s surface to look and feel uneven, without ever developing into the typical “pimple” – pus-filled and inflamed. Rather, subclinical acne is simply congested, clogged pores.

These little bumps are caused by an excess of sebum – the waxy, oily substance that your sebaceous glands naturally produce. When there is an excess of sebum, dirt, and dead skin cells on the skin’s surface, your pores become clogged, resulting in protruding follicles and a bumpy texture. Subclinical acne can occur in large numbers on the cheeks, nose, chin, or forehead. It is usually most common on the forehead and cheeks, because the oil glands on these two parts of the face are highly active.

Subclinical acne is most often tied to your lifestyle, stress, and/or hormonal changes. So how can you reduce its appearance?

1. Don’t pick

As tempting as it is to try and pop these annoying blemishes (trust us, we know), avoid picking at all costs.

This is especially important for subclinical acne, which won’t normally break the skin on its own, as the bumps are often just congested pores. Picking at them could lead to the irritation and scarring, and can cause breakouts to worsen.

The best bet is to let your skin naturally regenerate to flush out the congestion.

2. Up your cleansing game

Since we know that subclinical acne is caused by clogged pores, the first (and potentially only) step in reducing them is to improve your cleansing technique. Often times, even after washing our faces, our skin is still covered in a layer of dirt, oil, makeup, and other impurities!

First off, take a look at the cleanser you’re using. The best type of cleanser to use will be an oil-based cleanser, like our facial cleansing oil. Oil dissolves oil, making a cleansing oil extremely helpful. If you’re not into oil cleansing, try our oil to milk cleanser, which can be rinsed off like a more traditional cleanser. Foaming or soap-based cleansers can dry out the skin, which will actually lead to MORE oil production, as your body will try and make up for what you’re stripping away!

On top of using an oil-based cleanser, another technique to utilize is double cleansing. This may seem counter-intuitive – especially if you’re used to drying cleansers – but double cleansing with an oil cleanser can make a HUGE difference for your skin. Think of the first round of cleansing as prepping your skin for the deeper cleanse. Gently, but thoroughly, cleansing your skin twice will help to clear and remove dead skin cells. Our oil to milk cleanser is perfect for your second cleanse, because it gently cleans the skin without stripping it of its own natural oils.

Do a double cleanse only once a day — preferably at night, when your skin really needs it, after a day of makeup, dirt, and pollutants!

3. Did someone say tone?

We did. Lots of times! That’s because we know how essential toning is in finishing the cleansing process. On top of helping to extract any leftover oil or dirt left on your face (which is possible even after double cleansing!), using a toner helps to balance your pH levels and decrease excess oil production. Toning can help your skin really breathe!

Our raspberry vinegar toner has a slightly acidic pH of about 3.5, which makes it great for cleansing and purifying skin. Our rosewater toner is gentler, with a pH level of 5.5, but is still great for soothing skin and helping balance sebum.

4. Lightly moisturize

Of course it’s always important to moisturize. However, while you’re working on clearing out subclinical acne, you want to make sure not to overwhelm your skin with anything too heavy. We recommend sticking to a lighter moisturizer, like our golden elixir or raspberry jasmine oil.

5. Steer clear of makeup for a few days

While you may have the urge to cover up, the best option for your skin is to leave it as clean as possible. Heavy foundations and makeup can trap excess oil and dirt in your pores. If you feel like you can’t go bare-faced, then try to opt for an all-natural, lightweight facial powder that will allow your skin to breathe.

6. If they’re still not gone – check your diet

We’ve talked a lot about how diet affects your skin. If you are taking all of the right steps to treat your skin on the surface and you still aren’t seeing results, the issue may be in your gut. For many people, certain foods like soy and dairy can cause hormone imbalances, which lead to excess oil production and sometimes, irritation. Refined sugar and processed carbs are also a no-go, as they can be inflammatory.

We know it’s difficult, but our recommendation is to steer clear of processed sugars and dairy…especially when you’re dealing with stubborn subclinical acne! If you can, load your diet up with leafy green veggies, fibrous non-grain foods, and zinc-rich foods like pumpkin seeds instead.

7. Mask!

Using a purifying face mask a few times a week can help you unclog those pores even faster. We love our chlorophyll mask because it helps deeply cleanse and clarify the skin while also supporting healthy circulation and calming angry skin.

8. Drink a ton of water

Drinking enough water is essential for keeping your skin clear. Our cells are nourished and hydrated by water, and dehydration can cause your skin to compensate by overproducing oil. Double certified MD, Dr. Amy Shah, told us recently that she recommends drinking between 10-14 glasses of water a day! For some extra flavor and benefits, try adding lemon or other fruit to your water.

We hope that this post helped clear up the mystery around those pesky forehead bumps – and that it will also help clear up your skin! The key factor in treating subclinical acne is to keep your pores clear – through your routine (give that double cleansing a shot!), lifestyle habits, and diet. If you have any questions at all, email us at [email protected]!

Breakout Breakdown: What Is Actually Causing Your Spots?

There are very few of us lucky enough to have never woken up in the morning with a red blemish on our face (or spots on our neck, around our mouth, spots on our forehead – wherever your own nightmare-zone happens to be). Whether it’s one every now and then or regular breakouts, almost all of us have had to battle a pimple or two. Although these blemishes might not be noticeable to anyone else, they become a constant source of irritation and insecurity.

The general idea is that as we grow up, we also grow out of our spots – but adult acne is actually just as common as teenage acne. According to American Academy of Dermatology 85% of people aged between 12 and 24 have experienced at least one bout of acne. The condition is on the rise, too, and recent research suggests that the condition may be triggered by psychological stress. Sigh.

It’s common knowledge that the secret to tackling pimples is to identify the cause, but in recent years Chinese dermatology has taken diagnosing blemished skin one step further, by aligning the location of your spots to varying health issues. This is called face mapping, in which the face acts as an outside view of the body’s internal health.

An obvious recurrent theme – whether you’re getting spots on your forehead or chin – seems to be stress, so that’s definitely a good place to start when it comes to troublesome skin.

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So, from pimples on your chin to breakouts on your forehead and spots on your back, what is your skin trying to tell you?

What do spots on your forehead mean?

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Spots on your fore­head are be­lieved to in­di­cate prob­lems with the blad­der or the di­ges­tive sys­tem, so if you’re get­ting pimples here it could mean you’re de­hy­drated or eat­ing too many processed foods. The fore­head is also linked to the ner­vous sys­tem, so high stress lev­els could be con­tribut­ing to your break­outs.

What do spots on your hairline mean?

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They may be easier to hide than spots on your nose or bang in the middle of your forehead – but they’re definitely no less annoying.
Ac­cord­ing to ex­pert fa­cial­ist Kate Kerr, if you’re ex­peri­enc­ing break­outs around the tem­ples or hair­line, the cul­prit could be as ob­vi­ous as your hair prod­ucts. The in­gre­di­ents in sham­poos, serums etc. can ef­fect every­one in dif­fer­ent ways and some cause con­ges­tion in the pores. Try out a few dif­fer­ent brands to find out which is kind­est on your skin. Bumps on your fore­head can also be caused from ex­er­cis­ing, as your sweat glands can be­come eas­ily clogged in this area. Try show­er­ing as soon as pos­si­ble af­ter a work­out and cleanse your face thor­oughly.

What do spots in-between your eyebrows mean?

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If you’re get­ting spots in the mid­dle of your fore­head or be­tween your eye­brows it could mean that you’re con­sum­ing too much al­co­hol and rich foods, or could mean you’re al­ler­gic to a type of food.

What do spots on your ears mean?

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Ac­cord­ing to Chi­nese der­ma­tol­ogy those painful stub­born spots you get in your ears may be a sign that you need to drink more wa­ter and cut down on caf­feine and al­co­hol, as your ears are linked to your kid­neys.

What do spots on your cheeks mean?

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If you’re break­ing out reg­u­larly on your cheeks it could be due to a num­ber of things. The cheeks are said to re­veal res­pi­ra­tory dis­tress, so smok­ing, al­ler­gies or pol­lu­tion could be re­spon­si­ble. Or, your cheeks may flare up if your me­tab­o­lism is slow and your body is not ab­sorb­ing nu­tri­ents quick enough.

Prob­a­bly the most com­mon cause for spots on cheeks, though, is due to the spread of bac­te­ria from your hands, your phone, and your pil­low­cases. So, pur­chase some hand sani­tiser to take in your bag, wash your pil­low­cases weekly, clean your phone screen (care­fully…no wa­ter dam­age please) and do not ever touch your face. We mean it.

What do spots around your eyes mean?

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Eyes, like ears, are linked to the kid­neys, so de­hy­dra­tion is most likely the rea­son why you have blem­ishes in this area. Sim­i­larly, dark cir­cles, though mostly hered­i­tary, are wors­ened by not drink­ing enough wa­ter.

What do spots on your nose mean?

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Spots on your nose will most likely flare up if you have high blood pres­sure. Also, if you’re us­ing come­do­genic makeup prod­ucts they will of­ten clog your pores and make you break out in this area.

What do spots on your jawline and spots on your chin mean?

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Spots on the lower third of your face are gen­er­ally re­lated to hor­mones and tend to sync with your men­strual cy­cle so are, an­noy­ingly, harder to tackle. Even as adults, our oe­stro­gen and prog­es­terone lev­els are con­stantly shift­ing, and the hor­monal im­bal­ance can be re­spon­si­ble for un­wel­come flare-ups.

Women who suf­fer with hor­monal acne can usu­ally see re­sults by tak­ing the con­tra­cep­tive pill, but each woman re­acts to birth con­trol pills dif­fer­ently. Un­sur­pris­ingly, stress is an­other rea­son why you may be break­ing out around your jaw or mouth. Also, your chin mir­rors the small in­tes­tine so a poor diet filled with carbs and sugar can also lead to pesky pim­ples.

What do spots around your mouth mean?

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If you’re break­ing out around the mouth it could be caused by the residue from any greasy or fatty foods in your diet. Try cut­ting down on these, or rinse your face af­ter eat­ing.

What do spots on my back or chest mean?

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The back and chest are ar­eas where we have a higher num­ber of oil glands, and we tend to sweat more pro­fusely here. Wear­ing ma­te­ri­als that don’t quickly draw sweat away from the skin, such as cot­ton, can re­sult in ir­ri­ta­tion, lead­ing to out­breaks. Man-made fi­bres that are de­signed to be fast dry­ing will help re­duce this and are par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant to wear dur­ing ex­er­cise. Also, try loos­en­ing your bra straps and carry less on weight on your shoul­ders to keep skin ir­ri­ta­tion to a min­i­mum.

What do spots on my neck mean?

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Pim­ples on your neck mean that you’re prob­a­bly about to get your pe­riod. The hor­mones that fluc­tu­ate around your cy­cle can cause your glands to pro­duce more oil, which in turn blocks pores, caus­ing spots. With so many sweat glands here, you may find that spots on the back of your neck is a com­mon prob­lem. Try to avoid them by do­ing the same things as above for back and chest acne – namely, wear­ing man-made fi­bres and looser cloth­ing.

On the flip-­side, as with our face, it can be ben­e­fi­cial to sweat as it flushes the skin of cell de­bris from within the pores. It’s im­por­tant, how­ever, that the skin is clean and makeup or mois­turiser free to al­low the process to work its magic.

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READ MORE: The Very Best Products That Will Help Spots And Acne-Prone Skin

READ MORE: Salicylic Acid: How It Works, What It Does & Where To Find it

Daily Skin Care

“It’s very important to cleanse your skin every day,” says dermatologist Doris Day, MD, of Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. Follow these steps:

  1. Wash your face no more than twice a day.
  2. Use cool or warm water and a gentle cleanser.
  3. Use your hands, a baby washcloth (it’s gentler than a regular one), or a cleansing brush for 30 seconds.
  4. Pat (don’t rub) your skin dry.

The types of products you can use to curb your acne include:

Cleansers. Cleansers wash away dirt, grime, makeup, and pollution, Day says. A good cleanser will also let other skin products reach your skin and work better. Choose gentle cleaners that won’t strip your skin, says Jonette Keri, MD, PhD, associate professor of dermatology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

Over-the-Counter Creams and Lotions. Retinoid creams or lotions can help clear your skin and also lessen wrinkles. Products made with sulfur can be good for the occasional spot treatment. Benzoyl peroxide is another acne fighter. Use benzoyl peroxide products only occasionally, because they can dry out your skin, Day says. You could also try a milder benzoyl peroxide product.

Cosmetics. Some cosmetics include salicylic acid, which fights acne. In general, look for skin care products that say on the label that they are noncomedogenic (which means they don’t clog pores) or non-acnegenic (they don’t cause breakouts).

Adult Acne in Men: What It Is, Causes of Adult Acne, and How to Treat

There are many things from your childhood you may want to carry into adulthood – acne however, is not one of them. Adult acne in men can be incredibly embarrassing. There’s something about pimples that just don’t go along with stubble and a square jaw line.

Our guide on adult acne will explain what adult acne is, the causes of adult acne, and treatments on how to get rid of adult acne in men.

What is adult acne in men?

Adult male acne is no different than the acne you may have had when you were a teenager. Over ten percent of men over the age of 25 experience regular adult acne breakouts.

Male adult acne is caused by excess secretion of sebum in the sebaceous glands, typically caused by an increase in hormones. When these hormones are mixed with bacteria, white blood cells move into the infected area to heal, causing a pimple.

What Causes Adult Acne in Men?

There are many causes of adult acne in men, but the following are the most common:

Stress: Stress causes an increase in the androgen hormone, which stimulates your sebaceous glades to overproduce sebum. The androgen homorone is responsible for developing male traits. You might think having an excess is a good thing, but it’s not. Your body needs a balance of it.

Excessively Drying Out Skin: If you have a tendency to over dry your skin in order to remove oil, you may be causing yourself adult acne. Excessively drying out the skin causes your sebaceous glands to go into overdrive to bring your skin’s oil level back into balance. This overdrive mode creates too much oil, filling your pores and clogging them.

Chemicals & toxins: Chemicals and toxins in skin care products you’re using can irritate the skin, causing inflammation leading to acne. Inflammed skin is more likely to see a build of up white blood cells, causing pimples to appear. Use natural men’s skin care and grooming products to avoid this type of inflammation.

Lifestyle: Drinking, eating unhealthy, and taking prescription drugs can cause adult acne in men.

Adult Acne Treatments for Men:

The first step in treating men’s adult acne is to buy men’s facial products that are designed for your skin type. Over drying the skin or creating excess oil both contribute to acne.

We also recommend using natural & organic skin care products for men. As discussed above, chemicals and toxins in generic skin care products can create adult acne by inflaming the skin. Using any type of products with salicylic acid or glycolic acid, two widely used “adult acne treatment ingredients”, will severely dry out your skin, inflaming it.

Start out by cleansing your face with a natural men’s face wash no more than twice a day, in the morning and at night. Remember, your skin needs to feel hydrated, not dry in order to stay in balance and not create acne.

Post cleanse, we recommend you use a natural men’s face scrub no more than twice a week. If you have sensitive skin or severe acne, limit exfoliating your face to only once per week and be extremely gentle on the skin. Rubbing a face scrub into your skin viciously can cause an outbreak.

After washing and scrubbing, use a natural skin toner for men. We don’t recommend a toner with alcohol – it will dry out your skin and do more harm than good. Instead, look for a toner with witch hazel – a natural astringent that reduces inflammation – and hydrating ingredients like aloe and cucumber. These ensure your skin’s pH remains balanced and your oil production stays under control without causing dryness or irritation.

The final step is to use a natural & organic face moisturizer for men. Apply only a thin layer, being careful not to excessively add the lotion to your skin. A hydrated face stays in balance, helping prevent acne, while an excessively hydrated face can clog pores, creating acne.

What causes adult acne?

The reasons for adult acne are numerous but rest assured, it’s not likely from eating chocolate or greasy food. In men, the causes of adult acne are normally the same factors that cause teenage acne. However, in women the causes are more complicated. Most of the time adult acne is due to one of the following factors:
Fluctuating hormones. Hormonal factors related to estrogen and progesterone are common in female acne, including changes in hormones due to pregnancy and menopause. Circumstances such as starting, stopping, or changing a birth control pill or IUD can cause or worsen acne. Acne can even occur months after this change. Female adult acne often has “flares” or breakouts that can be traced back to certain times of the menstrual period.
Stress. Research shows a relationship between acne and stress. When we experience stress, the level of acne-causing hormones called androgens increases, stimulating oil glands and hair follicles that contribute to acne.
Skin and hair products. Not all skin care products are created equal. Read the labels and look for words like oil-free, non-comedogenic, or non-acnegenic. These terms mean the products won’t clog pores or stimulate excess oil production. Make sure your face wash, moisturizer and sun block contain these phrases.
An underlying medical condition. In a small percentage of patients, acne could be caused by an undiagnosed medical condition. In women, a condition called polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) often underlies chronic or difficult-to-control acne. A dermatologist will take a careful history and perform an exam, including a possible blood test, to better identify underlying causes.
Family history. That’s right, another thing we can blame on our genetics. If a close relative or family member has had acne, your acne may be genetically predisposed. The good news is that doesn’t mean it can’t be treated.
Medications. Some medications have acne as a side effect that can either cause it or make it worse. A dermatologist will be able to determine if your medications are causing or contributing to breakouts. Common factors include steroid inhalers, birth control, and testosterone to name a few.

Getting to the Root Cause of Acne

CAUSE OF ADULT ACNE

My acne was due to digestive and hormonal issues. Before you read on you should know that I had all the relevant blood and stool tests to determine this cause.

Looking back at my journey, I am now grateful for my face reacting the way it did as I realise that skin is an elimination organ, and it was highlighting the internal problems I was having.

Even before the acne had started, I’d been noticing a dull tone to my skin, rough texture and a seeing more pores than usual, however these are easy things to cover up with make up – and if I’m honest that’s where I was spending the most of my time and money (on concealers, full coverage makeup, face masks and alcohol rich pore minimising skincare!).

Although it doesn’t feel like it now, it’s better to address acne or any skincare concern when it starts. I learnt my lesson the hard way, but you can hopefully see from the images how my acne, radiance and glow changed over time, with consistency and an understanding of what was happening to my face and body as detailed below.

HORMONAL ACNE

There is a lot of research that suggests the main cause of adult acne is due to elevated levels of androgens (male hormones, although also found in women). In my situation I went to get a blood test, found that one particular reproductive hormone was comparable to that of a 45 year old woman’s, and this is after a lifetime of eating meat, eggs, dairy, and all animal produce. I was still in good shape and thought that I was eating a healthy diet. I worked through to heal and stabilise this, and am still working on it.

Food was my biggest medicine, and I truly believe it is the number one aspect you should concentrate on when trying to calm any skin irritation and regulate hormones or insulin levels. For me, moving to a plant based diet and not consuming the antibiotics and hormones that come with animal produce these days in general lowered my stress levels and stabilised my hormones. Also being aware of the ‘dirty dozen’ and buying organic food where possible helped a lot. You will quickly notice that moving away from animal produce saves you a lot of money also, so reinvest that into good quality, organically grown plants, fruits, legumes, nuts and whole grains.

I personally ate a lot of dairy produce without even realising it, including milk, cheese, sweets, etc – if you do eat pasteurised Dairy, it will be a substance causing your hormone levels to be out of whack due to the testosterone and reproductive hormones found within. There is also research that shows dairy promotes cancerous cell growth and IGF1.

Once you start consciously noticing how much animal produce is in most ready made food you will realise how much you consume on a daily basis. I honestly believe that in 50-100 year’s time when further research comes out our ancestors will look at us like we were insane for consuming the amount of animal produce we do per day in western diets. If you don’t want to stop eating animal meat or products at least cut down to a few times a week, and reduce food that spikes your sugar and causes excess insulin release. It will not only do wonders to your body and skin, but your mental health and clarity. I personally became a lot calmer and level headed which also helped me deal with my acne by believing it would pass, and not crying and picking at my spots when it all became too much!

When I found all of this out I went on a Soy binge (soy lattes, soy porridge, soy everything) until I found out that Soy is one of the most genetically modified plants out there – so try almond, macadamia or oat milk as an alternative rather than Animal Milk or Soy!

6 months after my acne had healed and my diet was on a consistent and healthy path, I introduced animal produce back into my diet. I eat meat once, sometimes twice a week and am enjoy a cheese platter. A disclaimer to this is that I am very picky about where my animal produce comes from. If I’m in a restaurant I ask about the origin, and fortunately having lived in Switzerland and now in Germany, I am aware of my privilege having access to organic, grass fed, small batch produce that comes from local farmers. This is not only good for ethical and environmental reasons, but also for your microbiome and gut.

There are studies that show that eating foods grown close to where you live is extremely beneficial for the stability and function of a healthy microbiome. One study even showed how hay fever allergies were reduced in individuals who consumed honey cultivated from an area close to where they lived. There are hundreds of examples of this on Google, along with an interesting Ted Talk by a scientist who studied the gut of healthy immigrants who moved away from their country of origin and how they lost a large fraction of their microbiome after coming to the USA, which subsequently affected their health and appearance. See ‘How we study the microbes living in your gut’ by Dan Knights. Your microbiome can however be restored, which will in turn stabilise your hormones. This leads me to the second, more obvious issue I had with my gut, colon, liver and digestion.

DIGESTION

If you can’t get a blood or microbiome test, a quick and easy way to check if your body’s digestive system is functioning properly is to look at your tongue in the mornings. If you wake up with a white or yellow residue on your tongue it means waste is not moving properly through your bowels and intestines.

White or yellow residue on your tongue is essentially a result of undigested food. It means your body is not capable of breaking down your food properly and is lingering in the body.

The toxic by-product of undigested food then accumulates in your colon and will eventually enter into your bloodstream (leaky gut). It can even travel through your body and lodge itself in tissue and organs.

What most people don’t realise is that our skin is an elimination organ, so if you have acne it is your body’s defence system trying to tell you something. I eventually came to believe that I was quite lucky that my body came out with acne because if it didn’t there are many other less obvious symptoms to leaky and other gut disorders (sluggishness, body odour, brain fog, fatigue, constipation) that can result in more serious disease down the line.

In my case, listening to my body and not suppressing it with antibiotics was necessary. This is talked about a lot in Ayurvedic medicine, but surprisingly not at all in modern western medicine. Anyone who has taken antibiotics for acne (including me!) can tell you that if you are not cleaning up your lifestyle and diet the acne will always come back – this is because antibiotics destroy the healthy bacteria in your gut, pollute your liver, and can actually leave you in a worse off position than when you started.

Getting your bowels and lymph to circulate and move is a very important first step for elimination (apart from diet of course).

Move your body and get your blood pumping to flush the waste, and nourish your body with fibre and plant rich foods. Avoid all processed food and meat, especially if you have any of the above symptoms because these foods feed pathogenic bacteria.

Drink mint, dandelion or other bitter drinks before eating to help your body create bile and digestive enzymes to break down food easier. Drink lots of water and clean up your diet. There are so many people preaching different diets but you must discover what works for you and your body. Different people feed off different things, my main piece of advice would be to avoid all animal produce for at least a few months to give your body a chance to heal.

Next you need to strengthen your gut barrier and balance your gut flora by removing these pathogens and bad bacteria that are most probably dominating if you have acne. Replenish your system with good bacteria (probiotics) and feed it so that bacteria can flourish (prebiotic).

What causes forehead acne?

Prescription medications for acne may include:

  • corticosteroids
  • antimicrobials
  • antibiotics
  • retinoids
  • combined contraceptives

People with acne should avoid popping their pimples as this increases the risk of scarring and infection.

Home remedies can also be used alongside medication, or for very mild cases of acne on the forehead.

An example of a home remedy is to apply a warm compress to the forehead twice daily, which can help remove excess sebum and improve recovery.

Other home remedies that people with acne on the forehead can try include:

  • Aloe vera. Apply pure aloe vera oil directly to the forehead.
  • Tea tree oil. Mix a few drops with water and apply to the forehead with a cotton pad.
  • Apple cider vinegar. Mix one-quarter diluted apple cider vinegar with three-quarters water and apply to the forehead with a cotton pad.
  • Lemon or lime juice. Apply directly to the forehead with a cotton pad.
  • Zinc. Zinc can be taken orally, as a supplement to help improve the skin.

People can also combine the following ingredients to make a face mask that they can leave on overnight:

  • mix 2–3 teaspoons of aloe vera gel with 3–4 drops of tea tree oil
  • apply to the face
  • leave on overnight
  • wash off in the morning
  • repeat nightly, until the acne or pimples improve

Home Remedies for Acne: Your Ultimate Guide to Get Rid of Acne

Acne is a common skin condition that occurs when the skin pores get clogged with oil and dead cells. The forehead is one of the most common areas where pimples or bumps may appear. In this guide, we’re going to answer the two most important questions that have probably left you wondering all this while. But, what causes forehead acne? Adult acne may occur primarily due to hormonal changes in the body but here are some more reasons why the forehead is susceptible to acne. It is often caused due to excess production of oil from the sebaceous glands leading to the blockage of hair follicles. There are times when eating of some foods can do more harm than good to your body. A diet comprising unhealthy foods can cause acne to a great extent. Acne is caused by secretion of too much oil (sebum) in the body. It can also be caused by genetics, irregular menstrual cycle, stress, hot and humid weather and even by oil-based makeup. Acne can also lead to scars on the face if not taken care of properly.

Here Are A Few Causes Of Acne:

1. Bad cosmetics: Forehead acne can occur due to certain makeup or hair products that may not suit you. Chemicals in certain shampoos, sprays or gels may drip off your hair and irritate the sensitive skin leading to blocked pores and acne flare ups as a reaction. Face acne may occur due to presence of laolin — it is a specific ingredient found in your foundation. When pores become clogged from such irritating ingredient, they attempt to flush themselves out, consequently resulting in acne.

2. Dandruff and greasy scalp:Dandruff and excess oil can clog the skin pores causing zits and pimples. Dandruff is one of the most common causes of forehead acne. People with oily scalp are also prone to have acne on the forehead, upper chest and the back. There are many creams and treatments available to cure the acne caused by dandruff. However, there’re many natural chemical-free methods; better to opt for home remedies.
(Also Read: 7 Foods That Can Cause Acne)

Dandruff is one of the most common causes of forehead acne.

3. Popping zits: We know how frustrating acne can be but popping the zits can cause the bacteria to spread and cause even more acne. Excoriated acne may occur when you have the habit of constantly touching your face to peel blemishes or remove blackheads which can only aggravate the condition.
4. Digestive problems: It is due to the functions of the digestive system that we are able to absorb all the beauty nutrients from the food we eat and they also help in removing the toxins. Lot of studies have showed that gastrointestinal distress like constipation, heartburn and abdominal bloating are likely to be associated with acne. Since skin is your largest organ, problems like acne, dermatitis and more may occur when something is wrong internally.
5. Stress: It has been found that when you are stressed more oil (sebum) is produced that clogs the hair follicles and allows more acne to form. A lot or studies show that stress and acne are directly linked. The body responds to stress by directing blood flow and oxygen to areas vital for fighting the stress, and withdraws from other areas, including the skin. The skin eventually becomes starved of blood and oxygen, making it dehydrated, dull, lifeless, and prone to clogged pores and acne.
6. Over exfoliating:Exfoliation helps in removing the dead skin cells but overdoing it may result in acne and irritation. Even the beauty experts around the world will tell you that exfoliation is the best way to remove dead cells, rejuvenate your skin and bring back your natural glow. It’s best to limit it twice a week.
(Also Read: Ayurveda For Acne: 5 Easy Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Acne)

Exfoliation is the best way to remove dead cells, but limit it twice a week.

There are many home remedies for acne that you may want to try.

Forehead is a part of the T-zone of the face which is usually oily and this makes it more prone to acne. The good news is that forehead acne is easier to prevent and treat than the other areas. We’ve got you some great advice and remedies for forehead acne.
1. Lemon: This is the easiest remedy for forehead acne. “Apply some lime juice directly on the acne and leave it on for 5 minutes. It might burn a bit but it is very effective in clearing the acne,” suggests Dermatologist Dr. Deepali Bhardwaj.
2.Tea Tree Oil: “Tea tree oil is the best proven treatment for forehead acne. One can simply just put two drops of tea tree oil over the forehead acne. Tea tree oil has strong antibiotic properties which can destroy acne causing bacteria,” shares Himanshu Chadha, Director, APS Cosmetofood.
(Also Read: The Acne Diet: What to Eat and What to Avoid for Flawless Skin​)

Tea tree oil has strong antibiotic properties which can destroy acne causing bacteria.

3. Almond powder, gram flour and turmeric: Mix almond powder and gram flour in equal quantities with a pinch of turmeric. Add water to this mix to make a paste and apply it over your forehead. Leave it on for about 15-20 minutes and then rinse.
4. Apply melon: In his book, “Ayurvedic Home Remedies”, Dr. Vasant Lad suggests that you can rub a slice of melon on the acne and leave it on overnight. It has a cooling effect so it helps in healing the acne and also makes your skin soft.
Comments5. Black pepper: This is an old remedy from granny’s treasure trove. Mix some black pepper with water and apply it on the acne. Leave it on till it dries but be careful to keep away from your eyes. This may burn a bit so you can even add some soothing yogurt or few drops of rose water to this mix.

Black pepper is rich in antibacterial and antioxidant properties. ​

For clear and supple skin, it’s not only important to have a balanced diet but also to exercise daily. Being active helps in improving the blood circulation and increasing the blood flow to the skin to heal the acne faster.

Acne Face Mapping Can Reveal the True Cause of Your Breakouts

Ever wonder why pimples tend to pop up in the same spot over and over again? According to an ancient Ayurvedic technique called face mapping, the location of your acne may have something to do with what’s happening inside your body.

Face mapping associates facial skin areas with different internal organs. When the practice was first developed thousands of years ago, the location of blemishes on the face helped doctors diagnose internal health problems. (They didn’t have modern tools like X-rays, after all.) Today, the practice can still be used to help zero in on the health- or lifestyle-related factors that might be bringing on breakouts.

“Our facial anatomy determines the type of skin in specific area,” says Amanda Doyle, MD, a dermatologist at the Russak Dermatology Clinic in New York City. “The skin around our eyelids is 10 times thinner than the skin on the rest of the face. That’s why facial mapping is very important in terms of caring for your skin,” adds Dr. Doyle, who employs facial mapping before conducting all skin treatments at her office. The location of your breakouts can also help alert you to what type of acne you have, whether it’s basic acne or the hormonal kind, Dr. Doyle says.

So whether your cheeks, nose, or chin are giving you blemish-related grief, this guide can help you ID the possible causes of your skin imperfections, as well as the most effective zit-zapping tactics.

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If you consistently break out on your jaw or chin…

It might mean: Your hormones are out of whack

It’s safe to bet to blame jaw and chin breakouts on hormones, says Dr. Doyle. Hormonal acne is caused by an excess of the male hormone androgen (which includes testosterone), she explains; these hormones can over-stimulate the oil glands and clog pores where the acne bacteria grow. A hormone-related breakout might also occur about seven to 10 days before a woman’s period.

Dr. Doyle recommends prescription-strength products to treat hormonal flare-ups that occur fairly regularly. She suggests asking your dermatologist about Aczone, a topical gel that is commonly prescribed to treat hormonal acne. “Also, spironolactone can be quite helpful. This is an oral medication that is prescription strength,” she adds. (Read up on more ways to treat hormonal acne without birth control.)

If you break out near the edges of your face…

It might mean: Your beauty products are clogging your pores

Breaking out along the hairline, near the ears, or in the cheek area can fall into the hormonal acne category, Dr. Doyle says. That being said, “I also think about exogenous factors, such as hair products containing oils and chemicals that can clog or irritate the pores,” she adds.

You can try switching up your beauty routine for a few weeks to incorporate more natural products and see if you notice any skin improvements. Or, consider having your dermatologist or doctor look at the ingredients in your favorite products (makeup, hair, skincare included) to point out any common irritants. Wearing dirty workout headbands, hats, or earmuffs can also transport bacteria to the edges of your face, so wash your gear frequently.

RELATED: Winter Skin Annoyances, Solved

If you get blemishes on your cheeks…

It might mean: You’re eating too much sugar

Acne in the cheek area can be a sign of high sugar consumption, says Dr. Doyle. Cleaning up your diet and limiting your intake of the sweet stuff may help cheek breakouts clear up. You should also be aware of how close you’re holding your phone to your face. “Our cell phones are notorious for carrying germs, and the screen accumulates oil and makeup from pressing against our face,” Dr. Doyle says. Clean your smartphone with a disinfectant wipe regularly to prevent transferring germs to your skin.

If you get flare-ups in the forehead area…

It might mean: You’re stressed, sleep-deprived, or have digestive or liver issues

Pimples here are often linked to the digestive system, Dr. Doyle says; they may be a clue that your body is having a hard time breaking down certain foods. Other possibilities? ” may also indicate liver problems, stress, or an irregular sleep schedule,” she adds. Consistent forehead breakouts are worth bringing up with your doctor.

If you have bumps within the T-zone…

It might mean: Your face is producing too much oil

The T-zone—forehead, nose, and down to the chin region—is generally a bit slicker because it has more oil glands than the rest of the face, Dr. Doyle explains. That makes it prone to blackheads and whiteheads. The makeup you’re using can also bring on breakouts. “I see a lot of patients with clogged pores from using makeup that isn’t non-comedogenic, meaning that it does not clog the pores,” she says.

The best way to extract blackheads and whiteheads is manually at a dermatologist’s office, Dr. Doyle says. Still, they often come back, she warns. “Topical retinoids can also help, as this serves to expel the sebum from the actual pores when used appropriately.”

The bottom line

Face mapping can be a useful starting point for pinpointing the cause of your pimples—but it’s not foolproof. If your acne doesn’t seem to clear up after a couple of weeks, or you have additional symptoms (stomach problems or extreme fatigue, for example, which may indicate something more serious beyond breakouts), make an appointment with your doctor.

“It’s best to be proactive, and there are so many options to treat acne, Rx and non-Rx,” Dr. Doyle says. “Talking to a professional who can customize your regimen and incorporate both is best. Many products, even some over-the-counter products, are not safe for use in pregnancy or breastfeeding as well, so having someone to guide you through that process can be helpful.”

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