There’s no other way about it: breakouts put a serious damper on things. They have the worst timing (think just before a big date or job interview!) and no matter what you do, they’re going to linger for a few days, as there really is no quick fix.
Though they may seem to pop up randomly sometimes, breakouts are triggered by various problems or conditions. And while it’s always best to consult a professional to understand the cause of your breakouts, there are certain signs that can give you an indication as to why you’re getting them. A theory called “face mapping” suggests that the area on the face in which you break out gives us clues as to what’s causing the breakout. Although this theory cannot be interpreted as cast-in-stone facts (remember, everyone is different and there is no one-size-fits-all reasoning when it comes to acne and breakouts), it’s a great place to start your detective work.
Let’s break it down:
You may never have guessed it, but the stubborn pimples that show up along the hairline on the forehead are often caused by hair care products! Many shampoos and conditioners contain pomades, an ingredient designed to prevent the natural oil or sebum in our hair follicles from escaping. Though it is good for maintaining the lusciousness of the hair, pomades may cause blockages in the follicles, leading to pimples. To combat this, we suggest using a clarifying shampoo or a noncomedogenic shampoo, or gently cleansing the skin around the hairline with your cleanser after rinsing the shampoo out.
The condition of the skin on the forehead is linked to two factors: stress and the digestive system. In terms of digestion, it may indicate that your body is having difficulty breaking down certain foods, and it would thus be beneficial to take a hard look at your diet and determine which foods should be replaced with healthier alternatives. Avoid rich, oily and processed foods and eat plenty of fresh fruit and veg, lean proteins and healthy fibres instead. If you’ve noticed an increase in breakouts during stressful periods, introduce some spot-fighting ingredients to your skincare regime (we are rooting for salicylic acid).
The most common cause of nose breakouts is clogged pores, which is also why the nose is such a common area for blackheads. The pores in this area are often dilated and as such, they become clogged easily. Be vigilant with your makeup to ensure that you don’t use old products past their expiry date and try to stay away from thick and heavy foundations that don’t allow the skin to breathe. Invest in a good vitamin A (retinol) serum to prevent the skin from over-producing sebum and to promote skin cell turnover.
One of the major causes of cheek breakouts are germs. Germs are everywhere, and at any given time we have thousands of them on our hands. Every time you touch your skin, those germs are transferred from your fingers to your face, often leading to breakouts. The same goes for cellphones and makeup brushes or sponges – these need to be cleaned and sterilised often to ensure they don’t become breeding grounds for bacteria. You should also change your pillowcase regularly. This area also corresponds with your respiratory system, so it’s a brilliant motivator to stop smoking.
Mouth and chin
Possibly the most accurate of all face mapping areas, the mouth and chin area almost always indicates hormone fluctuations or imbalances. This could be due to your menstrual cycle, oral contraceptives and even menopause. Though some oral contraceptives may help decrease hormonal breakouts, some may also be the cause, making this a matter best discussed with your doctor. Hormone imbalances may also be related to your diet, and many scientists believe that gut health plays a major role in your body’s hormone functions. We recommend cutting back on refined foods, sugars and carbohydrates and drinking plenty of water.
When to see a professional
No one is completely immune to breakouts, and even those of us with seemingly perfect skin is likely to get a pimple from time to time. We recommend making an appointment with the professionals at Skin Renewal if your breakouts are regular or stubborn, if you suspect they are indicating a larger problem, or if you’d like to get to the root of the breakout and prevent it from reoccurring.
This post was sponsored by Skin Renewal.