Wanna Know What’s Causing Your Acne? Consider the Pimples’ Location


If you don’t typically have acne, it’s easy to blame a random blemish on an equally unusual situation: It could be last night’s birthday cake binge, or a 10-hour flight, or the 65-hour workweek you just pulled. If you’re generally blessed with porcelain skin, those passing pimples are often easy to diagnose.

But what about when those one-off pimples start happening again and again, in patterns, in the same place on your face? One disappears only to be replaced by another. And sometimes, two or three pop up together, maybe even on exact opposite ends of your mug. Well, these kinds of blemishes aren’t as easy to scapegoat on one-off stressful moments or changes to your routine. 

However, they are equally diagnosable, because they likely accommodate some habit of yours. And once you have the likely culprit, you can begin taking preventative measures. And it is the location of your pimple that can often tell you about the blemish’s origin story. It might be some habit of yours, a hair or skin product, or even genetics. So for more insight on the various culprits (based on the common facial pimple locales), we summoned the smarts of two top skin doctors: dermatology general practitioner Dr. Pippa Bowes as well as NYC-based board-certified dermatologist and surgeon Dr. Dendy Engelman.

The Cause of Facial Acne, Based on Location

Here are the primary places you’ll experience acne around the face, and the likely explanation behind each. As for other types of acne (include maskne, bacne, and other types of body acne), be sure to prioritize your hygiene, use of non-comedogenic cleansing and moisturizing products, fresh bedding, and loose clothing.

T-zone (Forehead + Nose)

Imagine a big “T” shape on your forehead, across the forehead and down the nose. This is the “T-zone”, and it is often lumped together as one area of the face, since it is naturally the most oily compared to the rest of your mug. “This is thanks to a greater number of sebaceous glands in the area, making this a common spot for pimples and blackheads, especially for teens and people with an oily skin type,” explains Engelman.

It is this factor that contributes to many blemishes in the area (more oil means more clogged pores), but Engelman adds that it is often hormonal shifts and stress that cause T-zone breakouts. 

As for the forehead specifically, Bowes calls out the hair products that people use. “Forehead breakouts can be caused by thick or greasy products used in the hair, such as hair masks or hair gels. This is called ‘pomade acne’ and usually resolves once the products are stopped.”

How to fight T-zone acne:

After using a gentle cleanser, apply a skin-balancing toner, says Engelman. “If you notice your skin getting greasy during the day, pat it with blotting paper to soak up excess oil. Up to three times per week, use a chemical exfoliant to balance the skin, reduce breakouts, and minimize current blemishes and acne scars alike.” Also, swap out any oil-based hair stylers, and when showering, always cleanse after shampooing and conditioning the hair, to fully flush the face of any comedogenic ingredients.

Boscia blotting papers (100 count)

Herbivore AHA + BHA exfoliating serum

Around Your Mouth

There are a few different types of blemishes that pop up (and go deep) around the mouth, notes Engelman, and hormones are usually to blame for each.

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Written by shahparthsp11

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