Breakouts are a bummer. We all know the feeling (shock, despair, even awe) of spotting an angry zit on an otherwise flawless complexion. Before you raise your fists to the sky and desperately demand, “Why me?!” take a breath. There is more to breakouts than meets the eye — and where they appear on your face can be the key to stopping them for good. Here is your guide to using a face map to decode what your breakouts are telling you.
Wondering what your breakouts are telling you? You can get breakouts along your hairline, nose, cheeks, forehead, chin and jaw. Various causes can trigger breakouts in different areas of your face. The Acne Face Map shows you the cause of each breakout zone and also provides some tips on what you can do to minimize their appearance. Keep reading to learn about the different areas you can break out in.
Different Areas Of The Acne Face Map
Breakouts along the hairline are often due to beauty product buildup. Known as “pomade acne,” the oils and chemicals in shampoo and makeup residue can accumulate on the skin’s surface, sinking into and clogging pores. The most obvious culprit is wearing headbands, bandanas, hats, or beanies, all of which can trap makeup, shampoo residue and oil beneath the skin’s surface. Breakouts around the hairline can also be due to hormones (puberty, menstrual cycle, pregnancy). Sometimes washing your face too frequently or “too aggressively” may dry out the skin, disrupt the skin barrier and trigger excess oil production.
Are pimples popping up on your forehead? Unhealthy eating and stress are probable offenders. In face mapping, your forehead is linked to your digestive and nervous systems, making it susceptible to diet and stress-related breakouts. Another reason for forehead pimples? Bangs covering your forehead. If your hair is often oily, it could rub against the skin, causing skin irritation and spots.
The nose typically has larger pores compared to other areas on the face. A larger pore size makes the pores more susceptible to a buildup of excess oil. When combined with bacteria, this combination of factors could lead to acne flare ups, explains our Product Support Representatives. According to one dermatological study, stress may be another factor contributing to breakouts, not just on the nose, but in general. The study found a “significant association between stress and severity of acne,” especially in males.
If spots are showing up on your cheeks, your cell phone and pillowcase may be to blame. Your phone accumulates plenty of bad-for-your-skin bacteria during the day, and wiping it down is a must, even if it looks clean. Your pillowcase is an equal haven for bacteria, so changing your pillowcases as often as you can may help reduce breakouts.
According to face mapping, hormones could be the cause of blemishes along your chin and jawline. Hormonal acne is caused by an excess of hormones due to menstruation, pregnancy and increased androgen levels. These fluctuations result in inflammation, excessive oil production, clogged skin cells and bacteria production. While it tends to appear in the T-zone during puberty, hormonal acne typically forms along the chin and jawline in adults.
While there are ingredients that are broadly beneficial for those dealing with acne, you can also create a ritual where you target your breakouts based on where they crop up. For the particularly pesky forehead area, apply our Clear Skin Willow Bark Booster-Serum. Formulated with willow bark, horsetail and walnut leaf, this serum improves the appearance of breakouts by providing gentle exfoliation and promoting the look of elasticity. It also provides antioxidants via a Biocomplex2™ to help the skin appear revitalized for a clearer-looking complexion. The Clear Skin Willow Bark Booster-Serum can also treat the nose area.
Keep your nose clearer with the Acne Advanced Clarifying Masque, a two-in-one mask and spot treatment that contains exfoliating benefits to improve clogged pores. The Clear Skin Willow Bark Exfoliating Peel can also target the nose thanks to lactic acid and salicylic acid, which are gentle exfoliants that accelerate the removal of dead skin cells to clear the skin’s surface.
It’s important to double cleanse to keep your entire face clean and ensure that you’re thoroughly removing all makeup, oil and grime — this is particularly crucial along your cheeks as well as the skin around the hairline. Remove your makeup with the Stone Crop Cleansing Oil. Then cleanse on a deeper scale with your favorite Eminence Organics cleanser. Lead Skin Care Trainer Natalie Pergar recommends the Acne Advanced Cleansing Foam which feels super hydrating and cleanses impurities without leaving the skin feeling tight and dry. This double cleansing method will help you remove every last bit of residue from your skin's pores.
Target the skin on your chin and jaw with our Eight Greens Collection, which is infused with whole plants and seeds that are naturally high in phytoestrogens and antioxidants to improve the look of problem skin. Learn more about face mapping and other useful products in this In The Mix video.
Those pesky forehead pimples can be alleviated by eating less sugar and fewer processed foods, drinking plenty of water and getting between seven to nine hours of sleep. Along that vein, to prevent acne on your chin and jaw, Health magazine suggests eliminating dairy and adding probiotics to your diet to calm inflammation and limit your intake of pimple-producing hormones.
To prevent acne on your hairline, we recommend adding a double cleanse to your skin care routine with the products listed above. In addition to switching to natural shampoos and conditioners, you should also refrain from wearing headbands or hats, where possible.
To keep your cheeks clear, change your habits around your mobile phone and pillow cases. As well as choosing natural fabrics, launder pillowcases every two to three days to keep them — and your skin — clean. Dr. David E. Bank says: "Pillowcases can cause “acne mechanica,” a type of acne that is the result of materials touching your face." Over time, dirt and oil transfer to your skin, clogging pores and causing blemishes. If you always have your phone pressed to your face, sanitize your phone to keep it clear of bacteria, makeup and dirt. You may also want to consider purchasing extra pillowcases for days when you don’t have time for laundry. Also, minimize skin-to-phone contact by wearing Bluetooth earbuds.
Do you have any experience with face mapping? We’d love to hear if it helped you identify the underlying causes of your breakouts. Share your thoughts with us in the comments below or join the conversation on social media.
This article was originally written in May 2018.