A breakout is just the worst. And it can cause even more drama when you aren’t sure what produced it. If you’re facing a breakout, check out these six common causes and what to do about them.
1. You’re Stressed to the Max
Stress doesn’t do anyone any favors — and it certainly doesn’t help you battle a breakout. Stress triggers the body’s production of cortisol, which can impact your mood and digestion. It can also put your body into a panic. When your body is more focused on survival than repair, it can be hard for acne to heal.
A pimple is essentially a wound, and when your body’s core functions are focused on stress, zits can hang around. Assess your current situation and consider if stress is a factor for you. If it is, work to reduce your stressors. Add a yoga or meditation practice at the beginning and end of each day to help you re-center. Even just five minutes of focused breathing can improve stress levels.
2. Your Hormones Are Out of Whack
Those elusive hormones are essential to your body’s functioning, but nothing works well when they’re out of alignment. If your breakouts are prevalent on your cheeks and jawline, it may indicate that hormones are to blame. Consider reaching out to a provider to assess your situation and prescribe you an effective acne treatment protocol.
Sometimes those who are experiencing hormonal acne may be prescribed medication to help regulate their levels. Results typically begin to show after weeks or even months of consistent medication administration. Be patient as your body regulates itself and works to heal the acne you’ve accumulated thus far.
3. Your Skincare Routine May Need a Revamp
When you think of your skincare routine, do you smile or cringe? If you suspect that you’ve gotten lax with your cleansing and exfoliating schedule, consider an upgrade. Start with a gentle salicylic acid cleanser, which can help gently exfoliate your skin as you battle breakouts.
Add an SPF moisturizer to your morning routine to keep your skin protected against harmful UV rays. In the evening, sample moisturizers that nurture your skin without clogging your pores. Be sure to remove all makeup before drifting off to sleep. Consider switching out your pillowcase a few times a week if your skin is more oily. These simple changes can make a big difference in your skin.
4. Your Makeup May Be to Blame
How old is your favorite makeup? If you aren’t sure, it may be time to switch it out for all new products. Most cosmetics are only recommended to be used for a few months at a time. Check the packaging for the manufacturers’ recommendation before you start tossing your products.
While you’re shopping for replacements for your favorite products, make sure they are non-comedogenic. This designation means that the products are not likely to clog your pores. While this packaging statement doesn’t guarantee clear skin, it can help guide you to the most skin-friendly products out there.
5. Your Favorite Foods May Not Be Skin-Friendly
How’s your diet been lately? While changing your eating habits isn’t the most fun adjustment, it can do wonders for your skin. Focus on whole foods, especially leafy greens and fruits. Natural sugar from fruit will be more easily digested by your body than refined sugars.
Sugar from foods can spike your blood sugar, which then causes inflammation in your body. This inflammation can incite the production of oily sebum. This lethal combo can lead to breakouts. Instead, clean up your diet and save the sugar for only the most delicious offerings.
6. Your Genetics May Be Sabotaging Your Skin
It’s always the parents to blame, right? But in this case, it may be true. Your genetics play a big factor in your overall health picture. It’s only natural to correlate your skin health to your familial history. Ask your family members what their acne situation was at your age and see if you can land on any similarities.
If it comes to light that they battled acne too, ask what they did to overcome it. If they’re still fighting it off, consider working together to find solutions. No one likes having acne, especially as an adult. Don’t be discouraged if you’re genetically predisposed to breakouts. Lifestyle changes, medication, and topical solutions can offer relief to even the most egregious breakouts.
Crack the Code of Your Skin Issues
Sorting out your skincare situation can sometimes feel like a puzzle. Treat your acne problems like a fact-finding mission as you work to find a treatment plan that works. Conduct research on reputable websites, reach out to trusted providers, and log your findings.
Consider keeping a skin diary and tracking your breakouts based on severity, location, and life factors. After a few months, you should be able to identify trends that you can then share with your provider. Pay special attention to stressful seasons in your life, hormonal changes associated with monthly cycles, and dietary adjustments. When you tackle your skin situation holistically, you stand the best chance at achieving a clear complexion.