Acne Face Mapping 101: How to Decode Your Breakouts
Do you constantly struggle with acne, but can’t seem to find the right culprit to blame? Keep reading to find out what your breakouts mean and how you can help combat them once and for all.
As your body’s largest organ—and biggest defender—your skin sure can take a hit. But, sometimes, the repercussions of protecting your insides can get bumpy (pun intended), resulting in a variety of irritations more commonly known as breakouts. Whether it be one lone pimple or a family of zits, it’s safe to say that at one point or another, we have all experienced the occasional bout of acne. And, while dirt and debris can play a key role in clogged pores and blemished skin, they aren’t necessarily the only culprit. Our complexions are like a mirror that reflects what’s going on inside our bodies—from poor diet to hormonal fluctuations to allergies—so, with a better understanding of why we are experiencing breakouts in certain areas of our face, we can start to read and understand why breakouts are happening in the first place. To learn more about why we breakout and what our breakouts might be telling us, we turned to board-certified dermatologist, and Skincare.com expert, Dr. Dendy Engelman who helps to explain acne face mapping below!
If you are experiencing breakouts on your cheeks, Dr. Engelman says that it could be due to allergies, pollution, and buildup. She suggests using deep cleansing masks to help control excess oil and rid the skin’s surface of dead skin cells and other impurities that may cause breakouts. You’ll also want to keep the items that touch your cheeks—like your makeup brushes, pillowcases, and cleansing brushes—as clean as possible. Dirty brushes are a breeding ground for blemish-causing bacteria, so cleaning them is truly non-negotiable. If you need a handy, step-by-step guide on how to thoroughly clean your makeup brushes, read our tutorial here.
“A hormonal imbalance can be what is causing the acne on your jawline,” Engelman says. “If you are experiencing this, try steaming your face and using a purifying mask [formulated for blemished skin].” You may also want to try munching on foods like leafy greens, almonds, and salmon. For more insight on how you can eat your way to better skin, read up on all of the best superfoods to add to your diet, here.
The T-Zone—the nose and forehead area—may be one of the more common areas for one to experience a breakout. From excess oil to stress, the reasons for these breakouts can vary case-by-case. One reason why you might be breaking out on your T-Zone may be connected to your diet. “If you are experiencing breakouts in [your T-Zone], you may want to revise your diet to include more fruits and vegetables,” Dr. Engelman suggests. “You’ll also want to keep yourself hydrated by drinking more water.” Not a fan of plain H2O? Give your glass a tasty twist with one of these spa-inspired fruit water recipes!
Breaking out around your mouth can be linked to the same culprit as your T-Zone: your diet. Only this may be a more topical matter. Residue from foods that are high in acid can leave the skin around mouth—especially the corners—feeling irritated and may cause redness or swelling. If this is something you experience often, you may want to start carrying facial wipes in your purse and give the skin around your mouth a good cleanse after you chow down.
Breakouts around your hairline can often be linked to your hair products and these breakouts can occur in a number of different ways. If you’re the kind of person who messes with their hair often, chances are you are coming in contact with the skin on your hairline and essentially exposing that skin to a product that should remain on your strands. You can prevent these breakouts by washing your hands after applying hair product or playing with your hair and paying close attention to your hairline when you cleanse your skin at the end of the day.
THE BEST PRODUCTS TO TARGET ACNE
Acne might not be the only skin concern you’re dealing with. Are you looking to target signs of skin aging, dryness, a dulled complexion and more? The good news is you can address acne plus your additional concerns all at once. Below, we’re sharing our favorite acne-fighting products that do more than just combat blemishes.
Acne and Signs of Aging: SkinCeuticals Blemish + Age Defense
When you’re dealing with acne coupled with visible signs of skin aging, reach for a salicylic acne treatment that’s specifically formulated for aging skin. We recommend SkinCeuticals Blemish + Age Defense, a salicylic acid acne treatment for aging skin prone to breakouts. It can help diminish the appearance of visible signs of aging, as well as decongest clogged pores.
SkinCeuticals Blemish + Age Defense, $91 MSRP
Acne and Large Pores: La Roche-Posay Effaclar Serum
Currently struggling with acne and large pores? Consider reaching for La Roche-Posay’s Effaclar Serum. The pore-refining serum helps tighten the look of large pores and visibly smooths the skin’s texture for a more even tone.
La Roche-Posay Effaclar Serum, $44.99 MSRP
Acne and Dry Skin: Vichy Normaderm Beautifying Anti-Acne Care
If breakouts and dry skin are a top concern for you, Vichy’s Normaderm Beautifying Anti-Acne Care is the moisturizer your blemish-prone skin needs. This beautifying, anti-acne care lotion–– formulated with salicylic acid––is a great non-comedogenic option that can help your skin feel hydrated while looking radiant and beautiful. What’s more? The formula helps hydrate the skin while reducing the look of breakouts, dullness, and excess shine.