Fighting Stubborn Chin Acne? Here's How to Clear Up (and Prevent) Breakouts

August 11, 2022
Jessica Khorsandi
By: Jessica Khorsandi | by L'Oréal
This Is Why You’re Breaking Out On Your Chin

Breakouts can be difficult to deal with no matter where they crop up, but there’s something about chin acne that’s especially frustrating. Perhaps it’s the fact that chin pimples seem to always come back, or the fact that they’re localized below your mouth and around your jawline — so they're even more noticeable than acne between the eyebrows. No matter the reason, it’s safe to say you’d like to get your chin acne in check once and for all — it's one of those perennially popular skincare questions, like how to get rid of shoulder acne or how to cover up acne. For advice, we tapped plastic surgeon, SkinCeuticals ambassador and consultant Dr. Peter Schmid. Read on for details on what causes chin acne and how you can help get rid of it.

What Causes Acne on the Chin?

According to Dr. Schmid, chin acne can be the result of numerous factors. These can include certain medications, diet, alcohol, stress, allergies, environmental conditions, sleep deprivation, poor skin hygiene, habitual skin rubbing or hand resting and more. One of the most common contributors to chin acne, however, are hormonal shifts or imbalances.

Hormonal fluctuations can occur for a number of different reasons, and, yes, your period can be to blame. “The hormonal fluctuations caused by menstrual cycles are a common cause of chin acne,” Dr. Schmid says. To get more scientific, androgens — a group of sex hormones — can stimulate oil or sebaceous glands to overproduce sebum. “Sebum, combined with excess skin cells, creates a perfect oxygen-free environment for bacteria to thrive in the follicle/pore, leading to inflammation, which ultimately creates acne pimples, nodules or cysts,” says Dr. Schmid.

How Do I Get Rid of Acne on My Chin?

Dealing with chin acne is very similar to fighting breakouts elsewhere on the face. “Practical skin care should begin with proper hand and facial skin cleansing with gentle cleansers,” says Dr. Schmid. “Diet, lifestyle or environmental modifications should be a consideration as well.” 

Dr. Schmid also recommends products formulated with benzoyl peroxide to help reduce the number of acne pimples, like the La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo Acne Spot Treatment. Products formulated with salicylic acid can also help with the management of acne. “I recommend SkinCeuticals Blemish + Age Defense, applied once a day to the affected area on existing breakouts or just before you expect a breakout (i.e. monthly hormonal fluctuations),” he says. 

For particularly swollen whiteheads, hydrocolloid pimple patches like Hero Cosmetics Mighty Patch can help pull the gunk out of pimples overnight.

Dr. Schmid also recommends visiting your dermatologist if you’re not seeing the results you’re looking for after six to eight weeks. “Resilient infected acne lesions may require medical consultation and prescription-strength acne treatment such as topical antibacterial or antifungal creams, oral antibiotics, retinoids or hormone therapy,” says Dr. Schmid.. 

Your dermatologist may also suggest procedures to open and unclog the pores, like hydrafacials, chemical peels, light therapy or laser treatments for acne-prone skin. They might even recommend exfoliating products you can use at home, like L'Oreal Paris Revitalift 5% Pure Glycolic Acid Peeling Toner.  

Editor’s note: If you’re pregnant and dealing with chin acne as a result of fluctuating hormones, pay a visit to your skincare provider. Many acne-fighting products and ingredients are not recommended for use by pregnant women. Benzoyl peroxide should also be avoided by sensitive skin types, and unnecessary sun exposure should be avoided when using products formulated with the ingredient. Always pair acne-fighting ingredients with a broad-spectrum sunscreen during daytime hours.

How Do I Prevent Chin Acne?

Getting current breakouts on your chin under control is often your first priority, but preventing future chin acne deserves equal attention. Here are Dr. Schmid’s top recommendations for help preventing new chin acne.

Cleanse Your Skin Twice Daily

Cleansing is the first step of every skincare routine for a reason! Keep dirt, oil and impurities off the skin’s surface by washing your face twice daily with a gentle cleanser. “I like to recommend SkinCeuticals LHA Cleansing Gel, SkinCeuticals Simply Clean or SkinCeuticals Purifying Cleanser,” Dr. Schmid says.

Use Non-Comedogenic Products

If you find yourself fighting breakouts in the same area month after month, take a closer look at your skincare products and cosmetics — they could be to blame. Overhaul your routine with formulas that are labeled as non-comedogenic, meaning they won't clog your pores. 

Don’t Touch Your Face

Do you have a habit of resting your chin on your hand while sitting at your desk? This can transfer bacteria and germs to your chin area, which — as you can imagine — can wreak havoc on your skin. Teach yourself not to touch your face, and be especially wary of any material that rubs the jawline, like chin-strapped helmets, headgear or other clothing. 

Be Careful When Shaving

If you shave your face, improper shaving techniques could be causing unwanted breakouts on your chin. Before you start shaving, prep your skin with shaving cream, which can help reduce the risk of nicks, cuts and irritation. Dr. Schmid also recommends gently gliding the razor in a downward motion to remove hair. When your razor blade starts to get dull, swap it out immediately. Or consider swapping your standard razor for an electric razor, notes Dr. Schmid.

No matter what you do, avoid popping pimples on your chin or elsewhere. “Never pick or extract a pimple yourself!” Dr. Schmid says. “This can lead to infection and the potential for a lifetime with a permanent scar.”
Photo: Chaunte Vaughn

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