What Causes Acne? 4 Reasons You May Be Breaking Out

April 19, 2016
Skincare.com by L'Oréal
By: Skincare.com by L'Oréal | skincare.com by L'Oréal
What Causes Acne? 4 Reasons You May Be Breaking Out

Acne goes by many names (breakouts, blemishes, pimples, zits) and comes in many shapes and sizes. But why do we get acne in the first place? First, some good news: There are a number of myths out there that have nothing to do with why you are breaking out. But, if those old wives’ tales aren’t the reason, what is? Below, we share four reasons why you may be breaking out.

Puberty, Periods, and Pregnancy

The “3 P’s” all have one thing in common: they’re linked to major hormonal changes and fluctuations in the body. Our oil-producing sebaceous glands are especially sensitive to hormones. When these levels go haywire, so can our sebaceous glands, often producing an excess of oil and sebum which can clog pores and may lead to pimples. Interested in knowing more about pre-period pimples? We share why you breakout before your period, here

Clogged Pores

A leading cause of acne is clogged pores. When excess oil and sweat attach to built up dead skin cells and other impurities lingering on your skin’s surface they can congest our pores and hair follicles. When bacteria infects a clogged pore, acne is the result—either in the form of a whitehead or blackhead.

Touching Your Skin

Between touching our keyboards, running our fingers through our hair, shaking hands, and turning doorknobs, our hands are often covered in oil and bacteria. It’s best to avoid touching your face as much as possible, especially if you haven’t washed your hands first. The same goes for dipping unclean fingers into your makeup and skin care products, which can cause acne-causing bacteria to develop.


Whether you’re cramming for a big test or you’ve got a serious deadline at work, stress can worsen the condition of your skin. So, if you’re already prone to breakouts, a stressful situation may cause a flare up. 

Experiencing acne as an adult? Our expert breaks down what's behind these adult acne breakouts, here

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