What Causes Acne — 7 Surprising Reasons Your Face Breaks Out

Written by Saumya Gaur  • 

Even if you’ve left your adolescent days far behind, you still might on an occasion or two, meet its ugly reminder — the pimples. Yes, we are talking about that ruiner of first dates, that surprisingly surface every time you are on the cusp of something important or exciting in your life. Be it a first date with a long-time crush or a picture day at the office, it seems they can always tell when it’s the perfect time for your face to break out in all of its glory.

While you can blame everything you want — the polluted environment, the oil that your mom uses in her cooking, etc. You might not be aware that several of the activities that you think are in no way connected to skin care is also causing those day-ruining pimples to surface.

And in order to make you aware of them, we have compiled a list of 7 such surprising reasons. So girls, read and learn your way to a happy, glowing skin in no time.

1. You Are Using Beauty Products That Are Clogging Your Pores

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In case you didn’t know, acne occurs when the pores of your skin become blocked due to excess production of oil by the sebaceous glands in your body. And then those blocked pores get infected with acne-causing bacteria, causing those embarrassing inflamed, red pustules to surface (1).

A lot of skin care products contain ingredients such as mineral oil and silicone, which are said to plug the pores in our skin, which makes it more susceptible to a breakout.

Instead, switch to skincare products which are non-comedogenic, meaning they are specially formulated with ingredients that won’t block the pores of your skin (2).

2. You Are Using Too Many Spot Treatments

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For a lot of us, who suffer from recurrent episodes of breakouts, the only source of relief is our ready stash of over-the-counter spot treatments that provide us relief in emergency situations. Due to their effectiveness, some of us also make it a part of our daily skincare regimen.

However, these topical solutions which have chemical components such as salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, etc when used excessively often dry out our skin, as a result causing it to produce more oil which again acts as a bait for the attack of acne-causing bacteria (3).

3. You Are Overdoing It With Exfoliation

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Exfoliation is an important principle of skincare and shouldn’t be ignored but if you’re someone who fervently believes in the power of exfoliation for smoother skin, it might be a problem.

This is because if you scrub the skin which is already having breakouts then you are likely to spread the acne-causing bacteria to other areas on the skin which haven’t been infected yet. And that is the reason why your breakouts are resurfacing (4).

4. Your Hipster Boyfriend’s Beard + Make-out = More Acne

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Yup. The facial hair on your beloved’s face might make him a hero in your eyes, but when it comes to your skin, not so much. When you and your beloved are making out, his scruffy beard rubs against your porcelain skin, causing friction which sets the oil-producing glands on your face in motion. This can even result in a serious case of beard burn and blemishes. Don’t you think it might be time for your man to go the metrosexual route? Small price to pay for smooth skin, if you ask us.

5. Your Favorite Vice: Smoking

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I know, I know, you are an adult and no, this is certainly not a PSA (public service advertisement) in the form of skincare advice. It has been found that smoking not only puts you at the risk of getting cancer, but the carcinogens present it its smoke also irritate your skin, drying it out and stimulating oil production. This makes it more likely to break out (5).

6. You Are Out In The Sun Too Much

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Apart from the fact that being in the sun for far too long, puts you at the risk of getting cancer it also dries out your skin, which again triggers more oil production making your next breakout a likely possibility. It so happens that spending time out in the sun can also irritate your skin further, causing blemishes to surface on your face (6).

7. Your Hair Products Are The Culprits

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Yes, they might be responsible for keeping your tresses on fleek, but they are also the ones that are causing your breakouts to recur. This is because most hair products contain chemical compounds such as sulfates, and silicones (common in shampoos). These compounds can seep into our skin and block its pores which, as you would know by our constant iterations, makes it easier for the acne to surface. Some of which surfaces on areas like the back of our neck and next to the hairline (7).

Now that you have been given this cheat sheet, you can easily outwit the scourge of smooth skin — acne, and keep that skin of yours glowing and porcelain-smooth.

If you know of any other unlikely factors that cause acne, share them with us in the comments section.

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