When breakouts happen two thoughts usually pop into our minds; “Oh crap!” and “How do I get rid of them ASAP?” It seems sort of strange to think about geography and pimples in the same sentence as they are two clearly different subjects but where on you face your breakouts occur can actually tell you a lot about what’s caused them and therefore how to treat and prevent them
*Just a side note, there are a lot of different types of acne, different grades of severity which are all caused by many different factors and can be treated many different ways. If you are suffering from severe acne (i.e. level 4) you should consult a dermatologist. This post only refers to your “everyday, regular, mild” level 1 breakouts.
From a dermatological/esthetician view point you face is broken down into two areas; the T-zone and butterfly and as mentioned before which area your breakout occurs in can tell you a lot about the cause.
The t-zone got its name because it literally is a giant T on your face; it consists of the forehead, the bridge of your nose and chin. Because this area covers a large part of your face I’m going to break it down into two areas, the chin and forehead.
Forehead – breakouts in this area tend to be caused by access perspiration. Athletes that wear hats or helmets tend to suffer from this type of breakouts. Why is that, you wonder? Well because I said so LOL!. What really happens is when we’re physically active we naturally begin to sweat; wearing helmets and hats tend to trap the sweat in your forehead area. All that excess sweat builds up and clogs the pores causing a pimple to form. So how do we go about treating and preventing this? Well we can’t stop sweating, that our bodies naturally cooling system, however; washing your face after any activity that has caused you to excessively sweat be it a work out or talking a walk on a really hot day. This will remove any sweat and oil buildup and prevent it from clogging the pores.
Chin – breakouts in this area tend to be brought on by hormones like stress or a girl’s period. Breakouts brought on by hormones are harder to prevent because…well because you can’t do anything about hormones, that’s biology. Breakouts brought on by stress are a little easier to prevent but not by much all you have to do is…calm the f*** down!! Which is so much easier said than done but other than trying not stress there really isn’t any way to prevent these ones, and other than making sure to wash you face routinely paying special attention to your time of the month there isn’t much else to do.
If you can imagine a little girl with a face paint of a butterfly on her face, you’ll get a good idea of the area in which I’m referring to. The butterfly area consists of the apple of your cheeks and yours outer cheeks. Breakouts in this area are usually caused by two factors; make up and oil transfer.
Make-up – going to be bed without removing your make up before hand is the biggest factor for breakouts in this area. Making sure to wash your face before bed is so important because of cell renewal; this is the process your body undertakes to repair old cells in your organs and in your skin. So while you’re sleeping your body is hard at work repairing and making new skin cells, however this process is much harder to undertake if your pores are clogged with makeup, dirt and pollutants left over from the day. Suffocating your skin with leftover make-up while you sleep is one cause of breakouts but another one is bacteria. Bacteria can grow on dirty brushes as well as old makeup which is why it is so important to remember to wash your brushes on a regular basis and to throw out old make up. A lot of people don’t realize that their makeup has an expiration date but it does; mascara should be thrown out after 3months, foundation 6 months, eyeliner 1 year and lip gloss 1 year. (The same may apply to lip stick but I’m not 100% sure so you might want to double check) Remembering to remove make up before bed, washing your brushes regularly and throwing out expired make up will help to prevent break out from occurring.
Oil Transfer – those who like to lie on their partner’s chest might find that they tend to break out on that cheek more than the other; this is due to oil transfer. Like the skin on our face a thin layer of oil covers out entire body and when you rest your cheek on your partner’s chest the oil from his chest transfers onto your cheek and it clogs your pores causing you to breakout. Cuddling with one’s partner is a fun and romantic gesture that I’m sure no one really wants to stop (unless you don’t like cuddling and then you can use this as an excuse to stop :p…just don’t point the blame at me if your partner gets mad lol) and fortunately you don’t have to. Ask your partner to shower with a body scrub before bed; this will help remove any excess oil from his chest helping to reduce oil transfer. It will also make their skin very soft and smooth a benefit both of you will enjoy 😉
And there you have it some common causes for breakouts! Now the next time you breakout you’ll have a better understanding of why it happened and how to prevent it. Of course these are just some causes; there are tons of other factors that cause acne such as hormones, DNA, diet/lifestyle and proper skin care treatment. Everybody’s skin is different so for specific questions you have about your skin or to plan a regimen appropriate for your skin consult an esthetician, they will be able to provide treatment for most acne levels except for level 4 who will need to see a physician or dermatologist.