How To Decode The Source Of A Breakout

Acne and breakouts can happen from time to time, even once we have escaped puberty and have embarked upon adulthood. However, not all breakouts occur for the same reasons, and the places where pimples pop up can explain where our breakouts are coming from and how we can pay better attention to ease the inflammation and get clearer skin.

As a certified health coach, I work with clients on enhancing their inner beauty, but we also do take into account outer beauty and how it can play a part in increasing our self-esteem, confidence, health and wellbeing. In order to feel that inner glow, we usually must feel great about ourselves, as well, and a breakout may cause us to feel less sexy and awesome than usual. When we notice acne, it can make us feel as though there is an imbalance within our bodies or external stresses that are driving our hormones to react. By noticing where our breakouts are coming from, based on the position on our skin and on other life factors that can be disrupting our wellbeing, we will be better able to target them and expedite the healing process. Look for these thirteen ways to recognize the causes of acne and start reducing that inflammation in the skin now.

1. You're Stressed AF

If you notice that you're stressed out, and believe me, you will notice, it's pretty likely that a few pimples will appear shortly after. Due to higher levels of cortisol, which are hormones that are released when the body is under stress, our skin can become inflamed and our hormonal imbalance can lead to breakouts around the face. "Meditate, do yoga, find a hobby, do deep breathing, or exercise," to relax, says certified holistic health coach and personal trainer Jen Bruno with J.B Fitness and Nutrition over email with Bustle.

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2. Your Diet Is Off

If you happen to be eating fewer nutritious, whole foods and more refined carbohydrates, processed, sugary goods and fattening, greasy meats, as of late, then it's likely that you will experience acne on your face, suggests Bruno. Breakouts will usually affect your forehead and t-zone areas, as those are most associated with digestion. Also, drink lots of water to flush out these types of substances and hydrate the skin.

3. You're Not Sleeping Enough

If you notice that you're not sleeping enough, your hormones will become imbalanced and you may experience breakouts. Plus, such imbalances can also affect appetite regulation, leading you to be hungrier and more likely to crave unhealthy foods, which will in turn affect your skin. "Develop a nightly routine, avoid caffeine after 2pm, or use blackout shades or a sleep mask," says Bruno. These types of changes can help you get more shut-eye each night.

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4. You Live In A City Environment

If you live in a city, you will be more exposed to pollution and other toxins in the air that can affect your skin. While moving is not necessarily an option, keeping your skin safe is doable. Carry cleansing wipes during the day and freshen your face after going outdoors. Breakouts will most likely appear on your cheeks, so if you notice an outbreak, it's probably due to these sort of germs and toxins.

5. You Keep Touching Your Skin

If you are "constantly touching your face," suggests Bruno, then you will be more likely to get germs, toxins and other gross substances on your skin. Clogging your pores with these sorts of oils and dirt can lead to acne, especially around the cheeks. Bruno recommends being mindful of how often you touch your face and to try and develop a healthier habit to stop. Instead of resting your head on your hands, sit tall and put your hands in your lap.

6. You Don't Clean Things Regularly

Not washing towels, bed sheets, pillow cases, kitchenware, doorknobs and other items on a regular basis can create a build-up of dirt that can lead to breakouts on the skin. Make sure to wash things on a consistent basis, especially items that directly touch your skin. Bruno also warns against dirty gym equipment, and recommends wiping or laying a towel down before use.

7. Your Skincare Products Are Toxic

There are many skincare products that contain toxic elements, as regulations regarding these products tend to be more lenient in the United States. Because it can be unclear as to which products are safest, it's important to note which toxins we should avoid and to read labels before purchasing and use. Bruno recommends buying organic skincare products and makeup, as well as even perfumes and lotions for optimal security.

8. It's That Time Of The Month

Throughout our cycles, our female hormones can alter quite a bit, and such shifting can cause us to break out at certain times in the month. When we are gearing up for our periods, we might discover a few pimples on our skin, especially in the chin area. The chin specifies a hormonal imbalance, so if you notice a few down there and your period is approaching, there's a clear explanation for the cause. Take note to eat well and wash your face regularly during this time.

9. You're Not Showering Post-Workout

If you are anything like I am, then you are a major sweater during a workout. Working out touts incredible benefits, and the sweatier you get the better; however, not showering or finding time to freshen up with cleansing wipes and towel drying post-workout can lead to acne on the skin, especially around the shoulders, back and chest. While working out can clear skin with regularity, it can do the opposite if cleansing does not occur shortly after the session ends.

10. You're Always On Your Cell Phone

I get it, taking phone calls is a staple in a normal working day. Unfortunately, excessive cell phone usage can lead to breakouts, especially on the cheeks. There are countless toxins our cell phones. Just think about where they have been: the bathroom, on a random park bench or chair, on a restaurant counter top, etc. Holding the phone against your skin can lead to major acne, so "clean and disinfect frequently and use ear buds or speakerphones instead of putting the phone on your face," advises Bruno.

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11. Your Medication Is Messing With Your Skin

Some medications can cause acne and breakouts, so it's important to consult your physician and read labels in order to classify which ones apply. Typical medications include birth control pills high in progestrin (such as the Nuvo ring), mental health medications, such as lithium for bipolar disorder, steroids commonly used to treat arthritis and asthma, and medications for tuberculosis.

12. You Have A Food Sensitivity

If you notice that you are experiencing cramps, atypical bowel movements, bloating, and other forms of discomfort after consuming a type of food or beverage on a routinely basis, you might have a food allergy, sensitivity or intolerance. While you should get checked for allergies by a physician, you shouldn't necessarily take no as an answer. Food sensitives are possible and don't appear in allergy testing. Trust your body and do what's best for healing digestion. If you notice you feel off and experience acne in your forehead and t-zone areas, digestion is to blame.

13. Your Pimples Are Cysts In Disguise

If you notice that pimples keep reappearing in the same spot over time, then it might not be an average pimple, but actually a cyst that has formed under the skin and is leading to inflammation and blemishes. Head to a dermatologist to take a medication to have it removed. Plus, while it's tempting to pop it, fight the urge. Popping whiteheads can backfire, leading the pimple to spring up again a later date and infect the area with oils and toxins that can result in additional breakouts in that area.

Adult acne is never fun, so if you experience acne from time and time, pay attention to the location, life factors and your personal habits that can be playing a part. By being more mindful towards your skincare regimen, the placement of your hands, and the cleanliness of your abode and daily surroundings, you'll be better able to protect your skin and own that glow, both inside and out.

Images: Pixabay (13); Pexels (1)

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