Your skin can be considered as basically a billboard that can broadcast what’s happening inside your body. Breakouts don’t really occur randomly and according to top dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, M.D., Mount Sinai Hospital’s (NY City) Dermatology Department’s Director of Cosmetic and Clinical Research, a simple zit can send a pretty clear message regarding the status of your health and hygiene. Below is a simple guide to understanding what your pimples maybe trying to tell you and the steps on how you can avoid them.
1. Pimples on your Chin, Neck or Jawline
The culprit: Your menstruation. When you get your period, hormones like testosterone go on overdrive: they fluctuate throughout your entire cycle which enables your glands to produce more oil than usual, which can in turn clog your skin pores and result in zits.
How you can avoid them: Amp up your treatment a week before your period hits. If you’re a regular user of cleansers that contain acne-fighting ingredients like salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide, apply a leave-on treatment that contains the same active ingredients. Treat your jawline, chin and neck with it just to make sure because you can’t exactly predict where a pimple will erupt. If you get major breakouts at roughly the same time each month, you might want to consider checking with your dermatologist to get a prescription for birth control pills or any other kind of hormonal therapy which can help control your hormones and prevent them from surging that leads to pimple breakouts.
2. Pimples on your Forehead and Nose
The culprit: Major stress. T-zone breakouts are most likely triggered by the body’s natural flight-or-fight response. When adversity happens, your body tends to release a massive amount of adrenaline that can increase the body’s sebum production which ups the likelihood of having breakouts.
How you can avoid them: Once stress hits (or once you’ve predicted that you’re already on your way there), get proactive and apply a leave-on treatment to your entire face to lessen the chances of getting massive amounts of pimples.
3. Pimples along your Hairline
The culprit: An overload on your hair products. Unless you’re actually going for that greasy look, you probably know better than to apply a bunch of heavy-duty products on your head like pomades especially near your hairline. But say you applied hair products elsewhere, but touched your hairline to fix some fly-away strands, then you still risk clogging your pores.
How you can avoid them: Don’t apply hair products near your hairline and ensure that you do hand washing after application. When you wash your face, make sure that you wash or scrub up to the roots of your mane. However, do this gently as too much pressure may cause inflammation of the skin. If your breakouts become more serious, then use a toner along your hairline for some additional help.
4. Pimples on your Cheeks
The culprit: Your dirty hands or your dirty mobile phone. Anything that may touch your face for a long time has enough capacity to transfer pore-clogging dirt and bacteria to your skin’s pores.
How you can avoid them: Make sure that you clean your phone with antibacterial wipes on a regular basis. Same with your hands—keep them OFF your face. Period.
5. Pimples around your Mouth
The culprit: What you eat. Residue from acidic food that you happen to eat (example: lemon and dressings that are vinegar-based) can irritate your skin. While greasy remnants of foods like anything fried can physically block your skin pores. Either way, you’ll end up with pimples around your lips.
How you can avoid them: Make it a habit to use a facial cleansing wipe to remove any invisible irritants around your mouth after eating.
6. Pimples on your Back or Chest
The culprit: You are wearing the wrong kind of shirt or sports bra. Cotton fabrics tend to soak up sweat and keep it close to your body. Bacteria is drawn to moist places, ergo, wearing cotton clothes to the gym basically turns you into a breeding ground for zits.
How you can avoid them: Instead of cotton clothes, wear something with fabrics that are moisture-wicking like those polyester-spandex blend especially when working out. Because they don’t sop up sweat, you’ll be less likely to have break outs on your chest and back.