Acne. It’s a ruiner; a ruiner of first dates and a ruiner of photo opps. When a pimple rears its ugly head our mood, and sometimes even our plans, change drastically. Instead of joyfully planning our cat eye meets bold lip combo, we’re fretting over whether to let our pimple breathe, enlist every concealing product we have to mask its appearance, or ditch our plans and crawl into bed with a tub of ice cream (no, a green drink, that will do the trick). The final decision on how to cope with acne really comes down to one thing–what is your acne telling you? Once you know what is causing your face's foes, only then can you fight back with a few ninja swipes of product or a healthy life change.

So banish your beloved magnifying mirror for the next few minutes and continue reading to find out what your acne means and how to deal. With a little help from Mona Gohara, Associate Clinical Professor at Yale’s Department of Dermatology, we'll be well on our way to clear skin.

Forehead Acne

Many things can cause the dreaded acne above your brow. On the most basic level, Gohara explains it may be a result of your styling products or oil build up from bangs. On a deeper level, blackheads and whiteheads across your forehead can occur from lack of beauty rest and poor digestion. Fight back against this type of acne by drinking lots of water to release toxins and try a mild face wash like L’Oréal Go 360° Clean Anti-Breakout Facial Cleanser. Oil free and with a small amount of salicylic acid, you’ll be able to wash product-induced acne away without over-drying.

Cheeks/Around Eye Acne

Acne across your cheeks and around the eyes can be triggered by spicy foods, red wine or changes in emotion and temperature, suggests Gohara. She warns that acne appearing over already rosy cheeks (not caused by proper blush color application, of course) may be an overlap with rosacea. It’s best to see a dermatologist if issues persists, but if you only notice breakouts when ordering from your favorite Thai restaurant, then check your diet–as sad as it may be, saying goodbye to coconut curry could clear your blemishes.

Chin Acne

And then there is chin acne. “Think about a potential hormonal imbalance, especially if you’re experiencing irregular periods or facial hair,” says Gohara. Hormones aren’t the only cause though. If you hold your head up during way too many boring conference calls, stop now. No matter how you break out or what skin issues you’re suffering through, avoid touching your face for less bacterial transfer and clearer skin. For additional blemish-be-gone remedies, Gohara suggests introducing a topical lotion with retinols as an active ingredient or glycolic acid. Our favorites are Murad Skin Perfecting Lotion and Kiehl’s Blue Herbal Spot Treatment.  

Do you have a magic remedy for unexpected acne?
Share your tips and tricks in the comments below.

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