Whether you’re someone who just needs to deal with the odd pimple from time to time, or are suffering from severe adult acne, we’re sure you’ve noticed that many of your breakouts have a tendency to reappear, many of them suddenly in the same place. But have you ever wondered why this happens?
We certainly have thought about it, which is why we contacted skin care expert and owner of her own eponymous salon, Jocelyn Petroni, to discover the different reasons why pimples keep reappearing in the same place.
Your hormones play a major role in determining when you break out. Petroni points out that because hormones flow through your bloodstream and directly to the hair follicles and oil glands on your skin, any hormonal imbalance can trigger an overproduction of sebum in your pores, which in turn causes you to break out.
This is why pimples – especially along your neck, chin and jawline – are so common when your hormones are out of whack (i.e. throughout puberty or at that time of the month).
While hormonal outbreaks can be difficult to control, you can try treating them with a spot treatment product like Origins Super Spot Remover Blemish Treatment Gel, which will help clear your pores, minimise the production of bacteria and speed up the healing process.
Wrong pore shape
When acne forms, the pore it’s in enlarges due to the presence of excess sebum. As a result, “it can remain enlarged and visible [after the pimple is gone] and can even become scar tissue known as acne scars,” Petroni explains. These enlarged pores are likely to continue to be filled with sebum,” she adds, meaning you can expect future breakouts in the same spot.
As for how to treat these breakouts, Petroni stresses that prevention is better than cure.” Try using a fruit acid serum containing salicylic acid, which helps dissolve excess sebum buildup in pores. I like Ultraceuticals Even Skintone Serum.”
Touching your face a lot
It’s incredibly easy to fall into this trap; touching your face or resting your chin on your hands too often causes dirt and bacteria to be transferred from your hands to your face. This can not only aggravate and worsen existing pimples, but can “add more oil and bacteria, especially if you don’t wash your hands, which can cause pimples to appear in the same place,” says Petroni. As well as not touching your face, we recommend carrying a hand sanitiser in your handbag to keep your hands as clean as possible when you’re out and about.
Not squeezing out whiteheads properly
While the best course of action when a pimple forms is to resist the urge to pick at it, we all know it’s highly unlikely that this will actually happen. However, it’s important to be aware that there is a right and wrong way to pop a pimple to ensure minimal damage is done to the skin.” Unfortunately, if you don’t remove the whiteheads correctly, the problem reappears because the skin remains inflamed and the pores are not properly drained,” explains Petroni.
“Once the pimple surfaces, it continues to develop and progresses to its worst extent within a day or so. It is important not to touch and aggravate the pimple during these first two stages, as doing so will only make the problem worse. Once the sebum has fully developed and the pimple is screaming for squeezing, you can wrap your (clean) finger in a tissue and gently squeeze once to extract the sebum (opaque). You know you need to stop squeezing when the lymph (clear) starts to come out,” she adds.
While it may be a hairstyle that has experienced a major comeback in recent years, your darling fringe could be the cause of your forehead acne. Petroni points out that the oil in your hair can seep into your skin and cause breakouts. This excess oil can cause your skin to become more acidic, which can trigger an overproduction of bacteria that can lead to pimples.
When you have a fringe, the best way to avoid pimples is to make sure you regularly remove dead skin cells and debris with a chemical exfoliant such as Pixi Glow Tonic. Changing your style occasionally can also help prevent pimples from occurring. For example, push your fringe back with a scarf, wear a bandana at the gym, or opt for a sleek up-do once or twice a week to allow your skin to breathe.
Not changing pillowcases regularly
Petroni says that when you sleep, the oil from your skin absorbs into your pillowcase and over time this can become a breeding ground for bacteria.” You may notice that one side of your face is more prone to outbreaks than the other, and you’ll find that side may be the one you sleep on!”
As well as changing your pillowcase at least once a week, Petroni recommends spot treating your pimples every night and using a clay mask as a treatment on the areas where you tend to get pimples. We recommend giving Minnssey’s Deep Cleansing Mask a go.
.Makeup at bedtime
Simply put, your skin produces more during the day and absorbs more at night. So if you go to bed with your make-up on, or simply don’t cleanse your skin before bed, “all the oil and sweat your skin produces during the day, as well as your make-up, is absorbed back into your skin overnight,” explains Petroni. This leads to a build-up of dirt and oil in your pores, which in turn leads to breakouts. To avoid this, we recommend double cleansing every night – first with a cleansing oil such as Votary Rose Geranium and Apricot Cleansing Oil, followed by a normal gel or foam cleanser.