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Acne face map

Every face tells a story. And if you’re on a skincare journey to treat acne, you can map the symptoms across your face. Our acne face map highlights the differences (and commonalities) people experience when they have acne. Whether it’s acne on the jawline, blackheads on the lips or breakouts on your forehead – the cause of acne is complex but the areas where you regularly have breakouts are similar, and may be indicative of some of the triggers.

Skin type and acne treatment

Identifying your skin type is a useful starting point when it comes to acne treatment. Oily skin types may battle with blocked pores and combination skin types may have to deal with T-zone flare-ups. It’s a myth that people with dry skin don’t get acne. Just remember to tailor your acne treatment application (and wraparound routine) to best protect your skin barrier

If you’re on a skincare journey to treat acne, you can map the symptoms across your face. 

Your T-Zone

Your T-zone is the T-shaped space where your acne will most likely occur. Why? Because this is where you have the highest concentration of oil-producing pores.

That’s not to say you won’t get acne on your cheeks, spots on your neck, or breakouts on your chest or back (sometimes known as ‘backne’). It’s just that the T-Zone is the one place that most people have issues.

Causes of acne

The causes of acne are complex and can include increased skin cell turnover, excess oil production, inflammation and acne-causing bacteria. Acne can also be influenced by a number of health and lifestyle factors, such as stress, hormonal changes and some medications.

The acne face map

Our Acne face map is an at-a-glance look at some of the places you may experience acne and why. Its purpose is to illustrate the myriad ways and areas people can get breakouts. Remember that your skin is unique. For a more comprehensive overview, your dermatologist would be able to identify causes, triggers and acne treatments to best clear things up. 

Jawline acne

Spots on the jawline indicate a fluctuation in hormones. Excess androgens can trigger oil glands to overproduce oil and this can block pores.  Ensure you cleanse well and remove makeup and sunscreen from around your jawline every evening. Try not to touch your face as this can exacerbate the spread of spots.

Acne on chin 

If you regularly get spots and whiteheads on your chin, you’re dealing with hormone fluctuations again. This is common in adolescence, during your monthly menstrual cycle or during the menopause when hormone levels are disrupted.

Forehead acne

At the top of your key T-zone area for flare-ups. Watch out for hairline pore-clogging. Often our hair follicles can overproduce oil that isn’t cleansed thoroughly, leading to blemishes.

Acne on cheeks

Cheeks are outside of your T-zone but not immune to flare-ups. If you have combination skin, be mindful of over-using active ingredients here (your Daily Doser will always start with lower concentrations of active ingredients to build your skin’s tolerance with minimal irritation). You want to avoid triggering dryness, which can increase the redness associated with acne.

Blackheads around lips

Acne around the mouth can be hormonal but also sign of blocked pores. Ensure you cleanse thoroughly in the evenings and if you wear comedogenic lip salves (such as petroleum jelly) regularly, be mindful that this may be a trigger, blocking pores further.

Acne on side of face

Not as mysterious as it first seems. Acne on one side of your face may be triggered by repeatedly sleeping on one side (avoid heavy, pore-clogging moisturiser and wash your pillowcases more regularly. Try a silver-weave pillowcase that naturally repels blemish-causing bacteria.) If you find yourself cupping your face in your hands or holding a phone to your face for regular and long periods of time, you might want to go hands-free and see if that clears things up.

Medical facts checked by Head of Medical, Dr Jason Thomson

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