4 Surprising Reasons You Still Get Acne

Some causes of blemishes you may have had a hunch about; some will be surprising, but the following less-than-commonly-known factors could be contributing to your breakouts. Here’s what you need to know about them to avoid being blindsided.

Flying
Whether it’s the change in weather, the stress of travel or just getting out of your routine, according to Manhattan Beach, CA, dermatologist Ashley Magovern, MD, travel is one factor that’s guilty of leading to breakouts that pop up time and time again. “It’s key to keep your skin hydrated and try to stick with your normal routine,” she says.

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Friction
Acne mechanica is a form of acne that is aggravated by friction, heat and skin being covered with constant pressure—think athletes who wear helmets, sports bras, other uniforms, or those who wear tight jeans. And this is one form of acne that is especially prevalent in adults because talking on your phone can also cause it.

Skin-Care Products
According to Dr. Magovern, it’s not that uncommon for acne patients to try lots of different products in hopes that something will work or at least, cover it up. “This may lead to clogged pores, but more commonly, overexfoliation and dryness,” she says, and adds that, sometimes, anti-aging products are full of oils that aren’t ideal for acne-prone skin. “It’s important to baby your skin and use products properly. Once we get the acne under control, it’s easy to find an anti-aging routine that works.” Ask your dermatologist about how to optimize your skin-care routine if you can’t control it on your own with over-the-counter products.

Your Scalp
Hair products, in general, can cause acne. “Whether it’s hairspray, oil, waxes or pomades, they can cause pores to become clogged and set acne cascading into motion. There is actually such a thing as ‘pomade acne,’” Dr. Magovern says. “Sometimes, it can even be the natural oils in your scalp that can contribute to breakouts.”