Acne’s Unexpected Triggers: Identifying and Avoiding Breakout Culprits

Acne impacts daily life beyond the skin, presenting challenges that require more than a simple fix. At Aesthetics Now, serving Markham and Toronto, Ontario, we understand the need for effective acne treatment strategies that go beyond the surface to address the underlying causes of breakouts.

Getting rid of acne involves identifying and avoiding triggers along with directly treating the problem. Our focus is on offering comprehensive solutions that not only treat existing acne but also prevent future occurrences by tackling the root causes of this condition.

What Causes Acne?

Acne forms when the pores of the skin become blocked with oil, dead skin cells, and sometimes bacteria. This blockage leads to the swelling of pores, which may then evolve into pimples, blackheads, or other forms of acne. The process is influenced by hormones, which can increase oil production in the skin and is why acne is often more prevalent during adolescence. However, it’s not exclusive to any age group and can persist into adulthood.

What Are the Different Types of Acne?

Blackheads and whiteheads are at the milder end of the spectrum, characterized by small, non-inflammatory bumps. Cystic acne, known for its deep, painful cysts beneath the skin’s surface, is one of the most severe forms. Hormonal acne typically emerges along the jawline and chin, fluctuating with hormonal changes, and often requires targeted treatments. Papules and pustules, which are red, inflamed bumps that may contain pus, can be common on many parts of the body and can sometimes result in scarring.

What Areas Are Often Affected By Acne and Why?

  • Back Acne: The back contains a high concentration of oil glands, making it a common area for acne to develop. Tight clothing and sweat can further irritate the skin, contributing to breakouts.
  • Chest Acne: Similar to the back, the chest area is prone to acne due to the presence of numerous oil glands and the presence of clothing.
  • Forehead Acne: The forehead is part of the T-zone, which is known for its higher oil production. Hair products, hats, and even frequent touching can introduce bacteria and contribute to clogged pores in this area.
  • Chin and Jawline Acne: This type of acne can happen with anyone but is often seen in adults. It can be persistent, requiring targeted acne treatment approaches.

Common Acne Triggers 

Hormonal Changes

Hormonal fluctuations can impact the skin’s oil production, often leading to an increase in hormonal acne. These changes are common during puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause or due to the use of certain medications.


Stress acne emerges as the body responds to stress by producing more androgens, hormones that stimulate the oil glands and hair follicles in the skin. This increase in oil production can lead to clogged pores and, subsequently, acne. It’s a physical manifestation of the body’s reaction to emotional pressure or anxiety.


While the link between diet and acne is still a subject of research, certain foods may influence acne development. Diets high in sugar and dairy products may spike blood sugar and insulin levels, potentially increasing oil production and the likelihood of acne. Foods with a high glycemic index are particularly suspect in contributing to acne flare-ups.

Environmental Factors

The environment plays a significant role in skin health, with pollutants and humidity being major contributors to acne. Pollutants can clog pores, and high humidity levels increase sweat and oil production, which can trap bacteria in the skin. Seasonal changes also affect the skin’s balance, potentially leading to increased acne during certain times of the year.

Skincare and Makeup Products

Some products can contribute to acne for people who are prone to this condition. Heavy makeup, certain moisturizers, and oily skincare products can block pores, trapping oil, debris, and bacteria. It’s important to choose products carefully, considering their composition and how they interact with your skin type to avoid exacerbating acne.

Tips for Preventing Acne

Go By Your Doctor’s Advice, Not By the Product Label

While many skincare products are labeled as non-comedogenic or suitable for acne-prone skin, it’s more reliable to follow the guidance of a healthcare professional. Dermatologists can offer personalized advice based on your skin’s unique needs, as some products, despite their labels, might not be effective or could even worsen your condition.

Try Not to Touch Your Face

Frequently touching your face can transfer bacteria, oils, and dirt from your hands to your skin, potentially clogging pores and triggering acne. Making a conscious effort to reduce face-touching can significantly lower the risk of acne outbreaks. It’s also important to keep your mobile phone, pillowcases, and anything else that comes into close contact with your face clean.

Be Aware of Acne Causing Medications

Certain medications can exacerbate or trigger acne as a side effect. If you notice a correlation between starting a new medication and the onset of acne, consult with your healthcare provider. They might adjust your prescription or suggest ways to manage the acne without compromising your overall treatment plan.

Don’t Over-Exfoliate or Use Harsh Products

While exfoliation can help remove dead skin cells and unclog pores, overdoing it or using abrasive products can strip the skin of its natural oils and irritate it, potentially leading to more acne. Gentle exfoliation, ideally with products recommended by your dermatologist, can help maintain skin health without causing additional stress to the skin.

Keep Hair Products Away From Your Skin

Hair and skin require different care, and ingredients in hair products can irritate acne-prone skin if they come into contact. To prevent this, try applying hair care products away from your face or shielding your face when spraying products. Additionally, washing your face after rinsing out hair conditioner can help ensure no residue is left on the skin that could contribute to acne.

Acne Treatments for Clear Skin

Acne Skincare

Effective acne treatment begins with a tailored skincare routine designed to address the specific type of acne you’re experiencing. This may include using gentle cleansers, non-comedogenic moisturizers, and topical treatments containing active ingredients like salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. Consistency and patience are important, as these acne treatment options can take time to show results.

Vascular and Pigmentation Laser Treatment for Acne

Laser treatments offer a promising solution for acne and its aftereffects, such as redness and hyperpigmentation. Vascular and pigmentation laser treatments target the blood vessels and melanin that contribute to acne marks, effectively reducing redness and evening out skin tone. These acne treatment methods can also have a therapeutic effect on active acne, helping to reduce inflammation and minimize future breakouts.

Radiofrequency Microneedling for Acne

Radiofrequency microneedling is an acne treatment option that combines the collagen-boosting benefits of microneedling with the deep tissue heating of radiofrequency energy. This treatment can help reduce the appearance of acne scars by promoting skin rejuvenation and healing. It’s a non-invasive option for those seeking to improve skin texture and reduce the signs of acne without resorting to more aggressive surgical procedures.

Start Your Journey to Clear Skin in Markham & Toronto, ON

Effective acne treatment requires a comprehensive approach, combining medical expertise with advanced technologies to address both the causes and symptoms of acne. At Aesthetics Now in Markham and Toronto, Ontario, we offer some of the best acne treatment options available, designed to help you achieve clearer, healthier skin. For more details on how we can assist you, please contact us through our online form or call us at (905) 605-6745.

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