4 Lesser-Known Reasons You Might Be Experiencing Breakouts

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Last Updated on November 20, 2021 by uts_admin

4 Lesser-Known Reasons You Might Be Experiencing Breakouts

Perhaps one of the biggest disappointments of adulthood is the continued breakout of pimples. Pimples and acne are some of the many things adults would have rather left with their teenage years. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Since you have gone through puberty, you may be curious as to what else is causing your breakouts. There are a few things you may not expect are causing breakouts. Read on to learn what these lesser-known reasons are and how to prevent further breakouts.

What Are Acne Breakouts?

Acne is a skin condition where pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads appear on the face, chest, and back. Acne breakouts, generally, refer to pimples. Although acne is typically believed to be common among teenagers due to their changing hormones during puberty, many adults also have acne breakouts of varying degrees. The most commonly cited causes of acne in adults are stress, fluctuating hormone levels (for women), genetics, dirty headgear or phones, medications, medical conditions, use of comedogenic make-up products, and unhealthy diets.

4 Things That May Be Causing Your Breakouts

Stress, hormones, germs on your pillowcase and smartphones, and the dreaded masks. We all know these things cause breakouts, and you are probably taking measures to avoid these. But if you are still experiencing breakouts despite your efforts, something else may be amiss. These four things are not often discussed as possible causes of acne breakouts. But if you feel like you have done everything without any success, it may pay to consider whether these are the culprits for your acne breakouts.

Using Too Many Skincare Products

Skincare products are meant to keep your skin healthy and free of acne. Why is it listed here? There are three main reasons:

Using too many products at once is not good for the skin. For those with sensitive skin or a history of acne, using too many different products on your skin may irritate it and cause breakouts.

Switching between different products or brands too often also tends to aggravate the skin. Your skin needs to get used to the products for them to work. Switching up your skincare too often may be too challenging for your skin to keep up.

There is also a possibility that you might use a product that does not agree with your skin. But if you’re using too many products, you may not immediately pinpoint the culprit.

Oftentimes, a basic skincare regimen is more beneficial than a complex routine that takes hours. Save your skin and your money by keeping your skincare routine simple with products that work and sticking with them.

What To Do:

Try our recommended basic skincare routine:

The most basic skincare routine involves an acne facial wash or a good pore-cleansing facial wash, a moisturizer, spot treatment, and sunscreen. Add to this a weekly routine of exfoliating with a face mask to remove deep-seated dirt and remove dead skin cells.

Your Skin Type

Oily skin is always blamed for breakouts. It is true that people with oily skin tend to get breakouts because the overproduction of oil blocks their pores and that leads to inflammation and, eventually, pimples or acne. However, a lesser-known reason for breakouts is dry or dehydrated skin. If you have dry or dehydrated skin, your skin most likely has microscopic cracks where bacteria may stay and multiply. Additionally, dry skin flakes may clog the pores and cause pimples.

Generally speaking, not taking proper care of your skin based on your skin type’s needs is likely to lead to acne breakouts. People with combination skin, for instance, need to use the appropriate products for different zones of their face to avoid aggravating the oily parts or further dehydrating other parts. How to tell what skin type you have? Here is a quick guide:

  • Oily – skin tends to be shiny due to excess oil and has large pores
  • Dry – has dry spots or flaking skin, and often feels tight due to lack of natural oils
  • Combination – has a combination of oily areas, usually the t-zone area, and dry patches, typically the cheek area
  • Normal – not too oily, does not have dry areas either; also, does not react too harshly to new products
  • Sensitive – prone to irritation or inflammation due to certain products or environmental factors
African girl. Woman on couch. Lady at  beautician.

What To Do:

The first step toward avoiding this problem is knowing your skin type and what it needs. Be careful with the skincare products you use on your face as well. Make sure they are the right ones for your skin and that you are using each one correctly. For example, do not use spot treatment products throughout your face as that may cause irritation.

Too Much Sun

Do you love staying under the sun for hours? If so, this habit of yours may be the reason for your breakouts. This is a two-part reason. The first possible reason for your trigger is your sunscreen. If you like staying under the sun, you most likely use heavy sunscreens to protect your skin from UV. However, heavier sunscreens tend to be made with oils and other chemicals that clog the pores, which leads to breakouts. The second possible reason is the sun’s effect on the skin itself. The sun, especially if you get sunburnt, dries out the skin. the skin feels dry after or because of sun exposure, the sebaceous glands compensate by producing more oil than is necessary. Once more, the oil clogs the pores and causes acne.

What To Do:

Minimizing sun exposure will surely help minimize acne breakouts. However, if sun exposure is inevitable in your lifestyle, there are still a few things you can do to reverse its effects.

  • Use a sunscreen that doesn’t clog the pores. Reapply it as necessary to ensure that your skin is protected.
  • Apply moisturizer after sun exposure to replenish any moisture lost.
  • Drink lots of water to hydrate your whole body, including the skin.

Hairstyling Products

This last reason may sound weird, but that’s exactly why it is listed down here. Hairstyling products are often made with various oils and silicones. Although you use them on your hair, they may still touch your face. First, when your hair touches your face, traces of the hairstyling products are left behind on your skin. This is particularly true for people with bangs. Second, hairstyling products sometimes seep onto the forehead without you noticing. These hairstyling products clog your pores and, in doing so, also causes breakouts.

What To Do:

Avoiding hairstyling products has benefits for the hair and scalp, not just the skin. However, if hairstyling is a must for you, you can prevent products from getting onto your face by keeping your hair away from the face. You may also consider wiping your forehead and other areas that may be affected with a cleanser to remove traces of hairstyling products.


Breakouts are a complicated problem. We may do things that we don’t know are causing our breakouts or are aggravating them. Things that we think are good for our skin, such as skincare products, when overdone, may end up being detrimental to the skin. Likewise, things that seem benign or not related to acne, such as hairstyling products, our skin type, or sun exposure may be the culprit. For those striving for flawless skin, constant vigilance is necessary. Observe how your skin reacts to products and, even, certain activities you do. This way, you can address the right reasons for your breakouts.

69 thoughts on “4 Lesser-Known Reasons You Might Be Experiencing Breakouts

  1. Calvin says:

    Good to know. I always find sunscreen a pore clogging, hard to find one that won’t affect my skin at all.

  2. Rebeka Deleon says:

    I do have oily skin and have breakouts all the time which is really annoying since I am 34 and still dealing with it. Do my best to use the right products to help.

  3. Julie Barrett says:

    I have super sensitive skin and I always have acne so this article is a huge help! I never knew that hair products could trigger acne on the face so I will definitely be cautious of this in the future.

  4. Jo says:

    I avoid peanuts and peanut butter because I found anything with peanuts will bother my skin. However, I can tolerate chocolate in moderate amounts.

  5. Suzanne Garner says:

    I’ve been blessed to have mostly clear skin, but I watched my spouse struggle with it for years and we found that natural products usually provided the best results.

  6. Sandy C. says:

    This all makes sense now. I think I’m guilty of using too many skin care products. Serum, day cream. night cream, etc, then makeup…I need to let my skin breathe!

  7. Rhonda Struthers says:

    I was unaware that a lesser-known reason for breakouts is dry or dehydrated skin. That explains alot!

  8. Leah A says:

    Great info! For me it’s stress and lack of sleep that make me break out. Also, I regret not starting early (like in my teens) with daily sunscreen and moisturizer.

  9. Zuleila says:

    Thank you, I’ve been struggling with acne all my life, I have sensitive skin and literally tried every product ever but none of it worked.

  10. MaryMar says:

    This is basically the truest advice that I encountered. I was born with an abundance of oils on my skin and I easily get breakouts especially after sun exposure. Little did I know about hair products causing acne and this blog really amazes me, since I have so many hair products applied to my hair and I think this contributes to my acne breakouts. Thanks for this!

  11. Emilie Proctor says:

    My hormones are always ravaging my skin but I also have a butterfly rash on my face that flairs up when I’m dehydrated. Everything I try for my face makes my face hurt so I have to use hypo allergenic face wash.

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  13. Chelsea B says:

    Very helpful tips. I am in need of a good sunscreen that does not clog my pores as well as a weekly exfoliating mask. Would love another article with suggestions.

  14. Angelica says:

    Never knew too much sun could cause breakouts. I guess that’s cause I live in the PNW and rarely see the sun. LOL.

  15. Kristy Wolfgang says:

    I have been having some break out lately now I know some things I can check on. Though I suspected it was my new facewash so I switched.

  16. David L says:

    I completely agree with the aspect of overdoing it. You find a product that you think works, so you decide to quadruple how much you are using. That always backfires, yet we never learn our lesson. Once you realize the delicate balance that works for your skin type you can develop a routine and array of products that will minimize the disruptions to your life that are caused by breakouts. It is called skin CARE for a reason. You have to use the products to care for your skin to prevent future problems from occurring.

  17. Susan Smith says:

    Great information! When I was a teen we were told that being exposed to the light was good for breakouts.

  18. Carolyn D says:

    Thanks for the information! You are right about germs on phones and pillowcases. I actually wash and swap out my pillowcase anytime I do laundry. If you can’t wash your bedding often enough at the very least consider throwing in and freshening up your pillow cases once a week.

  19. Kristen H. says:

    Thanks for writing this extremely informative blog article and explaining what some of the lesser reasons are that could be causing people to experience breakouts. I’ll definitely consider trying some of your recommendations in the future if I find myself experiencing a breakout due to one of these lesser reasons.

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