Why Is My Face Breaking Out Suddenly? 10 Things To Stop Doing Now!

Why Am I Breaking Out

If the last time you had a mass breakout was commemorated by your 10th grade [permanent] yearbook picture, you are a part of the blessed 50% of people over 20 who have not had adult acne!

But if you are reading this because you are having breakouts now after years of clear skin, you might be having a mild freak-out, thinking, “Why is my face breaking out suddenly?!”.

Not to worry. If you are experiencing a sudden change in your complexion, chances are you can pin-point the problem.

There are a few things you might be doing to cause your breakout, so let’s clear it up!

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What Is Acne?

Acne is a skin condition – the most common one, actually – that according to Web MD will affect most people at some point in their lives.

It might be so minor that you don’t notice it.

Or you might be like the rest of us that have had to miss a day of school or work because of the giant “thing” on our face that we are certain could pass for an unsolved medical mystery.

Most acne is hormonal, caused by Androgenic hormones. These are male hormones found in both females and males.

If you are sensitive to these hormones, they could cause your oil glands to go into hyper drive, producing way too much oil.

This overproduction of oil, mixed with bacteria and (eww) dead skin cells, causes clogged pores.

Why Am I Breaking Out

Which leads to either:

  1. Whitehead – clogged pore that is closed off and has not been in contact with oxygen.
  2. Blackhead – the gunk in the pore becomes oxidized. To you folks who find satisfaction in the popping of pimples (I may or may not be one of these people), the black at the top of the pore is actually just oxidized gunk.

And before we move on, if you are a female and are having issues with breakouts in hormonal zones, and are having trouble with an abnormal amount of facial hair, your hormone levels may be a touch out of whack, so it would be a good idea to see a dermatologist. This isn’t something that can be treated at home.

Now, let’s check out the things we’re doing to cause breakouts:

1. Hair Stuff

Wearing a Hat causes Breakouts

This includes bangs, hair that falls on your face during any part of the day, or any product that you’re using.

The sebaceous glands that produce oil in your scalp are good at their job for the most part.

Do This:

If you don’t keep your hair clean, this oil will inevitably come into contact with the face.

Washing every two to three days is important, and more frequently if you perspire regularly.

I know this may be a bummer, but if you have naturally oily skin, I would recommend nixing the bangs altogether. Having hair sit on your forehead all day long, however clean, will not help your situation.

It’s also not a great idea to wear a hat for a long time (especially if you’re gonna be sweaty). Whether you have got dry or oily skin, any sort of material causing friction on the forehead for long periods of time will cause irritation or overproduction of oil.

As for hair products- if you know that you have oily skin to begin with, you should consider using a clarifying shampoo.

You won’t want to use it on a daily basis, but you can use it every other wash or so. It will strip the hair of excess oil and product, making a difference in how much gunk hangs out in your hair.

Don’t get gel, mousse, or hairspray on your face at all, and if you do, immediately wash it off.

Nothing should be on your face that isn’t specifically formulated for it.

follow me to find out how often you should really be washing your hair

2. Skin Products Are For Skin, Everything Else Is Not

This sounds silly, but it’s so important. Using products that are not formulated to be on the facial skin will definitely not help in clearing up the skin.

Do This:Use Good Makeup Formulated For Skin

Don’t use anything on your face that doesn’t claim to be “non-comedogenic”, “non-acneic”, or at least says something to the effect of “doesn’t clog pores”.

Anything in the realm of skin care or cosmetics should be carefully chosen. Choose a cleanser, toner, moisturizer, and makeup regimen that state that they are formulated not to clog the pores.

And for Heaven’s sakes girls, wash your brushes.

Using dirty makeup brushes is basically asking for acne.

If you use just anything on your face, you are working against your acne fighting efforts!

Just because it’s technically a skin care product or makeup doesn’t mean it’s high quality and OK to put on your face.

Check the label, gals. Your breakout solution could be as simple as eliminating a couple products.

follow me to find a moisturizer for you skin type

3. Check Yourself

The other day, I was at my wits end.

I could NOT figure out why I kept getting breakouts on my chin and around my mouth.

I use professional products and don’t eat terribly.

Then, as I sat down to write an article, I realized that every time I was leaning in to do research on the computer, or waiting for something to load…. I was resting my chin on my hand.

Touching Face Causes Breakouts


Hand to face is not good, ladies.

Do This:

There are many actions and body postures that come completely naturally to a person throughout the day.

Try to be conscious of what you’re doing when your hands are not busy. If you notice that you push your hair back a lot, chew your nails, rub your nose (allergy headquarters over here), or rest your head in your hand like yours truly, make a conscious effort to change the habit.

All the gross bacteria on your hands is getting on your face. This will Touching Your Face Causes Breakoutsdefinitely cause breakouts. You’ll have to train yourself not to, but it will clear up the breakout if this is the cause.

4. Clean It Up

You should wash your face twice a day.

Any more or less could be causing your breakout.

Do This:

Wash once in the morning, and once before your go to bed.

If you have gotten sweaty, use a makeup wipe or cleansing facial towelette to wipe down your face IMMEDIATELY after perspiring.

Don’t let the sweat or dirt dry on your face.Clean Face After Working Out

If you are over-washing, your oil glands aren’t going to be very happy with you and they will begin producing too much oil to make up for the loss.

AND…if you are ever tempted to hop into bed after a long day without washing…just think, dears:

Not washing the face even one time before bed will result in an advance in the aging process. And, You need those skin care products on at night too.

5. Bedding

Clean Bedding Weekly

Not so commonly thought of: the bedding. Specifically the pillow case

Do This:

Wash your bedding at least once a week, and try to slip a clean pillow case on every couple of days.

Dirt and oil left behind from your hair and face can contribute to clogged pores.

It might sound excessive, but it could be the one thing standing between you and a clear complexion.

6. Clean Up Your Skin Care

It’s possible that you might be using a product that is irritating to the skin, causing some sort of adverse reaction.

Example, if I wax anywhere on my face besides my eyebrows, I will not be going into public again for the next week 🙂

Little white bumps that are similar to pimples can emerge, and this is luckily very easy to avoid.

Do This:

Narrow it down to the one common denominator.

Try to eliminate each one of the products that you are using as the source, until you come across the problem causer.

Allergic Reaction From SkinCare

You can do a patch test on the inside of your wrist to determine which product is irritating, but if the reaction is severe, immediately go see a dermatologist.

You don’t want to fool around with severe allergic reactions.

7. Smoking

And not just the cigarette smoke.

In fact, I’m actually referring more the fact that your hands come into contact with the skin around your mouth.

But if we’re being honest, smoke does cause rapid aging AND enlarges the pores. Just sayin.

Do This:

Well, this one is an obvious fix. I can’t say that I have any idea how difficult this is, but I do know all the skin problems smoking causes, let alone the horrible health risks.

8. No Sharing!

Wash Face With Cleansing Brush

In the sense of cleansing devices. Washcloth, electric cleansing brush, facial sponge, etc.

Bacteria run rampant in moist conditions – and bathrooms are their own personal paradise.

Do This:

If you use your hands to cleanse, ALWAYS wash them before cleansing.

When using a washcloth, be sure to toss it in the laundry and grab a new one for the next face washing.

You definitely don’t want a moist washcloth sitting around in between cleanings – not to mention the debris, oil, and makeup that are probably on it from the last cleaning.

If you use an electric cleansing brush like I do, you’ll need to change the brush head every four months or so. Be sure to rinse the bristles out very well after cleansing the skin, and never EVER share it with anyone else.

8. No Touching

This is the one I struggle with big time.

Don’t try to pop your pimples.

If you try to pop them with your fingers, there is a good chance that you will do some damage to the skin tissue, and then you will forever be reminded of the pimple with a lovely scar.

Do This:

If you feel like you really need to mess with them, definitely use an extractor. This tool will allow you to manipulate the pore without doing damage.

I would recommend using a home facial steamer to open up the pores first, giving you easier access.

Also, when you put your fingers all over your face, you stand a good chance of spreading acneic bacteria all over.

It’s much better to use a treatment cream or solution, and allow the pimple to dry up on its own, which it probably will do.

There are over-the-counter creams available, and you’ll want to make sure that the product has Benzoyl Peroxide in it. This will accelerate the treatment process.

If you’d rather go a more natural route, there are essential oils that can speed up the healing process of pimples.

follow me to find a facial steamer

9. You Are What You Eat

If you are eating poorly, don’t gain an ounce of weight, and think it won’t show…you’re wrong! Oh,

Haha, I’m kidding.

But really, if you are eating foods with a lot of sugar and bad fats, it will most definitely show in your complexion. Sooner or later.

Do This:

Try to maintain a healthy diet. You can start a little at a time, and you’ll see a change in your skin! Not only will it clear up, but it will also have a healthy glow.Eat A Clean Diet For Clear Skin

I’m telling you this as I inhale a chocolate covered donut…but I’ll do better tomorrow.

10. Too Much Treatment

Over applying of creams and ointments is a no-no.

If you are applying too much cream to your pimples, the only thing likely to occur is the drying out and irritation of the surrounding skin.

This could again cause an increase in oil production, therefore resulting in even more pimples.

Do This:

Keep the skin consistently clean and dry. Don’t overuse any treatment cream, whether over-the-counter or prescription strength.

If you feel like you’re going to lose your mind and need the pimple to be covered, there are actually some great concealer and foundation options that will not clog the pores and have soothing properties.

Well, there you have it Lovelies!

Acne is a pain in the neck (like, literally), and shows up at the worst times.

I hope this article has helped you to figure out why you’re experiencing pesky breakouts, and how to eliminate them!

Questions about treating acne? Leave them below! Let us know what worked for you in the comment section, as well!

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Have a beautifully blessed day!

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14 thoughts on “Why Is My Face Breaking Out Suddenly? 10 Things To Stop Doing Now!

  1. This is a great article and a very useful one too. I have long passed my acne days but I have two boys at home and while one is almost off the age where acne is not a problem any more the other one is really a full blown acne   teenager phase. I keep telling him what to do and what not to do but he doesn’t listen to mom all the time. i am going to print your blog and give it to him. hopefully like kids do at that age he will liten to you more than he does with me. either way I wanna say thank you

    1. Hey Barbara! 

      Oh I’m so glad that you found useful information in the article! Haha, teenagers don’t really hear half of the things us moms have to say…but he would be wise to listen to you on this! 

      There are so many things that can contribute to the acne, sometimes it’s difficult to narrow it down, especially in the adolescent stage. But I hope that the article can help him to try to clear things up a bit!

      Thank you!


  2. An in-depth post for helping to have healthy, clear skin. I definitely advocate a healthy cleanliness regime for facial skin, it’s    always advisable to check products for any ingredients that might not agree with your skin. Doing a test patch is very sound advice.

    Natural products as much as possible, lots of fresh air, exercise and a healthy diet! 

    Some very good tips and tricks here for better skin.

    1. Hi Louise!

      Thank you for reading, and I am glad you found some good information! I hope it helped you!

      Best wishes, 


  3. I normally have clear skin but just recently I have these zits on my forehead. I don’t have bangs and neither do I wear makeup. Although I have been under light stress lately, I am a sleep-conscious kind of girl. I always make sure I do get enough hours of sleep, and I don’t let stress get in the way. The only culprit might be is my eating habits. I have incorporated skim milk in my diet and I love having peanuts as my snack. Do you think there’s a link to this hunch?

    1. Thanks for reading!

      Yes, if the only changing variable is the food, there is a good possibility that the new breakouts could be a result of it. Unfortunately, many people have a tough time consuming dairy without some negative side effect.

      Try eliminating things from your diet one at a time to determine if one of the new foods is the problem! I have been drinking soy and coconut milk instead of dairy milk for years now, and I can tell you that it helped me! There’s a little trial and error involved, but it’s well worth it!

      Best wishes!


  4. This article is amazing! I legit broke out my pen and paper to take notes on this one! I had no acne issues as a teen but that all changed as I entered my 30’s. There is great information/solutions within this article for those dealing with adult acne! I have noticed that I get a lot of breakouts on my chin due to touching it so much! I’m an online teacher, so In often pointing to my mouth (touching my chin)!.I will be utilizing a few of the solutions you presented in this post! Thank you! 

    1. Hi Kisha!

      I’m so happy to hear that you got some good information out of the article! It’s funny how we don’t realize what the problem is, and then when we do it is so easy to fix! 

      I hope that the solutions in the article help you to clear up! 

      Thanks for sharing!


  5. Thanks for these great tips. I don’t get breakouts but every now and then I get one nasty pimple and I don’t like it. I have found a number of things that I do that could be the cause of it. I had my face on my hands while reading your article so that one really hit home for me and may be the cause of the biggie I have on my chin right now! 

    I’ve also found that some skin care products don’t agree with me. A while back I bought a well known brand of skin care products (cleanser, toner and moisturizer) and after using just once I could see immediately that it was not the range for me. I had a huge break out after that which really confused me. 

    1. Hi Lynne!

      Absolutely- if you are noticing a big pimple or two on your chin and it isn’t a normal occurance, it is probably the hand to face thing! 

      I struggle with this one myself soooo much! 

      As far as the products that you recently tried:

      1. if you have sensitive skin (blush easily, turn red when hot, or react to products severely), your skin could have reacted poorly and rejected the products.

      2. it’s very possible that your skin was just detoxing. This happens when you use a product that has quality ingredients that are potent. All of the gunk in your skin will come to the surface and come out. Sounds gross, but it’s not a bad thing! And that should go away within a few days of using the products regularly.

      I hope this helps! 


  6. Oh my word- I love the name of your website. How fun! Your initial short clip is so funny. This was me in High School. Now my daughter, who is a teenager is getting acne.

    She gets acne on her chin, and one of the things that she does as you mentioned is put her hand
    on her face. I will definitely make her aware of this now. 

    You recommend washing your face two times. What do you 
    think are some of the best facial cleansers? My daughter now uses Cetaphil.

    1. Hi, Misty!

      Haha, thank you! it was me in high school as well. 

      And yes, I would definitely try to make her aware of when she is putting her hand on her face because this could be the problem! 

      As far as cleansers go, I would definitely recommend the Mario Badescu Acne Cleanser, or the Clean and Clear Continuous Control Acne Cleanser. Both of these are great options, and they have products in their lines that work well with them! 

      Thank you for reading! 


  7. This a well written and educative article. Kudos to the author for coming up with an interactive article, with a list of what could your facial fall off. Reading this article made realize our face need proper treatment and care. It’s more than just taking bath daily, apply anything you see to your face, rather it should be properly catered for. This article has listed the causes of acne and their remedies.

    1. Marshall, 

      Thank you for reading! Yes, skin care is so important, and one wrong product or habit could be causing a breakout!

      Glad you found the article informative!


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