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  • Kaye's Beauty

Why am I breaking out? Here are some reasons why.

So, if you are breaking out despite doing everything right- regularly washing your face, exfoliating, moisturizing and even wearing sunscreen but still nothing seems to work. You are still breaking out. We hear you. The sad truth is that even when you are careful with your skincare routine, there can be other concerns lurking in the corner causing your skin to break out.

Though everyone has different skin types one of the main underlying reasons for breakouts are your hormones which is causing your skin to overproduce oils. This in turn clogs your pores and hair follicles, leading to the growth of acne causing bacteria called P-acne. Genetics play a big role in how your body reacts to acne- causing hormones, however there are certain habits that could also be the culprit behind your breakouts - or could be making them worse.

To better understand all the habits that are leading to acne, we turned to some skincare experts, who shared with us some of the reasons your skin could be breaking out.

Wrong Diet

So I am sure while growing up we all believed that chocolate cake and greasy food give you acne. And that might hold true now that we are all adults. There is ample scientific evidence that suggests that a high-carbohydrate diet can lead to acne. Specially foods high in refined carbohydrates, these include 'white' foods such as white bread and white pasta along with cookies, crackers & cakes. They are high on the glycemic index and may increase breakouts on your skin, we still need more research to completely understand this. But the research definitely points out that high-carbohydrate foods lead to acne.

What is a glycemic index you ask, well it helps us understand how a certain type of food can affect our blood sugar levels.

There is also evidence that links acne to dairy products. Studies have shown that dairy products increase insulin levels that can trigger or worsen acne. One of the most common forms of dairy is cow's milk, especially low fat milk which has higher levels of progesterone-like hormones and has higher sugar content than full fat products.

So, it may be helpful to cut back on dairy products and snacks like chips and ice-cream and switch to whole grains, veggies and fruits.

Dirty Pillowcase

During the day makeup, dirt, oil and grime build up on the skin leading to acne. If you don't wash your face before sleeping then all that dirt and oil gets transferred to your pillowcase, which when you sleep gets further transferred to your face. Long term exposure to this type of soiling along with the friction on your face can lead to inflammation and acne breakouts. Also be aware, oily environments are breeding grounds for bacteria that can penetrate the skin if there are raw or open areas on your face - this is one of the main causes of acne.


Yes, stress can cause acne and more stress can cause more acne. When you are under stress your skin produces a stress hormone, including costisol that can stimulate your oil glands to make testosterone. This increase in oil production and clogging of your pores could lead to acne. So it is important to take time out for yourself, do it for your skin if not for yourself! Take time off your busy schedule to relax, this will help you release stress from your body so that ways your body is not releasing hormones that are trying to wreck your skin.

Dirty Phone

All that talking on the phone is fun! It's good to keep in touch with your friends, family and office buddies. But is it good for your skin? Not so much.

Throughout the day you expose your skin to germs and bacteria that lay on your phone screen. What's more, every time you touch your phone with your fingers you transfer the germs and bacteria from your fingers to your face through your phone. Plus constant rubbing of your cell phone against your face can lead to 'acne mechanica' which is pimples caused by friction.

So, try to avoid using your phone too much. If you know you know you have to talk long hours then try using your headphones/earphones.

Not Cleansing Properly

There are certain pore clogging cosmetics that if not removed properly can lead to acne. How you remove makeup is also important, not removing it properly can also lead to acne.

After a long day, makeup, dirt and oil build up on your skin. This multi-layer pore clogging problem can trap bacteria and lead to breakouts.

So, when buying cosmetic products be on the lookout for noncomedogenic products and make sure you are thoroughly washing your face. Also be gentle with your skin when washing, don't share your products with anybody especially make-up products and make sure to regularly wash your make-up brushes.

Bad Products

Sometimes the products you use could be triggering those pesky pimples. So be careful of the ingredients in your products. It is a well known fact that mineral oil contained in some face moisturizers could clog your pores leading to blackheads, whiteheads and acne. Coconut oil is also another notorious ingredient that can clog your pores. Additionally fragrances in skin care are especially harmful if you have sensitive skin along with sodium lauryl sulfate (an oil stripping surfactant) that is found in many products. So the cause of your acne could very well be the products you are using. So, make sure you check the ingredients on the back label before buying any new face care product.

Reading your labels is easier said than done but if you don't know what you are looking for, a good place to start is by getting rid of products with common irritants such as fragrances, switch to fragrance free skincare and sulfate free. And after this you are still in doubt then just choose products which are marked as non comedogenic, it means that it contains ingredients that do not clog your pores. If still after this your breakouts continue to worsen then see a dermatologist.


Fluctuations in hormones cane lead to adult acne. It can lead to pH imbalance, excessive production of oil, inflammation and differences in circulation.

Hormonal fluctuation can occur as you grow older and in females they mostly occur during:



Postpartum period


Acne caused by hormones mainly occur around your chin area.

Dirty Makeup Brushes

Did you know that every time you use dirty makeup brushes, acne gets a chance to grow on your skin? Unwashed makeup brushes are other makeup tools are breeding grounds for dirt and bacteria. So, each time you put that dirty brush on your face your putting all that old makeup with bacteria and germs back on to your skin, making the acne on your skin worse.

So, make sure you are cleaning your makeup tools regularly.

Sleeping in your Makeup

This is the worst sin you can do to your face, sleeping with makeup on. Did you know that as you sleep the cell regeneration process causes hair follicles to lubricate and allow oil to flow on to your skin. So, any trapped make-up or dirt clogging your pores can lead to breakouts. Plus throughout the day, makeup mixes with dirt and pollutants from exposure in the environment. These byproducts break down on your skin and attract acne causing bacteria. Additionally thick foundation, oil based primers can lead to blackheads and dull skin. So sleeping with all of this on your skin will not only degrade your skin but worse if there is an active pimple it can also lead to infection. So make sure to remove that makeup before you sleep!

Now that we know the how, let's understand the where. Let's understand what it means when you get pimples in certain areas of your face.

So, when your organs are experiencing a problem your skin sure as hell knows about it. This is known as Face Mapping. It originates from an ancient Chinese belief that a person's skin is a reflection of their inner health.

In recent years many face mapping techniques have been introduced. This area more rooted in dermatology rather than traditional wisdom. But it all points to the same thing that a blemish on your face is an indication of a deeper issue.

The big question does face mapping lead to clear skin? Well, the verdict is not yet out on that since there is very limited research available on the subject. But hey at least it motivates you to keep your body healthy.

Chinese Face Mapping also known as Mein Shiang which directly translates to 'face reading' is a 3,000 year old practice. It views the face as a map which is connected to the different organs in your body.

When your body is not healthy your skin will show this via pimples, redness or dryness. The location of these pimples on your face indicate the organ which is affected.

Chinese face mapping is not based on any real scientific evidence but based on years of observation and belief that energy, qi, flows to and from the organs through visible paths.

But there are some experts who don't believe in it at all, claiming that pimples are caused by a high number of oil producing glands. But if you are interested in trying it, here are details of what Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners believe each facial area represents.


This is linked to your digestive system. If you face irritable bowel syndrome then it can show up on your face via pimples or lines. So a poor or improper diet can lead to acne on your forehead.


This represent the kidneys & bladders. Infections or pimples in these areas can mean there is a problem with these organs. Medications that aren't agreeing with your body can also have an effect here.


The area between your eyebrows correlates to your liver. The liver's main function is detoxification, so toxins from bad diets can affect this area.


Under the eyes correlates to bodily fluids. This could be as a result of stress or lack of water which leads to eye bags, puffiness or dark circles.


Your nose area is split into two parts. The left side signifies to the left side of your heart and the right signifies to the right side of your heart. Any redness or blackheads, oiliness or breakouts could be a sign of blood pressure or cholesterol problems that can lead to heart-related blockages.


The cheeks relate to the stomach, spleen, and respiratory system. Red cheeks may be a sign of stomach inflammation. Breakouts may be linked to allergies or sinus issues.


The mouth symbolizes the stomach and colon. Ulcers in this area may be a sign of stomach ulcers or a raw or cold diet that forces the stomach to go into overdrive to heat up the food.


The jawline and chin correspond with the hormonal and reproductive system. Pimples here may relate to the menstrual cycle or feelings of stress.

So what does this all mean?

Well, if you experience any of the above problems it could be an indication to change your lifestyle or diet. But if you are still unsure then consult a physician or dermatologist

Kaye's Beauty Book is here to help you choose better products that suit your skin, hair and lifestyle. All of the products mentioned are carefully researched and selected to ensure that the most credible information comes to you. If you do buy a product from one of our links, Kaye's Beauty Book may earn a commission.

II DISCLAIMER: Every skin is different, not everything works for everybody. I recommend you test the product before completely using any new product. II

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