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7 Surprising Causes of Acne in Adults


In honor of  National Acne Awareness Month I will be dedicating a series of posts throughout the rest of this month to my old foe, acne. I’ve been dealing with acne since I was a teen and from time to time, I still get self-esteem reducing breakouts. I always attributed acne to hormones, greasy pizza and bad hygiene but apparently there are a lot of other triggers/causes/culprits. Here are 7 surprising causes of acne in adults that you probably were not aware of.

Lack of Sleep

According to skinsite.com lack of proper sleep:

  • suppresses the immune system which leads to skin-related problems;
  • causes insulin resistance which leads to acne;
  • influences hormone flow which cause acne; and
  • loss of sleep, causes stress and fatigue which induces acne;

Guess, who is going to bed at 10 tonight?

Demodex Mites

The thought of eenie, meenie mites crawling all over my body, digging their way into my follicles and aggravating my acne grossed me out too. Our bodies actually have hundreds of microscopic organisms but they become a problem when they grow out of control.  When these critters {demodex mites } die, they release bacteria which triggers and/or aggravates rosacea and acne.

Your Diet

A diet high in sugar causes over production of insulin which, aggravates acne. Dairy products and certain spices are also well known culprits. Increasing your water intake also helps to flush the toxins from your body and skin. Adding Omega-3s to your diet can also help.  Omega-3s have been shown to control the production of leukotriene B4, a molecule that can increase sebum and cause inflammatory acne. Omega-3s can be found in walnuts, avocados, flaxseed, and salmon.

Your cell phone

Our cell phones are magnets for dirt and bacteria and the heat from phones actually help bacteria to multiply. The bacteria transfers when we place the phones in direct contact with our skin. In addition, the pressure of the phone against our skin can also create blemishes. To avoid cell phone-induced acne, use a headphone and wipe-down the headphones and your phone daily with alcohol or antibacterial wipes.

Your Hair products

Pomade acne is actually a thing. This form of acne occurs when oils, silicones, from hair products seep into skin and trap acne-causing bacteria in pores. To avoid this, apply hair products before washing your face and change your bed sheets and pillow cases often.

Your Perfume

I experienced this after spraying a new brand of perfume in my decollette region a few months ago. By the end of the evening my entire chest exploded like a fourth of July fireworks.  Dab, instead of spraying perfume on your pulse points (wrists and neck) to avoid getting it on your face, back and chest.

Your makeup

In your effort to become gorgeous, you could also be aggravating your acne. According to totalbeauty.com, the following is a short list of known acne irritants that is found in some makeup products: Artificial color, mineral oil, petroleum, isoprpyl myristate, and artificial fragrance. Makeup brushes are also constantly collecting leftover makeup, dead skin, bacteria and yeast, which can lead to a type of acne known as Folliculitis. Cleaning makeup brushes at least once a week will keep those applicators face-friendly and buying makeup brands like Pur that has natural, non-comedogenic ingredients can also help.

Are you as surprised about some of these causes as I am?

XoXo, Natasha



About Natasha Samuels

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One comment

  1. Who knew that staying up til 3:00 A.M. would cause acne. I have to go to bed early. . . Thanks for this post!
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