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What Your Body Is Telling You Based On Your Breakouts

Ever wonder why you get pimples in certain places and not others? Or, why certain pimples tend to reappear, as if there’s no way to ever get rid of them? It could mean your body is trying to send you a message. (A gross, pus-like message that’s getting in the way of those selfies.)

The good news? While it’s tough to say you’ll never get pimples again, you can certainly reduce acne by readjusting your self-care practice or lifestyle habits. As your body cries out for help, you can figure out what’s wreaking havoc on your skin and fix it stat. (Here, a few ways to get rid of pimples.)

And, we got David Lortscher, board-certified dermatologist, CEO and founder of Curology to explain what your body is really trying to tell you based on where those flareups hit.

Chin And Jaw Line

Getting acne around your chin that won’t seem to go away? It could be linked to an imbalance in your hormones. In general, acne as a “hormonal pattern” in women tends to involve the lower cheek, chin, and jaw areas and can worsen with the menstrual cycle, he says.

“And it is thought that chocolate craving in about half of American women is tied to their monthly cycle; however, this may not hold true across different cultures,” he adds. (That’s why you crave Hershey’s when on your period!) Yet, good news, here’s a facial mask to use before your period to avoid pimples.

And, you can always look to these skincare hacks to fight acne.

Forehead And Hairline, But Also Nose

“At times, when there are small uniform acne bumps especially on the forehead and along your hairline, acne is made worse by pityrosporum, a type of fungus, in addition to bacteria,” he says.

What’s that? “Pityrosporum is also known as malassezia, and is normally present on our skin. It is considered a culprit in seborrheic dermatitis (i.e., dandruff) as well, so treating a flaky greasy scalp with an over-the-counter ketoconazole shampoo 1%, or a zinc pyrithione shampoo can also help acne, particularly that involving the forehead/hairline,” he explains.

Another culprit? It could be your shampoos or conditioners that contain sodium laureth sulfate, an ingredient that may promote breakouts in people with sensitive skin, he adds.


Bad news, but also good in that you know you’re not alone, it’s really common to break out around your cheeks, he says. (If needed, here’s a good foundation for acne-prone skin.)

“This could just indicate a tendency to acne,” he says, but it can also come from excess touching, sweat, or germs. “Sometimes local factors that involve increased perspiration/moisture and friction/occlusion will increase breakouts in this area—for instance, your phone, or sleeping with your cheek on your hand, could be likely causes,” he says.

A tip? Change your pillow cases regularly and maybe get bluetooth so you don’t need to hold your phone to your cheeks so often. Plus, try this probiotic mask to clear the skin.


This is likely linked to what you’re eating or brushing your teeth with. For instance, eating lots of sugary foods and having a poor diet is associate with more pimples around the mouth and lips.

But, also, your toothpaste could be a sneaky factor, he says. “Some people break out more when their skin comes into contact with the foam from toothpaste with Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and/or Sodium Laureth Sulfate or whitening agents,” he says. Some people might be irritated by fluoride, so fluoride-free toothpastes would be a good fix.

“If this is a possibility, try a couple months with an SLS-free and fluoride-free toothpaste—it might make a difference! Some options without Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfates include toothpastes made by Tom’s of Maine, Burt’s Bees, Sensodyne, and Jason Natural Cosmetics, among others,” he suggests.

And, get this, you can even use coconut oil as toothpaste.