Friday, February 26, 2021

Know The Triggers Of Acne


Each day we cleanse our face with moisturizer and a face wash; we may even use a nightly facial mask to keep the wrinkles away, but let’s forget the bacteria. Items such as cell phones, your prescriptions and—sigh—even beauty can cause acne. Don’t fret yet, however, because there are ways to prevent this from occurring, but we must look at the triggers.

First, our beloved cell phones. It goes into purses, pockets, car cup holders and dozens other places. Last night I had my cell phone on the restaurant’s table. Your phone picks up dirt and oil each place it is set down. For instance, if you have it in the kitchen, it may pick up dirt of the meal that you were preparing for your family. If your toddler had it in his mouth (I just saw this happen on the bus) or you carry it in your bra, the oil from the salvia or skin is going to get onto your face. This, in turn, causes a breakout. In order to avoid this, carry a small sandwich bag of baby wipes or clorox wipes to clean off your phone. Both of these will get a large majority of the dirt and germs off.

Another trigger for breakouts is your beauty routine. Many of our bathroom shelves are filled with hair sprays, makeup containers, and products to remove facial hair. All of these may be clogging your pores, however, because they put too much oil onto your face. Waxing or tweezing, for instance, can make the skin swell and appear inflamed. You may want to consider purchasing oil-free products for your face and hair. Always wash your hands after touching any beauty product. Also, try not to touch  your face regularly because this also makes you break out with acne.

Traveling too much can also be a trigger for acne. Our skin may look fabulous when we leave home, but our town has a different air density then where we might be going. There might be less or more humidity, moisture and so on. This may be way we break out during the trip and have zits when we come back home. To prevent this, don’t use hotel soap. Also, use bottled water to wash your face if you can. The mineral content in the water may be different than what it is at home. Hard water, which has a high mineral content, makes it hard to wash off soaps and cleansers. In essence, this is going to cause skin irritation.

On another note, your diet or exercise routine may cause you to break out with acne. Studies have shown that refined carbs, saturated fats and processed foods all develop acme. Fried foods and those that have an exceptional amount of grease are also considered acne-trigger foods. The carbs cause your insulin to sore, which causes your pores to clog. To combat acne, eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and lean meats. These are the beloved foods such as pizza, burgers and French fries that we all love. They’re good in moderation, but not so wonderful for our skin.

It usually goes without saying that stress causes acne. We’ve all experienced that final exam or waiting out in that hospital waiting room. When a person is emotionally stressed out, their hormones trigger this stress, which brings acne to the surface of the skin. This is due to the cells producing sebum, which is an oily substance that mixes with dead skin cells and bacteria. When this happens, it’s best to use a face wash and exfoliate the face, washing it regularly. This is going to prevent wrinkles and reduce clogging of the pores. Also, hydrate your skin by using a moisturizer.

In addition, acne may occur during the several months of pregnancy. A woman’s hormones are changing in the first trimester due to the new stowaway on board. This may cause acme in an average of half of pregnant women. These women have a higher chance of developing acne if they have acne during their menstrual cycle. There is good news, however; if you don’t develop it in the first trimester, then you are likely to not encounter it at all. If, by chance, you do encounter it, then avoid over-the-counter medications that could harm the baby. Always check with your doctor and they will give you a prescription to make sure the fetus is out of harm’s way.

On a different note, coffee may be causing your adult acne. It’s well-known that coffee has caffeine which has wonderful antioxidants. It wakes you up, increases your mood and lowers your chance of type 2 diabetes; however—it can also cause acne. Coffee magnifies the body’s stress hormone, triggering hyperadrenalism. This makes your body react to stressful events in a different way then it normally would without coffee. It puts us into the fight-or-flight response much faster. Would you really honk at that driver who cut you off if you hadn’t had four cups of coffee at the office? Probably not, because without coffee your body is in a relaxation mode.

Finally, weather should be considered a trigger for acne. When people live in big cities, there are toxins from factories and similar buildings that produce smog and other chemicals. While we don’t think much about it, this affects our breathing and our skin, which causes to break out with blackheads. Likewise, those that live in dry weather—such as New Mexico, California, North Dakota, Minnesota or Arizona—often experience dry skin. This causes skin to produce more oil or sebum, which in turn, causes the skin to appear more flakey. On the contrary, those that live in humid weather—in the Midwest or Florida—may experience more breakouts because the air density is thicker. In order to avoid this, use a moisturizer and then a toner to free your skin of the dead skin cells. Acne is difficult to deal with whatever the case, but remember to moisturize and take care of your skin. It’s your time to make your skin look beautiful.


  1. Danielle

    Acne is such a huge problem and it directly impacts self-esteem. I have struggled with acne my entire adult life and it makes me super uncomfortable when I’m talking to people because I think they are paying attention to my acne and not to me.

    This is a great article about the causes of acne and hopefully I’ll be able to experience clear skin before I’m old and senile. Will there be an article about effective treatments for acne? I’d love to read that.

  2. Cindee

    Acne is a problem and a lot of women tend to get a bit of acne around the chin during menstruation. I notice a lot of treatments for acne and a lot of them are incredibly harsh and dry out your skin. Tea tree oil is so amazing and if you mix it with water and gently dab it on your acne it will help it to heal. Its best to get your acne under control so that it doesn’t scar your skin.

  3. Jenna

    My goodness; what an informative article. I had never thought about my phone causing breakouts and it makes me ill to think of where it goes before I put it on my face. I see now why some people always use it on speakerphone and hold it in front of them.

  4. Anjelica Way

    Thank you for mentioning that S T R E S S causes acne! Boy, is that true!!

    I have found that if I’m in a stressful environment for very long, I break out in bumps all over. I have to consciously elevate my mood or I really suffer.

    Also true that weather and environmental issues like factories pumping black soot into the air have an impact, too.

    Thanks for the all-around great article – very thorough and informative. I will never again just pick up my cell phone and put it to my face without thinking about what you said.

    • Melanie

      yes this is the main way that acne begins to break out for me I think. It is much more about stress than any other single factor. But then again if I can optimise everything else then that makes it good too. like cell phone usage for example

  5. Sara

    I really never put much thought into my cell phone being a factor in my acne but it makes so much sense! I will set it down almost anywhere, other people use it, I touch it all day long… YUCK! All them germs end up on my hands and on my face. This is really good to know. I will start being more clean about it.

Jennifer Olson
A mother of three, lover of children and keeping them (and us adults!) as healthy as can be. I have worked as a midwife and nurse for 12 years. Email:

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