Let's be honest, breakouts are not a big deal in the grand scheme of things but it's always a little annoying when they come out of nowhere and pop up at the worst times. Being prone to acne is often genetic but genetics aside, there are a few main things that can be causing those pesky breakouts.
Stress - Stress is one of the most common causes of acne. It causes the body to produce excess cortisol and other hormones, promoting the overproduction of sebum. An excess of sebum clogs pores and leads to acne.
Dehydration - Your body’s ability to self-regulate is impaired when you’re dehydrated. Causing your body to produce excess sebum. Dehydration can also cause a buildup of dead skin cells, clogging pores and leaving your skin feeling and looking dry and dull.
Lack of sleep - it’s called beauty rest for a reason. When we sleep, our skin goes into recovery mode, our cortisol levels decrease and our skin repairs itself. Not getting enough sleep means that our body is exposed to high levels of cortisol, which can trigger breakouts — similar to what happens during stressful moments.
Hormonal imbalances - With hormonal fluctuations can come hormonal acne. These changes can once again stimulate excess sebum production. Combined with dirt, bacteria and dead skin cells, it can result in clogged pores, causing breakouts.
Stagnation - Supporting our lympathic system is important, which is a big reason why I'm a huge believer in gua sha and facial massages! Activating the lymph aids in detoxification, better circulation and fluid balance. If you're not actively exfoliating or using a facial tool to keep the lympathic system moving, it can result in stagnation in the body, leading to excess toxins, more puffiness, an oil imbalance and acne.
Chemical-ridden & comedogenic skincare products - over-exfoliating or using too many harsh skincare products leads to more skin irritation, inflammation, redness and dry skin. When your skin is overly dry, it reacts by producing more oil, which again can lead to more breakouts and acne. Choose natural, non-toxic ingredients and facial oils with non-comedogenic ingredients such as squalane and jojoba, that will help to restore hydration, soothe irritation, repair + protect your skin barrier and balance your skins oil production.
At the end of the day, breakouts and acne are normal and the goal is healthy skin, not perfect skin. Take note of your daily habits and skincare routine and aim to use clean products, with fewer ingredients. And remember, don't be afraid of oils!