What is your skin trying to tell you? Learn how to listen to your acne-prone skin

What is your skin trying to tell you? Learn how to listen to your acne-prone skin
What is your skin trying to tell you? Learn how to listen to your acne-prone skin

It’s no secret that acne can be difficult to get rid of. You’ve probably tried every spot cream, diet and home remedy on your most stubborn spots, but the answer could be more obvious than you think. We bring you the low-down on why spots appear on different areas of the face and what it could mean.


Blemishes on your forehead could point to a difficulty in breaking down certain foods. There are tell-tale signs that your acne is being caused by digestive issues to look out for. For instance, if you find yourself breaking out often after eating something, start keeping a food diary to chart the effects of different foods on your skin. This will help you to pinpoint your problem foods and start figuring out a diet that works for you. It’s also a good idea to add raw fruit and vegetables into your diet as our bodies find these foods far easier to breakdown than other food groups.

Always ask yourself if you’re drinking enough water too. It flushes toxins out of the body, which leads to clearer skin; experts usually recommend we drink about eight glasses of water a day. Not drinking enough water can manifest itself as white bumps on your forehead underneath the skin.

If you have a fringe, then you need to be extra cautious. Those of us with fringes are unlikely to have a smooth clear forehead simply because of the hair products we are using. In an interview for The Skin Edit, Dr Tabi Leslie, a dermatologist with a special interest in acne, told us that her top tip for those with fringes is avoiding oily compounds. ‘There are quite a few tips and it depends on what type of skin you’ve got, but on the whole if you want to prevent clogging of pores causing whiteheads and blackheads then you’d obviously avoid oily products on your face,’ she says. Oily compounds can include gels, conditioners and hairsprays, so check your hair products before buying.


Blemishes on the chin are often caused by fluctuating hormone levels, especially around the time of your period, or if you stop taking the pill. When hormone levels are disrupted, the sebaceous gland, which produces a natural oil called ‘sebum’ that lubricates the skin, is stimulated and produces excess sebum, which can block pores. See your doctor if you notice your spots worsening around the time of your period. They will be able to measure your hormone levels and suggest ways of restoring balance.

As well as being related to hormones, chin spots can occur when toothpaste or mouthwash comes into contact with skin. Often too harsh, contact can lead to irritation and the acne getting worse.  


Sometimes spots, often small white bumps, crop up on your cheeks too, which can be really hard to get rid of. This sort of acne is referred to as ‘cosmetic-induced’ acne, meaning acne that’s caused by skin care and cosmetic products that are comedogenic, or that they can potentially create acne. Switch to non-comedogenic products and keep your makeup applicators clean.

Acne on your cheeks can also be a result of contact with phones, pillowcases and other bacteria- harbouring everyday objects. Try to be more aware of what comes into contact with your skin and ensure it’s clean. Things like pillowcases and makeup applicators should be replaced regularly and sashing your brushes once a week will make sure there isn’t a build-up of product. If your brushes are starting to fray or lose their shape it’s time to get rid of them and invest in some new ones!