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acne breakouts

What Causes Acne Breakouts?

While the occurrence of acne breakouts is caused in large part to genetics – the frequency and standard of forehead acne, pimples on chin and acne on cheeks also relates to behavioural and external stressors.

To address these symptoms experienced by oily and acne-prone skin types, a thorough approach is required. Each skin type is unique, and understanding the forehead, cheek and chin acne causes specific to your skin status will help you to curate the right holistic routine.

Ahead, we detail the different types and causes of skin breakouts for you to identify, including hormonal acne and stress acne. From there, you’ll feel empowered to implement an efficacious skincare and lifestyle routine to help avoid sudden acne breakouts on face. See our simplified, three-step approach below.

What are acne breakouts?

Acne breakouts aren’t singular definitions – in some instances, they can in fact be a sign of ‘skin purging’. This form of skin breakouts occurs when skin’s natural shedding process increases thanks to positive skincare ingredients, leading to (eventually) clearer skin. Overarchingly though, hormonal acne and stress acne occur thanks to genetic makeups, which can also result in larger pore sizes and an excess of sebum in skin.

Where they occur on the face matters less than the appearance and feeling. Forms of acne breakouts include:

acne breakout


Technically termed ‘open comedones’, blackheads are clogged pores that can accompany skin breakouts – and result when dead skin cells become trapped alongside dirt and oil in pore linings. The black appearance refers to the oxidisation of trapped substances at the surface of the skin.


Technically termed ‘closed comedones’, whiteheads refer to blocked pores which retain a thin layer of skin and therefore don’t oxidise. Whiteheads most often appear as acne on cheeks, forehead acne and pimples on chin.


Most often attributed to acne breakouts, papules are small to medium sized pimples. Their appearance can be slightly red and white.

causes of acne

What causes skin breakouts?

Although the formation of skin breakouts reflects a mixture of trapped substances like dirt, sebum and dead skin cells, uncleansed skin is not the singular motivator. Lifestyle factors like a lack of sleep, excessive exfoliating or drying skincare formulas stress skin and imbalance the harmony of those prone to over-flow of oil, leading to stress acne.

Acne breakouts which occur in adulthood as opposed to adolescence also possess a different underlying cause. Skin breakouts and chin acne causes for this stage in life relate to hormonal stimulation and are therefore termed hormonal acne. Adult acne tends to appear as pimples on chin and the jawline. 

How to address sudden acne breakouts on the face

Acne related care is often implemented at the first sign of cheek or forehead acne, but an overapplication or misuse of products that dry out or stress skin can have the opposite effect. Instead, the consistent and regular use of gentle, efficacious ingredients that rebalance sebum production and cleanse skin alongside positive habits can help to reduce sudden acne breakouts on face.

Implement efficacious ingredients

Effective anti-acne routines refer to regimes that cleanse, protect skin and rebalance the microbiome (bacterial diversity). For this, the ingredients in each step need to perform each of those duties without causing further stress to skin. 

To cleanse: use a hydrating formula like Effaclar H Iso-Biome Wash which contains zinc PCA to regulate sebum production. To remove makeup, use purifying Effaclar Micellar Water Ultra Oily Skin with glycerin to hydrate.

To rebalance: use a daily anti-acne serum to visibly minimise the appearance of pimples on chin and face. Effaclar Anti-Acne Salicylic Acid Serum applies 3 peeling acids to unclog pores and help reduce the appearance of redness. 

To protect: hydrate and moisturise skin with a corrective moisturiser specially formulated for acne-prone skin. Effaclar Duo (+) Anti-Acne Moisturiser targets blemishes and helps stimulate skin cell renewal with mannose and prebiotic aqua posae filiformis.   

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