7 reasons why your face is breaking out in pimples right this very second.

No matter how good you are with your skincare routine ('very'), sometimes your skin just decides to be a real bastard and randomly freak out. It's all happy and clear one minute, then the next it's literally pulsating with pain because you have six blind pimples that are so deep they feel like they're having tea with your nerves.


Dafuq is going on? 

Watch: Can't find a concealer to match your foundation? Check out this lil neat tip. Post continues below.

Video via Mamamia.

Well, first we'd like to make a statement to everyone here to say that while genetics and stuff are completely out of your control, there's actually a heap of other things that might be -gasp- causing your little (cute) face to break out.

So, if things are getting real angry and Mount Fuji-like outta nowhere, there could be a few sneaky things causing it. We've rounded up a bunch of common things you probs didn’t know might be causing you to breakout.

1. You're stressed.

You might be. Hormonal fluctuations and stress are the most likely causes of a sudden breakout - especially if it's all happening around your chin and jawline.

Listen: Leigh shares how to deal with hormonal acne on this episode of You Beauty. Post continues below.


Sooo... what does this mean? Your hormones are just fluctuating and out of control? Slashing tires and smoking ciggies?

"It doesn’t always mean that the levels of hormones in that person are abnormal," explains dermatologist Dr Katherine Armour from Bespoke Skin Technology. "It can also mean that your oil glands are more sensitive to the normal circulating levels of androgens (the male hormones that us ladies also make)."

Read: Your androgen levels could be increasing the amount of sebum your skin produce, which can have a knock-on effect to acne and pimples.

"In terms of stress causing breakouts, hormones also play a role here. Stress in significant levels, can have us in perpetual 'fight or flight' mode. This tells our adrenal glands to make more stress hormones. Among these stress hormones is cortisol. When elevated, cortisol can definitely trigger outbreaks of acne."

If you think that your hormones and stress levels may be playing a role in your acne, we recommend checking in with your general practitioner or dermatologist - they'll be able to hook you up with some blood tests to investigate this a lil further.

2. You're not getting enough sleep.

Yep - watching re-runs of The Office until 11:59pm every night is triggering your breakouts. 

Similarly to what happens when you're stressed, not getting enough sleep means that our body is exposed to continuous high levels of cortisol. No good.

"Lack of sleep disturbs our circadian rhythms in which cortisol should lower while we sleep, rest and repair. Inadequate sleep can also lead to elevated cortisol levels, and acne breakouts," confirms Dr Armour.


The best fix? Go to bed. And sleep. "Aim for eight hours sleep to deliver a clear complexion."

3. You're not washing your pillowcase enough.

How often do you wash your pillowcase? Omg gross, you guys. That's not nearly enough.

"Oils from our skin, skincare, and even sweat will seep into our pillowcase while it is in contact with our face for several hours overnight," explains Dr Armour. 

"If these are allowed to accumulate over time, these oils may contribute to blocking our pores, which can lead to the dreaded breakout."

The friction of your face + rubbing against a dirty pillowcase = inflammation and acne breakouts.

So, make sure your chuck your pillowcases in the wash every few nights to keep things fresh. Kay?

"Aim to wash your pillowcase every five to seven days to prevent accumulated debris on the fabric."

4. Your spot cream is drying out your skin.

Put your hand up if you go in super hard with a pimple cream as soon as you feel a pimpy coming? Same. But we're just making things worse.

It's sounds so cruel, but excessively drying out your skin with spot treatments can actually lead to MORE pimples. Ingredients like salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide can be drying and irritate-y, triggering your skin to produce even more oil.

"Firstly, if we strip too much oil from the epidermal barrier, your skin will just go into overdrive trying to protect itself. This just means more oil production which can block pores," explains Dr Armour.


What's more, some of these harsh active ingredients can literally burn the top layer of your skin, making it all raw and sore.

"Too much zit cream will just irritate your poor skin between your acne lesions. What we don’t want is red, peeling skin between your pimples."

So, what's a gal to do? 

"Try and stick to gentle skincare when you have acne," said Dr Armour. "Only use spot treatments on your pimples once daily max."

If you're have a spot treatment with salicylic acid, this doesn't mean you have to chuck it out. Nah. Just don't overdo it. Keep in mind that it should only be used in small amounts - so, don't get too enthusiastic.

If your pimples are fkn intense or really painful, Dr Armour said to see someone.

"See your doctor to get a prescription for an anti-inflammatory topical antibiotic, which can help put the fire out on those volcano pimples," said Armour.

5. You're not actually dealing with acne.

If your breakouts are popping up in areas like your hairline, forehead, chest, or back and look like multiple tiny red dots or pustules that are all similar in size with an absence of blackheads, you might not technically be dealing with acne.

You could actually have fungal acne (or malassezia folliculitis if you wanna get all science-y on us). While it might look similar to acne, this is actually an infection of the hair follicles and needs to be treated differently to 'normal' acne.

"If you’re not sure, I’d recommend seeing your dermatologist, as it can be tricky to diagnose if you’re not used to seeing it all the time," said Dr Armour. 


"Malassezia folliculitis is readily treated with anti-yeast topical products. Rarely, antifungal tablets are needed to treat this condition if it is particularly stubborn to treat."

6. Your diet might be to blame.

While it's totally dependent on the individual (people have different reactions to different foods), Dr Armour said your diet might be another factor contributing to your breakouts.

"Although this is controversial, certain foods and drinks look to be a problem in those who are prone to acne in recent studies," said Dr Armour. 

"These include foods with a really high glycaemic index. Think chocolate (sorry!), fried take away foods and sweets. Dairy in very large amounts can cause acne in young men. Protein supplements with whey protein may also trigger acne."

7. Your face mask is dirty.

If you've been getting more breakouts on your chin, jawline, and cheeks as a result of wearing a face mask, you need to make sure you always have a clean one ready to go. 

"If we don’t wash re-usable masks daily, they can harbour oil, sweat, skincare, makeup and sunscreen that can block our pores," said Dr Armour. 

"Please keep your skincare light and don’t wear foundation under your face mask. No one can see about your cheekbones when you’re wearing a mask, so it’s a pointless exercise, and will just cause congestion."


Are you experiencing breakouts? What's your go-to treatment? Share with us in the comment section below.

Feature Image: Getty