Hello, my fellow beauties! If you’re reading this, then you’re probably asking the big question, “Why in the world am I breaking out?” Well, I’m telling you now, the answer isn’t going to be a simple, one-word response. There are multiple reasons why you see pimples – big and small – on your forehead, cheeks, and/or even chin. Keep in mind – everyone’s skin and lifestyles are different. So to help you with your skincare and self-care journey, here are three factors below that can contribute to your zits galore. Even better, we’ve listed out some mighty ingredients to add to your acne-prone skin routine.

Imbalanced Hydration Levels

Pour yourself a cup of water and listen closely. Much like the rest of our body, our skin needs that H2O to function and look its very best. If your face is itchy, dull, flaky, perhaps all of the above, your skin is absolutely dehydrated. This lack of hydration and imbalance can also lead to – drumroll, please – breakouts! To compensate for this thirst, your skin will trigger the production of oils, aka sebum. Sebum is meant to hydrate and protect your skin, but you know what they say, “Too much of a good thing is a bad thing.” The same applies here. Excess oil will leave you with clogged pores, which can then lead to blackheads, pimples, cysts, you name it.

There are plenty of hydrating topicals, including toners, serums, and moisturizers, that can help quench this thirst. Introducing your new BFF, hyaluronic acid! BUT, the best fix isn’t always through skincare. Sometimes, all you need to do is drink plenty of water every day. In other words, treat your skin from the inside out!

Clogged Pores

We all have pores, some more visible than others. You know, those tiny openings we can’t help but stare and pick at whenever we’re anywhere close to a mirror? Well, these openings have a role – to release oil so that our skin won’t dry out like the desert. They can often get clogged due to over shedding of dead skin cells and excess oil secretion. This buildup, plus bacteria, may cause inflammation and – you guessed it – acne.

There are many ways to clear out your pores and prevent this unfortunate blockage. First things first, exfoliate. Adding a chemical acid or physical exfoliant to your routine can really help in the long run. As long as you’re not over-exfoliating, once or twice a week is enough. On a similar note, make sure you’re not over-cleansing either. Both can strip your skin of its natural oils and result in even more oil/sebum and clogged pores. Last but not least, choose your beauty products and skincare carefully—preferably non-comedogenic options.


You may notice breakouts a week or two before your period. Pimples are starting to pop up on your chin and jaw. What’s the deal? Both of these cases have a lot to do with a thing called hormones. For females, our hormones naturally fluctuate at different times and points in our life (i.e., puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, etc.) They can even become imbalanced when the levels are not where they should be.

Influxes in progesterone, estrogen, and androgen levels can trigger acne breakouts. They’re signaling to our sebaceous glands to increase sebum production, followed by your unwanted clogged pores. This creates the perfect environment for acne-causing bacteria to thrive. (See the pattern?) Hormonal imbalances are also the reason why you might be experiencing acne well into adulthood.

Ingredients We Love For Acne-Prone Skin

One of our all-time favorite ingredients is niacinamide! This water-soluble vitamin brings so much to the table, including anti-inflammatory, skin barrier-strengthening, and anti-aging benefits. Niacinamide works wonders in terms of prevention and the post-breakout scene, not so much for active acne. That’s why you would only incorporate this ingredient during mild to moderate breakouts. For most skin types, it’s safe to use at higher percentages.

For really severe zits and cysts, look for ingredients, such as your BHAs and retinoids/retinol. Beta Hydroxy Acids work by penetrating deep within your pores to get rid of the inner gunk. They can also calm down any inflammation. Similarly, your retinoids and retinol also regulate cell turnover and clear our clogged pores to reveal new, brighter skin. With these stronger ingredients, it’s better to start at the lowest percentage and work your way up.

Product Recommendations

For Fel’s personal guide and approach to tackling acne, check out the full video below:

Shop our curated faves for acne & breakouts on the Beauty Within Shop: https://shop.beautywithinofficial.com/collections/acne-breakouts

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel for more information and product recommendations: youtube.com/c/BeautyWithin


  1. Hi. I’m in my early 40 who is still experiencing hormonal acne around mouth and chin. Can you recommend day and night skincare routine with products. Oily t zone. Using farmacy honey cleanser(drying sometimes), versed gel cream, shani darden retinol, ren toner, fresh kombucha Essence, versed vitamin c. When breaking out, I use dermalogica clearing serum and spot fader.