Zits happen, but do you know why? Besides the obvious — excessive oil, dead skin cells, bacteria, yada, yada, yada — there are a ton of sneaky causes for acne, especially adult acne. And if you’re at a loss as to why you’re breaking out all the time, chances are one of these reasons is the culprit.
So how did we dig up the dirt for this list? By interrogating (OK, interviewing) a few acne experts: Dr. Ava Shamban, dermatologist and owner of The Laser Institute of Dermatology in Santa Monica, Calif., and Annet King, director of The International Dermal Institute. They told us all the little-known ways breakouts can happen — and how to prevent and treat them, of course.
So whether you’re making a crucial cleansing mistake (more common than you think) or your exercise routine is creating those pimples (seriously, it can happen), this list of acne causers will help you narrow it down and remedy the situation.
But first, some “fun” (yes, that term is used very loosely) facts from King:
1. Acne-prone people are born with about four to five times more skin cells than the average person.
2. They also produce more oil than the average person.
3. It’s the combination of these two factors that causes those nasty breakouts: more skin cells means more dead skin cells in pores and more oil means, uh, more oil to also clog pores. Combine that with a little bacteria and you’ve got a recipe for zits. Yum — er, ew.
Enough of that depressing news, let’s get to those pimple sabotagers so you can fight the good fight and beat down that acne. Are you fired up yet?