Why Am I Breaking Out? 

Breakouts are an evil part of life. Fortunately for us, almost all breakouts can be avoided by knowing the source and fixing the issue. Although finding the exact cause of a breakout may not be as easy as reading this post, it may be able to give you some ideas on where to start looking.  Just a warning, this is not a short post… I have bolded the different causes, feel free to scroll through and read what you feel applies to you!

Your Cellphone

LOL… YUP your cellphone is breaking you out. Cellphones are the most germ infested surface in our lives, I swear. Think about all the places you lay your phone, or what you touch and instantly start texting or scrolling…. EW. All of those germs and dirt as well as oils are then being spread onto and quite literally pressed into your face when you chat on your phone. This clogs your pores and you break out.

Two ways to combat this…

Speakerphone/Headphones- probably not always practical but keeps the phone away from your face!

Clean your screen- I’ve found the best way to clean my phone screen is with a cotton pad, isopropyl alcohol and water. I mix 1 part alcohol with one part h2o and dampen the pad. I prefer to use 99% isopropyl alcohol because I’m borderline psychotic about keeping cellphone grossness off of my face.


Hormonal acne comes in two stages, pubescent and adult.

Pubescent hormonal acne often appears in your T-zone or your forehead, nose, and chin area (it makes a T)… this is why teenagers always have such oily skin, their hormones are over producing sebum which is causing them to break out. Find a good acne mask a buckle up for the ride, don’t worry your teenage years go by FAST. You should definitely go see a dermatologist and see if they are able to prescribe you a stronger topical acne treatment should a regular skin care regiment and other products not work. These prescriptions often cause increased sensitivity to UV-rays… don’t go tanning you will burn. It’s also important to tell anyone giving you any facial treatments or waxing you that you use these medications.

Hormonal adult acne typically forms on the lower part of your face like the bottom of your cheeks and around your jawline. While you can’t do anything about this, just know you’re not alone. The best practice is to stick to your typical skin care regiment, using a mask to clean out your pores. I recommend a mud or clay mask for normal and oily skin and a pore clearing mask (find one that is not over drying) for dry skin. There is also the options of either going on birth control to control flare ups, or seeing a Dermatologist to get prescribed some type of Retinol treatment. Before you look into these options I want you to know that both are trial and error until you find the one that is right for your body, be patient. Also, as I said above these medications do make you more susceptible to sun burn.

Your Boyfriends Beard

We all know how sexy a man can look with a beard, but the reverse of that we also know that beards hold bacteria and oil. Making out with your boyfriend could be what’s breaking your out, especially if you’re seeing it around your lip and chin area. I’m not sure there is a solution to this problem unless you’re boyfriend is willing to shave/trim his beard or if you just stop kissing him. Sorry….

You’re Overdoing *IT*

Whether *IT* be cleansing, exfoliating, spot treatments or moisturizing, too much of a good thing turns into a bad thing very quickly. For example, adding too much excess oil/moisture to your face is telling your skin that there is a lack of oil, thus causing you to produce more and break out. If you’re not sure how often to cleanse and exfoliate I will link the post for a good skin care regiment here. ANYWAY, stick to a healthy cleansing and exfoliation schedule, don’t over use any type of treatment product and stick to oil-free moisturizer, only when you need it.

You’re a “Picker”

… me too. I’m the extraction PRINCESS, no lie. However, there is a right and wrong way to extracting your blemishes. If you pick and pop them before they’re ready you’re either going to push the bacteria deeper into your skin and the blemish will come back, or you’re going to scar. Stick to only popping your pimples when the white or black head has shown itself and invest in an EXTRACTOR. Using an extractor limits the amount of bacteria being spread from your fingers to your face… just be sure to clean it after every use.

You’re Not Toning

Toner is, I say this all the time, the most frequently skipped step in the skin care process… but it’s one of the most important.

Toning rebalances your skin, resetting the pH and keeping everything on track. If you’re skipping this step, your skin is going to react by breaking out. Takes two seconds to tone, don’t forget it!

#FitLife Related

Workout induced breakouts can be caused my a number of things. The big thing here is definitely making sure to wash your face as soon as you’re done at the gym. Also, be conscious of the supplements and added proteins you’re putting into you’re body. Pay attention to what your skin is telling you and if you need anymore pointers about tacking and preventing these types of breakouts check out my post on it, linked here.


Booze&Food, Guys. They’re my favorite too, but chances are they are hurting your skin. Try drinking more water than soda and swapping out that pizza for a salad (that hurts to say).

While on the subject, some of your prescriptions can to be aggravating your skin! If you suspect this to be the care talk to your doctor and see what alternatives there are to treat your condition! Again… it’s all trial and error.

The Climate/Environment

You just moved. You live in a city. You live by an ocean. All of these are going to cause breakouts.

The Move. Two reasons…first, the stress, but we’ll get into that later. Second, the new environment anytime you relocate your skin has to adjust to things like the humidity and other climate factors.

Big City Living means pollution. Wash your face, add toner and moisturizer then go for a stroll around your city block. When you come home throw some toner on a cotton pad and wipe your face….. see that, ew.

You’re living by the beach so you’re basically in paradise. However, the heat and humidity are causing you to over produce oil and you’re breaking all the way out. Try sticking to a strict oil-free skin care regiment and limit your time in the sun.


Ugh… again another uncontrollable, but it’s important to mention. Stress breaks you out by causing an overproduction of hormones that stimulate oil production. Stick to your good skin care regiment, cut back on products that include oil and most importantly, go out and TREAT YO SELF. Correct this problem from the inside out.

Too Much Sun Time

If you still crave all the UV-rays, know it’s not only aging you but also making you break out.

It is a common misconception that being in the sun clears up your skin. Being in the sun turns your skin a reddish tint, hiding the redness of a blemish, making it seem like there isn’t an issue under the surface. On top of this, burned and tanned skin produce more oil as a means of protection. This oil is what’s causing your many blemishes. Try wearing a hat and always use oil-free SPF.


Woooo that was a doozy! There are obviously many more causes of breakouts and I could go more in-depth, but I just wanted to cover the basics for now. If you have any questions about a specific breakout, comment below or email me!


  1. Hi Ashlie! I’m at a loss! So I’ve had some recent hormonal changes (getting off bc due to side effects) since then I keep breaking out on my chin and sides of mouth. Nothing really visible but I can feel a lot of tiny bumps and see them when the light hits my face a certain way. I don’t know what to get to try to help it subside! I clean my face everyday and I use Dr. Jart micellar water too. I think I could possibly be having a reaction to that too as I haven’t been using it very long. Lastly, I usually use a moisturizer but not very much as I’m worried it will just add another layer over my breakouts. I always tend to make sure I have clean pillowcases as well. Are their any masks I couldn’t try? Or what would be a good product that would actually clean out my pores!? Tonight for the first time I used a Norwex wash cloth for my face. (I’ve recently become obsessed with Norwex products) It’s a newer cleaning line that you only need to use water on the microfiber cloth because the cloth is woven with silver since bacteria and silver cannot co exist with bacteria. Any advice is greatly appreciated as I feel like I’m going through puberty again 🙁

    1. Ugh, Jill… I’m so sorry this is happening to you! I’m going to PM you my number on Instagram… I have a few more questions before I recommend a product!

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