Why Is Your Forehead Breaking Out? Forehead Acne Explained

Why Is Your Forehead Breaking Out? Forehead Acne Explained

If you're into skincare, you might have heard the term 'face mapping' before. Some people claim that you can find out the causes of your pimples by their location on your face. For instance, the chin and jawline acne have been linked to hormonal changes, while acne on the cheeks has been linked to bacteria transferred from our phones.

You can then use amazing acne treatments and acne skincare to get rid of your skin problems.

In this article, we'll be discussing forehead acne in particular. You'll learn all about why forehead acne appears, how to treat it and how to prevent it in the future.

Causes of Forehead Acne

First and foremost, we need to explain the causes of forehead acne. There are a couple of reasons why you might be breaking out on your forehead - sometimes, it's combined factors. Once you know what causes forehead acne, you can treat it.

Here are the most common causes of forehead acne.

Hair and Haircare Products

One of the most overlooked causes of acne is physical contact with acne triggers, such as the chemicals found in various hair products on the market.

Ingredients meant to go on your hair can cause havoc on the skin for various reasons, one of which is their ability to clog pores. The ingredients you need to look out for include pomades, gels, waxes, cocoa butter, and various oils. All of these contribute to clogged pores.

You'll know that hair care products are to blame for your skin if your acne develops along the hairline, the part of your neck that comes in contact with your hair, and your back (assuming you have long hair).

How can you prevent acne breakouts caused by hair products?

Use hair products that have more natural ingredients. Hair gels are a common trigger, so switching to a natural hair care brand is a good idea if it's a product you use regularly. Paraben-free shampoos are easy to find, so you can try them out for a couple of weeks. Some people even wash their hair with apple cider vinegar!

Always wash your face after you wash your hair so that any hair care product that makes its way to your face can be washed off.

Your hair can cause forehead breakouts due to its natural oils. If you're prone to oily hair, the oil can transfer onto your skin and clog pores, resulting in acne breakouts.

The best way to ensure that the oil on your hair doesn't transfer onto your skin is to keep your hair away from your face as much as you can. Make sure you tie your hair in a high bun before going to bed. When your hair is down throughout the day, avoid physical contact between your hair and your face, especially when working out.

Washing your hair every day isn't a realistic goal for most people, nor is it recommended if you have oily hair. That's one of the reasons why avoiding physical contact is a better option for reducing acne breakouts.

Clothing and Accessories

Similarly to the hair products we use, clothing and accessories can also be a major reason why we're breaking out on our forehead. Hats, hair bands, and hair scarves can cause our skin to break out through physical contact. This is because the bacteria on our clothing and accessories can be easily transferred onto our faces and cause inflammatory acne, especially if we suffer from sensitive skin.

Another way hats contribute to the appearance of acne is by causing us to overheat and sweat. Sweat can block our pores, which definitely leads to acne. If you wear makeup regularly, it can be even easier for your skin to break out after wearing a hat for a couple of hours.

The good news is that it's easy to treat acne caused by clothing and accessories. Just avoid physical contact between your hair accessories and your face when wearing them, or avoid them altogether.

If your acne clears up within a couple of weeks, you'll know that your choice of clothing and accessories is to blame for it.

Touching Your Skin with Your Hands

While touching your skin isn't directly related to a specific area on your face, it's still the reason why so many people struggle to get rid of forehead acne.

Touching your face with your hands is a bad habit, especially if you have sensitive and acne-prone skin. All kinds of acne-causing bacteria and allergens lurk on our hands, which can easily be transferred to the gentle skin of our faces. This can spread to other pores, resulting in various pimples all at once.

Luckily, this type of acne can be easily avoided if we implement the right precautions when washing our hands. It goes without saying that you should avoid touching your face without washing your hands first.

When washing your hands, make sure you use the right technique. The minimum amount of time you should spend washing your hands with soap is around 20 seconds. Use an anti-bacterial soap, and make sure you cover all the areas on your hands.

Getting rid of this pesky habit isn't easy, but it will help you on your journey to get clear skin (and keep it).


As you know, our bodies undergo various changes when we enter puberty. One of these changes is an increase in oil production. Our sebaceous glands (oil glands) produce oil (sebum) naturally, but some people produce more. Too much sebum can trigger acne.

The so-called t-zone, which encompasses your forehead, nose, and chin, is most prone to this increase in excess oil production, which causes hormonal acne.

You know puberty is to blame for your forehead acne if you're a teen and you've noticed that your complexion has gotten oilier all of a sudden. And while you can't stop this natural process, you can use products designed to decrease and control sebum production.

There are many ways to treat hormonal acne vulgaris. From oral medication (including birth control pills) to other over-the-counter products, you can reduce acne breakouts in no time.


One of the most heated debates within the skincare community is whether or not there's a correlation between acne and diet. And, even though more research needs to be done on this subject, it turns out that there indeed is a link between poor dietary choices and acne. As we all know, acne occurs when our hair follicles get trapped with a combination of dead skin cells, excess bacteria, and excess sebum.

High glycemic food, as well as dairy products, has been associated with acne. To prevent acne breakouts from the food you're consuming, avoid processed and oily food as much as possible. Instead, include fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet and swap your dairy milk with a plant-based alternative. Add as many antioxidants in your diet as you can since they're crucial to getting healthy skin. (Your blood sugar will thank you, too!)

Acne caused by dietary choices can affect many areas on our face, but, as we mentioned, the T-zone is more prone to producing excess sebum, which is a direct result of some types of food.


Increased cortisol levels are also linked to an increase in sebum production. Cortisol is our stress hormone, and while a certain level of cortisol is healthy and normal, being over-stressed can lead to acne and other health problems. We live in an age when it's harder than ever to keep our stress levels at bay, and that can make acne worse.

Constantly looking to tick off another thing on our to-do list, we're busier than ever, and it takes a toll on our skin. Fortunately, there are a couple of ways to control your stress levels, such as meditation, working out, and getting plenty of rest every night.

How Can I Treat Forehead Acne?

There are a couple of ways you can approach forehead acne treatments. The right option for you depends on why you're actually breaking out in the first place, so determining that is the first step in treating acne. Here are a couple of ways you can treat forehead acne.

OTC Treatment Options

Perhaps the easiest option, OTC treatments are a quick and hassle-free way to get rid of forehead pimples and red bumps. These are available in most drugstores and pharmacies, so you definitely won't have any trouble finding them. On top of that, they're also inexpensive, which is great if you're on a budget.

OTC treatments often contain salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide, which, according to the American Academy of Dermatology, is extremely effective in treating various types of acne. All you need to do is place the spot treatment on your pimple and leave it to work overnight. Once you get up, wash your face as you would regularly.

If you're a fan of DIY products, consider this article filled with DIY spot recipes.

Pay Attention to Your Skincare Routine

If an increase in sebum production causes your acne, then altering your skincare routine to minimize the amount of sebum your skin produces is crucial. Using the wrong products for your skin type could worsen acne - go for oil-free products.

Make sure you wash your face twice a day using a gentle yet effective cleanser, like the AHA 10% Skin Perfecting Cleanser. Regardless of the oil, always moisturize after you've washed your face to keep your skin hydrated. Remove your makeup before you go to bed to avoid clogging pores during the night, resulting in even more acne.

Try Misumi's Complete Clear 3-Step System, which is designed to combat acne. This includes both teenage and adult acne. This routine treats acne by killing acne bacteria. It also reduces facial acne breakouts and calms redness and irritation. If you don't see skin improvements in 30 days, you can get your money back!

If Your Acne is Severe, Consider a More Serious Approach

If you have moderate acne to severe acne that isn't going away, or if it's a case of cystic acne that's not limited to your forehead, you might need something stronger than a mere shift in the products you use. Tea tree oil and aloe vera gel aren't going to cut it this time.

This can range from using slightly harsher products on your face, such as topical retinoids Retin A, to using oral acne medication that will help with your acne overall.

Whatever the case might be, visiting a dermatologist is crucial. Never make such decisions for treatment on your own, and don't attempt to diagnose your skin. Visiting a certified doctor will save you a lot of time and money in the long run - not to mention it's the safest option. They can prescribe you certain medications, such as oral antibiotics.

Is It Okay If I Pop Forehead Pimples?

The question all of us have asked at one point or another. Truthfully speaking, popping pimples (or a clogged pore) is not a good idea. You risk spreading excess oil and acne-causing bacteria, infecting and permanently damaging your skin, and leaving behind scars.

Instead, try using a spot treatment directly on your pimple to stop forehead acne in its tracks.

How Can I Prevent Forehead Acne?

Some of the reasons why you have forehead acne require a specific approach and treatment, while others can be eliminated by making subtle changes in your day-to-day routine.

If you're somebody who loves eating foods that are greasy and sugary, try swapping them with healthier alternatives. For instance, switching from milk chocolate to dark chocolate can do wonders for your face acne. Another option is to include various kinds of fruit in your diet. If you like the taste of soda, try switching to sparkling water infused with skin-nourishing berries. If you're a fan of snacking on chips while watching a movie, try some popcorn next time.

Remember that in addition to a healthy diet, you should also pay attention to your lifestyle. Experts recommend getting at least 7 hours of sleep each night. Getting plenty of rest will also help curb cravings for unhealthy food, so it's a win-win situation.

Make sure you include some form of exercise each day. Sweating is especially good for cleansing your skin inside and out, and exercising regularly is also known to lower stress levels. In addition, drinking plenty of water is crucial for properly hydrated skin.

Getting regular facials can help prevent forehead acne as well. Although this is a slightly pricier option, it will be worth it in the end. So if you don't mind spending a little extra money on skin treatments, consider getting facials regularly. If you're on a budget, you could also opt for buying conventional face masks or chemical peels and use them from the comfort of your own home.

Exfoliating your skin is important for preventing clogged pores. When it comes to exfoliation, there's only one rule to follow: always choose chemical exfoliants over physical ones.


Forehead acne forms due to multiple reasons which have to do with your lifestyle choices, the clothes you wear, and the food you eat. All these can encourage your sebaceous glands (oil glands) to produce more oil. Luckily, most of them are easily treatable with the right treatment plan.

If you see no improvement in regards to your acne in a matter of weeks, try visiting a dermatologist. They will help you find the right diagnosis and come up with a proper treatment plan to keep your skin healthy.


American Academy of Dermatology

Management of acne

A review of diagnosis and treatment of acne in adult female patients

This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances, and its goal is to offer a general view of the subject. In case you are suffering from a severe case of acne, you should consult with a dermatologist or a certified medical professional.

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