5 Unexpected Causes of Acne Breakouts

by Clem Mestre

surprise acne causes

Some weeks you’ll ease by on your normal skincare regimen without a single blemish, then the next week suddenly pimples are popping up all over. What gives? Well, your skin’s health is affected by pretty much everything you eat, breathe, or put anywhere near your face. Ranging from yoga mats to dandruff, here are five of the sneakiest culprits that may be hindering your complexion!


When you go on a trip you are exposing your body to unfamiliar foods, drink, temperatures, humidity, and bed linens— not to mention the amount of extra stress generated by the simple act of relocating yourself. Studies have shown that even a change in the amount of fluoride in bathing water can trigger a break out, so where do you even start? Yes, many things will be out of your control while you’re on-the-go, but minimizing changes where you can make a big difference. Bring your skincare products from home, even if it’s a short trip, and wash your face frequently with bottled water. If your skin is particularly sensitive to certain foods or spices, pack extra snacks from home and interrogate the wait staff at any restaurant before trying exotic dishes.


No one likes finding a dusting of dandruff on their shoulders, but few know this scalp condition can create an even more unflattering situation on your face. Flaky skin on your scalp usually coincides with over-production of hair oils or signifies a chronic problem. Often pimples will begin to form along the hairline and spread until the source of the dandruff is cleared up. If you’re noticing extra flakes choose a medicated dandruff shampoo and follow their recommended instructions to a tee, as some brands can actually dry out your scalp through over use.

Yoga Mat

Most yoga studios these days are kind enough to provide attendees with community mats. While this may be convenient and cheap in the short run, it can be potentially disastrous for your skin. Sweat, oils, and bacteria from strangers soak into these mats which then come in contact with different parts of your body during your creative contortions. Skin experts suggest that serious yoga goers buy their own mats and wipe them down with disinfectants after each session, or simply place a clean towel anywhere your face and neck contact the mat before you start.

Cell Phones

No matter how smart your phone is, if it’s being handled, placed on counters, or crammed into leg-warmed pockets, then it’s probably crawling with pimple-spawning bacteria. In 2010 UK scientists swabbed hundreds of random cell phones found dozens of nasty strains on the average mobile phone, with the dangerous E. coli bacteria popping up on 1 of every 6 sampled cells. If you want to steer clear of face and chin pimples from while dialing up friends, use electronic-safe alcohol wipes before calls and designate a sanitary spot to store your phone during the day.


Dermatologists now recommend that people looking for more youthful skin apply 30 SPF sunscreen everyday. Unfortunately, all that extra goop on your skin can lead to pimples, making many steer clear of sun-blockers altogether. If you want a skin-safe sunscreen for everyday use look for bottles that specifically read “non-comedogenic” or “non-acnegenic,” as the term “oil-free” exempts synthetic oils. Also, try to buy sunscreen lotions with the active ingredient zinc oxide, which typically agitates skin less than titanium dioxide.

If you’re interested in other techniques to treat acne or reducing acne scarring, contact us today! Our Healthy Skin Portal representatives can help you schedule a free consultation at a skincare clinic near you!

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