What Causes Acne on Cheeks?

The cheeks are one of the most common areas to have trouble with acne, and usually are treated with scrubs and cleansers. But to get to the root of the issue, and prevent acne from arising in this area in the first place, we need to look at the most common causes of these pesky blemishes. 


Causes of Acne on Cheeks - clear faced woman smiling, wearing a flower crown 

Causes of Acne on Cheeks - Contact with Surfaces

We expose our cheeks to an onslaught of comedogenic and acne-triggering particles all day. Here are some ways to reduce this exposure, and prevent acne.

Clean your cell phone

Your hands are all over your cell phone, covering it with oils and dirt that transfer to whatever it touches (including your cheeks.) Before speaking on the cell, wipe down the screen with a damp cloth— or better, talk via speakerphone.

Avoid touching your face

Easier said than done, right? Yet it has to be said— touching your face absolutely contributes to acne. Oil, dirt, and food residue can transfer to your delicate skin, triggering breakouts. Make it a habit not to touch your face– wear a noisy bracelet as a reminder, or put a perfume you don't like on your hands to train yourself.

If you have long hair— Keep your hair back

Test how much your hair is contributing to your acne by wearing it tied back for 2 weeks— make it fun by wearing a scarf, doing a french braid, or getting some cool clips. At night, tie it above your head or wrap it in a scarf (a better option for avoiding the bumps that ties can make) 

Change your pillowcase every night

Most people only change their sheets every 2-3 weeks, and this is a major cause of acne on cheeks. Change your pillowcase every night to avoid exposure to built up oil, bacteria, dust and dirt and prevent acne. If this is too much laundry, or difficult to remember, try the déjà pillowcase

Clean your glasses every day

Your glasses also build up oil, and can cause acne on the cheeks. Clean the frames each day with a bit of soapy water to get rid of built up oil and bacteria.

Causes of Acne on Cheeks - Pollutants

Causes of Acne on Cheeks - pollution. Group of hikers walking in hills of Los Angeles, smog in background.

If you live in a busy city, smog and other air pollutants build up on the surface of your skin. Have you ever seen those power-washing videos where they clean off the side of a building? Don't let that muck build up on your face an cause acne on your cheeks. Always wash with a gentle cleanser before bed. 

Causes of Acne on Cheeks- Makeup and Skincare

Causes of Acne on Cheeks - makeup brushes and makeup

All too often, what we do to reduce the appearance of acne ends up aggravating it. Our skin can be very sensitive, and products can interact with each other to have irritating effects, causing acne on cheeks. If products don't seem to be working, try a 1 week detox from makeup and skincare. Wash your face in the morning and night, and dry with a clean cloth or tissue. Keep up all the above tips. Once the week is over, reintroduce your products one at a time— this way you can see what you have a reaction to. 

Any questions about our guide to the causes of acne on cheeks? Let us know below, and we'll help you on your way to clear skin! 


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