Skip to main content

How it works:

  • Share your skin goals and snap selfies

  • Your dermatology provider prescribes your formula

  • Apply nightly for happy, healthy skin

How it works:

  • Share your skin goals and snap selfies

  • Your dermatology provider prescribes your formula

  • Apply nightly for happy, healthy skin

  1. blog
  2. > Skin Concerns

Acne face mapping: What your skin is trying to tell you

Where you experience breakouts could be a clue into not only what’s causing your acne but also how to treat it.

Kristen Jokela, NP-C
Curology Team Avatar
by Curology Team
featuring Kristen Jokela, NP-C
Updated on Jan 29, 2024 • 22 min read
Medically reviewed by Jessica Mefford, NP
Acne-around-mouth-cause-by-acne-mechanica-mask-acne
Kristen Jokela, NP-C
Curology Team Avatar
by Curology Team
featuring Kristen Jokela, NP-C
Updated on Jan 29, 2024 • 22 min read
Medically reviewed by Jessica Mefford, NP
We’re here to share what we know — but don’t take it as medical advice. Talk to your medical provider if you have questions.

Summary

  • Acne face mapping is based on Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicine practices. It states that breakouts in certain areas of the face can indicate health issues elsewhere in the body.

  • While there’s no research to support this, the location of your breakouts may offer valuable clues to the cause of your acne and strategies to treat it.

  • There are treatments such as salicylic acidbenzoyl peroxide, and tretinoin that are scientifically proven to help fight acne.

  • Lifestyle changes, such as following an appropriate skincare routine, adapting your diet, and managing stress, may also help acne.

Figuring out what causes acne can be tough and helping to prevent breakouts can feel like detective work. But if your acne is specific to one area of your face, you may be able to identify what could be causing it. And if you know what’s causing it, you’re one step closer to knowing how to help prevent it in the future.

Finding out what’s causing your acne is important but so is personalized treatment. Get started with Curology Custom Formulaᴿˣ for acne today.*

What causes acne? 

Acne, also known as acne vulgaris, is a widespread skin condition that many of us might recognize by its characteristic blemishes. It stems from an inflammation of the pilosebaceous unit—a component of our skin consisting of hair follicles and oil-producing glands. Although acne is most frequently seen on the face, it’s not restricted to that area. The upper arms, trunk, and back are some additional areas that can be affected.¹ 

Acne breakouts may occur due to various reasons. Let's delve into the most common causes:²

  • Certain hair and skin care products: Some products can clog pores, leading to acne.

  • Changes in hormones: Hormonal fluctuations, especially during puberty or pregnancy, can trigger breakouts.

  • Diet: Some foods may aggravate acne in certain individuals.

  • Genetics: If your parents had acne, you're more likely to experience it too.

  • Health conditions: Some underlying conditions can manifest as acne on the skin.

  • Hygiene practices: Not cleaning the skin properly or too frequently with soaps and detergents may lead to breakouts.

  • Irritation to the skin: Physical irritation from tight clothing, for instance, or rubbing can contribute to acne.

  • Medications: Some drugs list acne as a side effect.

  • Stress: High stress levels can worsen acne in some people.

Understanding the causes of acne can help you prevent and manage acne more effectively.

What is acne face mapping?

Acne face mapping is an intriguing concept rooted in ancient Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practices. The belief behind face mapping is that blemishes that pop up in particular zones of the face are linked to specific health issues elsewhere in the body.

It’s important to note, though, that Western medicine hasn’t found scientific backing for this idea. So, while the concept is fascinating and has centuries of tradition behind it, it’s not universally accepted as a diagnostic tool.

Curology’s Kristen Jokela, NP-C, a licensed dermatology provider, shares her thoughts: “While not an exact science, I do see a lot of value in acne face mapping. Each patient’s skin is unique, but we’re all human and many genetic and environmental factors will affect us similarly. Face mapping gives us a great starting place when considering what acne treatment a patient may respond best to, though of course adjustments may need to be considered in the future depending on each person’s individual response and preferences.” 

Even if you don’t subscribe to the traditional views of face mapping, understanding where acne frequently appears on your face can still provide some valuable insights. Recognizing patterns in breakout locations may shed light on potential triggers or causes, such as touch, irritation, or specific products, helping you tailor your acne treatment approach more effectively.

In essence, acne face mapping is less about getting definitive answers and more about understanding your skin’s unique needs and responses.

Beat acne with a custom formula from our dermatology experts.

Beat acne with a custom formula from our dermatology experts.

curology bottle
curology bottle

Types of Acne

Acne on jawline and chin acne

The hormones flowing through our bodies play a significant role in our overall health, including the health of our skin.³ Among these hormones, androgens stand out as the primary regulators of sebum production, the natural oil our skin produces. Starting from puberty, androgens kick into high gear, prompting increased sebum production and, consequently, the potential for acne in both males and females.⁴

In fact, Kristen adds, “Acne that pops up on the chin and jawline is often related to hormonal fluctuations. Using oral medications like certain birth control pills or spironolactone in combination with topical treatments will generally provide the best results when addressing this type of breakout. Oftentimes changes to diet (such as limiting dairy) can also be beneficial.” 

Beyond androgens, a cocktail of other hormones—including estrogens, progesterone, insulin, and growth hormones—also play a role in acne’s development.⁵ 

Here’s where it gets especially interesting: Acne that predominantly shows up along the jawline and chin is often termed “hormonal acne.”⁶ This is because such breakouts are frequently linked to fluctuations in our hormone levels. If you’ve noticed persistent acne in this region that doesn’t seem to budge with regular treatments, there’s a chance that underlying hormonal issues could be fueling it.⁷

Neck acne

While most people immediately think of the face when acne is mentioned, the neck is another common hotspot for breakouts. But what makes the neck a magnet for acne?

Similar to jawline and chin breakouts, acne on your neck can be caused by your skin’s oil glands reacting to hormone fluctuations.⁸ Heat and sweat are other major triggers for neck acne. When sweat—packed with the day’s grime, bacteria, and oils—settles on your skin, it can clog pores. For those with skin already prone to breakouts, this is often a recipe for acne.⁹

Various external elements can also exacerbate neck acne. Ways to help prevent breakouts along your collar include minimizing or preventing contact with anything that causes heat and friction like:¹⁰ 

  • Tight-fitting clothing

  • Athletic equipment

  • Backpacks

And if breakouts do occur? You can generally treat neck acne like the acne on your face to help clear it up and help prevent future breakouts.

Nose acne and blackheads

Blackheads are small clogged pores—aka open comedones—that turn black because the trapped oil and skin cells are exposed to the air.¹¹ 

Kristen further elaborates, “Blackheads happen when sebum and bacteria collect in an open pore. The exposure to oxygen results in a process called oxidation, which causes these contents to appear dark in color—hence the name! To minimize their appearance, wash your face regularly with a gentle cleanser and check your skincare products for pore-clogging ingredients. Oftentimes, the addition of a beta-hydroxy acid such as salicylic acid or an exfoliating mask a few times a week will also help improve this concern.” 

People often notice blackheads on oily areas (such as the T-zone!), though this isn’t always the case. Since your nose might get oilier than other parts of your face, you might not need to apply moisturizer as much there. 

Acne on cheeks

Our cheeks are one of the more common places for breakouts, and this can happen for a variety of reasons: touching your face, friction or sweat and product buildup from the pillow you sleep on, sleeping on your hand, or wearing certain makeup products, to name a few. There may not be a single specific cause you can pinpoint for cheek acne—in fact, it’s likely a variety of reasons (bummer, we know)!

To help prevent cheek acne, try these tips:

  • Wipe down your cellphone

  • Clean your makeup brushes

     

    more often 

  • Wash your pillowcases regularly

  • Try to avoid touching your face with unwashed hands

Forehead acne

Forehead pimples can be caused by certain ingredients in hair care products, shampoos, and conditioners, so if you’re breaking out there, check for pore-clogging ingredients such as isopropyl myristate and isopropyl palmitate.¹²

Another possible cause of forehead bumps is pityrosporum, a type of fungus. Fungal acne from pityrosporum is easy to confuse with regular acne,¹³ so if you’re unsure, consulting with your medical provider or messaging your Curology dermatology provider is never a bad idea.

Another easy way to help prevent breakouts on your forehead? Try to avoid touching it. If you’re prone to blemishes above your brow, do your best to catch yourself in the act before you facepalm.

Hairline and temple acne 

Are you experiencing blemishes sprouting along your hairline, temples, or the back of your neck? The cause could be hiding in your hair care routine.

The very products designed to make our hair look fabulous—like shampoos, conditioners, and various styling aids—can sometimes betray us by causing breakouts.¹⁴ Acne that appears due to these products is so prevalent that it’s earned a specific medical label: “acne cosmetica.” As the name suggests, it’s acne resulting from cosmetic products applied to our skin or hair.¹⁵

Many hair care products, especially pomades, contain oils to give hair that sleek shine.¹⁶ But when this oil transfers to our skin, trouble can ensue. The oil can block pores, and blocked pores often pave the way for acne.¹⁷ This phenomenon is occasionally referred to as “pomade acne.”¹⁸

Combatting this type of acne often requires a two-pronged approach. First, consider switching to hair products that are less likely to clog pores.¹⁹ Second, be diligent about cleaning items that frequently touch your hair and face, like hats, pillowcases, and headbands, to ensure they’re free from product residue that could contribute to breakouts.²⁰

Acne around mouth

Pimples around your mouth can be caused by many of the same factors as blemishes on your cheeks or jaw line. However, if you’ve got acne primarily around your mouth, there are a few other unique possible triggers.

If you’re often breaking out around your mouth, check your toothpaste for sodium lauryl sulfate or sodium laureth sulfate. Some people break out more when their skin comes into contact with toothpaste foam because it’s made with these potentially irritating ingredients.²¹

D&C Red No. 27 is a synthetic pinkish-red pigment that’s often used in lip products. Unfortunately, it and many other ingredients commonly used in cosmetics can also be pore-clogging and trigger breakouts.²² That’s why it’s always a good idea to review the ingredients of your skincare products if you’re trying to treat or help prevent acne. 

Another possible cause of breakouts around your mouth could be your phone. Pressing your phone to your face can cause sweat or dirt from the touchscreen to irritate your skin, leading to breakouts. This also goes for anything else that regularly touches your face.²³ 

Breakouts around your mouth might also not be acne but another common condition—perioral dermatitis. It appears as a red rash that might include red bumps or papules that could be mistaken for the inflammation of acne.²⁴ If you think this might be a possibility, you’ll want to talk to a healthcare provider for treatment. 

If you’ve still got questions about pimples, we’ve got answers. When you get started with Curology’s Custom FormulaRx for acne, you’ll be paired with a licensed dermatology provider who you can message directly with skincare questions.

Other reasons for pimples in the same spot

There are a handful of possible reasons why pimples would reappear in the same place, such as:

  • Resting your chin in your hand while you’re reading or working on your computer.

  • Touching your phone to your face when you’re making a call.

  • Putting certain makeup or skincare products on the same area on a regular basis.

Notably, your lifestyle and habits can also play a role. Picking or squeezing your blemish may also cause worsening breakouts in that area. Why? Well, when you pop, you can push the contents of the pimple deeper into the skin. This is especially true for dealing with cystic acne. It can lead to more noticeable and painful acne.²⁵ Use Emergency Spot Patches instead to help heal sudden spots! 

Different types of acne

Identifying your types of pimples and combining that knowledge with face mapping clues puts you one step closer to saying goodbye to blemishes. Here are some of the different types of acne:

  • Whiteheads: Small clogged pores that look like a small white bump because of trapped oil and dead skin cells

  • Blackheads: Small clogged pores that turn black because the trapped oil and dead skin cells are exposed to the air

  • Papules: Tender bumps with redness and swelling caused by inflammation, usually less than 5mm in size

  • Pustules: Inflamed pimples that might look like a big whitehead 

  • NodulesLarge, firm, reddish lumps without pus that extend deeper than a papule and are often painful 

  • Cysts: Large, soft, under-the-skin pimples that go deep under the skin’s surface and may feel swollen and tender

  • Fungal acneTypically presents as small, uniform bumps that tend to spread across a central area—especially on the forehead, jaw, chest, or back.

6 Types of Acne

Scientifically proven tips to help prevent acne

When it comes to your skincare products, there are a few specific ingredients to look out for that can fight your acne. Here are a few ingredients to help keep blemishes away:

  • Salicylic acidThis acne-fighting ingredient has been shown to reduce acne lesions.²⁶ Many cleansers will contain this ingredient, making it easy to work into your routine.

  • Benzoyl peroxide: This ingredient is another common acne treatment that is often used to treat breakouts.²⁷

  • Oral prescriptions: One way to treat acne is through oral prescription medications like spironolactone, isotretinoin, and hormonal birth control.²⁸ You would have to see a medical professional to be prescribed these acne treatments if they are the right fit for you.

  • Topical retinoids: Retinoids like tretinoin are another common acne treatment because they fight existing breakouts and help keep your pores clear.²⁹

  • Topical antibiotics: Topical antibiotics like clindamycin are used to treat acne by fighting bacteria that contribute to acne and reducing inflammation.³⁰

There are several additional ways to effectively treat acne. With so many methods available to manage acne, it’s important to consult with a specialist like those at Curology to make sure you’re getting exactly what you need to achieve your skin goals. 

At Curology, our mission is to make effective skincare affordable and accessible. Learn more about all your expert-approved options in our acne treatment guide.

Treat your acne with a custom formula. Start today.

Treat your acne with a custom formula. Start today.

curology bottle
curology bottle

Extra tips to help prevent acne

Our daily habits and lifestyle can play a crucial role in either triggering or exacerbating breakouts. Making positive lifestyle changes—like eating a balanced diet, managing stress, and keeping your skincare tools clean—can significantly impact the health and clarity of our skin.

Keep your skin clean

Maintaining clean skin is pivotal in the battle against acne. Incorporating a proper daily skincare routine, especially with a cleanser formulated for acne-prone skin, can help clear away impurities and help prevent pore blockages. However, it’s important to strike a balance—washing your face too often can irritate the skin, potentially worsening acne.³¹ Remember, it’s about cleaning effectively, not excessively.

Exfoliate with care

Exfoliation is a method to remove dead skin cells, which can be crucial in managing acne. However, it’s important to choose the right exfoliation method. While there are two main types—physical (scrubbing) and chemical—chemical exfoliation is often preferred for acne. 

It’s also essential to resist the urge to scrub acne-affected areas vigorously. Overzealous scrubbing can irritate the skin, making acne even more pronounced. Always exfoliate with care.³² 

Don’t pop your pimples 

Resisting the urge to pop a pimple can be challenging, but it’s essential for your skin’s health. When you give in and squeeze, you risk pushing contaminants like pus, dead skin cells, and bacteria deeper into the skin, exacerbating inflammation. This not only makes acne more prominent but can also lead to painful scarring.³³ 

Instead of popping, a better approach to treat an inflamed breakout is to use spot patches. These help draw out impurities without the risks associated with squeezing. Remember: hands off for clearer, healthier skin!

Wash your makeup brushes

Keeping your makeup brushes clean may also help prevent acne. Here's a simple guide to ensure they’re tidy:

  1. Wet the bristles: Using lukewarm water, either run the brush under the faucet or dip it into a cup.

  2. Cleanse: Add a drop of makeup brush cleanser to your palm. Gently swirl the brush tips in a circular motion. Add warm water as needed.

  3. Rinse and repeat: Thoroughly rinse the bristles. Using a towel, squeeze out excess water. Continue until all makeup is gone and rinse until the water is clear.

  4. Shape and dry: Reshape the brush head and lay it flat in a clean area to air dry. Avoid standing it upright—this can damage the bristle glue.

  5. Frequency: If you use brushes daily, aim to clean them at least once a week to ward off potential acne-causing buildup.

Adapt your diet

Your diet can play a significant role in the health of your skin. Research indicates that a low-glycemic diet, which includes foods like fresh vegetables, certain fruits, beans, and steel-cut oats, may help reduce acne.³⁴ This is because low-glycemic foods help stabilize blood sugar levels, preventing sharp spikes. Such spikes in blood sugar can trigger body-wide inflammation and stimulate the production of sebum, an oily skin substance. Both increased inflammation and excess sebum are key contributors to acne.³⁵ So, adapting your diet to favor low-glycemic foods may be a step towards clearer skin.

Manage your stress

Managing stress isn’t only beneficial for your mental well-being but also for your skin’s health. There’s a documented link between heightened stress levels and the severity of acne. In fact, multiple scientific studies have consistently shown that as stress rises, acne can become more prominent or severe.³⁶ The reason? Stress can trigger various bodily responses, including increased skin inflammation and impaired barrier function, both of which can contribute to acne breakouts.³⁷ So, finding ways to reduce and handle stress can be an integral part of your strategy for clearer, healthier skin.

Support with antioxidants and adaptogens 

Similar to following a healthy diet, supporting your overall health with vitamins, antioxidants, and adaptogens (plants and mushrooms thought to help your body manage stress) may be helpful for your skin.³⁸ But before you head to the supplement aisle, know that the easiest way to get these nutrients is just to eat a varied and colorful diet. Curcumin (think turmeric) and resveratrol (think grapes and berries) are two adaptogens that might be particularly helpful for acne.³⁹

Help treat acne with Curology

Seems like a lot to take in? If so, we get it. At Curology, we’re all about empowering you with information when it comes to your skin, and if you want to take some of the hard work out of it, we’re here to help.

Curology was founded by dermatologists whose mission is to offer accessible dermatology treatments for skin concerns like acne, rosacea, hyperpigmentation, and signs of aging. We help take the guesswork out of your skincare routine—licensed dermatology providers work with you to examine your skin, assess your skincare goals, and provide custom treatment options.

Get your personalized skincare routine with Curology

Get your personalized skincare routine with Curology

curology bottle
curology bottle

Signing up* is easy. Just answer a few questions and snap a few selfies to help us get to know your skin better. If Curology is right for you, one of our licensed dermatology providers will prescribe a personalized formula that targets your specific skin goals. They’re also available to answer questions you may have and modify your formula if necessary as your skin’s needs naturally shift over time.

FAQs

What is face mapping?

Acne face mapping is a concept rooted in ancient Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practices. The belief behind face mapping is that blemishes that appear in particular zones of the face are linked to specific health issues elsewhere in the body. Western medicine hasn’t found scientific backing for this idea, but understanding where acne frequently appears on your face can still provide some valuable insight into how to tailor your acne treatments.

What are the different types of breakouts?

Here are some different types of acne:

  • Whiteheads: Small clogged pores that look like a small white bump

  • Blackheads: Small clogged pores that turn black

  • Papules: Tender bumps with redness and swelling

  • Pustules: Inflamed pimples that contains white pus at the tip

  • Nodules: Large, firm, reddish lumps without pus

  • Cysts: Large, soft, under-the-skin pimples

  • Fungal acne: Small, uniform bumps that tend to spread across a central area

Is acne face mapping accurate?

Acne face mapping is based on ancient beliefs suggesting that specific facial breakout areas relate to other health issues. While it’s an intriguing idea, Western medicine hasn't found solid scientific evidence to support this theory. However, even without full backing, the location of your acne can provide insights into potential causes or triggers, helping tailor your skincare approach.

What does the location of pimples mean?

The idea that specific pimple locations correspond to certain health issues, known as face mapping, isn’t backed by scientific research. However, the location of your acne can still be informative. Understanding where you typically break out can provide hints about potential causes or triggers, helping you choose the most effective treatments for your skin's unique needs.

What do pimples on chin and jawline mean?

Pimples on the chin and jawline are often linked to hormones.⁴⁰ Androgens, which regulate sebum (skin oil) production, can stimulate acne, especially from puberty onwards. Hormonal changes involving androgens, estrogens, and others can result in breakouts, particularly in the chin and jawline area, known as hormonal acne.⁴¹ If you’re experiencing persistent acne in these areas, it might be driven by underlying hormonal imbalances.

What causes acne on the cheeks?

Acne on the cheeks can arise from various factors. Common culprits include frequently touching your face with unclean hands, sweat and product residue from pillows, or certain makeup products. Even habits like sleeping on your hand can contribute. The truth is, there might not be just one reason for cheek acne; it’s often a combination. To minimize breakouts on the cheeks, consider these preventive measures: Regularly clean your cell phone and makeup brushes, wash pillowcases frequently, and avoid touching your face with dirty hands.

Is cheek acne hormonal acne?

While it’s possible for cheek acne to be related to hormones, it’s less common. Hormonal acne typically concentrates in the lower third of the face, especially along the chin and jawline.⁴² So, while hormones might play a role, if you’re specifically dealing with cheek breakouts, other factors are likely at play alongside or instead of hormonal influences.

Can acne be caused by gut problems?

Yes, acne may be influenced by gut health. While the relationship is complex and not entirely understood, certain factors connect the two.⁴³ For instance, consuming high glycemic index foods can lead to increased insulin, subsequently causing excess androgen and skin oil (sebum) production, which can trigger acne.⁴⁴ Additionally, changes in the gut’s microbiome can impact inflammation, oxidative stress, and how nutrients are absorbed, all potentially influencing skin health and acne development.⁴⁵

• • •

P.S. We did the research so you don’t have to:

  1. Sutaria, A.H., et al. Acne Vulgaris. StatPearls. (2023, August 17).

  2. Sutaria, A.H., et al. Acne Vulgaris. StatPearls. Ibid.

  3. Elsaie, M.L. Hormonal treatment of acne vulgaris: an update. Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology. (2016, September 2).

  4. Elsaie, M.L. Hormonal treatment of acne vulgaris: an update. Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology. Ibid.

  5. Elsaie, M.L. Hormonal treatment of acne vulgaris: an update. Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology. Ibid.

  6. Elsaie, M.L. Hormonal treatment of acne vulgaris: an update. Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology. Ibid.

  7. Elsaie, M.L. Hormonal treatment of acne vulgaris: an update. Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology. Ibid.

  8. Batsakis, J.G., et al. Sebaceous Cell Lesions of the Head and Neck. Arch Otolaryngol. (1972).

  9. American Academy of Dermatology Association. 12 Summer Skin Problems You Can Prevent. (n.d.).

  10. Mills, O. H., Jr, and Kligman, A. Acne mechanica. Archives of dermatology. (April 1975).

  11. Fox, L., et al. Treatment Modalities for Acne. Molecules. (August 2016).

  12. Fulton, J.E., et al. Comedogenicity of current therapeutic products, cosmetics, and ingredients in the rabbit ear. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. (January 1984).

  13. Rubenstein, R.M. and Malerich, S.A. Malassezia (Pityrosporum) Folliculitis. The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology. (March 2014).

  14. American Academy of Dermatology Association. Are Your Hair Care Products Causing Breakouts?. (n.d.).

  15. American Academy of Dermatology Association. Are Your Hair Care Products Causing Breakouts?. Ibid.

  16. American Academy of Dermatology Association. Are Your Hair Care Products Causing Breakouts?. Ibid.

  17. American Academy of Dermatology Association. Are Your Hair Care Products Causing Breakouts?. Ibid.

  18. Plewig G, et al. Pomade Acne. Arch Dermatol. (May 1970).

  19. American Academy of Dermatology Association. Are Your Hair Care Products Causing Breakouts?. Ibid.

  20. American Academy of Dermatology Association. Are Your Hair Care Products Causing Breakouts?. Ibid.

  21. Branco, N., et al. Long-term repetitive sodium lauryl sulfate-induced irritation of the skin: an in vivo study. Contact Dermatitis. (November 2005).

  22. Fulton, J.E., et al. Comedogenicity of current therapeutic products, cosmetics, and ingredients in the rabbit ear. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. Ibid.

  23. Singh, M., et al. 'Cell-phone acne' epidemic during the COVID-19 pandemic. Clinical and experimental dermatology. (October 2020).

  24. Lipozencic, J. and Ljubojevic, S. Perioral dermatitis. Clinics in Dermatology. (March- April 2011).

  25. American Academy of Dermatology Association. Pimple popping: Why only a dermatologist should do it. (2022, November 16).

  26. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. A double-blind, placebo-controlled evaluation of a 2% salicylic acid cleanser for improvement of acne vulgaris. (April 2013).

  27. Zaenglein, A.L., et al. Guidelines of care for the management of acne vulgaris. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. (May 2016).

  28. Zaenglein, A.L., et al. Guidelines of care for the management of acne vulgaris. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. Ibid.

  29. Leyden, J., et al. Why Topical Retinoids Are Mainstay of Therapy for Acne. Dermatol Ther (Heidelb). (September 2017).

  30. Zaenglein, A.L., et al. Guidelines of care for the management of acne vulgaris. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. Ibid.

  31. American Academy of Dermatology Association. 10 Skin Care Habits That Can Worsen Acne. (n.d.).

  32. American Academy of Dermatology Association. 10 Skin Care Habits That Can Worsen Acne. Ibid.

  33. American Academy of Dermatology Association. 10 Skin Care Habits That Can Worsen Acne. Ibid.

  34. American Academy of Dermatology Association. Can The Right Diet Get Rid Of Acne?. (n.d.).

  35. American Academy of Dermatology Association. Can The Right Diet Get Rid Of Acne?. Ibid.

  36. Graubard, R., et al. Stress and Skin: An Overview of Mind Body Therapies as a Treatment Strategy in Dermatology. Dermatology Practical & Conceptual. (2021, October 1).

  37. Graubard, R., et al. Stress and Skin: An Overview of Mind Body Therapies as a Treatment Strategy in Dermatology. Dermatology Practical & Conceptual. Ibid.

  38. Liu, X.X., et al. Bibliometric Study of Adaptogens in Dermatology: Pharmacophylogeny, Phytochemistry, and Pharmacological Mechanisms. Drug Design, Development and Therapy. (2023, February 6).

  39. Liu, X.X., et al. Bibliometric Study of Adaptogens in Dermatology: Pharmacophylogeny, Phytochemistry, and Pharmacological Mechanisms. Drug Design, Development and Therapy. Ibid.

  40. Elsaie, M.L. Hormonal treatment of acne vulgaris: an update. Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology. Ibid.

  41. Elsaie, M.L. Hormonal treatment of acne vulgaris: an update. Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology. Ibid.

  42. Elsaie, M.L. Hormonal treatment of acne vulgaris: an update. Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology. Ibid.

  43. Salem, I., et al. The Gut Microbiome as a Major Regulator of the Gut-Skin Axis. Frontiers in Microbiology. (2018, July 10).

  44. Elsaie, M.L. Hormonal treatment of acne vulgaris: an update. Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology. Ibid.

  45. Salem, I., et al. The Gut Microbiome as a Major Regulator of the Gut-Skin Axis. Frontiers in Microbiology. Ibid.

Jessica Lee is a certified Nurse Practitioner at Curology. She received her Master in Nursing from Samuel Merritt University in Oakland, CA.

* Cancel anytime. Subject to consultation. Results may vary. ** Restrictions apply. See website for full details and important safety information.

• • •
Our medical review process:We’re here to tell you what we know. That’s why our information is evidence-based and fact-checked by medical experts. Still, everyone’s skin is unique—the best way to get advice is to talk to your healthcare provider.
Our policy on product links:Empowering you with knowledge is our top priority. Our reviews of other brands’ products in this post are not paid endorsements—but they do meet our medically fact-checked standards for ingredients (at the time of publication).
Curology Team Avatar

Curology Team

Jessica Lee header image square

Jessica Mefford, NP

Related Articles

What is pomade acne? How to treat breakouts around your hairlineIs vitamin C good for acne? What you need to knowThe best liquid blush for acne-prone skin, according to dermatology providersHow to choose the best moisturizer for acne-prone skinDry, flaky, or peeling skin on your nose? What causes it and how to prevent it

Popular Articles

Ask Curology: Is my cold breaking me out?Slugging: The dermatologist-approved skincare hack going viral on TikTokTretinoin vs retinol: What’s the difference?How to create a self-care routine that actually sticksYour 2023 skincare horoscope
Try prescription skincare
30-day trial. Subject to consultation. Cancel anytime.
Get routine essentials
Young brunette with curly hair applying formula in bathroom mirror
Young brunette with curly hair applying formula in bathroom mirror

Get clearer skin with Custom FormulaRX

Take acne care to the next level with Custom FormulaRx—a daily prescription treatment, personalized by a Licensed Dermatology Provider to help you work towards a range of skin goals.
Ingredients proven to tackle
  • Breakouts
  • Clogged pores
  • Whiteheads
  • Redness
  • Blackheads

$29.95/month

*Subject to consultation. Cancel anytime.
Get StartedShop ProductsWhy CurologyHow It WorksOur StoryCommunity
SupportBlogReviewsCareersContact Us
Follow @curology
Terms of ServicePrivacy Notice
Do Not Sell My Personal Information
All Rights Reserved © 2024 Curology