Why Am I Breaking Out All of a Sudden? 5 Reasons for Your Acne

a woman smudging her face

You can be having the time of your life, but one bad breakout can put a damper on everything. It may be the night before your wedding or job interview, and you notice an ugly zit coming to the surface. You may be wondering why this is happening. 

Acne occurs when your pores become clogged, and many things can cause this to happen. Excess oil production and dead skin can clog pores, for example. It may be frustrating to deal with consistent breakouts or even the occasional pimple, but you're not alone. Many people struggle with acne. 

Find out five different things that may be causing your breakouts. We will also go over various treatment options. 

What Causes Breakouts? 

When your hair follicles, also known as pores, fill with excess sebum, dirt, bacteria, and dead skin cells, you get a pimple. There are many reasons you may end up with clogged pores. Some people have larger pores that make them more susceptible to acne. Others have overactive sebaceous glands that lead to clogged pores. 

Daily activities or practices could be contributing to your skin issues. Here are five reasons you may be breaking out. 

1. Hormonal Changes

You can end up with acne when your hormones fluctuate. Usually, hormonal acne occurs during puberty, but it can also affect adults. You’ll often see hormonal acne develop on the chin and jawline, but it can occur anywhere on the face, like your cheeks.

When you are stressed out, your body releases a stress hormone. These hormones can stimulate your oil glands, and the excess oil clogs your pores, which leads to a breakout in the form of pustules or papules. If you find yourself under constant stress and you're constantly breaking out, there may be a correlation. 

One study showed that 50% of women ages 20 to 29 struggle with acne. Older women,  ages 40 to 49, also have acne, but only about 25%. Many women struggle with hormonal breakouts during their menstrual cycle or menopause. Both of these times cause your hormones to change and acne to occur. Oftentimes, women can take birth control pills to help clear up hormonal acne. 

Sometimes hormonal fluctuations could be a sign of an underlying medical condition. You may need to check with a doctor if you think your acne may be caused by something more serious. 

2. Beauty Products

Skincare and makeup products may be causing your acne. They can be packed with comedogenic ingredients that clog your pores. They may also have ingredients that just irritate your skin, causing a breakout. 

HIDE offers oil-free products that won't clog your pores. They are lightweight and allow your skin to breathe. However, not all makeup is created equal, and if it's formulated with oils, they may be breaking you out. Your makeup brushes might also be the source of your acne, as they can trap bacteria and dirt if not cleaned properly. 

3. Medications

Most cases of acne are not prescription-related. However, certain medications can wreak havoc on your skin. Drugs like corticosteroids, lithium, and anticonvulsants can cause acne. 

You may also have something called 'acneiform,’ which is a drug eruption and not true acne. A doctor or dermatologist can help you tell the difference. 

4. Environment

There are all kinds of different impurities in the air that can end up on your skin. These contaminants can clog your pores and cause a breakout. 

Other environmental factors, like high humidity, can lead to clogged pores. When your skin is moist, it allows dirt and bacteria to stick to your skin and get into your pores.  

5. Diet

What you eat can cause acne, but it's not necessarily chocolate or greasy foods. Instead, high amounts of fat or sugar have been shown to cause acne

For example, if you're drinking highly sugary drinks or milk, you can end up with more pimples. However, these studies don't prove these diets caused acne, just that those that consume these foods tend to struggle with acne. While a healthy diet won't guarantee clear skin, it also can't hurt! 

How To Prevent Acne

A great skincare routine can be beneficial when it comes to preventing acne breakouts from occurring. A dermatologist can recommend the ideal skincare products for your skin, but everyone can benefit from using a gentle cleanser, moisturizer, and an SPF. 

Sunscreen will help protect your skin from the sun's harmful rays and prevent it from drying out and peeling. When you peel, the dead skin cells can end up clogging your pores, so you want to try to avoid burning your face. It will also keep you looking younger for longer since it also prevents sun spots and wrinkles. 

You also want to avoid skincare and makeup that could potentially trigger acne by clogging your pores. Look for oil-free products, like HIDE cosmetics and products with non-comedogenic ingredients. 

A sneaky cause of acne is hair care products. Be mindful of the oils, pomades, and gels you're using on your hair. When these hair products get on your forehead or hairline, they can block your pores and irritate your skin. Oily hair can also end up transferring that oil to your face, so washing your hair is essential.

How To Treat Acne 

You can do several things to treat acne since it can be hard to prevent every pimple. Different acne treatments will work for certain people since no one's skin is the same.

Here are a few different acne-fighting products to try: 

Benzoyl Peroxide

Benzoyl peroxide is one of the most common acne-fighting ingredients. It can remove the bacteria and dead skin cells that clog your pores. 

You can get it over-the-counter in many different products like face wash and spot treatments. It comes in different concentrations to treat mild to moderate acne. 

If you have sensitive skin, you may want to start with a smaller amount of benzoyl peroxide. Once your skin adapts to the treatment, you can try a higher concentration. 

Salicylic Acid

Salicylic acid is another widely used treatment to rid people of their acne. It is made with a beta-hydroxy acid that can be found in plants and has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. 

It works as a chemical exfoliant to break up dirt and oil clogging your pores. It works well for people struggling with whiteheads and blackheads by penetrating the pore and clearing it out. 


Retinoids are another excellent option for getting rid of acne. Retinoids can unclog pores and allow your other skincare products to penetrate the skin better. 

Retinoids can also help reduce the formation of acne scars. They work by penetrating the skin and neutralizing free radicals in the deeper layers of your skin. It promotes cell turnover, which reduces the appearance of large pores.

If you have severe acne, you may need a dermatologist to prescribe an antibiotic to work with your retinoid treatment. However, antibiotics only work for clearing acne caused by bacteria. 

Those with adult acne may like this option the most since retinoids also help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. You may experience redness and peeling when you first start using retinoids, but this is normal and will subside in a few weeks. 

Keep in mind when using a new product, you need to apply it diligently for four to six weeks before you see improvement. Acne treatments need a little bit of time to work, so don't get discouraged if you don't see a difference for a few weeks.  

Bye Bye Acne

There are many reasons you may suddenly be breaking out. You have to go through a trial and error period to discover what is causing your acne. You may also have to test a few different acne treatments before finding one that works for you. 

In the meantime, HIDE premium products won't make your skin breakout and can cover any imperfections you may have!


Adult Acne | AAD

Medications and Acne | Web MD

Does diet really matter when it comes to adult acne? | Harvard

Related Posts

Every person has their own definition of having #MeTime. MeTime is the moment where everything in your surroundings a...
Read More
What Is the Foundation Everyone Is Talking About on TikTok?
There are so many makeup tips, tricks, and recommendations on TikTok. Different creators swear by certain products, a...
Read More
Everything You Need in Order To Build a Makeup Kit for Beginners
When you first get into makeup, you realize how many different products are out there. There are countless foundation...
Read More