Sebum, natural oils, clogged pores, skin irritation! Don’t let acne get you down. Here we try to help you understand what might be causing and/or aggravating your acne, and give you the resources to treat it.

Know the various kinds of acne


Pores are plugged close


Pores are plugged but open


Red, tender bumps


Red, tender, and pus-filled bumps


Large and painful lumps beneath the skin


Large, painful, and pus-filled lumps beneath the skin

What you need to know

Sebum. A natural substance produced by the skin that gives it a sometimes oily and waxy look. It is your body’s natural approach to locking in moisture, maintaining skin hydration, and protecting you from harmful bacteria.

Excessive sebum produced by your skin may cause it to look ‘oily’. When this gets trapped in the pores, it is unable to push out and instead gives rise to acne.

Inadequate sebum production leads to what is considered ‘dry’ skin. While excess sebum is a known cause of acne, even those with dry skin could experience it as anything that blocks your pores could be a potential factor.

The position of your acne matters.

The position or occurrence of acne on your face could be indicative of the underlying cause behind it. Click to learn more about what acne on different areas could indicate.

Forehead acne could point towards a diet that is too rich in saturated fats, alcohol, or red meat. It could also be a sign that your hair style (a fringe covering your forehead) or hair products, are blocking your pores or causing skin irritation.

The T-zone is known to be one of the more oilier parts of the face, and natural sebum production may be higher here.

Acne on your cheeks could point towards a diet that is too rich in sugar and dairy consumption, along with red meat. However, a surprising culprit could also be your pillowcases and phone screens. If you have sensitive skin, regular washing of pillow covers and anti-bacterial wipes could make a huge difference.

Acne along your chin and mouth is often caused by hormonal changes in your body which cause the sebum-producing glands to overproduce. This could explain a sudden onset of pimples in this area during your period, or on some forms of birth control.

Acne along the jawline may be attributed to heavy processed foods like fast foods, manufactured biscuits and ready-made meals with high preservative content.

What can you do to prevent acne?

Wash hands regularly and avoid touching your face.

Monitor your diet and try to identify which foods are more prone to causing outbreaks.

Make sure to regularly clean your make-up brushes to prevent any buildup of bacteria.

Explore treatment options that works for you.

Remedy finder

Acne, hirsutism, and hair-fall, are three major causes of concern. Remedies range from topical (ointments and medical lotions), oral (antibiotics and tablets), dietary supplements, cosmetic creams, procedures (hair removal) and many more.

Our tool lets you explore and select a method of treatment that works for you.