Acne has bothered people since time immemorial, popping up at the most untimely moments: photoshoots, weddings, first dates… no matter how hard you try, it seems to show up when you least want it to. And unless you’re a superhuman who’s resistant to dermatological problems, you’ve probably experienced an pimple breakout at least once in your lifetime.
Your cheeks are one of the most visible areas of your face (face acne), and unfortunately, acne on cheeks tend to pop up the most.
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There are tons of medications and natural remedies readily available for you to choose from. But before you find out what’s the best treatment for you, it pays to know what exactly causes cheek acne and how to prevent it from ever popping up on your face again.
In this article, we will explore the common as well as the lesser-known causes of breakouts on cheeks. We’ll also share some natural cheek acne remedies that you can do right from the comfort of your home. However, if you don’t have time to do natural remedies yourself, there are a lot of over-the-counter solutions available for you to purchase.
- Whiteheads: Also known as a closed comedo. The smallest kind and the most unnoticeable. These remain under the skin.
- Blackheads: Also known as an open comedo. These are highly visible and hard to get rid of. The black and dark brown pigmentation is caused by the oxidation of melanin, our skin’s pigment.
- Papules: This is a common pimple – small, pink, and harmless.
- Pustules: These are the pimples with the pink base with a hard, white substance on top – this is pus that has accumulated inside a pimple.
- Nodules: These are similar to papules but are larger and more severe. These are often painful when touched.
- Cysts: This is the most severe type of zits. Can be extremely painful as it is filled with pus, and requires medical assistance to get rid of.
One of the more obvious reasons for cheek acne is poor hygiene. Throughout the day, dirt from your environment tends to stick and pile up on the natural oils of your cheeks. This is especially important if you’re using make-up. If this piled-up muck is left unwashed for a long period, your pores get clogged and will result in an pimple breakout.
For people living in urban areas, heavy pollution may cause severe problems as compared to those who live in rural areas – thus, regular face washing with the right cleanser is recommended to keep your skin clear and pristine.
✘ Poor Dieting
You may not instantly feel its effects, but a poor diet greatly increases your chances of developing face blemishes. As the saying goes, “you are what you eat,” and it shows through your skin.
The types of food that you should avoid are processed, fried, dairy, refined carbs, and chocolate. All of these food speed up sebum production, causing unwanted pimple breakouts.
New York City dermatologist Dr. Francesca Fusco recommends a healthier diet composed of fruits, vegetables, whole grain, and lean protein if you want to achieve clear, blemish free cheeks.
Read about traditional chinese acupuncture to fight pimples and blemish scars
✘ Unhealthy Lifestyle
If you live an unhealthy and sedentary lifestyle, not only will your body be negatively affected internally, but it will show through your skin as well. Unhealthy vices such as smoking expose your skin to harmful particles that disrupt the natural process of skin regeneration.
Whenever you’re experiencing stress, the body starts releasing hormones such as androgen and corticotrophin. These hormones stimulate your glands to produce excessive sebum, and when dirt builds up on that oil, breakouts are bound to happen.
It’s highly recommended to get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week, as exercise is proven to decrease stress levels in your body. If you’re stress free, this lowers your chances of increased sebum production, resulting in a clear and healthy skin.
✘ Everyday Objects
Who knew that mundane everyday objects can give you a stubborn breakouts on your cheeks? Well, it turns out that it’s one of the leading causes of cheek blemishes, and the two most common culprits are dirty pillowcases and mobile phones.
Both pillows and mobile phones rest on your cheeks when being used. And both of these objects tend to accumulate dirt over time. If left unsanitized, mobile phones can be ten times dirtier than a toilet seat. Imagine that much bacteria passing on to your cheeks?! It’s no wonder that phones can cause such horrible breakouts!
Meanwhile, pillowcases are home to dust mites, harmful chemicals (from detergents and fabric softeners), and bacteria passed on from your body.
These two objects are essential to our lives, and the best solution to avoid getting cheek acne from them is to regularly sanitize your phone, and it’s recommended that you change your sheets at least once a week.
✘ Sun Exposure
Getting regular sunlight is good for the skin – it’s the number one source of Vitamin D. But too much of a good thing can be bad for you. Not only does excessive exposure to sunlight increase your chances of developing skin cancer, but it can also give you massive breakouts.
The UV rays from the sun penetrate right through your skin, causing your sebaceous glands to produce excessive sebum. And because this is the least of what you want your sebaceous glands to do, it’s best to avoid too much sunlight exposure between 10:00 am – 3:00 pm. These are peak hours when UV rays are the strongest.
✘ Hormonal Changes
Breakouts are the bane of adolescence. It has become a popular trope of adolescent ‘growing pains’, along with awkwardness, mood swings, and rebellious behavior.
But not only adolescents suffer from cheek zits caused by the hormonal influx. Adult men and women go through their own moments of hormonal changes, some naturally occurring, while others are caused by environmental factors such as stress.
The main culprits of hormonal breakouts are estrogen and testosterone, both of which is present in both sexes. A sudden fluctuation of either hormone can trigger increased sebum production, therefore it is best to be aware of what triggers a hormone influx in your body.
Compared to expensive medication prescribed by dermatologists, these natural remedies can be found in your local grocery store, or even in your backyard. If you’re looking for the best treatment for breakouts, you can try out these easy to find ingredients to see what remedy suits you best.
The variety of natural remedies that you can use gives you all the freedom to mix and match what ingredients you want to apply on your face. Watch how Youtuber Kayla Mochi got rid of her blemishes with her skin regime made up of natural and organic products:
How to Get Rid of Cheek Acne Using Medication and Topical Treatments
If natural remedies don’t seem to work for you, consult with your dermatologist on what medication is the best to treat pimples. There is a wide variety of medication and topical treatments for you to choose from, in order to cater to the level of severity of your breakouts on your cheeks. Here are some medications and topical treatments available on the market.
Consult your doctor before using any of these products, especially if you’re pregnant or have sensitive skin.
- Benzoyl Peroxide: Comes in different forms – lotions, soaps, gels, and liquids. It helps unclog your skin pores and stops bacteria from growing on your cheeks. It may take 4-6 weeks before you can feel its full effects.
- Azelaic Acid: This is best for treating mild to moderate breakouts. It reduces the amount of bad bacteria on the skin by keeping the pores open. It takes around 1 months before it takes full effect.
- Salicylic Acid: When applied to the skin, salicylic acid causes your blackheads, whiteheads, and pimples to dry up. It may cause the top layer of your skin to peel.
- Vitamin A: These topical creams help reduce the amount of sebum being produced on your skin while unblocking your pores.
- Topical Antibiotics: When applied to your problem areas, these creams effectively cleanse your skin by killing off bacteria, decreasing your chances of having a breakout.
- Oral Antibiotics: These are recommended for use if your condition is a bit more severe. It is typically used with topical antibiotics and is highly effective at killing off bacteria when used together.
- Low-dose Birth Control Pills: The hormones present in birth control pills (estrogen) decreases the amount of androgens in the body. Androgens are hormones that speed up sebum production. During certain periods in the menstrual cycle, women may experience an increase of androgen in their bodies. Taking birth control pills help balance out the hormones and prevent another breakout.
- Androgen blockers may also be used for the same purpose.
- Isotretinoin: This is used for really severe breakouts, as it is a powerful medication derived from Vitamin A. You’ll need a dermatologist’s prescription for this, as it may induce severe side effects thanks to its strength as a drug.
#1 Rated Acne Cheek Cleanser
The Misumi Face Cleanser is our #1 pick because it effectively clears up acne on the cheeks without drying the skin like other acne cleansers with Benzoyl Peroxide.
Are you currently having problems with cheek acne? If you’ve successfully beaten acne, what remedies did you find most effective for you? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below!