Pimples on the chin and around the mouth can be caused by several factors, including hormonal changes related to your monthly cycle (for women), use of the wrong skincare and cosmetic products, as well as dietary choices and habits. The type of acne that can pop up on the chin includes everything from blackheads, whiteheads, small red pimples, and even acne cysts—fun!
We know breakouts on the chin can be super frustrating, but understanding your triggers and implementing some simple prevention and treatment methods can help your chin acne under control in as little as a few weeks! Read on to learn more.
Do hormonal changes cause acne on the chin?
The most common cause of chin acne and breakouts around the mouth and jawline is hormonal fluctuations related to the menstrual cycle. While these fluctuations in hormone levels are totally normal, problems (including pimples) can arise when these fluctuations get out of whack—specifically, when the endocrine system produces an excess of androgens, a group of hormones typically found in higher levels in males than females. These excess androgens can over-activate the sebaceous glands, which then overproduces oil and, ultimately, causes acne breakouts (ugh).
At what point in the menstrual cycle do women get breakouts?
Some women experience breakouts during ovulation (mid-cycle), while others have pimples pop up before or during menstruation.
Ovulation: During ovulation, higher progesterone levels stimulate the oil glands and rev up sebum production (i.e., oil), causing pores to get clogged.
Menstruation: During pre-menstruation, estrogen and progesterone levels drop, causing even higher levels of sebum production, often causing more inflamed breakouts. These normal hormonal fluctuations are often exaggerated (i.e., more pronounced), causing more significant skin behavior changes and, ultimately, more numerous, severe, and inflamed breakouts.
How can you balance hormones causing acne on the chin?
Some birth control pills have beneficial effects on hormonal acne. You can learn more about the best birth control options for acne-prone skin here. Another oral medication that helps with hormonal acne is spironolactone, a non-hormonal drug that can help acne on the chin and around the mouth. If you're considering one of these options, consult with your OB/GYN, dermatologist, or physician.
The DIM + cruciferous supplement is an excellent addition to treating women with adult and hormonal acne. It contains a natural extract of cruciferous vegetables (kale, broccoli, alfalfa, and spinach) specially formulated to help balance hormones and reduce acne signs in adult women. Check out this link and this link for more detailed info on the MDacne DIM supplements.
Does makeup cause acne on the chin?
Another common cause of acne on the chin—particularly for women in their 20s and 30s with adult acne—uses makeup and cosmetics (including unwashed makeup brushes and applicators) that cause the skin's sebaceous glands to get clogged with dirt, oil, and acne-causing bacteria. Make sure you're using oil-free and non-comedogenic products to improve chin acne, and always make sure all of your makeup brushes are cleaned weekly with a mild medicated acne cleanser. Though some would recommend you stop wearing makeup altogether (which can be helpful), we understand that's not realistic for most people. Therefore, you can learn more about the right types of acne to use here.
Does toothpaste cause acne on the chin?
While fluoride is found in most kinds of toothpaste, some people have (or develop) an adverse reaction to the ingredient, which can result in pimples around the mouth, chin breakouts, and even cystic acne. Try switching to a fluoride-free toothpaste and see if you notice a difference. Here are some of our favorite brands
- Dr. Bronner's Peppermint Toothpaste - $5.99/1 tube
- Tom's of Maine Antiplaque and Whitening Fluoride-Free Toothpaste - $9.10/2tubes
- Jason Sea Fresh Strengthening Fluoride-Fere Toothpaste - $3.71/1tube
Does diet cause acne on the chin?
Another major cause of acne on the chin is the food you eat, impacting your skin from the inside and out!
- Oily Foods: Consumption of salty, greasy foods such as chips and french fries can leave oil residues around your mouth to clog skin pores and cause pimples.
- Dairy & High GI Foods: As with all other acne types, there appears to be a correlation between certain foods' consumption and breakouts on the chin, mouth, and jawline. The worst culprits? Dairy (particularly cow's milk) and high-glycemic (GI) foods such as sugar and refined carbohydrates. Eating large amounts of these goods has been shown to trigger and worsen. According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, avoiding foods with high GI is one of the best ways to prevent acne.
To learn more, check out this blog, the best diet for people with acne.
What is the best cleanser for chin pimples?
If you struggle with breakouts on the chin, start using a mild, oil-free cleanser with salicylic acid. Salicylic acid is the best acne-treatment medicates to include in cleansers as it is oil-soluble—meaning it can penetrate the pore while washing and remove excess sebum without overdrying the skin. People with dry or normal skin types should look for active cleansers with 2% salicylic acid, while a cleanser with 0.5% salicylic acid will be optimal for people with dry or sensitive skin.
What is the best moisturizer for acne on the chin area?
The best moisturizers for people with acne-prone skin are oil-free and include dimethicone or hyaluronic acid. Dimethicone helps to reduce trans-epidermal water loss without leaving a greasy feel. It also contains both occlusive and emollient properties, meaning it helps bring hydrating to the skin's surface and keep it there! Dimethicone is suitable for acne and sensitive skin, as it is non-comedogenic and hypoallergenic (nonirritating).
In the MDacne moisturizer, we've also included active botanical extracts like aloe vera and witch hazel, which have anti-inflammatory and skin-soothing properties.
How to get rid of chin acne?
Several excellent acne medications are available over-the-counter that can help you get rid of acne on the chin. When looking for a treatment cream (to be applied and left on overnight), you can try one with salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide.
Benzoyl peroxide is a very effective treatment for chin acne. Using these creams every night or every other night in the acne-prone regions helps remove excess oil, unclog skin pores, and kill acne bacteria. Start with low percentage medical-grade anti-acne creams such as benzoyl peroxide 2.5% that will improve your acne without overdrying your skin. Depending on how your skin responds to the treatment, you can increase the potency to 5% if needed.
Salicylic Acid: People with dry or sensitive skin can use creams with salicylic acid 2%. These creams are also beneficial for combating excess oil production and unclogging the chin's skin pores. In severe chin acne or persistent cystic acne on the chin, there may be a need to add oral treatment to your skincare routines, such as oral antibiotics or even Accutane.
How long does it take to get rid of acne on the chin?
Once you find the right products and start your new skincare routine, it's super important that you commit to your treatment for a long enough time to allow the products to work and start seeing results. As a general rule for acne on the chin and acne around the mouth, effective treatments should start working after about 4-6 weeks, and you should reach optimal results in 12 weeks.
Be mindful that acne treatment products can sometimes present some side effects, particularly mild irritation, skin dryness, and redness. You may see some initial setbacks (i.e., frustrating new breakouts) early in treatment due to the destruction of the acne bacteria. This is what we sometimes lovingly refer to as the "purging" phase. One way to help your skin calm down during this phase is to reduce the amount or frequency (every other night to start) of treatment you're using—but stick to it! You'll be glad you did.
Are there any home remedies for pimples on the chin?
Unfortunately, home remedies and natural products sound appealing but have minimal value in acne treatment in general and specifically for acne on the chin area. They can irritate your skin or be just ineffective. If your goal is to get clear skin, you should be using real medical-grade acne medications.
Does exfoliation help with chin acne?
With any type of acne, it's essential to recognize that it is an inflammatory condition. Therefore, it's essential always to be gentle with your skin. Frequent skin exfoliation, chemical peels, and even harsh cleansers can dry out your skin and ultimately cause more oil production and more acne breakouts.
What to do if you have a big, painful pimple or cyst on your chin?
The best way to control your acne is by using a medical-grade anti-acne night cream applied to the whole chin area and not just single pimples. These creams will help dry out existing pimples faster and, most importantly, prevent future pimples.
For a single, big, painful pimple or cyst, you can apply an ice cube wrapped with a clean paper towel to the affected area. Apply it to the spot for 5 minutes 2-3 times a day. At the end of these 5 minutes, we recommend applying a pimple patch. These small hydrocolloid patches help your skin heal more quickly, reducing the risk for secondary infection and acne scars.
How to treat post-acne dark spots on the chin?
The best way to treat dark post-acne marks on the chin is with a medicated dark spot remover. This can be a prescription, such as the Kligman formula prescribed by most dermatologists for hyperpigmentation or over-the-counter hydroquinone-based products. For best results, look for products that contain 2% hydroquinone combined with retinoids and plant-based anti-inflammatory ingredients such as green tea, tea tree oil, vitamin E, and vitamin A. We may be biased. Still, we think this is the best Dark Spot Remover.
Does touching your face cause chin acne?
Touching and picking at your skin is a common cause of facial acne—especially chin acne, where we may rest our hands or impulsively touch! If you have chin acne, avoid touching this area of your face (except when cleansing and applying treatments) at all costs! The trauma to the upper skin layers reducing its barrier function and makes you more susceptible to acne breakouts and acne scars.
To find the right acne treatments for your unique skin, take the free skin assessment by clicking here.