Cheek acne causes and how to get rid of it
There’s acne and then there’s acne. If you’ve got breakouts covering your cheeks, you’re probably sick of hearing your friends complain about their blackheads or monthly hormonal pimples. You’ve probably heard the same things over and over:
“I hardly noticed that you have acne!”
“Have you tried cutting out dairy?”
“Just try accutane!”
And of course: “Wash your face!”
When you’re struggling with serious cheek acne, realistic solutions can feel impossible to come by. But why is it that cheek acne feels so different than acne on other parts of the face? Maybe it’s because even dermatologists admit they’re not sure what sure causes it. Most of the suggestions on beauty and skincare blogs focus on the role of poor hygiene. Of course, hygiene habits are important, and there might be a few (like sanitizing your phone, or swapping out your pillowcase every day) that you’re missing, but no one battling acne needs to be told to wash their face!
The Hygiene Myth
In fact, washing your face too often could be part of the problem. All acne, no matter where on the face (or elsewhere on the body) it’s located, is caused by clogged hair follicles. Hair follicles can become clogged by a buildup of dead skin cells, dirt, and the oils naturally produced by the skin. That’s why good hygiene practices are to critical to all acne management strategies, and why hygeine is the most commonly suspected culprit behind cheek acne— it’s a part of the face that frequently comes into contact with our hands, our phone screens, and our hair (if it’s long enough.)
What’s important to know about the natural oils produced by your skin is that they can help just as much as they can hurt. Acne (clogged hair follicles, and the resulting inflammation and infection) happens when there is an overproduction of oils. The problem with trying to resolve cheek acne through conventional skin hygeine alone is that too much face washing can actually encourage oil overproduction by drying out your skin.
What’s worse, many acne-fighting ingredients found in typical face washes like salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide are drying as a side effect— compounding the effect of over-cleansing. And not everyone realizes it’s a bad thing, either. There are still plenty of popular acne products marketed as “drying” solutions. To make matters worse, cheeks contain less oil glands than other parts of the face, so they are more prone to dryness to begin with.
Excessive face washing isn’t the solution to clearing up cheek acne— but what if you could kill the bacteria that infect clogged hair follicles without stripping away your natural oils? No, you don’t need prescription antibiotics (which can create antibiotic resistance over time) or expensive topical creams. It’s possible to take on acne-causing bacteria without side effects using hypochlorous acid, a relative newcomer to the skincare world. It’s not an exfoliant (like the other acids you might be familiar with using to treat acne) but rather an anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory agent that’s naturally produced by the human body.
Hypochlorous acid (HOCL) has been around for decades, and has a well-established reputation in hospital and wound care settings. It’s a trusted method of disinfection that’s potential for acne applications is finally being recognized by brands like Purclarity Skincare, who are making this incredible bacteria-fighting ingredient available to consumers in a convenient misting applicator.
Unlike other methods used to control acne, hypochlorous acid isn’t drying or irritating to the skin. It’s possible to use Purclarity’s Revitalizing Skin Mist multiple times throughout the day without interrupting the balance of natural oils present on the skin. It might not seem like it, but that’s pretty incredible news.
Hypochlorous Acid: The Amazing Benefits
The ability of hypochlorous acid to kill bacteria without drying or irritating the skin is what makes it so uniquely effective for cheek acne. Immediately after application, a hypochlorous acid spray like Purclarity Skincare’s Revitalizing Skin Mist starts working to disinfect and treat redness. With continued use, there are a variety of benefits:
- Eliminates acne causing bacteria
- Diminishes irritation and discoloration
- Prevents acne scarring
- Promotes regulation of natural oils (non-drying)
Is It Really Rosacea?
But what if your cheek acne isn’t acne at all? You might have heard that rosacea, another inflammatory skin condition, can cause facial rashes that mimic acne breakouts. If you’re worried that your cheek acne might really be rosacea, it’s important to see a professional to get a correct diagnosis. Most over-the-counter products designed to treat acne will only worsen this highly sensitive skin condition. If you’re unable to see a dermatologist, or wondering what to do in the meantime, there are a few simple steps that can improve a rosacea “breakout.” Here are the essentials:
- Avoid salicylic acid and chemical exfoliants unless otherwise directed by a physician.
- Avoid benzoyl peroxide washes, creams, and other “drying” acne spot treatments, including natural clay masks.
- Wash your face no more than twice with a gentle, fragrance-free cleanser— excessive cleansing with cause irritation.
- Apply a moisturizer after cleansing.
- Apply a hypochlorous acid spray twice a day after cleansing.
A Versatile Solution
If you’re puzzled over the hypochlorous acid recommendation (isn’t that for acne?) don’t worry, it isn’t a mistake! Hypochlorous acid is naturally produced by the immune system, which means it’s ideal for soothing and treating the inflammatory rashes caused by rosacea. It’s safe to use long-term, which means it can (and should) be applied as a preventative step in your routine, as well. It’s ideal for both treatment and maintenance, and is non-irritating.
If you’re uncertain whether your cheek breakout is rosacea or acne, hypochlorous acid is one of the only safe and effective options to treat both conditions. If you’ve been stumped by your breakouts, and found typical treatments unsuccessful, a hypochlorous acid spray like Purclarity Skincare’s Revitalizing Mist is the perfect option.
Hypochlorous acid spray is an affordable, convenient, and versatile solution for cheek breakouts— from rosacea or conventional acne. Cheek acne is stubborn, and most advice for treating it ignores the root cause. There’s hope for your skin beyond just “washing your face.”
You can purchase Purclarity Skincare’s Revitalizing Skin Mist here.