Acne on Jawline: Underlying Causes and Treatment

Acne on Jawline: Underlying Causes and Treatment

 Acne on your jawline can be an indicator that your internal body systems are imbalanced. Learn how to treat jawline acne with natural supplements.

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Let’s face it: Acne can be aggravating no matter if it appears on your chin, cheeks, or forehead, but it often prompts next-level exasperation when it crops up on your jawline.

Why? Because unlike discrete, individual spots that may appear elsewhere on your face, jawline acne tends to emerge in clusters that are not only difficult to conceal but also occasionally painful. It’s also important to note that this type of acne can occur on one side of the face or in different areas of the jawline. 

Your first step toward eliminating pimples on the jawline is understanding their root cause before adopting—or refining—a skincare routine specifically designed to send them packing. Let’s dive in.

3 Causes of Jawline Acne

Whether stubborn acne manifests as blackheads or whiteheads, cysts or zits, they’re unified by how they erupt: Clogged pores. No matter if your pores are blocked by dirt, oil, makeup, or dead skin cells, your body perceives the obstruction as an attack and fires off an inflammatory response that results in an acne breakout.

But if maintaining a clean, fresh face was all we had to do to preserve a clear complexion, acne wouldn’t be the most prevalent skin condition in the US—one that affects approximately 50 million Americans. Rather, persistent acne may be an indication that something is amiss internally or externally.

Three of the most common causes of acne on jawline include:

Hormonal Factors

Hormonal imbalances of any kind can wreak havoc on your complexion—a fact that anyone who survived the trials of adolescence can attest to. During this time, the rapidly vacillating hormones coursing through our bodies trigger excessive sebum production, which can plug pores and result in pimples.

Adult acne may not be as ubiquitous, but it can have just as severe of an impact on our moods and complexions—and, just like in our teens, changes in hormone levels may be responsible for it. These typically come down to the hormonal shifts that accompany:

  • Menstruation
  • Pregnancy
  • Perimenopause
  • Menopause

Specifically, these circumstances and milestones—as well as the use of progestin-only birth control and underlying medical conditions like polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)—may throw off hormonal equilibrium. Meanwhile, the increased production of three key androgen hormones may stimulate sebum growth and oil production:

  • Testosterone 
  • Dihydrotestosterone (DHT)
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (SDHEA)

In addition to the factors mentioned above, excess B12 vitamin can also play a role in hormonal imbalances that lead to jawline acne. While B12 is essential for various bodily functions, including nerve function and red blood cell production, excessive intake can disrupt hormonal balance. Specifically, excess B12 vitamin can lead to testosterone spikes, exacerbating sebum production and increasing the likelihood of acne, particularly along the jawline. 

All of this underscores the need to commit to lifestyle habits, including the use of supplements that promote hormone balance naturally. It also emphasizes the importance of eschewing foods, cosmetics, products, and pore-clogging ingredients that act as endocrine disruptors—namely BPA, phytoestrogens, and phthalates.

Skincare and Hygiene

Skincare practices may be performed to stave off jawline breakouts (and acne, period), but some cleansing habits may work against your desired intent. 

To that end:

  • Prioritize hygiene mindfully – You might be tempted to wash your face several times throughout the day in an attempt to banish your jawline breakout. In a word, don’t. The American Academy of Dermatology is one expert out of a pool of many who recommends washing your face no more than twice a day (the exception being if you’ve sweated heavily).

  • …And don’t squeeze or pop pimples on your jawline – (or elsewhere, for that matter): Popping your pimples introduces the possibility of pushing oil, bacteria, and other impurities even deeper into your skin. Not only will this ramp up inflammation but, in the long run, it may also lead to acne scarring.

  • Beware of specific ingredients – In addition to the endocrine disruptors mentioned above, there are a number of skincare and makeup ingredients that cause acne or worsen it by clogging your pores and engendering inflammation. These include (but certainly aren’t limited to):
      • Petrochemicals, such as petroleum, paraffin wax, and benzene
      • Alcohol denat., such as SD Alcohol 40, SD Alcohol 40B
      • Talc
      • Bismuth oxychloride

    Together, these practices can be tough on your skin—and render you even more vulnerable to jawline and chin acne. 

    Diet and Lifestyle

    Diet and lifestyle also play a pivotal role in persistent acne and its perpetuation. A few of the most vital to be aware of include:

  • A high-glycemic, high-fat diet – True, controversy continues to surround the link between diet and acne. And yet, experts at places ranging from Harvard Health to the Mayo Clinic insist on the connection. Particularly, high-fat and high-glycemic foods may cause an inflammatory response that may spark off acne, while a diet loaded with sugar can prompt hormonal changes that might result in pimples.

  • Excessive sun exposure – The logic is understandable: Dry out the excess oil in your skin by chilling in the sun and reap a clearer complexion. However, sun exposure increases your risk of skin damage and compounds acne while also upping your chances of skin cancer and different types of hyperpigmentation.

  • Smoking/vaping – We’re all well aware of the dangers of smoking, but did you also know that it may cause a type of post-puberty, non-inflammatory acne colloquially called “smoker’s acne?” Put simply, smoking may precipitate sebum production and result in clogged pores that lead to acne.

    • Egg Allergies: Egg allergies can trigger inflammatory responses in the body, potentially exacerbating acne symptoms, especially along the jawline. Individuals with egg allergies may experience increased inflammation, leading to clogged pores and the development of acne. 

    Here’s the good part: All of these lifestyle choices are in your hands—and reversible.

    Identifying Jawline Acne Types

    Pinpointing what type of acne is terrorizing your jawline is one of the keys to treating it appropriately.

    Generally speaking, acne falls into one of the following categories:

    Whiteheads and Blackheads

    Whiteheads and blackheads rest under the umbrella of “non-inflammatory acne,” or what’s deemed a less acute presentation of acne.

  • Blackheads – Blackheads are distinguished by the tiny bit of darkness seen at the pore’s head. They’re distinguished from whiteheads by possessing what’s known as an “open comedone,” or a clogged pore with an open head.

  • Whiteheads – Whiteheads, or closed comedones, may be less disconcerting to the eye when you glance in the mirror but they’re no less bothersome, particularly since they appear as bumps that can be painful to the touch.

  • Both whiteheads and blackheads can also precede what some of us find the most daunting: Acne lesions.

    Papules and Pustules

    Papules and pustules have a great deal in common but they, too, share important distinctions:,

  • Papules may appear in clusters or on their own, be red or pink in color, and do not feature pus. 

  • Pustules, or what we know simply as pimples, are similar to papules in color and appearance but also emerge with white or yellowish discharge. 

  • Cysts and Nodules

    Cysts and nodules are widely thought of as the more dramatic and worrisome forms of acne vulgaris:

  • Nodules are those raised bumps you may spot on your jawline in shades of yellow, white, pink, or red. They grow deep below the skin’s surface and, unlike their pimple cousins, do not contain discharge.

  • Cysts are largely thought of as the most severe form of acne—or at least the largest. Substantially bigger than other types of acne, they appear as tender, fluid-filled red or white bumps that are sunk deep below the skin, making them all the harder to treat. 

  • Prevention and Skincare Tips

    Acne on the jawline may be fiercer in appearance—particularly if it takes on a rash-like look—but preventing it is, really, no different than treating acne in general. This entails many of the tips outlined above. To recap:

    • Ensure a clean face that’s free of debris by gently washing your face twice per day.
    • Avoid lifestyle choices that may give rise to acne and instead choose practices that nourish your body’s biggest organ, such as following a healthy diet, getting ample hydration and exercise, adhering to smart stress-coping strategies, wearing SPF, quitting smoking (if it applies to you), and obtaining sufficient sleep.
    • Dodge ingredients that may stimulate sebum production and/or inflammation.

    All that said, given the unique location of jawline acne, men may want to avoid shaving the area with a dull razor blade, while everyone might benefit from loosening their chin straps after wearing a helmet—and washing your face after you’ve worn one. 

    Finally, be sure to moisturize even if it’s the last thing you believe your skin needs: Dull and dry skin can still be susceptible to acne and require extra TLC. 

    Treatment Options for Jawline Acne

    As we mentioned, the type of acne treatment you employ depends on the form of acne you have:

  • For whiteheads, blackheads, pustules, and papules – Your skin may thank you for choosing over-the-counter (OTC) acne treatments that contain salicylic acid. Additionally, search for acne-combatting products that feature:
      • Vitamin C
      • Bakuchiol 
      • Alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs)
      • Beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs)

  • For cysts and nodules – Nodules and cystic acne on the jawline may benefit from the same ingredients, as well as more aggressive treatments, such as oral prescriptions and natural, hormonal therapy. Your best bet in treating this type of severe acne is to consult with a dermatologist to determine the smartest acne treatment route to a smooth, clear complexion. 

  • Prevent Future Breakouts With CLEARSTEM

    Jawline acne may top your list of skincare fears—and we hear you on that. Caused by a myriad of factors, including hormonal imbalances, underlying conditions, lifestyle choices, and improper skincare techniques and practices, it may strike you as unseemly (or propel you to hide out until it vanishes).

    Fortunately, jawline breakouts are far from a life sentence—and CLEARSTEM can help you both prevent and treat it. Our hormonal acne supplement was designed to keep you and your skin balanced, calm, and clear, while our collection of skincare for acne-prone skin is crafted with science-based, nurturing ingredients. For an effective spot treatment or mask, try our Sulfur Spot&Mask treatment. 

    Enhance your skincare health with CLEARSTEM.


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