Skip to content

Acne Causes – 5 Things You Didn’t Know Are Causing Your Breakouts

You might think you know your acne causes, but if you’re struggling to get your breakouts under control then one of these surprising reasons might be behind it…

Acne Causes


What is acne?

Before we delve into what might be making you break out, let’s get a better understanding of what acne is.

For some, acne is something confined to the memories of teen years but for many, acne lasts well into adulthood. Acne is the result of blocked pores – excess sebum, dirt and skin cells get stuck in your hair follicle and form either whiteheads (closed comedones) or blackheads (open comedones).

Keeping your skin – and your diet – clean can help keep your acne under control but there are some other more surprising acne causes too, and we’re here to tell you what they are and how you can manage breakouts.


Studies have shown that acne-prone skin can be hereditary, so if someone in your family line suffered from acne, then it could have been passed down to you.


It’s to do with how your body produces and manages sebum, and although you may have the acne genes there are still ways you can keep breakouts to a minimum.


  • Have a good skincare regime – keep oily skin in check with a routine of washing and cleansing your skin.
  • Good hydration – make sure you drink plenty of water because well-hydrated skin clogs less.
  • Don’t pick spots – picking spots can cause scarring as well as spread bacteria to other areas.

Acne Mother and Daughter


Wearing Face Masks

While face masks have played an important part in our lives this past year, they’ve not been without problems. We’ve seen a sharp rise in calls about acne around the mouth as a result of wearing a mask.

‘Maskne’ happens when you wear a mask for long periods of time – the hot, moist environment is an ideal breeding ground for bacteria, the mask traps oil, dirt and skin cells, plus the pressure of the mask on your face all lead to blemishes forming. But as far as acne causes go, this one is fairly simple to manage;

  • Ensure that you wear a clean mask each time.
  • Cleanse your skin morning and evening to remove excess oils and dead skin cells.
  • Go for light makeup to avoid clogging your pores.




There is evidence to suggest that stress can trigger an increase in sebum production, which leads to a breakout. Since stress affects people differently, finding out your trigger for high stress can be tricky.

Try keeping a log of when you feel under pressure so you can identify any particular issues and work on a way to reduce your overall stress factors. In the meantime, these tips should help avoid stress acne;

  • Don’t pick your spots – you’re more likely to pick or squeeze spots when you’re anxious or pressured, and that can leave you with scars.
  • Wound healing time takes longer when your body is stressed, so make time for some relaxation.
  • Walk it off – a brisk 10-minute walk can help to focus your breathing, boost stress-busting endorphins and give you space to organise your thoughts. 


If you thought hitting puberty was the only time when age played a role in acne, you’d be wrong. Ageing generally is one of the main acne causes we see here at Elite Aesthetics. Hormone fluctuations are usually behind adult acne, although there are other acne causes too – you can read in our adult acne blog post here.

During the menopausal stage, your estrogen levels drop and your skin elasticity and plumpness reduces. This means your pores appear larger and your sebaceous glands can go into overdrive, making acne more probable. You can’t stop the clock, but you can take steps to reduce acne;

  • Get a cleanser that contains salicylic acid – this helps to exfoliate the skin, removing the dead skin cells before they clog your pores.
  • Drink water – your skin is naturally drier later in life, so make sure you get enough fluid to keep well hydrated.
  • Consider BHRT treatment if your hormones are unbalanced.

Dirty Laundry

One of the more unusual acne causes is contamination from dirty laundry. Things like flannels, towels and pillowcases are a breeding ground for bacteria if left too long – although it sounds extreme, making sure you have clean bed and bath linen is one way to reduce the chances of a breakout.

  • Wash towels every 2 – 3 days at a high temperature (40 – 60 degrees).
  • Change your bed linen at least once a fortnight.
  • Watch for any reactions to a change in detergent – especially scented ones.

Acne washing face


What About Effective Acne Treatment?

Sometimes, despite following advice and using over the counter ointments, acne causes feelings of self-consciousness and embarrassment. What can you do to reduce acne and acne scarring? Here are some of our most effective treatments with proven results in managing breakouts.


Chemical Peel

Opting for a chemical peel is a great way to rejuvenate your skin. The peel removes the top layers of the epidermis, which is usually dry and damaged, to reveal smoother, more radiant skin. The peels contain different active ingredients that will help to clear out your pores.

We offer a range of chemical peels that suit the severity of your skin condition, skin type and tone. Click here to learn more about them…

Acne Chemical Peel



The HydraFacial is a pampering experience that also leaves you with dewy, soft skin. This stage by stage treatment tackles all aspects of skin maintenance, from expert cleansing and exfoliating to the extraction of impurities using specially developed vortex technology to dislodge and remove build-up in your pores. The experience is finished with the application of serums and antioxidants to leave your skin glowing and refreshed.

If it’s good enough for Beyonce, then it’s definitely one to try. Click here to learn more about HydraFacial.



Microneedling is one of our most powerful treatments for acne scarring. This virtually painless technique uses a tool to lightly puncture the skin’s surface. Although it sounds uncomfortable, these micro-channels into your skin are so minute, they don’t cause pain. As your body begins to repair the skin, it amplifies natural collagen production, resulting in plumper, more even skin.

Click here to learn more about Microneedling…


Acne Microneedling


If you think some of these acne causes have resulted in a breakout and you would like to chat about treatment, please get in touch, we’d love to welcome you to our award-winning clinic. 


We are really easy to find; Elite Aesthetics is located just 10 minutes from Dartford and Gravesend station, 15 minutes from Maidstone and a short 20-minute drive from London.

Make An Enquiry

    We guarantee not to share your information.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
What Our Clients Say...

4.97/5 from 1229 reviews

Dr. Shirin is a fully-trained and highly-experienced aesthetic physician, who works diligently to ensure a 5 star quality service, and brings an honest and ethical approach to every one of our clients. With over 20 years of experience in the medical field, including several years as a GP and a sub-speciality in anaesthetics, Dr. Shirin is fascinated by the harmony between medicine and aesthetics, and with her expertise, Elite Aesthetics is able to offer effective, doctor-led treatments to vastly improve the lives of our clients.

To find out more about how we’ve put a smile on customers faces in the past, read our testimonials below for first-hand accounts of a variety of our treatments. You can also find out more about what we think at Elite on our blog, as well as reading more about what the press says about us. Our delighted clients hail from areas including Greenhithe, Dartford, Gravesend, Bromley, Maidstone, Sevenoaks, and West Malling – as well as from further afield.

Read How I Improved My Lichen Sclerosus

Had a consultation with Elite yesterday, I must say I was a bit nervous, but Dr Shirin was so friendly and helpful.
I was given lots of advice and was given treatment options that were within my budget.
A few weeks after the P Shot I've really started to see a difference and have gained my confidence back.

Thank You!



Elite is an outstanding professional clinic with high standard treatments. All the staff members are friendly and offer you honest opinions when it comes to products and treatments. This is a welcoming clinic that I can 100% recommend. Treatments are spoken through and explained in detail, also aftercare. I have been going nearly a year now and am happy with all the treatments I’ve had, wouldn't go anywhere else. The Bocox treatment started to work within a few days, which I was surprised about. So glad I went to Elite for treatment.



Thank you Dr Shirin, the O Shot has really helped me with my Lichen Sclerosus. I'd heard about the treatment on the LS Facebook Groups and message a few people that had treatment with Dr Shirin. I was like many in the group who had run out of treatment options and using creams on a daily basis. I have to say a few months after treatment, I can see a real positive change and I'm hoping my LS will continue to improve. Dr Shirin did say that I might have to have a second treatment given how severe my case is.




A great discovery in the neighbourhood ! There is no need to go up to London for a beauty treatment of any kind. You'll find a whole range of different treatments suiting all age groups and concerns. Welcoming, reassuring, friendly, professional, high tech. I shall be back for more. I love the results of the Thread Lift I had.


Great service as always, skin is glowing very happy


Very happy with the result of my recent visit. For sure will continue with Elite in future

  • Accreditations
  • accreditations

We have extensive knowledge and experience in the medical and aesthetics industries, but we know that above all, the results matter! All of our treatments are vigorously tested in-house before we offer them to our clients to ensure they are safe, effective and will give you, our wonderful clients, the results you want. Your happiness, well-being and satisfaction are at the very core of everything we do here at Elite Aesthetics, and as a result we will never over-treat or carry out a procedure that Dr. Shirin, deems inappropriate or unsafe. Ethical treatment guides our practice, and we aim to become an industry leader in this respect. This means you can always feel confident that you are in safe hands when you choose Elite Aesthetics.

Our practice is led by our founder, Dr. Shirin Lakhani, who is an advocate for greater regulation in the aesthetics industry. Dr. Shirin and Elite Aesthetics believe greater regulation is vital to the development of aesthetics industry as a whole, and as such, our clinic’s philosophy is based on providing doctor-led care to the highest, medically approved standards. We adhere to stringent ethical and medical principles ensuring all the procedures we offer are safe and effective. Dr. Shirin is also fully registered with the GMC (reference number 4634863), and Elite Aesthetics is CQC (Care Quality Commission) Registered, an endorsement recognised by the UK Government, The Department of Health and NHS England.

Elite Aesthetics has been awarded Thread Lift Certification by MINT Threads.

Aesthetics Clinic

Elite Aesthetics
Based on 338 reviews
powered by Google

17:16 05 Jun 23
Hi, Alex here,Just had my Lichen treatment today with Dr Shirin,The whole team at elite are very friendly, comforting and understanding, and did everything they could to give me a wonderful and welcoming experience. They are all so kind, friendly and knowledgeable, world experts at what they do. I am lucky to have them near London. They are also super responsive on the phone and email, so I know they care about thier patients, and I'm very well taken care of, (as with other clinics I have been to, its often difficult to get them to respond to questions), but this clinic is the most responsive I have ever seen!This is a beautiful and wonderful place and I highly recommend it, and I will be recommending it to all my friends as well. They definitely deserve the super high reviews they are getting, so I'm happy to add another one! A Big thank you from me and my family for all you have done for us during this journey!

Margaret QuirkeMargaret Quirke

19:44 11 Apr 23
Great team, friendly and professional. Made me feel very comfortable. They explain everything in detail.very welcoming upon arrival too.I've been going now for a number f weeks and the attitude and cleanliness is consistent. The reception area is always spotless no matter the weather.The staff attitude is always friendly and they put me at great ease

Salima CharifSalima Charif

09:34 30 Mar 23
Good service, honesty and excellent customer service as always 👍

Valerie LambValerie Lamb

08:40 15 Mar 23
Yesterday I had a 'body sculpt' session, to help lymphatic drainage. I was zipped into a suit up to my waist. This massaged and lightly squeezed my feet, ankles, calves, thighs and abdomen. I was breathing oxygen rich air via nasal tubes. It was very relaxing and I slept really well last night. Thank you Elite Aesthetics.

Izzy ChaplinIzzy Chaplin

20:11 09 Mar 23
Today was the first time I visited Elite. The staff were all so friendly and accommodating. Dr. Shirin is so knowledgeable and really helped me understand all the concerns I had. I will definitely be returning. I highly recommend Elite to everyone, especially those concerned with the menopause !


Take Your First Step...
Testimonials (Avg: 5 / 5) of 1229