By Kirstin Chock

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, 50 million Americans struggle with acne. Acne can occur all over the body, but the most common and most noticeable location of acne is the face. Acne affects people mentally and emotionally as some people are bullied and have low self-esteem.

There are many causes of acne. Some of which include hormones, stress, and cosmetics. However, your diet can be the cause of acne. When you do extreme diets, your body is under a lot of stress. In some cases, genetics can be the cause of acne as well.

Personally, after years of trial and error, I was able to determine that hormones, certain cosmetic products, and consuming certain foods led to my acne. I always have an acne breakout when I get my menstrual cycle. This is because, during the menstrual cycle, the female body is at a hormonal imbalance. Birth control helps with balancing hormones and making your menstrual cycle lighter and less painful.

Certain cosmetic products gave me acne. These included all the store brand cosmetic products like L’Oréal and Cover Girl. The only reason I resorted to the store brand cosmetics is that of the price. There is a 300% price difference, often more depending on the product, between the store brands and the high-end brands at Sephora, MAC, and Ulta. The high-end brands have better quality ingredients that will not lead to acne breakouts.

The surprising contributor to acne was certain food products. My food enemy is dairy products. If I have more than one cup of dairy in a day, I will break out. This was difficult for me to cut back on because I love dairy products. This also took a while for me to determine because I am so used to consuming dairy, but what causes acne formation from dairy products is that dairy has hormones in it that can react with the hormones in your body.

Since there are several causes for acne, determining the exact cause can be challenging. The best place to start is with the location of the acne on your face. Hairline acne is most likely due to your hair routine. Forehead and chin acne is most likely due to a hormonal imbalance, so if you are a female, try birth control, and if you are a male, try limiting your dairy consumption. Cheek acne is most likely due to your face touching dirty surfaces like your hands, tables, phones, and pillows. Thus, keeping these clean will help reduce and even get rid of our acne.

If you are still struggling with your acne, get products for sensitive skin and talk to your dermatologist about getting on an antibiotic. A daily antibiotic has helped me a lot, with a combination of birth control, diet change, a change in my face routine by adding more washing and cleansing, and by not touching my face as much. Pay closer attention to your habits and take control of your acne today.