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Forehead Acne: Causes, Prevention & Treatment



One of the most vexing types of acne is forehead acne. It seems to appear out of nowhere and can be stubborn to get rid of if you don’t know what are the causes behind it. And while we often label acne with our teenage years, it can continue to haunt us well into adulthood, messing with our confidence and self-esteem.


In this blog post, we'll dive deep into the world of forehead pimple causes and discover the secrets to achieving clear, radiant skin while continuing to pursue an active lifestyle.





Forehead acne causes


Breakouts on your forehead are not a single-issue problem but rather a complex interplay of various factors.


It can result from a combination of factors, and these factors can differ from one individual to another. You can experience one or more of the causes that are explained below:


Excessive Oil Production


Your skin produces sebum (natural skin oil) to keep it hydrated and protected. However, an overproduction of sebum, often triggered by hormonal fluctuations or genetics, can lead to clogged pores and acne breakouts.

The forehead is a common trouble spot because of its higher density of oil glands and proximity to your scalp and hair.




Frequent touching or rubbing of the forehead can transfer bacteria from your hands to your face, resulting in skin inflammation and breakout formation.



Hair Care Products


Your hair's natural oil production plus all your hair styling creams can transfer to your forehead and block your pores. Ingredients like heavy oils that are common in hair products aren’t that good on your skin.



Hats and Headbands


The good side of hats and headbands is that they prevent hair products and sweat from touching your skin during your workout. But, if left for long periods of time without showering post-workout, they can harbor sweat, dirt, and hair products. These factors create the perfect environment for acne-causing bacteria and pimples.





For more information on the benefits of showering after a workout read our blog post Showering After Workout and learn how this simple step might be the answer to all of your troubles.



Diet and Lifestyle


Your diet and lifestyle choices play a significant role in the health of your skin. Consuming a diet high in processed foods, sugars, and dairy products can lead to inflammation and acne.


For more information on diet and its relationship to breakouts you can read the following article from the American Academy of Dermatology Association – Can the Right Diet Get Rid of Acne?





Be conscious of what you use in your skin. Makeup is one of the most common culprits of breakouts and using moisturizers when your skin type doesn’t need it.


It is medically known as acne cosmetica and it appears as small whiteheads appear on the forehead, cheeks, and chin (areas with high sebum production).


Pre workout try to avoid makeup as it can lead to sweat pimples.


For more information on how to choose the right makeup you can read the following article from the American Academy of Dermatology Association – I Have Acne! Is it Okay to Wear Makeup?



What does forehead acne look like?


Forehead acne, like other types of acne, can manifest in various forms.


It begins with whiteheads (tiny small bumps) and blackheads (tiny small bumps with a black dot) that can progress to pustules (pus-filled skin lesions) and papules (red, small bumps that are tender to the touch).


Nodules and cysts are painful breakouts that are “deeper” in the skin and have more inflammation and need to be treated by a dermatologist to avoid scarring.


It is common to see different types of acne lesions at the same time (for example: whiteheads and pustules).





For more information and images on how whiteheads, blackheads, pustules, and cysts look like and their differences, you can read the following article from the American Academy of Dermatology Association – Acne: Signs and Symptoms.



How to Prevent forehead acne? 

To prevent and skip forehead acne consider the following measures and minimize its appearance. 



Clean your face twice a day (morning and evening).


  • - During the day contaminants, dirt, and sweat irritate your skin and block your pores.
  • - At night, sebum accumulates and can damage (irritate) your skin.
  • - Post-workout, if you hit the gym you need to cleanse your face to remove sweat.


For more information on why sweat causes breakouts in active people you can read our blog post: Does sweat cause acne and sweat pimples?


a face wash for athletes is for all skin types from oily and acne-prone to sensitive. Using a gentle, soap-free formula, this face wash unclogs pores and removes sweat, sunblock, pollutants, and bacteria. It leaves your skin feeling hydrated and clean.





Read our blog post – Should you Wash your Face After Working Out, to learn the benefits of cleansing your face after hitting the gym.


Cleaning your face will prevent breakouts from forming. Premature aging can also be delayed by clearing all the substances mentioned above, which release free radicals and damage your skin cells that produce collagen.



Syndet Soap


A good cleanser should not remove all of your skin sebum (syndet soap has this quality); the right amount of sebum will protect your skin without clogging your pores.


- a face wash for athletes that removes sweat, dirt, and contaminants without stripping your skin of its essential oils. Won't leave your face feeling dry or stingy.



Clean Caps, Hats and Headbands


Ensure that your caps and headbands are clean before using them. If you like working out with your cap or headband and it still has the sweat of the previous day it will increase the chance of developing forehead acne.



Use Non-Comedogenic Products


If you have oily skin avoid using a moisturizer on your face. The high density of sebaceous glands makes it unnecessary for your skincare routine.

Instead, opt for a non-comedogenic sunscreen, and don’t forget to reapply every 3-4 hours.


If you want to prevent breakouts from appearing on your forehead use a spot-on treatment like a gel for workout acne.


Its formula contains salicylic acid and azelaic acid, which accelerate the turnover of the superficial skin layers of your skin, preventing your pores from being clogged. Apply once daily.



Hair products


Avoid using oily hair products (creams, mousse, hair wax) during your workout. Gel or hair spray are better alternatives. Remember that sweat can drip these products to your forehead and result in breakouts.



Balanced Diet and Hydration


A well-balanced diet and proper hydration play a significant role in skin health.



Skincare routine before working out


Use a non-comedogenic sunscreen for your workout and avoid any other product, especially makeup and moisturizers. Heavy formulas on makeup or moisturizers clog your pores plus sweat creates the perfect environment for sweat pimples.


If you are experiencing breakouts not only on your forehead but in all the places where sweat accumulates you can read our blog post: How to get rid of Sweat Pimples? Guide for Athletes.


Stress Management


Chronic stress can trigger cortisol release, which increases the production of sebum on your sebaceous glands and leads to acne.


Incorporate stress-reduction techniques into your routine, such as meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises, to help keep stress levels in check.


You can read more about the relationship between breakouts and stress in the article The response of skin disease to stress.



How to treat forehead acne?


If you are currently experiencing breakouts, there are a few simple steps you can take to get clear skin.



Clean your face twice a day


  • - Gently wash (not scrub) your face after working out.

  • - Use a face wash for athletes (day and night) as part of your after-workout routine. Keeps pores open, healthy, and clean

  • - Our formula contains apple amino acids, which clean and exfoliate the skin without using harsh ingredients like alcohol or sulfates. Cranberry extract is a potent antioxidant that helps protect your skin against premature aging caused by sun exposure.

  • Clean your skin by simply massaging the soap with your fingertips. Vigorous rubbing is not recommended since it may cause irritation by damaging the protective layers of the skin.



Topical Treatments


Pat dry your skin after showering and apply a spot-on treatment like a gel for workout acne on the forehead pimples. Use it twice a day until the pimple disappears. 

  • - Resist touching your face as your dirty hands can deliver bacteria to your skin and cause acne.
  • - Don’t pick your breakout, you will create more inflammation and can lead to scarring.



When to see a doctor?


While many cases of forehead acne can be managed with over-the-counter treatments and a good skincare routine, severe or persistent acne may require professional intervention.


If you notice any of the following signs, it's advisable to consult a dermatologist:


  • Large, painful pimples aka cysts: Cysts need prescription medication as if left untreated can result in scarring. It is always better to prevent scarring than to treat it.
  • Worsening or persistent acne: If your forehead breakouts aren’t improving with over-the-counter treatments or are getting worse, it's time to seek professional guidance.





Forehead acne can be a frustrating issue, but armed with knowledge about its causes and practical solutions, you can take control of your skincare journey. Remember that achieving clear, radiant skin often requires patience and consistency.

By addressing the underlying causes and following a thoughtful skincare routine, you can banish those pesky forehead pimples and embrace the confidence that comes with healthy, glowing skin. a kit for workout acne has everything you need for forehead acne to help you conquer healthier skin.





Avanza Skin has products to prevent and treat forehead acne that arises from an active lifestyle. Find the right products that meet your skin and hair needs - in less than a minute Take our quiz to find out!