top of page

Acne On Your Forehead

Updated: Mar 11


Differences between Adolescent and Adult Forehead Acne  

Acne during puberty often appears in the T-zone, which is characterized by a high sebum secretion rate. Forehead acne, in particular, is closely linked to the excessive production of sebum.

During puberty, the secretion of testosterone, a type of androgen hormone, increases between the ages of 13 and 18. It stimulates the sebum production from the sebaceous glands. Additionally, testosterone thickens and hardens keratin, leading to clogging of pores. Consequently, the accumulated sebum becomes trapped in the pores, causing the development of acne.

To address acne during puberty, using topical medications that help with clogged pores or directly suppress sebum production on the affected areas can expedite improvement. If acne fails to respond to these measures or worsens, seeking dermatological treatment such as chemical peels would be effective.

Our clinic offers a range of treatments tailored to address different types of acne, specific symptoms, and individual skin types. This personalized approach ensures that each patient receives the most suitable and effective treatment for their unique needs.

Forehead acne in adults

Adult acne or post-adolesence acne, is characterized by the recurrence of acne on the chin and along the jaw line. Even if you didn't experience acne during puberty, it's possible to develop acne suddenly in your 20s due to changes in your living environment and lifestyle.

Medically speaking, both acne during puberty and adult acne are classified as "acne vulgaris" and share the same physical appearance. Although there is no difference in the nature of the acne itself, the causes of acne can vary.

Adult acne on the forehead can be triggered by factors such as stress, lack of sleep, dry skin, or improper skincare practices (such as excessive rubbing of the skin or using skincare products with high oil content). It's important to note that the causes of forehead acne in adults can be a combination of multiple factors.

Adult acne tends to occur repeatedly before your period due to hormonal fluctuations.

For men, it is important to note that sebum production is more active than in women, This would mean a higher tendency for men to develop more acne as well as more severe form of acne. Comedogenic hair styling products is another common cause of forehead acne.

Prolonged stress can adversely affect the functioning of the autonomic nervous system. Cortisol and adrenaline are secreted to counteract stress, and they can stimulate testosterone production which triggers the pathway for acne production.

What Causes Acne on the Forehead?


Poor diet is one of the factors that can contribute to acne on the forehead.

Consuming excessive amounts of sugar and animal fat can lead to increased sebum production. However, it's not necessary to completely eliminate them from your diet, but it's advisable to moderate their intake.

It is recommended to keep your fat and carbohydrate intake low while ensuring an adequate intake of vitamins. Vitamin B2 is an essential nutrient for preventing acne as it helps regulate sebum levels and promotes lipid metabolism. It is beneficial to consume foods rich in vitamin B2 multiple times a day. Eggs, natto (fermented soybeans), and yogurt are particularly good sources of vitamin B2 and can be easily incorporated into your breakfast or lunch.

Vitamin C is an important antioxidant and it helps to reduce inflammation and eliminate free radicals associated with acne. For enhanced effectiveness, it is recommended to take vitamin C together with vitamin E. Additionally, it is important to ensure an adequate intake of vitamin A, which is necessary for improving skin cell turnover.

Following a well-balanced diet can significantly help in preventing adult acne on the forehead.

A picture of different types of vegetables and fruits

Hairstyle and hairdressing

Continuous mechanical irritation from hair around the face together with the adhered dirt and dust can contribute to the development of acne. It is recommended keep your hair away from your forehead and face if those areas are prone to ance formation.

It is equally important to be cautious about the hair styling products you use on a daily basis. Oils and ingredients present in waxes, sprays, and other hair styling products have the potential to clog pores. If you are experiencing forehead acne, it is advisable to reassess the styling products you use or consider reducing their usage.

Neglecting to wash off shampoo, treatment products, and hair styling products thoroughly can also contribute to forehead acne. The forehead, temples and frown lines are particularly prone to acne. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure a thorough rinse.


We sweat continuously throughout the day, whether it's during a workout, in hot weather, or when we're feeling anxious. It allows the accumulation of dust, pollen, and other dirt, which can clog the pores and worsen acne on the forehead.

It is important to remember to gently wipe off sweat with a clean towel. Some individuals may have the habit of using a shirt sleeve or a dirty towel to wipe off sweat, but it is wiser to avoid these practices as they can potentially introduce more bacteria.

Hormonal imbalance due to lack of sleep or stress

When it comes to lifestyle, it is beneficial to aim for an early bedtime before midnight to prevent sleep deprivation and excessive stress.

If changing your sleep routine proves challenging, focus on enhancing the quality of your sleep by creating a conducive sleep environment. Practicing a healthy sleep hygiene such as refraining use of smartphones before bedtime foster a better sleep quality.

Rising early in the morning and allowing sunlight into your living space upon waking can help regulate yourbody clock and promote a healthier hormone balance.

By consistently adopting the aforementioned lifestyle practices, you can regulate your hormonal balance and sebum secretion.

A woman in pajamas hugging her pillow

Incorrect skin care

Proper facial cleansing is crucial for removing sebum, dirt, and residues from hair styling products on your face. However, it is important to avoid excessive cleansing, as it can lead to skin irritation. It is recommended to wash your face twice a day using a gentle facial cleanser and limiting the duration ! Over zealous cleansing can damage our healthy skin barrier!


Cigarrette smoking and its impact of premature skin aging, delayed wound healing, increased rate of infection are well known. Good skin care rountine will not protect you from the harmful side effects of tabacco smoke!

How to Cure Forehead Acne - Washing Face and Skin Care 

How to wash your face

Daily basic skincare is indeed important for maintaining healthy skin. When choosing a cleanser, opt for one that is mildly acidic and gentle on the skin. It is advisable to avoid using scrubs or other harsh products that may irritate pimples.

To begin your cleansing routine, start by cleaning your hands and pre-washing your face with lukewarm water at a temperature of 34-36°C (34-36°F), slightly higher or similar to your body temperature. This pre-wash step helps remove approximately 70% of dirt and is an essential part of the process.

Next, take a facial cleanser and create a lather by either using your hands or a lathering net if necessary. A foamed face wash makes it easier to remove dirt from the pores and minimizes friction on the skin. When washing, begin with the T-zone (forehead and nose) where sebum is commonly present, then move to the U-zone (around the mouth and chin), and finally to the back of the chin.

However, it is important to avoid prolonged washing or applying excessive pressure with your hands, as this can damage the surface layer of the skin. Aim for a wash time of 20 to 30 seconds and cleanse your face gently, as if you are enveloping it with foam.

When rinsing off the cleanser, ensure thorough rinsing to remove any residue, paying extra attention to the hairline. The forehead, being more robust than areas with thinner skin like around the eyes, may be handled more vigorously. When drying your face, gently dab dry instead of scrubbing the skin. Follow up with a generous application of lotion to prevent dryness, and then use a gel or milky lotion to protect the skin. Face creams, which contain oil, are recommended only for dry areas.

Face keratin care

Clogged pores occurs easily when cellular turnover at the stratum coruem layer of the epidermis is disrupted. This prevents the smooth excretion of sebum from the pores, resulting in sebum accumulation and acne formation. Therefore, care such as removing excess keratin is necessary.

When exfoliating at home, avoid including mechanical trauma to the skin , such as using scrubs. You can consider gentle peels as directed by a dermatologist if necessary.


For acne prone patients, we recommend cosmetic products developed by dermatologist. Choose your cosmetic products carefully!

How to heal forehead acne effectively

After a thorough consultation with our doctors, our clinic provides a myraid of treatment options that deliver safe and fast results.

Chemical Peel

Chemical peeling is a treatment that involves the applications of an acidic agent to the skin to remove excess keratin and promote skin turnover. It is highly effective in treating acne on the forehead. This treatment is relatively affordable and is a popular choice among patients.

It is important to note that the results of chemical peels can be tailored to suit individual symptoms and skin conditions. Seeking professional assistance is especially crucial to avoid potential scarring caused by self-care practices such as popping pimples or even home-based chemical peels, which can even leads to burns! Dermatologists can also provide guidance on the selection and usage of appropriate makeup and skincare products.

Other treatment modalities include oral medications and skin resurfacing lasers. Click here to see the other treatment options for acne!

Schedule a consultation today and start your acne recovery journey today.

This blog post was medically reviewed by Dr Summer Zhang.


bottom of page