Let’s be clear: dealing with acne is never fun, no matter where it occurs on your body. But acne on the cheeks can be particularly bothersome.

Whiteheads, blackheads and deep, painful cysts can all pop up on your cheeks. If you want to clear up your face once and for all, it’s important to identify the true source of your acne.

Here is a breakdown of what you need to know:

  • Where your acne is located can provide important clues to the cause of your breakouts.
  • Many of the everyday items we use are the source of our cheek acne, including mobile phones and pillow cases.
  • The best way to eliminate cheek acne is to identify its source and start a simple acne treatment system.

In this post, we’ll cover the most common causes for cheek acne and what you can do about it:

man on phone before laptop

Mobile Phone

Does your acne start from your ear and travel up to your cheek area? It may be caused by your cell phone.

As it turns out, our cell phones are a breeding ground for germs. In fact, a study from the University of Arizona found that cell phones carry 10 times the bacteria of most toilet seats. This makes sense, given that most of us clean our toilet seats far more often than we do our smartphones.

Why are our phones so dirty? Consider how often you touch your phone throughout the day. If you’re like most Americans, it’s probably more than you think.

From checking emails to texting, there are plenty of opportunities to pass along the bacteria from our hands to our phones. This is especially true if you work in the health care industry and other bacteria-prone industries.

There are a few ways to significantly reduce the bacteria on your phone, like keeping it out of the bathroom and washing your hands regularly. You can also clean your phone regularly by making a spray solution consisting of eight ounces distilled water and eight ounces of rubbing alcohol.

Your Hands

If you thought your smartphone was bad, consider how much bacteria you have on your hands. Our hands harbor a significant number of bacteria which can spread to other places, like the face.

Many of us have a bad habit of unconsciously touching our face when we’re bored or distracted. By doing so, we can make our acne worse by spreading the hub of germs and bacteria on our hands to our cheeks.

This one can be difficult to fix because many of us touch our face without realizing it. The best you can do is to wash your hands several times a day and try to be more conscious about touching your face.

man sleeping in bed

Pillows/Bed Sheets

When was the last time you washed your pillowcases and bedsheets? If the acne on your cheeks won’t go away, this could likely be the culprit.

Fungi, bacteria, dust, dirt and other debris can build up on our sheets. And it all comes into direct contact with your face when you lie down on your pillow.

Fortunately, there's a quick fix for this problem. By simply washing your sheets at least once or twice a week, you can help prevent future breakouts on your cheeks. You may also want to consider using a fragrance-free detergent which can irritate the skin and exacerbate your acne.

Dead Skin Cells

All the things we’ve covered so far can all make acne worse, but none of them directly cause acne on the cheeks. The true culprit is the buildup of old/dead skin cells.

Dead skin cells can build up on the surface of the skin, resulting in clogged pores and breakouts. To combat this problem, it’s important to use a men’s facial scrub. Don’t forget to follow up with a moisturizer specially formulated for a man’s skin!


Processed sugar can wreak havoc on your skin. Not only can it make your acne worse, but it can also speed up the aging process.

When you consume too much sugar, your insulin levels spike. This spike can cause your body to spike the production of skin oils that can clog pores.

Spiking your insulin levels also causes inflammation throughout the entire body, which in turn breaks down collagen and elasticity. No matter how powerful our AM/PM Facial Firming Serum is at fighting wrinkles, it’s best to nip your sugar habit in the bud.

Greasy Products

If your acne appears most often during the summertime, it might be caused by greasy products such as your sunscreen.

Many of the chemicals in traditional sunscreens can block the surface of the skin and clog your pores. Because our cheeks are prominent, we often lather a thick coating on in this area.

To overcome this particular issue, simply choose a men’s moisturizer with SPF. This will go on much smoother and lighter than traditional sunscreens, allowing you to remain protected from the sun without exacerbating acne.


Getting to the root cause of your acne and following a simple skin care regimen are the keys to eliminating acne on your cheeks. Once you know exactly what’s causing acne on your cheeks, you can use the best men’s skin care products to treat your acne.