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Why Is My Face Breaking Out All of a Sudden? (Updated, March 2020)

man covering face with hands

As an adult, a sudden breakout can be extremely frustrating.

One minute, your face is fine and the next, you’re covered in pimples.

To make matters worse, these seemingly random breakouts are difficult to treat because you don’t know what’s causing them in the first place.

If you want to achieve clear skin for good, you need to find out the underlying cause of your mysterious acne breakouts.

Here are three key things to know about the potential cause of your acne:

  1. The cause of your acne doesn’t need to be isolated. It can be a combination of things such as increased stress, poor sleeping habits and eating too much junk food.
  2. Other sneaky causes of sudden breakouts include using new skin care products or a recent change in your environment.
  3. A men’s acne treatment system with Salicylic Acid is an effective way to treat your acne symptoms.


Have you ever noticed that your breakouts always seem to happen at the worst possible time?

For instance, breaking out right before your big work presentation or on the day of your final exam?

If so, you’re likely experiencing a stress-related breakout.

Although researchers aren’t exactly certain how stress aggravates acne, they do know that there is a strong correlation between psychological stress and acne severity.

unhappy man with his hands on his head

In addition, stress can indirectly cause acne by disrupting your sleep cycle and making you crave junk food, both of which can potentially worsen your acne.

Feeling stressed can also throw off your hormones and stimulate your body’s oil glands to produce excess oil, causing you to break out in pimples.

Although it’s probably easier said than done, taking steps to reduce your stress is key to achieving clear skin once more.

Some things you can do to lower your stress levels include practicing mindful meditation and/or taking regular fitness classes.


Try men's skin care

Change of Environment

A simple change in your environment can have a significant impact on your skin.

This is true whether you’re flying halfway across the globe or simply moving to another office location.

For instance, moving to a new office location can come with a change of roles as well as scenery.

Feelings of uncertainty in a new position can cause anxiety and stress, which can trigger acne breakouts.

man taking call at airport

Similarly, traveling to places with extreme temperatures or increased pollution can also wreak havoc on your skin and cause breakouts.

A recent study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology found that a majority of participants experienced acne flares in the summer, most likely due to the increased humidity that can clog pores and cause breakouts (see claim: “In our study, aggravation of acne was more in summer and rainy season.”)

Bad Diet

If you’ve been indulging in sweet treats and junk food lately, you may have found the cause of your acne.

Foods which rank high on the glycemic index (i.e., processed foods and empty carbs) have been shown to worsen acne symptoms.

According to a 2007 study published in the American Academy of Dermatology, subjects who ate a low-glycemic diet had significantly improved facial acne compared to those who were on a high-glycemic diet (see claim: “At 12 weeks, total lesion counts had decreased more in the experimental group…compared to the control group.”)

It’s tough to kick a sugar habit.

But stick with your acne-free diet plan and you’ll likely be rewarded with clear, healthy skin.


Another sneaky cause of your sudden breakouts could be your shaving routine.

Keep in mind that we’re not talking about razor bumps, which are essentially ingrown hairs.

Your shaving routine can cause acne in several ways, some of which might surprise you.

For instance, using old and dirty razor blades can harbor tons of bacteria that get into the skin when you shave.

To fix the problem, just remember to replace your razor blades regularly and give a good rinse with hot water after each use.

Another way your shaving routine could be causing acne?

Your aftershave product, which may contain pore-clogging ingredients that plug up your facial pores and lead to acne breakouts.


Take the skin care quiz

Skin Care Products

The source of your acne breakouts could be sitting in your bathroom cabinet right now.

If you recently switched to a new skin care product, it may be to blame for your newfound pimples.

Many skin care products are comedogenic, meaning they are known to clog pores.

These products are usually marketed as hydrating moisturizers, toners and sunscreen.

Other products cause excessive dryness, which can also lead to breakouts.

The key is to choose skin care products which are suitable for all skin types and that won’t upset the natural oils in your skin. Try our men's skin care kit to help prevent sudden breakouts and maintain healthy skin.

Tips for Treating and Preventing Sudden Breakouts

1-Wash Your Face Daily

Avoid crashing into bed without washing the day off your face!

Use a men’s facial cleanser every morning and night, followed by a moisturizer.


Use a men’s facial scrub twice per week to slough off dead skin cells and promote cell turnover.

This will prevent dead skin cells from clogging your pores and causing pimples to form.

3-Use Salicylic Acid

To get rid of acne fast, use Salicylic Acid.

This powerful acne-fighting ingredient helps exfoliate your skin naturally and removes pore-clogging debris from the skin.

It’s also effective at calming inflammation and reducing the appearance of acne scars.

Eliminate Sudden Breakouts for Good

If you’re struggling to control your sudden acne breakouts, you need a powerful acne treatment system on your side.

Check out our dermatologist-recommended Daily Moisturizing Acne Cream, which contains Salicylic Acid as the active ingredient.


Actual Tiege Hanley customer testimonial:

face breaking out

“Over a 3 year period, I probably spent over two grand in skin care and still had acne. I decided to reach out and request to be a part of the Tiege Hanley Acne trial and I have been blown away. After two weeks, my skin was clear. It’s not the acne cream alone that cleared it up, but how all of the products work together as a whole.” Kyle B., NJ.




-Harvard Medical School: 

Relaxation techniques: Breath control helps quell errant stress response

-US National Library of Medicine: 

Seasonal aggravation of acne in summers and the effect of temperature and humidity in a study in a tropical setting.

-The effect of a high-protein, low glycemic-load diet versus a conventional, high glycemic-load diet on biochemical parameters associated with acne vulgaris.




Related Blogs:

How to Get Rid of Acne Scars

Stress Acne

What Type of Acne Do I Have?

Acne on the Chin

10 Ways to Prevent Acne (That Actually Work)

How to Get Rid of Pimples on Nose

How to Get Rid of Back Acne

Why Is My Face Breaking Out

Adult Acne


Have you ever wondered how your skin care routine (or lack thereof) compares to other guys’ regimens? We surveyed 1,000 men just like you and asked them about how they take care of their skin. Click here to see the eye-opening skin care survey results.

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