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Jawline Acne: Causes, Treatments, and More | Sozo Clinic

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Acne stands out as a particularly pervasive issue among other skin conditions, affecting individuals indiscriminately across various age groups. Among the various forms, jawline acne presents a notable concern, distinguishing itself through its specific location and the factors contributing to its development. This comprehensive guide aims to explore topical treatment of jawline acne thoroughly, addressing its root causes, identifying effective treatments, and offering prevention tips.

While acne can manifest across different regions of the face and body, jawline acne is characterised by breakouts along the jaw and chin area. It’s prevalent amongst all ages but particularly common during periods of hormonal fluctuation such as puberty or menstruation. Identifying and treating acne in this area requires a nuanced understanding of its unique causes and effects.

What Causes Jawline Acne?

Like other forms of acne, Jawline acne arises from a combination of factors rather than a single cause. Understanding these contributory elements is crucial for tackling the issue effectively. Below, we explore the various causes that specifically contribute to the emergence of acne along the jawline, highlighting the interplay between hormonal imbalances, lifestyle choices, and environmental influences.

Hormonal Influences

Hormonal fluctuations play an important role in the development of jawline acne, particularly during significant life stages such as puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause. These periods are marked by substantial changes in hormone levels that can exacerbate or trigger sebum production, leading to clogged pores and acne. Below are some common hormonal triggers:

  • Testosterone: Whilst commonly associated with males, testosterone is present in individuals of all genders and can surge during puberty. This hormone increases sebum production, contributing to greasier skin and the potential for acne along the jawline.

  • Progesterone: Levels of this hormone rise during the latter half of the menstrual cycle, which can lead to skin becoming oilier and more prone to acne.

  • Androgens: These male hormones increase in both boys and girls during puberty, raising sebum production and potentially leading to acne outbreaks.

  • Cortisol: Often termed the stress hormone, increases in cortisol can also promote sebum production, making stress a contributing factor to hormonal acne.

Dietary Impact

Top view of banquet with lots of food

The food we consume plays a significant role in the health of our skin. Certain foods, notably dairy products and high-sugar drinks, have been associated with the worsening of acne symptoms. Dairy, particularly skimmed milk, contains hormones that can mimic human hormones, thus potentially interfering with bodily processes and stimulating excess sebum production. 

Similarly, sugary drinks and foods with high glycemic indexes can cause rapid spikes in blood sugar levels. This spike can lead to an increase in insulin, which may boost sebum production and contribute to the development of acne. By understanding the dietary influences on skin health, individuals can make informed choices to minimise acne breakouts, particularly along the jawline.

External Factors

External factors also play a significant role in the occurrence of hormonal jawline acne. Among these, stress stands out as a major contributor. When the body is under stress, it produces more cortisol, a hormone that can increase oil production, thereby exacerbating acne. 

Additionally, the friction caused by objects like mobile phones, scarves, and even pillowcases, known medically as acne mechanica, can further irritate the skin, leading to breakouts along the chin and jawline. This friction can trap heat and sweat on the skin, creating an environment conducive to acne.

Further compounding the problem, harsh skincare products can severely disrupt the skin’s natural balance. Products that strip the skin of natural oils may seem beneficial initially but can prompt the sebaceous glands to produce even more oil to compensate, leading to increased acne. 

Choosing non-comedogenic (not pore-blocking) and gentle skincare products specifically designed for acne-prone skin is important to help mitigate these issues. Recognising and minimising these external triggers can significantly contribute to managing and reducing jawline acne.

Symptoms of Acne on Jawline

Recognising jawline acne involves carefully examining the specific characteristics of breakouts in this area. These can range from small, congested pores, often filled with excess oil and dead skin cells, to larger, inflammatory nodules that are painful and can leave scars. The manifestation of acne along the jawline can significantly differ from acne on other facial regions, such as the forehead or cheeks, due to hormonal fluctuations and external irritants. 

This variance necessitates a tailored approach to treatment, emphasising the importance of understanding the unique aspects of jawline and facial acne for effective management and care.

Jawline Acne Treatment Options

Woman using a white face cream

Several avenues are available when contemplating getting rid of jawline acne, from over-the-counter solutions to prescriptions tailored by a professional.

Over-the-Counter Treatments

Over-the-counter (OTC) treatments can be highly effective for mild cases of jawline acne. These products often contain ingredients specifically designed to combat acne without a prescription. Among these, gentle cleansers, salicylic acid, and benzoyl peroxide ointments are particularly beneficial. 

  • Gentle cleansers help maintain the skin’s natural balance by removing dirt and excess oil without stripping away moisture. This approach reduces the likelihood of triggering an overproduction of sebum, which can exacerbate acne.

  • Salicylic acid exfoliates the skin, removing dead skin cells that clog pores and lead to acne. It’s particularly effective for blackheads and whiteheads, making it a valuable ingredient for those with mild to moderate acne.

  • Benzoyl peroxide is renowned for its ability to kill bacteria associated with acne. By reducing bacteria, inflammation decreases, and breakouts are less likely to occur. Additionally, it helps clear the pores of dead skin cells and excess oil.

Other Notable OTC Ingredients for Acne:

  • Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs)

  • Beta hydroxy acids (BHAs)

  • Sulfur

  • Tea Tree Oil

Utilising these ingredients can significantly aid in managing and treating jawline acne, delivering clearer skin through consistent use.

Prescription Medications

In instances where the situation is more severe, an aesthetic practitioner may suggest using prescription medications as a more intensive treatment method. These options can include a variety of topical treatments specifically formulated to target acne directly at its source, thereby addressing not only the visible symptoms but also the underlying causes that contribute to the condition. 

Given the complexity of skin health, seeking personalised advice from a reputable professional is of utmost importance. Dr Justin Boey at Sozo Aesthetic Clinic is renowned for his expertise in creating tailored treatment plans that meticulously align with the unique needs of an individual’s skin, ensuring optimal results and improved skin health.

Topical Treatments

Spot treatments can be applied to individual blemishes, typically enriched with benzoyl peroxide and a blend of other beneficial ingredients like salicylic acid and tea tree oil. These topical solutions are meticulously formulated to target localised areas on the skin, effectively reducing both the visibility of pimples and the discomfort associated with hormonal acne breakouts. Concentrating on specific problem areas, these treatments help rapidly alleviate symptoms and promote a quicker healing process. 

Furthermore, they assist in preventing the spread of acne by attacking bacteria and reducing inflammation, thus maintaining the skin’s overall health and appearance. Their targeted approach ensures the surrounding skin remains unaffected, preserving its natural balance and preventing bacterial growth and further irritation.

How To Prevent Acne on Jawline?

cosmetics for woman products doing selfie

Preventing acne on the jawline involves a holistic approach, focusing on skincare routines and lifestyle adjustments to mitigate common triggers. Implementing a daily skincare routine that caters to sensitive, acne-prone skin is critical. 

  • Gentle Cleansing: Start and end each day using a gentle cleanser specifically formulated for acne-prone skin. This crucial step helps remove dirt, impurities, and excess oil that accumulates on your skin without causing over-drying or irritation. It’s important to avoid harsh scrubbing as aggressive techniques can worsen hormonal acne conditions by irritating the skin further.

  • Moisturise Wisely: Opt for a lightweight, non-comedogenic moisturiser that offers sufficient hydration without clogging your pores. Even if you have oily skin, it’s essential to keep your skin moisturised to maintain a healthy balance and prevent the skin from producing excess oil as a response to dehydration.

  • Sun Protection: Make it a habit to apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen every day, regardless of the weather conditions. Even on cloudy days, harmful UV rays can penetrate the skin. Choose sunscreen formulas that are non-comedogenic and designed for sensitive or acne-prone skin to ensure protection without triggering breakouts.

  • Regular Exfoliation: Gently exfoliating your skin 1-2 times a week with a product containing salicylic acid or lactic acid can be remarkably beneficial. These ingredients help remove the buildup of dead skin cells that can block pores and lead to acne. However, be cautious not to over-exfoliate, as this can strip the skin of its natural oils and increase irritation.

  • Spot Treatment: When dealing with active breakouts, applying spot treatments that contain benzoyl peroxide or tea tree oil can significantly reduce blemishes. These ingredients target acne-causing bacteria and help to reduce inflammation and redness. Using these treatments sparingly is vital to avoid drying out or irritating the skin.

  • Avoid Touching Your Face: Keeping your hands away from your face is more challenging than it sounds, but doing so can greatly reduce the risk of acne flare-ups. Your hands are often covered in bacteria, oil, and dirt, and frequent touching can transfer these impurities to your face, clogging pores and causing breakouts.

  • Mind Your Diet: Eating a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can positively affect your skin. Some studies suggest that dairy products and high-glycaemic foods may exacerbate acne in certain individuals. Observing how your skin responds to these foods and adjusting your diet can be useful in managing hormonal acne.

  • Stress Management: Implementing stress-reduction techniques such as yoga, meditation, or deep-breathing exercises into your daily routine can benefit your skin. Stress triggers the body to produce more cortisol, increasing oil production and potentially worsening acne. Finding effective ways to manage stress is crucial in maintaining clear skin.

Adopting these practices and being consistent with your skincare routine can significantly reduce jawline and chin acne.


Jawline acne requires a holistic approach to management, combining preventative measures, targeted treatments, and lifestyle adjustments. Understandably, navigating the complexities of acne treatment can be daunting. However, by understanding the intricacies of jawline acne, including its causes and potential remedies, individuals can take proactive steps towards achieving clearer skin. 

It’s essential to consult with a professional, such as an aesthetic practitioner, to devise a treatment plan for one’s skin type and concerns. Effective management of acne enhances one’s complexion and bolsters self-confidence, underscoring the importance of informed, thoughtful care in skincare.


Medical Director

After graduating from the National University of Singapore, Dr Boey’s journey in aesthetics brought him to esteemed institutions such as Harvard Medical School, American Academy of Aesthetic Medicine and Queen Mary University of London in diverse cities like Seoul, London, Boston and New York.