Breakouts, pimples, acne, all these things suck. And they suck big time.

You can do everything right and yet stick wake up tomorrow with a new zit. Why?

You eat healthily, drink enough water, use the right products, and even go to see a dermatologist for professional treatment, but your skin just isn’t clear for some reason.

What is that about?

When you were young, you could blame it on puberty. Acne is super common in teens, but when you have adult acne is seems like you are the only one.

But, according to the American Academy of Dermatology, up to 15% of adult women suffer from acne. This acne is usually different from what you would experience in high school, but it is equally annoying.

Acne is caused by more than the obvious things people have told you about for years. Your mom, the lady at the grocery store, and people online are glad to tell you that your acne is caused by eating salt or sugar. Everyone will tell you to chug water. And, of course, never touch your face.

But you’ve been listening, and nothing is changing. That is because acne has so many causes, some you may have never considered.

1.     Hormones

Sure, hormones lead to teenage breakouts, but different hormones cause adult acne. Taking birth control pills, entering into pre-menopause, and even just the natural change in your cycles can all alter your skin.

Many people say that hormonal birth control will clear your acne right up, but there are hundreds, if not thousands of birth control pills, and each affects your hormones differently—some help to treat acne and others that can cause it.

2. Genetics

Yes, you may just be unlucky. If your parents suffered from acne in their younger days or even still do now, you will likely follow in their footsteps. This shouldn’t stop you from treating your breakouts, but knowing the cause is something you have no control over can prevent you from going nuts.

3. Stress

Stress isn’t just a word people throw around. It is serious. Stress can lead to things like heart attacks, high blood pressure, and, naturally, acne. This is because experiencing stress releases hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. These stress hormones then interact with your body and lead to oil production, which causes acne.
4. The sun

That’s right. Your aunt, who rubbed herself down with baby oil and sat outside to sunbathe, may have said those rays cleared up her acne, but have you seen her skin lately?

The sun does not dry out oil or acne. UVA and UVB rays are harmful to your skin and lead to scars, sun spots, and premature aging. Plus, using tanning oils and sitting in the sun increasing sweat that again leads to acne.

5. Too much treatment

You should treat your acne with gentle yet effective products made to clear your skin, but you shouldn’t take that too far. You don’t need a bunch of products that do the same thing. Using a moisturizer, serum, toner, and cleanser that targets the same issue is overkill.

Using too many intense ingredients can cause your skin to freak out and break out. Keep your routine simple. Try one new product at a time, so you know what is working and what isn’t. Also, give your new products four to eight weeks to show improvement before giving up on them.
6. Sunscreens

Although you should always wear sunscreen when outdoors or near windows, some sunscreens are a no-go for acne-prone skin.

You’ll want to find an oil-free mineral sunscreen. Mineral sunscreens are much better for sensitive skin as they sit on the skin and deflect the sun’s rays rather than absorbing into the skin to protect from the inside out.

7. Your phone

If you talk on your phone a lot, hold it near your face or touch it and then touch your face. That is a lot of bacteria transferring from your phone to your face. Scientists at the University of Arizona found that phones have more bacteria than most toilet seats. That is gross.

All that bacteria gets trapped into the pores and clogs them, and produces acne. Be sure you are wiping down your phone with antibacterial wipes regularly.