What Causes Pimples To Keep Coming Back?

Have you ever wondered why those pesky pimples seem to keep popping up no matter what you do? It’s frustrating, isn’t it? In this article, we will explore the various factors that can contribute to the reoccurrence of pimples. From hormonal imbalances to inadequate skincare routines, we will uncover the reasons behind those stubborn pimples that just won’t go away. So, if you’re tired of constantly battling with breakouts, read on to gain a better understanding of what causes pimples to keep coming back and how you can break free from the cycle.

Hormonal Changes

Increased oil production

One of the main causes of recurring pimples is increased oil production in your skin. Hormonal changes, such as those that occur during puberty or menstruation, can lead to the overproduction of sebum, the natural oil that lubricates your skin. When there is an excess of sebum, it can clog the pores and provide a breeding ground for acne-causing bacteria, resulting in the formation of pimples.

Fluctuations in hormone levels

Fluctuations in hormone levels can also contribute to persistent breakouts. Hormones such as androgens can stimulate the sebaceous glands to produce more oil, leading to a higher chance of developing acne. Changes in hormone levels can occur during various stages of life, such as puberty, menstrual cycles, pregnancy, or menopause. These hormonal fluctuations can trigger the production of excessive sebum, making you more prone to recurring pimples.

Menstrual cycle

For those who menstruate, the menstrual cycle can play a significant role in pimple recurrence. During the menstrual cycle, hormone levels change, particularly an increase in progesterone, which can stimulate oil glands and result in more sebum production. This excess oil can clog the pores and lead to the formation of pimples, typically concentrated around the chin and jawline areas.


Puberty is a time of significant hormonal changes, and it is no surprise that many individuals experience recurring pimples during this stage. The surge in hormone levels, especially androgens, stimulates the sebaceous glands to produce more oil. This excess oil, along with dead skin cells and bacteria, can block the hair follicles and result in the development of pimples. While puberty is a natural process, maintaining a consistent skincare routine can help manage and prevent acne breakouts.


Family history of acne

Your genetic makeup can also influence your predisposition to acne. If you have a family history of acne, you may be more prone to experiencing recurring pimples. Certain genetic variations can make your skin more susceptible to clogged pores, inflammation, and bacterial growth, increasing the likelihood of acne breakouts.

Inherited skin conditions

Inherited skin conditions can also contribute to the persistence of pimples. Conditions such as oily skin, sensitive skin, or rosacea may run in families, making individuals more susceptible to acne breakouts. Understanding your genetic predisposition can help you tailor your skincare routine accordingly and seek appropriate treatments to manage recurring pimples effectively.

See also  Why Am I Getting Frequent Pimples?

Poor Skincare Routine

Irregular cleansing

Maintaining a proper skincare routine is crucial to prevent pimples from recurring. Irregular cleansing, such as skipping cleansing or not cleansing thoroughly, can contribute to the buildup of dirt, oil, and dead skin cells on your face. This buildup can clog your pores and lead to the formation of pimples. It is important to cleanse your face twice a day using a gentle cleanser to remove impurities and maintain a clean and healthy complexion.

Using harsh products

Using harsh skincare products can strip your skin of its natural oils and disrupt its delicate balance. Harsh cleansers, toners, or exfoliants can cause your skin to become dry, irritated, and more prone to breakouts. Opt for gentle and non-comedogenic products that are specifically formulated for acne-prone skin. These products are designed to cleanse your skin effectively without stripping away essential moisture, helping to prevent recurring pimples.

Not moisturizing

Contrary to popular belief, moisturizing is an essential step in a skincare routine, even for acne-prone skin. Skipping moisturizer can lead to dryness, which can trigger your skin to produce more oil to compensate, potentially resulting in more frequent breakouts. Choose lightweight and non-comedogenic moisturizers that hydrate your skin without clogging your pores. Regular moisturization can help maintain a healthy skin barrier and reduce the chances of pimples coming back.

Dietary Factors

Consuming high glycemic index foods

Your diet can also impact the recurrence of pimples. Consuming highly processed and high glycemic index foods, such as sugary snacks, white bread, or sugary beverages, can spike your blood sugar levels. These rapid spikes in blood sugar can trigger an increase in insulin production, leading to more sebum production and inflammation. The combination of excess sebum and inflammation can contribute to the development of pimples. Opting for a balanced diet that includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins can help minimize the risk of recurring pimples.

Dairy products and acne

Certain studies have suggested a potential link between dairy consumption and acne breakouts. Dairy products, especially those with high amounts of hormones, such as skim milk and whey protein, may contribute to increased sebum production and inflammation. This increased sebum production can clog the pores and result in more pimples. If you notice that your acne worsens after consuming dairy products, consider reducing or eliminating them from your diet and observe if there is an improvement in your skin.

Excessive consumption of sugary or fatty foods

Consuming excessive amounts of sugary or fatty foods can also impact the recurrence of pimples. These types of foods can lead to a spike in blood sugar levels and increase insulin production, similar to high glycemic index foods. Additionally, a diet high in unhealthy fats may promote inflammation in the body, including the skin. To minimize the chances of pimples coming back, it is important to maintain a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins.

Environmental Factors

Humidity and excessive sweating

Environmental factors, such as humidity and excessive sweating, can contribute to recurring pimples. High humidity levels can increase oil production in your skin, leading to clogged pores and breakouts. Excessive sweating, whether due to physical activity or hot weather, can also contribute to the accumulation of sweat, dirt, and bacteria on your skin, clogging pores and triggering pimples. It is important to cleanse your face and body thoroughly after sweating and to keep your skin clean and dry in humid environments to minimize the risk of recurring pimples.

See also  What Is The Acne-prone Skin?

Pollution and dirt buildup

Exposure to pollution and a buildup of dirt on your skin can also contribute to the persistence of pimples. Pollution and dirt particles can accumulate on the skin’s surface, clogging the pores and leading to breakouts. Regularly cleansing your skin and using products with antioxidant properties can help remove impurities and protect your skin from the harmful effects of pollution, reducing the chances of recurring pimples.

Contact with dirty surfaces

Touching or resting your face on dirty surfaces can introduce bacteria, dirt, and oil onto your skin, increasing the likelihood of recurring pimples. Examples of dirty surfaces include unwashed hands, dirty cell phones, or pillowcases that haven’t been changed in a while. It is important to practice good hygiene by frequently washing your hands, regularly cleaning your phone, and changing your pillowcases to minimize the transfer of bacteria and dirt onto your skin.


Increased oil production

Stress has been linked to an upswing in oil production in the skin, leading to a higher chance of recurring pimples. The body’s response to stress includes the release of various hormones, such as cortisol, which can stimulate the sebaceous glands to produce more oil. This excess oil, combined with other factors like dead skin cells and bacteria, can clog the pores and result in pimples. Managing stress through relaxation techniques, exercise, and self-care practices can help reduce the occurrence of stress-related pimples.

Altered hormone levels

Stress can also disrupt hormone levels in the body, potentially leading to more frequent breakouts. Chronic stress can impact the balance of hormones, including those involved in regulating oil production, such as androgens. These hormonal imbalances can trigger the sebaceous glands to produce more oil, increasing the likelihood of recurring pimples. Implementing stress management techniques, such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, or engaging in hobbies, can help regulate hormone levels and minimize the impact of stress on your skin.

Compromised immune system

Prolonged or chronic stress can weaken the immune system, making your skin more susceptible to infections and inflammation. When the immune system is compromised, it becomes less effective at fighting off bacteria and other acne-triggering factors. This can lead to an increase in the severity and frequency of acne breakouts. To support a healthy immune system, it is essential to prioritize self-care, get enough rest, eat a balanced diet, and engage in activities that reduce stress levels.

Medications and Treatments

Certain medication side effects

Some medications can have side effects that contribute to recurring pimples. Medications such as corticosteroids, hormonal contraceptives, and certain anti-seizure medications can affect hormone levels in the body, potentially leading to increased sebum production and acne breakouts. If you notice a correlation between starting a new medication and the persistence of pimples, it is important to consult with your healthcare provider. They may be able to adjust your dosage or prescribe an alternative medication that is less likely to aggravate acne.

Ineffective acne treatments

Using ineffective acne treatments, or not adhering to prescribed treatment regimens, can also result in recurring pimples. It is important to follow the recommendations of your dermatologist or healthcare provider when it comes to acne treatments. Some individuals may try various over-the-counter products without success, while others may not give prescribed treatments enough time to work. It is important to have realistic expectations and be patient with acne treatments. If you are unsure about the effectiveness of your current treatment, consult with a healthcare professional to explore alternative options that may better suit your skin’s needs.

See also  How Do I Stop My Acne From Appearing On My Face?

Improper Pimple Popping

Spread of bacteria

Popping pimples may provide temporary satisfaction, but it can actually contribute to the persistence of pimples. When you pop a pimple, particularly if done improperly or with dirty hands, you can introduce bacteria into the surrounding skin. This can lead to the spread of infection and the formation of new pimples in the same area or even on other parts of your face. To prevent the recurrence of pimples, it is essential to resist the temptation to pop them and allow them to heal naturally. If you struggle with the urge to pop pimples, consider talking to a dermatologist who can provide guidance and provide appropriate acne treatments.

Further inflammation and irritation

Popping pimples can also lead to further inflammation and irritation in the affected area. When you squeeze or pick at a pimple, you risk damaging the surrounding skin and causing it to become red, swollen, and more susceptible to infections. This additional inflammation can prolong the healing process and increase the chances of recurring pimples. It is important to resist the urge to pop pimples and instead focus on gentle skincare practices and appropriate acne treatments to reduce inflammation and promote healing.

Allergies and Irritants

Reaction to certain skincare or cosmetic products

Some individuals may experience recurring pimples due to allergic reactions or irritations caused by skincare or cosmetic products. Ingredients such as fragrances, preservatives, or certain types of oils can trigger an allergic response or irritate the skin, leading to the development of pimples. If you notice that your pimples consistently appear after using a particular product, consider discontinuing its use and opt for products specifically formulated for sensitive or acne-prone skin. Patch testing new products on a small area of skin before regular use can help identify potential allergens or irritants and prevent recurring pimples.

Exposure to irritating substances

Exposure to irritating substances in your environment, such as harsh chemicals, pollutants, or smoke, can also contribute to recurring pimples. These irritants can disrupt the skin’s natural balance and cause inflammation and clogged pores, increasing the chances of developing pimples. To minimize the impact of these irritants, it is important to protect your skin by wearing sunscreen, adopting a consistent skincare routine, and rinsing your face thoroughly after being exposed to harsh substances or pollutants.

Lack of Sleep

Increased stress levels

A lack of sleep can contribute to higher stress levels, which, as mentioned previously, can lead to recurring pimples. When you don’t get enough rest, your body produces more stress hormones, such as cortisol, which can increase oil production and inflammation in the skin. This combination of factors can exacerbate acne breakouts and make it more difficult for your skin to heal. Prioritizing quality sleep by establishing a relaxing bedtime routine, creating a calm sleeping environment, and ensuring sufficient hours of sleep can help reduce stress levels and minimize the occurrence of pimples.

Slower skin healing processes

Adequate sleep is crucial for the body’s natural healing processes, including the healing of pimples. During sleep, your body repairs cells and tissues, and this includes the healing of acne lesions. When you don’t get enough sleep, your skin’s healing processes may be compromised, leading to a longer duration of pimples and an increased likelihood of recurring breakouts. By prioritizing quality sleep, you can support your skin’s healing processes, leading to a healthier complexion and reduced frequency of pimples.

In conclusion, recurring pimples can be caused by various factors, ranging from hormonal changes and genetics to skincare routines, dietary factors, environmental influences, stress, medications, improper pimple popping, allergies, irritants, and lack of sleep. Understanding these contributing factors and implementing appropriate measures can help minimize the persistence of pimples and promote clearer and healthier skin. It is important to consult with a healthcare professional or dermatologist if you are experiencing severe or persistent acne to determine the best course of treatment for your specific needs. Remember, maintaining a consistent and gentle skincare routine along with a healthy lifestyle can go a long way in preventing and reducing recurrent pimples.