Forehead spots sound like a minor issue but can greatly affect your self-confidence. At some point or another, nearly every hooman in existence has had at least one forehead spot and we will fight anyone who says they haven’t.
Let’s get to the bottom of whether forehead spots are different to any other spots, if you should be listening to face mapping, the reasons why you’ve got forehead spots and what to do about them.
Are forehead spots different to other spots?
The simple answer is no. For the most part, the vast majority of spots happen because of the same reasons and the fact that you get them on your forehead is usually a matter of coincidence… Bu-u-ut there are some factors that could be contributing to why you’re getting more spots on your forehead at the same time.
Spots, blemishes, pimples, zits, honkers, whatever you call them, are what happens when sebum (oil) combines with dead skin cells and bacteria in your pore. The sebum, dead skin cells and potential debris form a plug in your pore, which is an opening that allows a hair to poke out and funnel your sebum on to the surface of the skin to moisturise and protect it.
We actually love sebum because it does great things for it. However, it is also the preferred comfort food of bacteria, especially P. acnes, the acne-causing bacteria. So when P. acnes stops to munch on some delicious sebum, it sometimes forgets what it is doing and gets into pores. Eep. This introduction of bacteria is what causes the inflammation, swelling, redness and pus (eurgh) associated with some spots.
If you are prone to forehead spots, it probably comes down to you having more sebaceous glands (read: sebum pumps) in your forehead. More sebaceous glands means more sebum which often means more spots. Maths, innit?
Face mapping and forehead spots
If you’ve never heard of face mapping, it is quite simply the act of mapping which segments of the skin on your face and neck are affected by certain systems and organs within your body. It is an ancient Ayurvedic and Chinese Medicinal technique that holistic skincare still takes into consideration, and many believe it to have a leg to stand on.
In face mapping, your forehead is associated with your digestive system. So stomach, bladder and gut problems are supposed to appear as forehead acne, but many face maps also accredit forehead spots as a symptom of stress or poor sleeping habits.
Show us someone living in our twenty-first century life who doesn’t have all of these and we’ll show you a liar.
Although face mapping is widely believed to be a useful tool, we don’t think it’s the be-all and end-all. Lots of people have stomach issues and no skin problems, or will maybe have cheek or chin spots that occur when they’re having digestive issues but a squeaky clean forehead.
Why am I producing more oil?
If you are suddenly oilier and spottier all of a sudden, point a finger at inflammation. Inflammation throughout our body can be caused by literally hundreds of things but the main culprits are considered to be dietary or lifestyle-based: eating sugary or processed foods, being stressed, drinking too much coffee or caffeine and smoking. When we are inflamed, our body goes “ruh-roh” and kicks our sebum factory into overdrive leading to spots.
Hormones also crank up the volume on sebum production for many, as testosterone, progesterone and oestrogen all play roles with regard to our skin’s balance.
Other reasons you’re seeing forehead spots
- Using the wrong skincare products:
If you’re using products that are far too heavy for your skin, you aren’t allowing that sebum to escape and it will remain trapped in the pore, getting ready to plug it up. Opt for lightweight, non-comedogenic (non-pore-clogging) serums and SPF. We formulated Skin Veg, Skin Protein and Skin Shield for use by everyone, regardless of how oily.
- Bacteria from hair:
So, your forehead is oily, making it a party platter for bacteria. And then you have your hair, perching atop it and even onto it if you have a fringe. What does that spell? S-p-o-t-s. Wash your hair regularly (we know, we’re not arsed either) and keep it off your forehead as much as possible.
- Comedogenic hair products
Speaking of hair, even if your hair isn’t introducing bacteria to your forehead, it could be slapping on bits of comedogenic hair products. Many nourishing hair treatments contain pore-clogging ingredients such as cocoa butter.
Okay, letting go of stress is like mountain-climbing: easier said than done. But stress kicks cortisol, the stress hormone, into gear, which can lead to increased oil production and yes, you guessed it, more spots.
- Dirty hats, helmets, hair bands and wigs
You like accessories, we get it, you’re cooler than us. But how often do you clean them? Hats, helmets, hair bands and wigs are basically bacterial mops that you apply to your head, day in, day out, so don’t forget to wash them every once and a while.
- Touching your own face
You know when you’re leaning over reading a book and – oh – your hand is just leaning on your forehead. Well, stop that. Nobody washes their hands enough to be touching their face on the reg, except for maybe surgeons. If you’re not a surgeon, your dirty fingertips are possibly contributing to those forehead spots.
What skincare to use
Your primary goal is to regulate how your skin is producing oil and thankfully, there are plenty of skincare ingredients that do that, namely…
- Vitamin A (like in Skingredients Skin Protein)
- Salicylic acid (like in Skingredients Sally Cleanse)
- Niacinamide (like in Skingredients Skin Shield SPF 50)
Notably, everyone will tell you to avoid comedogenic ingredients… But few bother to explain the nuances of the concept! Testing of how comedogenic an ingredient is is carried out on tiny sample sizes, usually under ten people, and they don’t carry these tests out in the same manner that we’d actually use skincare. Additionally, some ingredients will be comedogenic when used neat but not when diluted… Which they nearly always are in skincare. (Source: LabMuffin)
Cleansing properly will make a world of a difference. Bin the wipes or micellar water, as nobody gets a thorough clean with those and grab yourself a Cleanse Off Mitt (we’re biased) and a cleanser, remove your makeup with the COM and spend 60 seconds massaging your cleanser into your wet face with your fingertips.
Rinse it off thoroughly, and hey presto, you’ve cleansed to our standards, baby.
If your forehead spots are persistent and worsening, speak to a GP or dermatologist who will be able to help you get to the root of the issue.