Cheek Acne and How to Reduce the Appearance

What is Cheek Acne?

Cheek acne can appear when you least expect it and can seem very difficult to avoid. Cheek acne is a type of acne that develops on your cheek area and is caused by buildup within the pores. Acne is formed by clogged oil and dead skin cells that clog the hair follicles on the face. These small bumps appear in the form of blackheads, whiteheads, or inflamed pimples. Learn more about how cheek breakouts can occur and how to visibly reduce them.

What Does Cheek Acne Look Like?

Cheek acne causes the skin to appear textured and red. Cheek acne can occur in many forms, including blackheads, whiteheads, and even acne cysts.

What Causes Cheek Acne?

Cell Phone

Cell phones can quickly harbor bacteria, oil, and dirt. When you receive a phone call and put your phone up to your ear, this bacterium can quickly transfer onto your face. This can contribute to cheek acne by worsening symptoms or causing it to begin with. Regularly washing your phone and not bringing it in bacteria-ridden places is essential.


Pillowcases collect bacteria that transfer to your face when you are sleeping. Washing your pillowcases weekly is vital in diminishing bacteria, dirt, and oil buildup on your pillows. This, in turn, reduces cheek acne.

Touching Face

Throughout your day to day, you make contact with many different things, collecting bacteria, pollutants, and allergens on your hands and transferring them to your personal items. You may easily notice acne worsening after touching your face with unwashed hands.

Bad Skincare Routine

Using skincare products that contain harsh chemicals can irritate your skin. It is important to rub your face gently when applying products and cleansing the skin. Neglecting skin care can also cause unwanted oil, dirt, and dead skin to build up and cause acne. Developing a skincare routine in tune with your skin's needs is essential.


Product buildup on your makeup brushes can collect bacteria and irritate your skin, causing acne to flare up. Washing your makeup brushes regularly and any surfaces that collect makeup, such as pillowcases and even headphones, can diminish breakouts that are caused by makeup buildup. 


Not cleaning the skin correctly and cleaning too often can cause breakouts. Using cleansers that suit your skin needs and concerns is essential.

How to Minimize the look of Acne on Your Cheeks

Avoid Contact with Cell Phone

Using a speakerphone or earbuds can decrease cheek contact with bacteria on the surface of your cell phone. This minimizes irritants from your cell phone transferring onto your face.

Frequently Wash Your Hands

Washing your hands can eliminate bacteria that would have otherwise turned into acne or contaminated surfaces. Frequently washing your hands can diminish your chances of developing cheek acne.

Wash Pillowcases and Sheets

Changing your pillowcases and sheets consistently can decrease your likelihood of developing unwanted acne on your cheeks. Bedding should be changed at least once a week. However, changing your pillowcases daily is even better for your skin health.

Use Better Skincare Products

You can reduce the appearance of acne by using gentle, oil-free, and non-comedogenic skin care products and makeup. This can help you avoid breakouts caused by skin irritants.

Remove Makeup

Using a facial cleanser to remove makeup can reduce clogged pores. This may also reduce your makeup from transferring onto your pillowcase and causing acne further down the line.

Our Recommended Products to Reduce Cheek Acne

Cleansing, exfoliating, and moisturizing the skin can help eliminate unwanted bacteria, dead skin cells, and dirt that collect on the skin. The Clarify Starter Kit includes the Acidophilus Probiotic Facial Cream, Clarify Cleanser, and Clarify Exfoliating Astringent. This kit benefits individuals of normal, combination, oily, and acne-prone skin types.

Our Cheek Acne Skincare Routine:

Step 1: Cleanse your face with Clarify Cleanser (AM & PM)
Step 2: Tone with Clarify Exfoliating Astringent (AM & PM)
Step 3: Moisturize with Acidophilus Probiotic Facial Cream (AM & PM)

Frequently Asked Questions:

How can I reduce acne on my cheeks?

Using products with pimple-fighting ingredients, such as the Clarify starter kit, can help visibly reduce symptoms of acne. Ensuring you have a consistent skincare routine and washing your hands, face, and surfaces can help prevent bacteria from transferring to the cheeks. 

Is cheek acne hormonal?

Cheek acne can be a symptom of fluctuating hormones but is typically caused by makeup, dirty pillows, touching your face, and cell phone.

Does stress cause acne on the cheeks?

Chronic stress and increased symptoms of acne have been commonly reported in skin studies.

Does smoking cause acne on the cheeks?

Smoking can cause and worsen cheek acne. Smoking increases contact with your hands and face and the number of bacteria transferred to the face.

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