Free Shipping on Orders $50+

Free Shipping on Orders $50+

Medically Reviewed by Dr. Eva Simmons-O’Brien

Dr. Eva Simmons O’Brien received her MD from Yale University and is a board-certified dermatologist. With over 30 years of experience, she has worked for hospitals, established her own private practice, and consulted for organizations such as the FDA. Today, Dr. Eva runs her own practice in addition to serving as our Chief Science Officer.

causes of acne around the mouth

Causes of Acne Around the Mouth (And How to Get Rid of It)

Causes of Acne Around the Mouth (And How to Get Rid of It)



Your mouth, chin, and jawline area tend to be a favorite for acne, but with a basic awareness of skin health best practices paired with a simple but effective skincare routine, you’ll be able to minimize this pesky mouth-area acne without needing a one on one with a dermatologist.

The following article will walk you through why you may be breaking out in pesky pimples around the mouth area and how to prevent this type of acne in the first place. 

The Best Skincare Offense is a Good Defense. 

When most men enter the self-care and skincare world, they often come to it with more aggression than necessary, soaking their faces in over-the-counter salicylic acid and all kinds of acne treatments with extra harsh active ingredients that can clear skin but not necessarily support skin wellness after they've cleansed all excess oil. 

Take a deep breath – long-term skincare for men takes time, so don’t try to make up for the lost time by bombarding your face with chemicals and quick fixes, especially if you have sensitive skin or acne-prone skin. 

As tempting as it can be, try not to wage Medieval warfare on the skin around your mouth and pop every blackhead and whitehead that comes about. 

The best way to deal with mouth acne is to prevent it by paying attention to what causes fluctuations and if you have any minor skin conditions like excess oil production or just a lot of dead skin cells, so let’s dive into what causes it in the first place. 

Mouth Acne for Men Prime Suspect: Shaving

The process of trimming the ol’ stache and beard can trigger acne flare-ups around the mouth for multiple reasons.

Your skin may react to the ingredients in your shaving cream, or it can get irritated from multiple blade strokes. Try a more natural shaving cream alternative and see how it works for you. Additionally, many aftershave products contain a chemical called sodium lauryl sulfate that can irritate the area around the mouth.

Multi-blade razors tend to be one of the most common reasons men experience razor bumps, since the first blades lift the hair from the skin and the last blades sever the hair as close to the skin as possible. A great shave, but potential acne around the mouth– one of life’s many tradeoffs. 

Try using an electric razor or an old-school single blade safety razor and see if your acne around the mouth subsists. 

Make sure you give your face a warm-up before shaving. Warm water and a hot steamy shower can open up your pores for a smoother shave, and combined with an exfoliating scrub to clear out any potentially surface-level oils and dead skin; you’ve got a solid foundation for a shave. 

Hormones and You: How Male Hormones Cause Acne

A 2011 study found that a spike in androgens (hormones which are abundantly present in men) are linked to a greater sebaceous gland activity. So, an overproduction of these male hormones can increase the size of sebaceous (sebum-producing) glands that result in excessive amounts of oil, which can clog our pores, feed adult acne-producing bacteria, and boom– mouth acne, which is especially a problem for men with oily skin

High levels of male hormones like testosterone can have funky effects on our skin and trigger acne breakouts, so try to be mindful that sometimes the biological cards might just influence skin acne, but try not to stress too much because, well, stress also causes acne

Your chin and mouth area is an exceptionally prime spot for hormonal acne.

How to Prevent Acne Around the Mouth for Guys

The best way to prevent acne around your mouth is to minimize the potential for pores to clog by adopting a regular and effective skincare routine

Men’s skincare is a matter of cleaning out the deep-rooted gunk that collects in your pores, minimizing environmental and sun damage, and incorporating healthy lifestyle habits that increase your overall skin health. 

The products, and their ingredients, you in your skin routine matter a ton. Here’s a quick and easy skin routine for men to prevent acne around the mouth.

Use a facial cleanser or face scrub exfoliant to clear your pores out in the shower. Careful not to over-cleanse or scrub too hard with an exfoliant, as it is possible to start causing micro-abrasions, and we don’t want that. 

Moisturize with SPF. Before you go out to hit the wild world, make sure you prepare your skin with moisturizer, ideally with some sort of SPF. 

Regularly clean your face to eliminate all the dirt and oil from your skin that would otherwise clutter your pores and produce acne. Be sure to wash off any products like renegade smears of toothpaste or lip balm that can irritate your skin overnight. 

Clay masks on a semi-regular basis (every few days or weeks) can be a wonderful asset to get deep in those pores and keep your mouth looking its best. 

Don’t Use Products That Can Cause Acne

This one seems like a no-brainer, but it’s often tough to understand what products can actually clog our pores and causes us to break out and ruin our complexion.

If you’re going to be putting anything on your face, make sure it’s made with products that are non-comedogenic, meaning those that tend to block the pores of the skin and cause blackheads. 

Unsurprisingly, anything we put on our skin that could clog pores, especially oil, can lead to breakouts around the mouth. Here are a few of the biggest mouth acne culprits for men:

    1. Toothpaste: If your toothpaste has any sodium lauryl sulfate, it can cause some irritation on the mouth skin area that leads to mouth acne. Read your labels– it will pay off! 
    2. Lip balm: If we’re a bit too aggressive with our lip hydration efforts and accidentally slather lip balm on the skin around the mouth, we may end up clogging skin pores and giving acne-producing bacteria something to munch on. P.S. our partner’s lip balm that gets on us during a smooch session can clog our pores all the same! 
    3. Makeup: If you do use some form of makeup, make sure you use something that’s oil-free so it doesn’t clog your pores. 

Final Thoughts

Be mindful of any activities that expose the skin to your face to excessive amounts of oil (which can clog pores), dirt (which can accumulate inside pores), or unnecessary organic material (which can feed acne-producing bacteria). 

Try making small changes in your lifestyle, diet, and cleaning routines first. 

Start with minor skincare improvements such as washing your face at the end of the day and regularly washing your sheets and pillowcases, and focus on eliminating any additional contact with chemicals. Once you’ve established a good base, start incorporating some new skincare products into your self-care routine.


Subscribe to receive 15% off your first order and
the occasional skincare tip and deal.

Recent Articles

5 Tips for Getting Rid of Skin Redness

The first step in tackling redness is to determine what could be causing the problem. Skin redness is much more common than one may think, and with a proper skincare routine in place, you can begin to get rid of it in no time. 

How to Get Clear Skin for Men

Managing bumps, breakouts, or skin irritation can be challenging. Here at Disco, we are committed to providing skincare solutions specifically optimized for men’s skin. As guys, we know how frustrating it can be to deal with unexpected breakouts, and the desire to have clear, calm skin. So we created the ultimate guide for getting clear skin through topical skincare and healthy skincare practices. 

Why You Should Use a Clay Mask for Oily and Acne-Prone Skin

The best way to treat oily or acne-prone skin is to regularly use a face mask. In particular, clay face masks work by harnessing all-natural ingredients like Bentonite Clay and Charcoal to detoxify pores and calm the complexion. 

How to Prevent Ingrown Hairs for Men: The Proper Skincare Routine for Shaving

One of the worst side effects of shaving is the unexpected ingrown hair: a painful and unsightly bump that takes just about forever to heal! So what are ingrown hairs, and how can you avoid them? We’ll explore the proper shaving routine so that you can avoid those ingrown hairs, shaving pimples, and razor burn for clear and calm skin.

Something went wrong, please contact us!


$0 $50
Face Mask