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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.

fixing forehead acne and pimples

Forehead Acne and Pimples: Causes, Treatment, and Prevention

Forehead Acne and Pimples: Causes, Treatment, and Prevention



If you thought you were done with pimples and acne in your teens, think again. Acne and related blemishes can happen during any time of your life, even into your thirties and forties. 

Acne and pimples that occur on your forehead aren’t just an eyesore -- they’re usually itchy, sometimes painful, and completely uncomfortable. If you can resist the urge to pick at them, you’re left with noticeable whiteheads, and if you do pick them, you’re left with red welts. 

The best way to deal is to find out what’s causing them and attack the problem at the source. Your skin care experts at Disco are here to tell you what’s causing your forehead acne and pimples, how you can treat them once you've got them, and how to prevent them from happening in the first place. 

What Causes Pimples on the Forehead?

You’re not breaking out anywhere else, but your forehead is inflamed, red, itchy, and covered in bumps. Forehead acne is definitely cringe-inducing and can make your favorite hat part of your daily wardrobe. 

What’s causing your forehead to look like an adolescent teenager’s? There are several possibilities. 

Hormonal Changes

Your hormone levels can change day to day, but the changes usually aren’t noticeable once you’ve passed puberty. However, as you age, hormone changes are more common. 

Testosterone is an androgen, which means it is a male-oriented hormone. Androgens can cause pimples and acne breakouts by triggering the sebaceous glands to overproduce.

The sebaceous glands are the glands responsible for releasing sebum (your skin’s natural oil) onto your skin to keep it properly moisturized. When too much sebum is released, pores can become clogged. 

Testosterone can also cause changes to the skin cells, making them stickier. Once a skin cell dies, it should be shed off in a natural process or through exfoliation. Because testosterone can make their texture stickier, they’re more prone to sticking around on the skin to clog pores.


Stress is also a major acne producer. Stress produces another hormone, called cortisol, which is what gives you your “fight or flight” response. 

When you are really stressed (say, during a pandemic when you’re out of work or trying to keep your head above water while working from home), cortisol levels increase. 

Cortisol can increase sebum production in your sebaceous glands, just like testosterone. While you may think you aren’t stressed enough to have a breakout, the fact is daily stress is cumulative. Over time, your cortisol levels can have an impact on your skin and cause breakouts, even if your stress level feels very manageable.


Your gut reaction when you look in the mirror and see a rash of pimples on your forehead may be to grab a hat, but that’s probably not the best idea. 

Wearing hats, helmets, and beanies can cause irritation to the skin on your forehead, which can lead to a breakout or even a rash. If your hat isn’t clean (and let’s be honest man, it’s not), the buildup of dirt, skin oil, and sweat on the brim can sit on your skin and clog pores, making your acne situation worse. 

Even if your hat is clean, the chemicals in your laundry soap and/or fabric softener can also irritate your skin. 

If you’re trying to clear up a breakout on your forehead, it’s best to just leave the hat on your dresser until you’re in the clear.  

Hair Products

Whatever you’re using to style your flow is formulated specifically for your hair, not your skin. Hair products can contain heavy ingredients that can easily clog pores when they come in contact with your forehead skin. 

Just because you don’t have hair that sits on your forehead doesn’t mean the product can’t end up there. If you sweat during the day, it can loosen the wax or pomade on your hair and allow it to slide down onto your skin. 

If you wear a hat while you’ve got product in your hair, it’s almost guaranteed you’ll end up with that product on your upper forehead and hairline. 

Bad Skin Care Habits (Or, None at All)

If your skin care routine is outdated (or nonexistent), forehead acne and pimples could be the result. Most of us start “caring” for our skin by using whatever soap or cleansing product our parents or older siblings used. Without realizing it, decades can pass with us using the same, outdated products. 

Taking care of your skin is in, and it can help you treat forehead breakouts and prevent them from occurring. 

Good skin care doesn’t take a lot of time or money, just some high-quality products specifically formulated for the pH balance of a man’s skin.

Treatment & Prevention

Look bro, you don’t have to live in a hat or deal with forehead pimples the rest of your life. You can make a few changes to your routine that will get your skin in better shape. Over time, you’ll experience less breakouts and have clearer, sexier skin. Here’s how. 

Don’t Pick, Squeeze, or Pop

No means no, especially when it comes to touching your irritated forehead. Not only does picking make pimples look worse (we’re talking large red, swollen welts), it’s also completely damaging to your skin. 

Picking at your skin can leave permanent scars that are only correctable with dermatologist intervention. Unless you’re saving your money for some high dollar laser treatment, leave your skin alone. 

Popping pimples can also cause bacteria to spread. When you squeeze a bump, the dirt and oil deep inside the pore usually doesn’t make it to the surface. Instead, it spreads to other pores, causing them to clog and form more bumps.

Practice Better Habits

If you’re addicted to the ball cap, at least keep it clean, and avoid using a laundry soap or fabric softener with heavy fragrance. Look for gentle, fragrance-free formulas and wash your cap as frequently as possible to keep it clean. 

Keep your hair off of your forehead while you’re allowing it to heal. A headband is a great way to keep it out of your face if it’s long. And while you’re at it, look for hair care products that contain all natural ingredients that won’t clog your pores. They’re better for your skin and your hair. 

Get Better Skin Care

If you’re still using the same products you used ten years ago, it’s time for a glow up. Your skin is older and has specific needs that soap and water just can’t give you. Great skin care starts with great skincare ingredients, and no one is better at formulating skin care products with the ingredients a man’s skin needs than Disco

Here’s how you can fight back against blemishes you already have and keep your skin clear down the road:

  • Disco Charcoal Face Cleanser Stick. Soap can dry out your skin, and that can lead to more breakouts. When your skin gets dry, it can cause the sebaceous glands to produce more oil to compensate. That oil can cause more breakouts. 

    Disco’s charcoal face cleanser stick removes dirt, oil, and buildup without drying the skin or leaving it feeling uncomfortable.

    We combine moisturizing coconut oil, exfoliating phytic acid, and detoxifying charcoal to ensure your skin gets cleansed deeply and thoroughly without stripping it completely of its natural moisture.  
  • Disco Exfoliating Face Scrub. To really attack blemishes, you need to remove the layer of dead skin cells clinging to the surface of your skin. Those dead skin cells can clog your pores and create bumps. 

    Our exfoliating scrub releases and removes dead skin cells without abrasion and without making your skin irritated or red.

    A soothing blend of aloe, apricot, chamomile, and papaya hydrates and conditions your skin while papaya extract helps exfoliate, remove impurities and dead skin cells. 
  • Disco Hydrating Face Moisturizer. Don’t be tempted to skip the moisturizer because you’re getting breakouts. Sometimes the reason your skin is breaking out can be because it is dehydrated. 

    Hydrate and lock in moisture with this blend of nourishing vitamin E, antioxidant-rich vitamin C, and wrinkle-fighting macadamia oil. Our moisturizer safely works for all skin types, and best of all, it won’t clog your pores.  Skin will look brighter, and more balanced, and irritated, blemish-prone areas are soothed. 
  • Disco Purifying Face Mask. One of the best methods of eliminating forehead blemishes is by using a detoxifying mask. Formulated with mineral rich bentonite clay, impurity-busting charcoal, and soothing willow bark, our face mask is the best recipe for clearer, healthier, smoother skin. 

    Charcoal and bentonite clay work to draw out and absorb impurities that clog pores, which equals less breakouts and bumps. For best results, use 2-3 times a week to combat blemishes and keep skin crystal clear. 

You don’t have to suffer from pimples or hide under a hat like you did as a teenager. You can get great skin and clearer pores by making a few simple changes and using Disco’s line of all-natural men’s skin care products

Plus, Disco’s skin care is always vegan, non-toxic, cruelty free, and sustainably sourced, so you can keep a clear conscience while getting clear skin, so what are you waiting for? We even put together a starter set to help you get your feet wet!




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