Your Cart

Memorial Day Sale! Save an Extra 10% Code "MEMORIAL10" + Free US Shipping +$50

Need help choosing the right kit?

Our Skin Profile Quiz can help recommend a kit that best addresses your skin’s unique concerns


Want to order by phone or have questions about our products?

Our skincare experts are here to help 7am-3pm PT Monday - Friday



Sign into your account to track & manage orders or update your account info below.


Facial Cleanser

Ultimate clean, no over-drying

Clearing Tonic

Instant skin rebalancing

Acne Treatment Serum

All-day Protection

Clear Pore Serum

All night pore clearing

Derm-X Cloth

Skin renewing exfoliation

Moisture Complex

Weightless oil-free moisture

Microderm Scrub

Instantly Smoother Skin

Clarifying Mask

Deep down skin detox

Probiotic Complex

Clearer skin from the inside


Acne Around the Mouth: Triggers You Might be Missing

Acne around your mouth is painful and certainly frustrating, but fortunately, there are concrete steps you can take to get rid of it for good.

Also read: How to choose the best acne treatment

Biggest Take-Aways:

  • Firstly, acne around your mouth and chin may not be acne at all. There's a chance it could be dermatitis or cold sores.

  • But if it is acne, then it could have been triggered by any of the following:

    • Hormone shifts,

    • Genetic predisposition,

    • Makeup like foundation, lip balm, or lipstick,

    • Razors or shaving cream,

    • Certain kinds of toothpaste,

    • Smoking,

    • Equipment that touches your face,

    • Or something else (all possibilities are discussed more below).

  • To cure acne around the mouth, we recommend combining the best scientific and natural ingredients (again, a more in-depth treatment plan is outlined below).


In this article, we will first help you identify if what you are experiencing truly is acne, then we will discuss the possible causes so that you can then find a concrete solution.

Exposed Skincare before and after photos
Madison said about Exposed Skincare, "It really is literally life changing."

Is it Acne, or Something Else?

Those bumps around your mouth may not be acne.

Possible causes for blemishes around the mouth that aren't acne:

  • Cold sores.Cold sores can resemble acne, but in reality, they are a herpes virus that can crop up for various reasons. Once you've been infected with the virus, you may get a cold sore from anything that affects your immune system, such as sun exposure, stress, or getting another illness like a cold.

  • Perioral Dermatitis. Perioral dermatitis is a rash around your mouth that can resemble acne. Dermatologists are seeing more and more perioral dermatitis in recent years as a result of more people using masks or face coverings.

What Causes Acne Around the Mouth?

All acne has the same causes:

  • Inflammation

  • Clogged pores

  • Acne-causing bacteria

  • Excess dead skin cells

All of those factors combine to create acne anywhere on the body or face.

But skin in the U-zone, around the mouth, cheeks, and chin, has fewer oil glands than in other parts of the face, which can cause the existing oil glands to over-produce sebum (oil), leading to an excess of oil and, thus, acne. The skin being dry in this area also makes it sensitive to inflammation.

Because the skin in this area is unique, it may have unique triggers.

A woman washing her face

Possible Triggers for Acne Around the Mouth

  • Lip Balm or Lipstick. The chemicals used to give fragrance to lip balms can cause acne or make it worse, especially if you have sensitive skin. The wax in lip balm can also clog pores and lead to breakouts.

  • Toothpaste. Many kinds of toothpaste contain a chemical called sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS). For many people, the SLS in the toothpaste's foam irritates the skin and causes acne.

  • Smoking. The jury is still out on this one. Several studies have been done on the relationship between smoking and acne, and so far, nothing conclusive has been decided. However, nicotine-based and cannabis-based smoking may have properties that could contribute to acne around the mouth. For example, nicotine reduces the flow of oxygen in the body, which can slow down the skin’s healing process, accelerate skin cell death, and increase inflammation. Studies on cannabis are less clear, but some research suggests that it could affect hormone levels and lead to increased oil production and clogged pores around your mouth.

A burnt cigarette butt

  • Hormones. Hormonal shifts and imbalances can both lead to acne around the mouth and across the face in general. Hormones can lead to excess production of sebum that then clogs your pores. You may see hormonal acne flare-ups:

    • During puberty

    • At certain points in the menstrual cycle

    • During testosterone treatment

    • During pregnancy

    • During menopause

    • If taking steroids

    • If you have a condition like PCOS

    • After changing your birth control method, such as hormonal birth control pills, a hormonal IUD, an implant, etc.

  • Genetics. Some people are pre-disposed to have a build-up of oil, dead skin cells, and acne-causing bacteria around their mouth. Of course, that does not mean that they can't get rid of their acne with an effective, multi-step skincare routine.

  • Certain Equipment. Because the skin in this area of the face is so dry, it can become inflamed quite easily, and inflammation can lead to acne. Take care when using:

    • Helmet straps

    • Masks

    • Musical instruments

    • Cell phones

    • Pillowcases

    • Razors

    • Or anything else that consistently touches this area of the face.

      Ensure that you clean these products regularly, and, if possible, prioritize using gentler versions, such as cloth masks, or razors for sensitive skin.


Before and after photos of Exposed Skincare results
Kim Kilgour's skin was completely transformed after 3.5 months of using Exposed Skincare.

How To Get Rid of Acne Around the Mouth

Acne around the mouth doesn't have to be forever, so follow these steps below to change your skin's health for the better.

  1. Identify the trigger causing your acne from the list of triggers above and determine if you need to make any lifestyle changes such as using shaving cream for sensitive skin or changing your birth control method.

  2. Everyone's skin is different, so consider taking this brief quiz to identify what type of treatment plan would work best for you.

  3. Look into a full skincare kit that has ingredients that:

    • Calm inflammation

    • Unclog pores

    • Reduce the amounts of acne-causing bacteria

    • Clear up excess dead skin cells

      Any skincare product that accomplishes one of these things will not be enough as all of these factors combine in order to cause acne. Your skincare routine must come at your mouth breakouts from all angles in order to heal them.

Our Recommendation for a Gentle, Effective Skincare Kit

At Exposed Skin Care, we offer several skincare kits that include all the essentials for keeping your skin healthy.

We are so confident in our kits that we offer the best guarantee in the industry: you can return your kits for a full refund within one year of purchasing. If for any reason you aren't completely happy with your purchase, you can call us or drop us a mail and we will get back you to within 24 hours.

Our kits offer everything you need to get clear skin, like face wash, spot treatment, serum, and even a clarifying mask, Microderm scrub, probiotic capsules, and more. You can choose what is included in your kit by selecting the Basic Kit, Expanded Kit, or our Ultimate Kit.