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Does Not Having Sex Cause Acne? (What You Need to Know)

If you're grappling with acne and have asked yourself, "Does not having sex cause acne?" you're not alone. This issue has been a topic of significant debate.

While some people swear by the "glow" of post-coital bliss, others are left wondering whether their sex life, or lack thereof, could be wreaking havoc on their complexion.

The relationship between sex and acne is complex, much like acne itself, which involves an intricate dance of hormones, oil production, bacteria, and skin cells. Let's peel back the layers of this multifaceted issue and explore the truth behind the cause of acne.

Also read: How to choose the best acne treatment

Biggest Take-Aways:

  • Acne is a complex condition caused by factors like overproduction of sebum, hormonal changes, and clogged pores, but not directly linked to sexual activity or the lack thereof.

  • Temporary hormonal changes induced by sexual activity, including masturbation, are typically not substantial enough to trigger acne.

  • The misconceptions surrounding acne and sexual activity often overshadow the importance of a balanced skincare routine and overall wellness in effectively managing acne.

  • Exposed Skin Care offers a scientifically backed skincare solution that targets the root cause of acne and promotes clearer skin, although individual responses to skincare products may vary.

Man practicing abstinence

The Core Mechanism Behind Acne

Before we delve into whether sexual activity, or its absence, can cause acne, let's understand what acne is and how it manifests. The primary culprit behind acne is a substance known as sebum. Sebum is an oily substance produced by sebaceous glands found abundant in our skin.

This oily substance helps moisturize our skin and protects it from external aggressors. However, when sebum production goes into overdrive, it can clog our pores, creating an ideal environment for bacteria to flourish and trigger acne.

Hormones and Acne

Hormonal changes heavily influence acne. Hormones like testosterone and androgen can increase sebum production. This hormonal-sebum nexus is often visible during puberty, when these hormone levels surge and cause acne breakouts.

The Role of Skin Cells

When the body sheds dead skin cells, these cells can become trapped in the sebum-filled pores, leading to blockage. This blockage is a significant cause of acne as it provides a conducive environment for the overgrowth of acne-causing bacteria. Regularly cleanse and moisturize your skin to help prevent this build-up.

Sexual Activity, Hormones, and Acne

As we uncover the truth of "Does not having sex cause acne?" it's essential to consider the hormonal aspect of sexual activity. Sexual activity, including masturbation, culminates in orgasm, leading to a flood of hormones such as oxytocin and prolactin.

Couple cuddling after having sex

These hormones are primarily associated with feelings of relaxation and well-being. They may not directly affect acne, but their role in overall wellness cannot be discounted.

Sexual Activity and Testosterone

Both sex and masturbation cause an increase in testosterone levels. Testosterone, an androgenic hormone, is known to increase sebum production.

However, the testosterone spike associated with sexual activity is temporary and usually insufficient to cause acne. Regular sexual activity or masturbation cause acne theories often fail to account for this.

Circulation, Glow, and Acne

Sexual activity can improve circulation, leading to the so-called "afterglow." This enhanced blood flow benefits skin health, providing nutrients to the skin cells and aiding in removing toxins. While the glow may not make your acne disappear, it can contribute to healthier skin in the long run.

Busting the Myths

Sex as the Sole Cause of Acne

It's a common misconception that sex or masturbation cause acne. Peer-reviewed studies to date have not established a direct causal relationship between sexual activity and acne. Sexual activity, in isolation, is not the sole cause of acne.

Abstinence and Acne

The question "Does not having sex cause acne?" is largely rooted in myth. No scientific evidence suggests that abstinence from sexual activity would lead to acne. Hormone levels may fluctuate due to many factors, and it's an oversimplification to attribute acne solely to the absence of sexual activity.

External Factors That Can Lead to Acne

While we've established that not having sex doesn't cause acne, there are other factors that may lead to acne breakouts.

Hair Products and Acne

Using heavy hair products can lead to acne, especially if your skin rubs against a hairy face or body parts like the upper back that are prone to acne. These products can leave residue that clogs pores and triggers acne.

Couple rubbing face while enjoying each other

OTC Acne Products

Some over-the-counter products, specifically those without salicylic acid, can cause breakouts if used excessively. While these OTC acne products are formulated to combat acne, overuse can irritate the skin and cause acne flare-ups.

Massage Oils

While massages can be incredibly relaxing, be mindful of the oils used. Some massage oils are heavy and pore-clogging, which can trigger acne, especially if they are not thoroughly cleansed post-massage.

Managing Acne with Exposed Skin Care

Exposed Skin Care offers an effective solution when it comes to acne management. Backed by research, this skincare range targets the root cause of acne: the overproduction of sebum and accumulation of dead skin cells.

Exposed Skin Care Expanded Kit

Here are some benefits of Exposed Skin Care:

  • Targeted Action: Exposed Skin Care products work in tandem to tackle pesky pimples, blemishes, and even those stubborn breakouts that can occur from beard friction.
  • Clinically Proven Ingredients: The products harness the power of scientifically-proven ingredients to balance sebum production and promote clearer skin.
  • Supports Skin Health: Regular use of Exposed Skin Care products can also increase overall skin health, keeping those pesky acne flare-ups at bay.

Masturbation, or how many times a week one has sex, makes no difference in acne breakouts. Proper skin care and using products like Exposed Skin Care can significantly reduce acne.


Acne is a multifaceted skin condition that may break out in pimples due to many factors. These include overproduction of sebum, hormonal fluctuations, and external factors such as using certain skin or hair products. Sexual activity, including masturbation, or the absence of it, does not directly lead to acne.

A well-researched skincare regimen, like Exposed Skin Care, can help manage acne effectively. However, individual responses to skincare products can vary greatly, and what works for one may not work for another.

Hormones also play a significant role in acne, something topical treatments may not fully address. Therefore, it's essential to seek medical advice from a healthcare provider before starting any new skincare routine or making significant changes to your lifestyle.

Remember, acne management is more about understanding and catering to your skin's unique needs rather than following myths and misconceptions. Keep the focus on overall skin health, and you'll be better equipped to handle the challenge of acne.


Q: Does sexual activity or masturbation cause acne?

A: No, sexual activity, including masturbation, doesn't directly cause acne. While it does lead to temporary hormonal changes, they are typically not significant enough to cause acne.

Q: Does not having sex lead to acne?

A: No, abstinence from sex does not cause acne. The myth linking acne to sexual activity or its absence is largely unfounded.

Q: What are some factors that can lead to acne?

A: Several factors can lead to acne, including overproduction of sebum, hormonal changes, clogged pores due to dead skin cells or external substances like heavy hair products or massage oils, and irritation from overuse of certain OTC acne products.

Q: What steps can I take to manage my acne?

A: Regular cleansing and moisturizing, using non-comedogenic products, being mindful of the substances that come in contact with your skin, and maintaining overall wellness can help manage acne.

Q: What role do hormones play in acne?

A: Hormones, particularly androgens like testosterone, play a crucial role in acne as they can increase sebum production, leading to clogged pores and acne.